ONE OF THE TIMES I DID NOT SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST
June, 2014

I made a stupid mistake recently, and it entailed the sort of follow-up which required several labor-intensive, explanatory phone calls wherein I had to detail the entire, tedious and embarrassing story, and then to coax various people to cooperate, take action, and help me. You know the type of phone calls. You've all had to make them at some time or other. It required me to deal with four different organizations, and each of them had to do something for me, to help me undo the mistake I was foolish enough to have made. I wasn't looking forward to it, and anticipated a complete *bitch* of an uphill schlep, just to get someone's attention.

Now, there was a time when I smoked, that this would've been a pack-and-a-half, ashtray-filling horror show. A molar-grinding nightmare, probably involving the forceful removal (via savage and frustrated yanking) of large, bloody clumps of my own hair, whilst furiously chain-smoking.

Yesterday, armed only with a fresh cup of coffee and the will to prevail, I sat at the telephone and computer, and somehow had the good fortune to speak with attentive, professional, motivated and helpful people who understood clearly what was required, and in a straightforward, no-bullshit kind of way, ACTUALLY HELPED ME! It was so unlike what I've come to expect in these situations that I had the weird sensation that someone was surely fucking with me...

By morning's end, I had not only accomplished my goals, but I'd also managed to add a not inconsiderable sum of cash to the household coffers! I managed to keep my cool, largely because I was not speaking to bored, indifferent, hostile or stupid people-- a truly welcome and altogether wonderful surprise. I'd been braced for war-- or some anguished and frustrating skirmishing, at the very least. Not necessary. It all went well and smoothly. It was very humbling and rather surreal, to tell the truth. Did I mention that the other parties involved were Turbo Tax, Mastercard, The Virginia Department of Taxation, and the I.R.S.? Uh-huh. Yeeeeaaahhhh. So... there's that. Not a bad morning, all in all. And I never had to smoke a cigarette to cope with any of it. Hooray! Sometimes good stuff just happens for no particular reason I can figure out-- and it stuns me.

 

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