Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rolling With the Punches

It may surprise some of you who read this blog that I too am very fallible.  I preach about learning from your mistakes and being the best you can be, but do I really ever “walk the walk”.  Let me tell you a little story about a recent failure of mine involving my local water authority.

Last week, I opened up my mail like any other day and was shocked to find a $900 water bill.  It was a past due reminder and was made up of about $300-$400 in late fees.  You can imagine how shocked and pissed off I was that this happened.  I needed to talk to someone fast!

To give you a little background on the situation, I had moved into my house back in the fall of 2011.  This was the first house my Wife and I had ever owned.  Upon moving in, I called the water authority, had my water turned on, and asked for my name to be put on the billing.  I even paid $340 of late fees and bills from the previous owner as part of my mortgage closing agreement.  OK, everything was fine, and I was set to go.  Fast forward a year and I start getting worried about the water bill.  Now, I guess I should have known something was up 4 months after I didn’t get a bill, but I know some municipalities will bill once a year, so I just figured I was one of them.  So where did the bill go all this time.  Well, apparently, the water authority never switched the name on the account, and the post office was forwarding all the previous owner’s mail to their new home, so I never even received anything. 

Friday rolls around, and I call the authority and speak with a nice customer service rep who first says there’s nothing she can do about the bill.  I’m sure she gets people telling her that all the time, but I ask her to check where she was sending the bills in the past.  She looks, notices that it’s a different person, and says that her supervisor will call me back.  I wait until the afternoon, no supervisor yet, I call back, am reassured that I will be called that day, and then nothing.  So, I was stood up.  I call back on Monday, finally get ahold of the supervisor and am called a liar on the phone and was told “too bad, and I can assure you that we never make a mistake”.  Needless to say, it was a bad day.  Defeated and feeling pretty crappy, I caved and paid the bill: time to move on with my life.

It would be easy to look back on this whole experience and lament that something went wrong somewhere.  I should have been more proactive, the previous owner should have called after receiving all these water bills, the water authority should have determined who was now living there.  Everyone was to blame.  I’m not going to do that though, because I need to avoid subtractive reasoning.  What could I have done differently?  Even though I stubbornly argue that there was nothing for me to do, I believe this whole experience at minimum was a great exercise in patience and understanding. 

I made a mistake, got crapped on, learned from this ordeal, and am ready to put it in my rear view mirror.  I make mistakes just like everyone else, and I’m sure there are things in your own life holding you back.  It’s time to learn from those errors, and move on with your life.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Delicious, warm coffee in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment