Wednesday, November 5, 2008

To Accuse

Have you ever been falsely accused of something? How does that make you feel? I know for me, it feels pretty numbing.

I have been accused of many things - from personal attacks on my character to the 'what he said/she said' sorted comments that can be misconstrued through communication.

Yesterday couldn't have ended any sooner. Work was mind boggling to begin with, but knowing that I got to go vote afterwards gave me something to look forward to in order to top my day off. I was excited, I knew I was making a difference with my vote, and I was going to be a part of history one way or the other. After I got out of the polls, I came home to a note on the door - "Now what?", I thought.

I started shaking my head as soon as I opened it - it was a 3 Day Past Due Notice that the apartment gods didn't receive my rent check. Are you kidding me!? I am so OCD when it comes to paying my bills on time that I actually write my rent check out for the following month two weeks in advance. That's right... just to make sure all is in good order. Now, let me remind you that two months ago, they admittedly 'threw' my last rent check away 'on accident' - because, 'you know, it happens'... not only did I have to put a stop pay on the last check, I had to immediately take them a new one to cover for the 'late' payment. Even though it wasn't late. It was freaking lost.

Livid. That would pretty much sum up my feelings looking at this stupid piece of paper.

Naturally, I call to explain what is happening - and by 'explain', I mean yell at the poor girl who happened to answer the phone about how inept and irresponsible they were for not double checking the envelope that rent came in ... and then get transfered to one of the managers.

After waiting on hold for eternity, I get some chipper sounding woman who needs me to explain everything to her. People, I'm trying my hardest to stay calm and keep a pleasant tone, but get this - after I told her what had happened two months ago she says, 'Well, don't you think it's pretty ironic that it's always YOUR check that gets lost? Why is it always YOU who has this problem? I'm thinking YOU didn't pay your rent and you're trying to get out of the late fee that I'm going to charge you anyway for not having it in on time.'

My retort, "MY CHECK ISN'T LATE - YOU LOOOOST IT!!" So much for calm. Then it hit me - I can continue on arguing with this woman and not get anywhere or try a different approach. (Punching her in the neck was my actual approach, but she was out of arm shot.) I decided to be nice. To take it down a notch. Maybe she was having a bad day? But dang it, I had a bad day, too.

So I told her that I was sorry for raising my voice and that I wanted to resolve this - what did I need to do? Obviously, she still wanted to yell at me for being a dead beat and continue to accuse me of getting out of rent, not being responsible, blah blah blah... Calm... breathe... pray - God let this woman calm down so we can talk... God let me hold my tongue... deep breath...and wouldn't you know... the conversation changed.

I ended up having to go get a cashier's check, put ANOTHER stop pay on this check, and go to the rental office. It was like going in to see the principal - I felt like I was in trouble, but I know in my heart of hearts that I was being honest - I really did pay my rent. But how do you convince somebody that your words are true? I had the proof with my duplicate checks. It wouldn't help.

The lady I had spokent to was gone, but the other woman working gave me that condescending look and accompanying sneer and said, "Oh, I know what this is about. I'll take that." I smiled, said thank you and walked away.

But before I left, I stopped at the desk where the girl answering the phone was sitting - I told her who I was and apologized for being rude and raising my voice when I called. Her eyes lit up and she said, "Wow - thank you... you're so sweet for going out of your way... but these things happen and I'm sorry they happened to you." Yeah, me too.

You want to know what my bible study sermon was about last night at church? Persecution and how we handle it. Ironic? I didn't think so either.

6 comments:

Erin said...

Oh goodness! I'd hand deliver the check from here on out.

Miss you!!

Anonymous said...

I dunno, I think I still might have went for the punch in the neck when I delivered the cashiers check!!! Kev

Anonymous said...

See, bad people- Come home. MW

kwise said...

I agree with anon #2 : )

Good for you for taking it down a notch AND apologizing. You made that girl's day, I bet! What goes around comes around.... kindness!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Howard R. in me would have done more than punch the neck!!! Wow, what condescension!! Yeah, hand deliver next time - or like MW stated earlier, "go home!!" (ha-ha) Just kidding!! I do think the "soup" of stress that bigger cities can "cook-up" promotes a lot of stress and livid people!! I changed when I lived in Oakland and I found myself stressed out driving around here when I came back - I was gripping the wheel and had my heart in my throat and thought, "what the heck," it just felt so much better. But, I know you want to be out there so I will shut up!! ;) I really believe in turning the other cheek in most cases but even JESUS turned some tables over in JUSTIFIED anger. I love you and hope your week improved!!!
Rebecca C.

Marcie said...

just to set the record straight, the checks were actually hand delivered - i even had to find out which person took it - like it would matter, you know? so glad that this week is done and over with, that's all!