Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So much **yawn** excitement…

Actually, it has been kind of exciting around here. But it isn’t “…and then I wrestled an alligator!” kind of excitement.

I finally got my refund check from MegaMedicalGroup.com, who have been steadfastly pretending for the last eight months they don’t remember me, let alone the fact that they owed me (ahem!) almost ten thousand dollars.

Oh yes. They did. “Um, I’m not seeing any record of a Chaos, Mother in our system…”

Dudes. You sucked over $40,000 out of me and Blue Cross last year before you were soundly slapped upside the head by said MegaInsuranceCo when they caught you up to your armpits in the cookie jar. Don’t even give me the ‘what? who? I see no record of that…’ routine. I have faxed all the assorted bills and receipts to them about eleventy-zillion times and still: “Gee, I don’t know, I’m not finding you in the system…” or even, get this, “Um, actually, I see a balance DUE of ${nine to nine thousand, depending on the day}…”

If you heard a lot of banging noises coming from the Central Valley over the last eight months, that was me slamming my head on my desk. I literally couldn’t talk about it, because it just put me into A State – you know, where you don’t know whether to laugh, cry, scream or get a lawyer?

Finally, someone accidentally transferred me to the one (1) person in the entire corporation who had the right combination of competence, intelligence, and Give-A-Gosh-Darned to actually look into it, say “ACK!” and get me a check.

Well. It wasn’t really an accident. I got my Yuppie on with the last clerk I talked to (“Now you listen here, Mr. Man, do I need to get my mother on the phone? Do I? Because I will! Do you even know who you’d be messing with?! That’s it, you just wait, I’m dialing her on conference…!”), and they transferred me to the escalation specialist – the person who gets all the crayons on account of because they’re so good at talking us down off ledges. I know her job well, because I used to do it for MegaBank.com. People screaming about how they made a $200 deposit fifteen years ago and the teller didn’t write it into their passbook (remember those?!) – so therefore they always had $200 more than what we said they had.

I’ll give you a minute to work out that particular logic. Heh heh. Yeah. Good times. Goooooood times…{bangs head on keyboard to get rid of flashback}

ANYWAY. My Angelfish navigated around all the bass turds in the billing department pond (seriously – the incompetence I encountered dealing with this group positively boggled the mind. It was like a bunch of orangutans with ADD were operating the billing systems or something.), and I got the ten grand back a couple weeks ago. I promptly paid off the loan-for-surgery with it and signed the girls up for gymnastics.

They are the cutest gymnasts ever. Seriously. I do not just say this because I’m their mom. Cutest. Ever.

Meanwhile, in other news, the remodeling project has stalled. We don’t have final plans yet thanks to being bumped off the radar by higher paying clients more urgent projects, and frankly I don’t think we’re going to be getting them any time soon. Once we get the final plans, they then have to go through the permitting process, which I’ve heard is about as simple and fun as brain surgery. Only after we have final plans AND permits will a contractor deign to pencil us into the schedule.

At this point, I’m figuring that we will have plans and permits sometime…right in the middle of the rainy season. Seriously. My husband is enthusiastically saying, “Oh no, September at the latest!” but…eh. I don’t think so. I really don’t. The contractors I’ve talked to have given me anything from four to six months before they have openings on their calendar, some of them even longer. Each month we wait pushes that out as well.

I’m thinking we won’t be doing this until next summer, at the earliest. (Even though my husband says, rather pitifully IMHO, “Well, but…well…it doesn’t rain all that much in January!” Yeah, well, if the roof of your house is sitting on the lawn while framing and such is going on inside and it rains even a little bit? It is a problem. We are not doing this when the chance of rain is $ANY_%. Thus is it spoken. Thus shall it be. HAIL PHAROAH!!)

Which makes me feel a lot less slimy about shamelessly stealing from the remodeling fund to pay off the furnace loan AND the car. What can I say? I like to live dangerously. I’m just a gamblin’ kind of girl. That’s right. I’m betting that I’m right, and using about a third of the remodeling fund as my marker.

Of course, I also like to hedge my bets – which is why I didn’t also pay off the minivan, even though it actually has the most onerous payment. It leaves enough in the account to cover the permits and the initial phases of the remodeling project – basically, all the stuff we have to pay the contractor to do. The stuff we were planning to do ourselves, the drywall and finishing and painting and such, we’ll have to do out of the regular monthly budget.

Which is now three times what it was before.

Now that is what I call exciting. I may just have to do something Wild! And also CRAZY! to celebrate. Like, buy a full-priced gallon of ice cream!


Too crazy.

But I might go ahead and pick up whatever’s on sale…


Anonymous said...

Ah, bureaucracy....the gift that keeps on giving (headaches, ulcers, uncontrollable tremors)...ain't life grand?

When you get to the drywall finishing and painting part, gimme a call, I'm a sucker for ruining my hands in the name of interior design. As long as it's purty, who minds the pain? Which reminds me, where did I put that gallon container of ibuprofen....

Science PhD Mom said...

Oh excellent! Congrats on paying off the furnace loan and surgery loan. Wahoo!

Oh those wild and crazy contractors, they just LOVE doing work in the rain. HAHAHAHAHA! No, they don't. You are wise, kemosabe, not to go there. Good luck getting those plans soon!

Louiz said...

3 times the monthly budget now? Woohoo, way to go - and boo hiss on the orangutans running billing depts...

Jeanne said...

It's great when you pick the "Financial Error In Your Favor" card and they actually pay up. Eases the mind, doesn't it? :-)

Amy Lane said...

Yeeeehaaa!!! How very exciting... (I ran into that wall of oranguatans once... my exact words? 'You need to get your manager because you don't get paid enough for what I'm about to dish out'...poor man didn't believe me...so sad...he'll recover...) But girls in gymnastics and ice cream...life is good...