Monday, January 24, 2011
The Check is in the Mail
Whoever said Sunday was a day of rest should have seen me yesterday.
I was leaving my house at about 10:30 AM, gym bag over my shoulder, sack of laundry in one hand, and a fistful of mail in the other. It was cold as hell and I was in a hurry—which I see now was the cause of all this grief.
My plan was to drop off the laundry, mail my letters, and head for the gym. That’s my usual Sunday routine, except that this time after I dropped off the laundry, I saw that one of my letters was missing.
And it wasn’t just any letter, oh, no: this was the one to my credit card company that contained a rather sizeable check.
I know, I know, why don’t I just pay my bills online? I’ve got no excuse except that I’m worried some hacking geek in a dank basement will clean me out with a few clicks off his keyboard.
I ran up and down the block a few times with my head down to the pavement like a bloodhound, looked around my house, and interrogated the laundry guy, who must’ve thought I’d gone through the rinse cycle a few too many times--no check and I was running late.
On the train I tried to calm down and come up with a plan. One of my themes for the new year is “solutions not surrender;” instead of throwing myself on the ground and wailing “what am I gonna do?!?” I’ll try and find a way out of this mess.
Okay, I got off at West Fourth Street, lurked in the subway stairwell, and call the credit card company.
Did you ever notice that when your stressed everybody else’s IQ seems to drop into the negative numbers? Every person you meet is suddenly slow-witted, inconsiderate and completely blocking your way.
Think of Something
At the laundry mat, hyper as I was, I held the door open for a woman who decided at that very moment to walk in slow motion.
“Are you coming in?” I muttered.
While I was in the subway station talking on the phone, this yo-yo sneaks up behind me and runs his Metrocard through the indicator to see how much money he’s got left. (In all fairness, I was probably in his way, but this is my story, not his.)
The first loser I spoke to said he’d be glad to help me. All I have to do is sign up for some security program for $12.95 a month.
This was particularly irritating. I had a real problem here and this clown was trying to sell me something. They really ought to train their people better.
“I’m in a freezing subway station,” I shouted to this fellow, who was, no doubt, in some steamy location on the other side of the globe. “I’ll get back to you!”
I got to my gym and called my bank—while some clown crept up next to me and opened up a locker. When did I become so freaking popular?
After several bad connections and language breakdowns, I learned I was screwed. I didn’t have any of the necessary information with me. Fine. I worked out and then ran up to my auntie’s place and helped her shop.
It took me a while to calm down, but I finally did. I stayed at my aunt’s place for supper and then rode home on the R train determined to solve this mess. I’ll pay online, I thought, get a new credit card, and cancel the check. It’ll be a pain, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.
As I fumbled for the key to my front door, I looked in my mailbox and there was my credit card bill. One of my neighbors must have found it on the ground and very kindly put it in the box for me.
So I didn’t have to cancel the card or the check, I didn’t have to deal with customer service or tech support or some nitwit trying to peddle stuff I didn’t need. I was off the hook.
This morning I carried the letter with two hands and dropped it into the mail. No more rushing around for me, no more multitasking.
I’m going to pay my bills online like the rest of the world. And after that I’m going look into this texting business.