Saturday, April 29, 2017


It has been my experience in this life that bad news tends to arrive in waves. Disturbances in life always bring friends along. Trouble seems to travel in packs.  One bad thing seems to usher in the next bad thing in rapid succession, then after the tumult has passed, order is restored and life returns to happy normalcy. I could sit around for days contemplating why this is so, pondering the randomness of life, but that way lies something close to madness. There are just things that you shouldn't spend a lot of time thinking about. Why does the sun rise in the east and set in the west? See, I wouldn't spend much time worrying about that one. It just doesn't matter. Well, neither does the entire subject of the vicissitudes of life.

And yet, sometimes, when you're in the midst of a bit of a losing streak, thinking can overcome you. For me it's been a combination of big changes in my profession which are far beyond my control, stupid unforced errors involving bill paying, and a variety of stress-induced physical ailments. The third problem is directly linked to the first and largely beyond my ability to control. But, what in the name of Warren Buffet was I thinking this month paying my bills? This is the wave thing I was talking about. Bad stuff comes in waves!

So, for what seems like an eternity, I have had two separate and distinct Verizon accounts, one which covers all of the family cell phone usage, and a second which pays for my cable service and land line. (As an aside, the last time I made or received a call on this land line thing was probably when my kids were still in high school...). Now, I have tried on several occasions to get the fine people at Verizon to combine these two bills into one for my convenience, but have been met with a stone wall of yarns, tall tales, and prevarications about why this thing I ask is impossible. Apparently, these two different divisions of the Verizon colossus are separated by a Chinese firewall, the likes of which no man has ever been allowed to see. When talking to Verizon, it's almost impossible to get either one to even acknowledge the other. It's like every time the subject of the other Verizon organization comes
up, somebody lowers the cone of silence over our conversation...

Anyway, I put up with this largely because we have always had good luck with them. Our cable almost never doesn't work and our cell phone coverage and service is impeccable. But, this month when it was time to pay Verizon number 1, I did so via my nifty Wells Fargo bill pay app. Two weeks later, when Verizon number 2 was due I duly paid the bill...but inadvertently applied it to Verizon number 1's slot in the app, no doubt causing squeals of delight over at Verizon Wireless, but sending the guys at Verizon Communications to crank up the old email alert system accusing me of being a deadbeat customer. Alert!!! Alert!!! Your account is past due!! Immediate action must be taken!! Then, to make matters worse, I completely forgot about an automatic deduction that comes out every month on the exact same day...I just forgot! Of course, there wasn't enough money in the account, so my overdraft protection kicked in. But it was so stupid. Are you kidding me? That deduction comes out the same day every month, and I have never once forgotten....until April, 2017.

I mean, it's an easy fix and all, but this is the sort of thing that can send you into despair when it comes on the heals of other problematic stuff. It's like, what, have I forgotten how to be an adult all of a sudden? What is wrong with me??