Friday, February 22, 2013

Success! Success!

I'm doing the happy dance! The check was in the PO box this morning and I hied myself over to the bank before it turned into rubber.

Did you know Bank of America charges $6 to cash a BofA business check if you don't have an account yourself? I must have been a cave dweller for a long time because the teller said its it's been their policy, oh for years! I've never heard of this nonsense before. And it's only for business checks because of the "risk." Apparently personal checks have no risk because you can cash those for free.

Nevertheless, proud I am.

A dog with a bone

First, there was no check in the P.O. box yesterday and being unwilling to let anything go, but I'm working on that problem, really I am, I called. A couple of days ago I sent an email to this dealership telling the manager who'd promised me the check that if  I didn't get it by Friday, today, I had my finger poised over the speed dial buttons for King County Police, the BBB, and Angie's List. Almost immediately I got a call from the promiser that the check was being sent out toot sweet. I know that's not how it's spelled. He didn't mention the email so the call may have been prompted by a few phone messages I left.

Next I got an email from someone at the dealership I hadn't heard from before, asking me to call him. All it said was, "This is Daniel. Call me." When the check wasn't in the mailbox this is the call I made and had to tell this person who I was and what the problem was. Now think about this. A customer emails and threatens wrath on your business if it doesn't follow through on promises, and you don't even have her name in the back of your mind? Well, I don't think I need to say it but I will anyway, you might want to consider this the canary in the coal mine about how this place does business, and while we're at it, does no one teach people anything about email etiquette? I had to ask Daniel who he was in the hierarchy.

It turns out it was just a silly misunderstanding on my part. Twelve years of Catholic education and having read thousands of books over the years, and I didn't understand the meaning of tomorrow. When they said I would have the check "tomorrow" they didn't mean tomorrow tomorrow. They meant tomorrow as in when it gets here.

There's a lesson here, at least for me. I've said previously that I was taught not to question anything, which went hand in hand with being nice and not making a scene. This has been a very difficult habit to break. My usual response has been either to be a doormat or to go to the other extreme and way overreact. Assertion for some people comes naturally, I think, but it's a quality I'm just developing and am pleased with my actions on this mess. At first I kind of wrung my hands and was at a loss as to what to do, feeling powerless and weak. With the encouragement of a friend who learned this skill the hard way and long ago, I realized I couldn't just let this go and be left feeling like a sucker. Whether or not the alleged check comes, and it damn well better come, I've taken another step forward. It's a good thing.

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Thought for the day: The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure, the process, is its own reward. (Amelia Earhart)



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bad news, good news, it more or less evens out

There isn't much to report on Part Dos of the battle to get my refund.

The bad news is I still haven't gotten the refund check.
     The good news is the creative fiction, and I love a good story, told to explain it. When was the last time anyone forgot to put a stamp on an envelope?

The bad news is I still haven't gotten the refund check.
     The good news is it's supposed to be here via Priority Mail today.

The bad news is I can't hold my breath all that long. 
     The good news is... Well, I don't have any good news to counter that one.

The bad news is I spent an uncomfortable amount of money yesterday.
     The good news is I got some cool gear for the RV: a low tech washing machine, a higher tech dryer, an average tech slow cooker, a talking tire gauge, and an anti-suicide power-checker thing.

See how things even out? A talking tire gauge is almost good enough to wipe out the missing refund.

I just learned about the power line monitor. Who knew that I could fry myself if I plugged in the RV's power supply to an incorrectly wired outlet? I suppose I'll learn about all of this as time goes by, but something like that would flatten the learning curve in a flash. Ha ha. Pun intended. Andy Baird is a full-timer who's generous with all kinds of RVing information and I read about this problem there, as well some of the gear that's shipping as we speak.

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Thought for the day: Ordinary riches can be stolen from you, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. (Oscar Wilde)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

That nice man? The one I gave $300 to?

Let's just start this way: I went to Catholic school in the 60s and early 70s. For 12 years. For the uninitiated, that pretty much meant you did what you were told and questioned nothing. Maybe your Catholic school wasn't like that but mine was and I can produce witnesses to back me up.

I found a used Class B motorhome on Craigslist, for sale by owner. This is the one I talked about in the last post. The seller asked me to meet him at a storage facility so I thought it was safe to assume the thing was stored there. It wasn't; he drove up in it. First red flag and as far as I'm concerned this deal was a scam from the word go:
  • I still don't know his real name. 
  • No clear Washington title, where the vehicle resides; the last title transfer was eight months ago in Florida.
  • Not for sale by owner but on consignment at a dealership.
  • Not bought from a friend but at auction in Florida.
  • Driven 20000 miles in eight months with no service recorded.
  • Telling me I was obligated to complete the deal...... just because.
  • Telling me I had to complete the deal because it was already at Evergreen RV for my requested inspection when the appointment was actually two days later.
  • and much, much, more.
With the help of the great folks at Evergreen, the owner of the dealership he was actually selling the Class B from called me and promised my money back. Time will tell because the check hasn't made an appearance in my mailbox yet.

So back to the lessons learned in 12 years of Catholic school and, as long as we're at it, the way I was raised.

I never learned to act on what my gut was telling me. I could hear it shouting and acting out many times, but because I never had practice at listening, or was never taught that what I felt was more valid than what I was told, I just dismissed it as noise. Well, not this time, buddy. I started smelling a rat as soon as I found out that while it was supposed to be for sale by owner, this seller could not have been the owner because he didn't know how different functions in the motorhome worked. Just a little sign that all was not right, but I started listening right then and there. Then all the other things listed above began to rear their heads and I started asking friends, "does this seem weird to you?" Well, yes, all of it actually did.

I knew I was at risk of losing my $300 but I canceled the inspection at Evergreen, saving more than $400 for their fee, and emailed the seller to start the argument of getting my money back.

Part dos of this story continues tomorrow.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Whaddya do?

So what do you do when, in the year you turn 60 and your life seems pretty set and if not perfect, at least it's a known entity because it's the life you've been living for three and a half decades, you find yourself single? What do you do? I've been swinging around the K├╝bler-Ross stages of grief, that's what I've been doing (although I am so done with the Bargaining stage), but time waits for no woman. When you're 60 it's not only not waiting, it's giving nudges from behind. Cruisingat60 came to me in a moment of Profound Enlightenment when I lighted briefly on the Acceptance stage and I realized I have to keep moving and by that I mean forward. So here I am, doing my best to keep on keeping on in this year of Big Changes. Thank God menopause is over; wouldn't that be hell thrown into the mix?

The problem with moving forward is that there should be some destination, or at least a moving target to aim at. After wishy-washying my way through a few options, I've decided to aim at time on the road. I've always loved a road trip, so today I gave a total stranger $300 cash to hold a camper van for a week while he gets it inspected and I get the money together. He seemed nice enough.... 

Yes, indeed, it will be me and two cats in a 20 foot conversion van, full-timing it hither and yon. I'm building up a disorganized cache of places to go and things to see on Pinterest, and hope to see every one of them and all the places in between. Join me, won't you? Well, not in the van. Sorry.