Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cray Cray II


Maybe some of you remember my blog about dealing with bureaucratic craziness. I wrote about my three-year battle about a 72 cent credit I had with Sprint (which has become my four-year battle about a 72 cent credit with Sprint). Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion! 

Here is my old post, to refresh your memory: Yes, frustration. That's what you get when you deal with bureaucratic craziness. Here's my latest example: I used to have a cell phone contract with Sprint. Yes, I'm naming the carrier. Probably not a good idea. Definitely poor taste. But, whatever. Anyway, I used to have a cell phone contract with Sprint, as I said. That was three years ago. I didn't mind Sprint. I was reasonably happy with Sprint. But, we found a better plan and changed to it. It was with a different company. A company that is not Sprint. Another decent company not much better and not altogether worse. Whatever. However, lately, I have begun to hate Sprint. Detest Sprint. Have horrible dreams about Sprint. Why? Sprint is a prime example of bureaucratic craziness.
It seems I overpaid the last payment of my last Sprint bill by 72 cents. Yes, that's right, 72 cents. So, Sprint dutifully sent me a statement informing me that I had a credit of 72 cents. I called them and told them that I am no longer a customer and therefore, would never be in need of my 72 cent credit. Could they send me a check for 72 cents? No, Ma'am, they couldn't. They can't cut checks for less than a dollar. Well, then, I said, just keep the 72 cents. No, Ma'am, they couldn't do that either. Accounting controls. Well, what should we do? Did they want me to send them 28 cents so they could cut me a $1 check? No, since I was no longer a customer, there was no way to pay into my account.  


So, what happened? For the last three years, I have received a monthly statement from Sprint telling me that I have a 72 cent credit with them. I've called them several more times and had repeats of the above conversation with different representatives. 


So, if Sprint goes bankrupt because they have had to send me a hundreds of statements in the mail, each with 42 cents worth of postage, and have had to buy the paper to print those statements and have had to hire the people to process those statements and to keep track of my account that is closed . . . well, don't blame me. I tried. 

August, 2013 – Thrilling update: In Milwaukee, I moved from a suburban condo to a downtown condo. I dutifully filled out change-of-address forms for my contacts because, as the post office warned, mail is only forwarded for six months. No exceptions. An evil grin broke out on my face as this awareness settled into my marrow. I could move and not let Sprint know about it. I could move and, eventually, the mail forwarding would stop, and I’d be . . . FREE from Sprint! 

I carried out my plan, merrily tossing the Sprint statements that were forwarded. It wouldn’t be long, I knew, before those statements wouldn’t know where to find me.  

After six months of getting statements –nothing. No Sprint statements! Could it be true? I had champagne. I had caviar. I booked an around-the-world cruise. (Just kidding about that last one.) 

Then, the nightmare ensued. They found me. I don’t know how, but they did. Today, when I got my mail, there it was, like a gremlin – the danged Sprint statement, addressed to me at my NEW address. 


I considered banging my head in frustration on the mailbox, but thought better of it. (Violence never changes anything.) Perhaps, I could contact my Sprint people one more time and plead my case . . . again. 

After being transferred from person to person for fifteen minutes because I hadn’t been a customer for four years (ah, yeah), I finally landed with a sane Sprint customer service representative. When she heard my story she burst out laughing.  

“Please,” I pleaded. “Can we fix this?” 

She hesitated and I braced myself for the usual replies, but then she said. “Of course. This is crazy. You’ve received 51 statements about your 72 cent credit.” She didn’t know how the statements made it to my new address but told me I could expect a check for 72 cents within three days. 

The clouds broke up and the sun shone brighter. Birds sang (or were those angels?) and I felt a thousand-pound weight lift off of my shoulders. Sprint would no longer be sending me 72 cent credit statements. Never ever again. 

I hung up the phone and dabbed away the tears as I realized I had finally succeeded in breaking up with my phone carrier. 

About time.  

Do you think I'll get multiple 72-cent checks?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Candy is dandy . . .

A dear friend of mine recently gave me the book The Best of Ogden Nash.  What fun to peruse these funnies!  Here, for your mid-week boost are a few of the quotes that jumped out at me.  Read.  Grin.  Share.
"Happiness is having a scratch for every itch."
"If you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work."
 "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of."
"The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late."
And, of course:  “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”
What's your favorite?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My virtual hammock

This is where I've been -- at least mentally -- for the past few months.  As I've eased into my sabbatical, I've fully immersed myself not only into uninterrupted writing time, but into some luxurious amounts of personal R&R time.  And I cannot recommend the practice enough!  Down time, my friends, is not overrated in the least, but is the necessary balance to productivity.  So, take some time to sway in your own virtual hammock, especially if you have big projects looming . . . and let me know how you fared.