know every once in a while, you just have to sit down and wonder about life in
general and why it seems so hard on a day-to-day basis.
For example, a
year or so ago one of my good employees was severely bitten on the hand by a dog
that had gotten loose from its owner. My employee had to have several surgeries
and was off work for several weeks doing therapy. We contacted the owner of the
dog and tried to get her to provide us with the name of her insurance company,
but she refused. Long story, short we ended up suing her for the $7500 we were
out of pocket to cover our part of our employees medical bills. Then we had to
pay an attorney another $2500 to draw up the papers and get the show on the road.
Several months go by and the dog owner doesn't respond, so we win what is called
a 'default judgment'. Now, here comes the bad part. When the clerk in the court
types the judgment, they spell the name of the dog owner incorrectly. Our attorney
notices it and brings it back to the attention of the court. This is called a
'misnomer'. The judge refuses to make the correction and tells us we have to start
the entire process all over. This means tracking the dog owner down and re-filing
all of the papers when we first started. Now we find the dog owner has moved and
now we can't find her, so that leaves me with the option of hiring an investigator
to find her and paying the attorney for his work all over again. Not worth it.
Forget it, go on down the road.
last couple of days we have had some terrible rainstorms. We have a dish for our
television. Normally it does well, but can go out in bad weather. You can tell
what's coming can't you? So, it goes out, but then when the weather clears up
it won't come back on. I call their voice mail hell and after 30 minutes finally
get to speak to a live human being. Guess what? No record of me even having an
account. Looked it up under my address, phone number, social security number,
cell phone number, office number, office address…nothing, nada, zip.
They want to know my account number. I tell them my bills are kept at my office
and I don't have one at home. They say that I don't exist, but then how do I get
an invoice each and every month? They say that this isn't possible since I would
have to be in their system, which I'm not…two days pass and the system fixes itself.
I'm sure they will find me and give me credit for the days the system was down.
Finally this morning I get a bill for $185 from the guys
who provide me with cell phones. This is in addition to the monthly account we
get for the phones. There isn't any explanation, just this invoice. I called their
'customer service' department. Another voice mail hell half hour wait for a live,
warm body. They are nice and tell me they have no idea what this is for. Looks
to them like someone named 'Loretta' ordered these additional services. I tell
them we don't have a Loretta and they politely tell me that I must since the unknown
items were ordered and charged to our account. When I tell this person that whatever
it is, we don't want it, didn't order it and aren't going to pay for it, they
tell me that they can't cancel it since that's isn't part of their responsibility.
Then they switch me over to another voice mail hell location where I sit for another
thirty minutes before I finally give up and hang up.
Last but not least
is the call I just received from an irate ex employee who wants his final paycheck.
No problem on our end, we mailed it to his home address. Well, when I say no problem
on our end, I mean we just sent it to where he told us he lived. Only problem
is, he moved about six months ago and didn't tell us. So, he shouts at us and
thinks it's our fault and responsibility to know where he lives at all time without
him having to tell us. As usual he demands that we find the missing check and
deliver it to him or he's going to his attorney and get a court order to make
us pay him. Maybe he'll get lucky and get the judge in my first example that can't
days, I think I should either stay in bed or go fishing.
© Peary Perry
Letters From North America
- May 12, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
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