I may just have been a tad early in proclaiming my new non-complaining self so this email comes with a warning of verbal diarrhoea, hyperbole and the like. If you’re looking for someone to blame, then that would be Number 2 son, who encouraged me to write this all down so that someone else might be cheered by the knowledge that things go wrong for other people too.
As you know, the only mishap during our trip to Cameron Corner was a ‘Challenger vs rocky creek bed’ moment where our Rhino Rack became separated from the roof of the car.
Now you may think that the process of replacing a couple of broken anchor bolts would be quite straightforward but after weeks (April to July) of ringing the company to explain that the bolts they kept sending me didn’t fit our car, plus sending photos and even the original rather bent bolts as well as returning the wrong bolts (I ended up with 5 of them!) someone finally suggested checking the vehicle identification number with Mitsubishi and voila! Mitsubishi said that the new bolts wouldn’t fit because, contrary to the compliance plate, the car wasn’t built in May 99 but in April 98 (whereafter it apparently sat on a dock for a year). Once the ‘built date’ was corrected, I received the right anchor bolts and the problem was solved!
Event number 2 involved a silly but well-meaning mistake on our (our meaning my) part when we (I) paid a builder in advance for a deck and sliding door for our cabin. Now, in my defence, I had asked the building inspector for a recommendation and he had suggested ‘Dallas’, who was a bit ‘down on his luck’ and needed the work. Well, now we know why Dallas didn’t have a lot of work going on! For 3½ months he kept the money without doing any work. It was only when Grant rang, pretending to be a carpet layer, who couldn’t start until Dallas had finished, that the job began and, although heleft the deck unfinished (a plank short and no flyscreen doors in sight), the main construction was over. Big Thankyou to Grant.
Event number 3 involved the Office of State Revenue and Yes, I hear all the Smart Alecs, who are smugly remarking about how they told me that I was crazy to contact the OSR in the first place. Now my understanding of land tax is that you only pay on investment properties so I was more than slightly upset when a land tax bill for $3137 arrived because they’d decided to include our house at Bateau Bay as an investment property for 4 years instead of one. I explained that we were actually living in the house until 2007 when we went to Ivanhoe and we sold the house a year later in 2008. I even pointed out that in 2005 they had sent a bill to the Bateau Bay address so they obviously knew I was living there.
All to no avail. The only proof that they would accept was a series of telephone or electricity bills showing my name and the Bateau Bay address. They didn’t care that I no longer had bills from 2004 – I didn’t even remember who my Electricity provider was. I was told to contact the suppliers and request copies of bills for the end of 2004, beginning of 2005, end of 2005, beginning of 2006, end of 2006, and beginning of 2007. After quite a few grovelling phone calls to service providers, I managed to scrape up enough proof that we had lived there and the correct bill was sent – $300 instead of $3,000.
Event number 4 started when Nigel casually asked why the interest payments on our new loan were so high. That began a process where I discovered that our Customer Support Manager had failed to lock in our requested interest rate as promised and we were actually being charged a higher rate. We’ve yet to see how that turns out.
On a sad note, there are many people, who will dearly miss Martin McLean, who passed away recently and unexpectedly. Martin was my dentist and friend and he always made me laugh. He told me one day of his university lecturer, who had posed the question in class, “What would you do if an elderly lady, whom you’d just treated, suddenly had a heart attack and collapsed as she was leaving your surgery?” After some silence, the lecturer said, “McLean! What would you do?” to which Martin replied “I’d turn her around so that it looked like she was coming into the surgery instead of leaving!”