I know that I am a person of slightly more then average intelligence. I know that I can be highly competent and savvy. I can handle life situations with aplomb, (well most of the time) and try to look at life as the glass half full. I also can watch a tiny error turn into a big freaking disaster.
Being somewhat self-deprecating in nature, despite all my positive attributes, I tend to share the incompetent side of my persona with all of you. Why? Maybe because I know that humor is a great stress reliever, so if you laugh, maybe your day is brighter. Maybe I hope you learn something, if nothing else how not to do something, as my shared attempts at home improvement can attest. Maybe, because in hindsight, the situation is rather amusing, but not so at the time. Plus its the cheapest form of therapy I know.
My latest voyage into quasi-calamity began innocently enough, and with a panic. As I just wrote, I came home early from work the other day with an intestinal virus. What I didn’t mention was that on my doorknob was a little placard. That placard mentioned that as I hadn’t paid my water bill, that utility would be shut off in 48 hours. I know that my memory has never been my best attribute, but KNOW I had paid that bill. So straight to my bank’s website I went.
Sure enough I could see where the funds had left my bank, and when, thanks to the bill pay service we use. So I called the water company. “No, Mrs. Parris. We haven’t recieved payment on your account.” The Customer Service Representative informed me.
“But, it shows on my account that you should have gotten payment on the 14th!” I declared, while my body wondered why I wasn’t in bed, my stomach cramping in agreement. It took another 90 minutes between calls to the bank and the water company, before I realized that things would be on hold till the next day. Why? Because no one was quite sure exactly where that original payment went. I had to table it till later. I spent the rest of the day huddled under covers, listlessly changing channels.
The next day resulted in a holding pattern in regards to that water bill. I was assured I’d been given an extra 24 hours to figure out what had happened. But along the way, I learned one probable cause…my own data entry skills had failed me. I had transposed two numbers when I input the Water bill account. Research proved that it wasn’t the real issue, as no funds had gone to the account I had actually entered either. The status of just where the money was, had yet to be made clear, only that a check had been issued to the Water Company. The mystery deepened.
So this morning, I had yet to see any resolution. I made a trip to the Water company a mandatory party of my “day off” errands agenda. Before I wrote the check, I asked if any updates had been received on their end as to the status of my account. Being given a negative, I wrote out the amount, plus a late fee. Then drove to the nearest branch of my bank.
In about ten minutes, I finally got an answer to the missing funds. Apparently banks often contract with third party entities who manage the transactions for bill pay. As is often the case, the first time a new bill pay is enacted, a paper check is issued to the payer. That was the case with my water bill. It was a recent addition to our bill pay list. What had happened was that someone in that office had also suffered a data entry failure. In this case, they had written down the wrong Post Office box number. As happy as I was to learn that I was not the only person in the world to suffer from input reversal issues, I was not thrilled to be double whammied by a complete stranger. I can muck up digits all by myself thank you!
My banker informed me that they’d already issued a check to the correct address. GOODY! Now my account is being paid twice. I called the Water Company. They had posted my check already, and since I had no idea when check #2 would show up, I would simply have to wait for it to show, then I could get a refund. I could have taken a chance that check #2 would arrive before the dude with the big “shut off her water” wrench did his worst, but I didn’t dare. Now I would have to wait till likely next week before having my account refunded. At least I got the late charges reversed.
By this time my frustration was in the red zone. I needed stress relief. Happily a Zaxby was nearby. I could solace my soul with a few chicken tenders and some Zax sauce. Life would begin to find balance and harmony again! I pulled up to the little drive thru kiosk to order, only to discover they wouldn’t open for another 20 minutes. NO!!!!!!!!
I gave up and went to my last errand of the day, the grocery store. There I bought a mini pizza to substitute for the soul solacing nibbles, which I toasted and consumed immediately after getting home.
And that boys in girls is just one way to create the perfect Clusterf…well you know what I mean.