“Zippy” Is Relative

, , , , | Working | December 3, 2020

This happens around 1964 or so, when I am working during the Christmas holidays at a large department store. I am in my early twenties, having been born in 1942. My husband is a hobby photographer, and the store has a camera on sale that I think he will enjoy. They also have a credit card program called “Zip Credit”, which I think I will use to buy the camera and then pay it off with my last paycheck after the holiday.

I fill out the application, and the man tells me that it will take a week before I will hear back about it. When I tell a coworker, she agrees that it doesn’t sound very “zippy.”

And so, a week later I am called to the credit office where I am told that I have been turned down. When I ask why, the man looks at me over his glasses and tells me I have a bad credit rating… from 1935!

I nearly flip out!

Me: “How can I have bad credit from seven years before I was born?”

Employee: “Lady, all I know is what I see.”

Me: “Look at me! Do I look old enough to have been buying on credit that long ago?”

Employee: “Lady, all I know is what I see.”

What I could see was that I was getting nowhere with this bozo. And my husband didn’t get his camera for Christmas.

It turned out that, by some fluke, my name was the same as a distant in-law who had died some years before this and did, indeed, have a credit dispute from the mid-1930s.

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