I spent waaay too much of the past 48 hours doing these:
- Calling around town to find out if anyone has any Altusa Fumé roof tiles that I need to fix the damage from hurricane Wilma. They just laughed. So much for efficient markets. I need about 60 ridge tiles and about a dozen of the S-tiles (aka “field” tiles). Only guy who says he has any says he'll sell me ridge tiles, but I have to buy 10 field tiles for each ridge, because that's how they come. Not that desperate yet. Yet. I may just buy some that are a clashing color instead.
- Trying to figure out why I got billed $37.04 in late fees on a discount store credit card. (We use the store credit card in that store rather than a bank credit card because they give you a discount when you use it. But this just ate a lot of it.) I pay the bills via my Very Large Bank's online bill payment system, and I always send in payments a few days early. I call the store to find out what gives. Hold. Punch wildly at buttons to get a human. Eventually the human says the store got the payment ten days late even though my records say I ordered it sent seven days early. I call Very Large Bank. The first guy says I have to talk to a different guy. We hold. We hold. I am switched to the call center somewhere several continents away, and in due course, “Armando” (yah, right) says they mailed it on time, seven days early like I asked them to, to the address in Illinois.
Whoops. According to the bill I'm looking at the store's payment address is now in Tampa. Since the store presumes you will pay by check, and the address printed on the bill will show through the little hole in their envelope, they never did anything to call the change to my attention and of course I had no reason to notice: I typed the old address into Very Large Bank's bill payment service several years ago, and I don't even see it when I say how much to send the store. It seems that even though store's credit operation is run by GE Finance, they don't have electronic systems that talk with Very Large Bank. So my internet e-payment causes Very Large Bank to mail a physical check to GE Payments. Which went to Illinois before being forwarded to Tampa, a seventeen day trip.
- Putting together the paperwork needed to convince my university-provided health insurance company that the on-campus medical center that billed them for a visit last December is an actual medical office staffed by real doctors entitled to payment under health insurance rather than by me.
Oh, and did I mention that my campus email account hosted at osaka.law.miami.edu has been down since 10pm last night? Fortunately, my other mail is working fine if you want to reach me.
“So my internet e-payment causes Very Large Bank to mail a physical check to GE Payments. Which went to Illinois before being forwarded to Tampa, a seventeen day trip.”
I thought we had a bad postal service here in Spain – certainly compared to France. Has the US Postal Service been putting too much management attention into Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France?
I suspect a lot of the down time was sitting somewhere in Illinois before they sent it on.