Thursday, August 21, 2008

TTRS - This Terribly Retarded System

So I was a Librarian for a year or so for H.I.S.D. (Houston Independant School Dumbasses) roughly 5 years ago. This enrolled me in the Texas Teacher Retirement System (TTRS) and I have about 800 dollars saved up for my eventual retirement (at the age of 32 if I have my way about it) that is just sitting there, earning interest. The funny thing is it use to be around 500 dollars just sitting there, earning interest, and I guess someone caught on to my clever little scheme, because I recieved a lovely letter in the mail saying "Hey, uh, this is TTRS... We're on to you, buddy. Get your cash out of our account and stick it in another, or you can let it rot here, but we ain't paying tax dollars towards your lazy ass. NO INTEREST FOR YOU!" -Signed, The TTRS Nazi.

So I called up Fidelity Investments, spoke with a charming young man who told me I could call day or night, anytime, 24 hours a day, if I needed any help or had any questions, etc. (I'm thinking of calling at 3 a.m. to ask them how to say "High Yield Interest Savings Account" in German.) Well George.. or John... or Paul... or some apostle like name... or maybe it was some Beetle like name... I'm fairly sure it wasn't Ringo... told me I needed to talk to TTRS in order to get the ball rolling. Okay, good as done.

I call them up, and the most ancient person in the world answers after about 15 noises which sounds like maybe she had a heartattack trying to pick the phone up, dropped it, and then they rushed in and zapped her to life just so she could take my call, and she tells me (in her long winded old lady way) she has filled out a request for 2 forms to be MAILED to me (MAIL. AS IN THE THING THAT I USE TO GET MY NETFLIX AND MAGAZINES AND NOTHING ELSE) that I have to fill out, sign, have NOTERIZED, and MAIL BACK. I asked her if we couldn't fax this or have the forms e-mailed to me. Dead silence on the other end. I liken it to having just asked her what the answer was to one of the most complicated theoretical physics questions on the planet. So I calmly repeated the question, and after another dead silence (now that I think about it, maybe it really was a dead silence, and they had to rush in and zap her back again), she told me that everything had to be done through the mail.

I can fill out my TAXES online, pay all my bills, take care of every college thing you could ever DREAM of, even ORDER PIZZA online... But I can't get my retirement plan rerouted. It's almost like somewhere someone said "Well these people are retiring. They don't even know how to make the VCR stop blinking 12:00, so why waste the money on upgrading our systems?"

Meh.. backasswards..


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