I retrieved my mail Friday afternoon, only to discover a letter from the City Attorney's office here in Frankfort. The letter had a threatening tenor, informing me that I had never paid my garbage bill, that I was a really nasty person, and that if I didn't pay it, I could be charged up to $500 for not paying it and might have to sign over the rights to my first-born, in this case Emmy the Cat.
Okay, so perhaps parts of that account are, shall we say, a bit over-exaggerated. But you get the overall gist of the thing, right?
I gave myself a minute or two to get really good and worked up about the whole sordid affair before I decided that I wouldn't let the city attorney's veiled threats ruin my weekend. I mean it's not like he can have me arrested ... immediately... I mean there are laws about such things ... like they have to wait a good long time to do that, right?
"This can all be taken care of Monday morning with a little call," I said to myself. "Don't worry. Be happy."
When I called this morning, things will were a little ... ummm ... vague. They had my address, but they didn't have a bill number, which seems to imply that a bill wasn't actually produced for said outstanding bill. When I questioned the man I was speaking to on the phone, he lackadaisically informed me, "well, just come on in and pay it this week. It'll all be good."
I must admit that this did not put my mind at ease. Granted, $30 isn't that much money as far as outstanding debts are concerned, but I don't know. If there's no bill number, and no bill, and really no real understanding of WHERE a bill might have wandered off to during the time period between July 2011 and December 2011, the whole situation just BEGGED my presence in the actual office space wherein these bills are birthed.
This afternoon, when I got back to town, I went and paid a visit to Lackadaisical Dude, who was still there, and who made no move to get out his cubical and actually come to the counter to discuss this puzzling issue. In fact, NO ONE in that department made any move to push their chairs away from their desks, walk the few hundred feet to the counter, and actually SPEAK to me face to face. Rather they just spoke to me from their very comfy spots in the room full of cubicles. You can understand that I started forming an opinion on what might have happened to my bill.
I think it was folded neatly, put in an envelop, and told to walk to the OUT BOX itself. However, the bill, having witnessed the laziness of the humans in the room, decided that, no, he'd rather just sit there. Hang out for a bit. Just chillaxin'.
Lackadaisical Dude, from his perch in his twisty-turny chair, barely looked up from the computer and says, "Yeah, well, see here's what happened. The contractors that do the billing. Somehow they got an old list so you're name wasn't on their list. So, anyway, you owe us $30."
So, I'm thinking, okay, a year to figure this flub up out ... I'll give it to them, but another question popped into my head, about this time.
"Sooooooo, where is the bill for January 2011 to July 2011? I mean, you are only billing me for July 2011 to December 2011."
"Yeah," the guy said, clearly bored with the whole thing. "The Johnson's paid for that period of garbage usage."
"The Johnsons!?" I squeaked. "I WAS the one living there from January 2011 to July 2011. Who are the Johnsons?"
"Oh well," he said, shrugging his shoulders. "The Johnson's paid for it. Must be the former owners."
Except, they AREN'T the former owners! So, some poor schmucks by the name of Johnson paid for my garbage service from January of last year to July of last year. I am not sure who The Johnson's are, but I am forever thankful for their donation to my overall domestic/household financial overview.
Johnsons, if you are out there and reading this, if you have a few more spare dollars, I've got a water bill due that I think you might want to cover ...
Thanks ever so much for the help on the garbage bill!