Sunday, January 27, 2008

And They Call Them Civil Servants...The Final Chapter

Okay, so here it is the end of my story.

So, the next morning I have Bible study and I decide that I will pick up letter from bank on the way to church. This will work out perfectly because the church is downtown near the tax office where I can swing by and talk with Lisa, whom I was promised would be there. Okay, truthfully in the back of my mind I knew it wouldn't be that simple, but I had hope. See, that's my optimistic, upbeat side shining through.

Yes, you guessed it. Upon calling my bank they had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently, the officer I talked to had neglected to leave a note to her boss about my predicament. So after much explaining I was told by this bank officer that she hadn't ever seen the fax of my check and would have to look for it. An hour later I call and ask if the letter is ready. I'm told she hasn't even had time to look for the fax. So I think my words were this, "I need the letter before lunch, so if the fax can not be found you need to call me so I can have them send another copy of the check. And this all needs to happen before lunch." It was almost 10:00 at that point. During Bible Study she calls to tell me she found the fax. I tell her I'm in a meeting (well, it was a meeting with my maker) and as soon as it was over I would be there to get the letter.

Cut to the chase. The letter wasn't ready when I arrived an hour later. Instead, I got to nurse Little One in bank lobby while waiting to be seen. Then I got to wait as she typed up the letter. I know you're impressed with what prompt service I get aren't you?

Back across town to tax office. Drive around for fifteen minutes looking for parking. (Did I mention it was nice and cold and windy during this ordeal?) Try door to tax assessor's office and it is locked. Really, I was not shocked, I mean would you have been? Wait in line where people renew their license. Ask for Lisa when it's my turn. I wait behind counter, sandwiched between two men renewing their license. I see handwritten sticky notes by Suzie on top of a copy of the letter I received on Lisa's desk. Dear Suzie had been so sweet to take everything down that I said so that my side of the story would be clear to Lisa who could never answer the phone.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I called after getting the letter from my bank and after numerous attempts to get Lisa to answer her phone the secretary told me, well she was here I don't know why she didn't pick up, but now she's gone to lunch.
Okay, when will she be back? I ask.
Okay, please leave a note telling her I will be there at 1:45 to resolve this and if that won't work to call me before I head across town.

Yes, Lisa was there. And I'm just glad I was wearing my inch high black boots because this gave me a little advantage over the towering Lisa. She had on headphones, that one may think was a phone, but we all know must be just a fancy headband that she uses to keep her hair tidy. She was a formidable woman in appearance. But Daddy didn't raise his daughter to cower, or Momma for that matter, so when she approached me I introduced myself and said, "You must be Lisa who I've never gotten to answer any of my calls."
No response. Took my papers and looked over them. Then began to stare over my right shoulder.
Finally Lisa speaks. "Well, Mr. Miller isn't here right now so I can't have this approved."
I'm sure the men on either side of me saw the steam as it escaped from my ears. I would like you to know that I did not scream, yell, or throw myself down on the floor and cry. I did however, raise my voice, just in case she was hard of hearing. After all, that high tech headband was stuck in one ear.
Apparently, my elected official goes to lunch whenever he pleases and no one knows when he will return. It was after two at this point. I guess my tax dollars pay for three hour lunches. So why didn't Lisa call and tell me, like I asked?
I'll spare you the details, but Lisa tried to play the game of I never heard of you until this morning when I had a note on my desk. She stepped all over it, and through it, until her shoes got stuck in it. Then she told me she was busy with customers yesterday. I reminded her I was a customer. Then she told me my letter was not proof of anything. I thought seriously, for half a second, of leaping over the counter and blasting her with one of the Tae Kwan Do moves I learned in college. But quickly decided that would not be showing unconditional love, like the scripture I read that morning.
As she made excuses and copies of all my papers I called hubby. Lisa was within earshot and so were two clerks on either side of me. I calmly ask my husband two things...does our lawyer want us to get a statement from tax man saying I was not at fault and two what was the name of tax office bank president and vice president and numbers? Because I would be speaking to them shortly. (This is called blowing smoke, something necessary when putting out the fires of the government)
Don't you know Lisa came back a little nicer and apologized for how busy she had been yesterday. If I'd just pay the original amount she would get approval of Mr. Tax Guy when he returned from lunch. I think my response was, "Fine."
Just so you know, I once again entertained the tired, the weary, the bored out of their minds, people who were waiting in line.
I did call my contact at the bank when I got to the car, but it was her work-out time, so she wasn't in her office.
An hour later I got a call from Lisa saying tax man approved my letter and they had talked to their bank and they had accepted responsibility. Never mind that I had specifically asked for tax man to call me himself. Never mind they could of called their back yesterday! Saturday I got a copy of the returned check in the mail, no note, no apology, still no actual proof that tax man works at his office. He will be getting a certified letter from me next week expressing my disappointment. Not that I hold out hope he will actually read it, but I feel it is my civil responsibility to question his dedication to his elected post.

So my last piece of advice is this: Don't expect customer service, if you get it feel lucky. And share your story, it always helps!


fairenuff said...

Gosh you are a brave woman, putting it all in your blog. I know EXACTLY how you feel and yet when I write these sorts of entries I invariably delete them because it somehow sounds nasty and bitter. I will have to employ you next time someone crosses my path who deserves a blog entry!

Show them what you are made of in your letter! I'm glad, at last (and without apology!!!!!!) someone finally accepted responsibility thus showing you didnt deliberately try to defraud anyone!

I look forward to continued 'optimistic and upbeat' blog entries from you now.

ps. thank you for my comment. We should start a mutual comments society! LOL

Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

I enjoyed this story, but I know you did NOT! (I would love to see those Tae Kwan Do moves. HAAaaa-Yaaaaaah!)