I started off my week on Monday by making seven phone calls. First off the rank was the Nillumbik Shire Council. Their annual fee for keeping one cat is $34, unless you are on a pension, then it is reduced to $17. Our bill was for $34, but I figured it should be $17, because we have registered our pension numbers with the Council to receive a rebate on the rates. I paid $17 online, then started to worry that they would issue a fine because I'd shortpaid, so I phoned them to confirm it was okay. It was NOT okay, the lady told me firmly - I must come in and show them my pension card. "But I've already done that for the rates" I said. She said "That's another department, nothing to do with us". I replied "You are a lazy bunch in there - you're all in the same bloody building, for C's sake". Anyway, I dropped in there later in the day and duly presented my card for their inspection.
Next call was to TRU Energy, our gas and electricity supplier. I always pay our bills online on the day they are due, and write down the date and receipt number from the bank website. I'd paid their last bill on April 1st, but received an overdue notice dated the 8th, threatening firing squad at dawn if we didn't pay, etc.
The lady I spoke to was very apologetic. "For some reason, our computer is sending overdue notices to a lot of our customers who did pay by the due date. Just tear it up". I held my tongue and didn't state the obvious, which is that computers do not do these things all on their own. They have to have commands from their human masters...
My next call was to the specialist who will be fitting Ken's pacemaker. Their phone message machine said the office was unattended, so please leave a message, but I didn't, because I had another number to try. I'd been given the direct line for the person who handles the specialist's cases at the Austin (public) Hospital, so I gave her a try. She answered her phone immediately, and when I asked if Dr O'D. had booked Ken in for the pacemaker, she said "Oh yes, I posted a letter to you last week - Thursday". It hadn't arrived on Monday, so I asked her to fax me the covering letter just in case it didn't turn up. I asked when the procedure was to be done and she said May 6th. I nearly dropped the phone! If we'd gone private, we would be waiting another month - who said our public hospital system is no good?? I can only assume someone must have cancelled their op., and Dr O'D slotted Ken in to their spot.
Next I placed a call to Sydney, NSW to a craft supply company who had listed a specialised patchwork iron on their website for $54.95 - half the price they are in the shops here! Ken had asked what I wanted for my birthday, and I said I would love to have one of these Clover irons, but they are too expensive at $100. He waved off my concerns, and said just go ahead and buy one. So when I found it online at such a reduced price, we were both very pleased! I called them to see how long it would take to get one to me, and in the course of conversation with the friendly lady on the phone, I mentioned it was for my birthday. She asked when it was, and when I said Thursday, she said "Oh we'll have it to you by then!" So I provided the credit card number, and lo and behold, it arrived today (Tuesday)! She had sent it by overnight express mail, without charging any extra! How generous is that?? I've emailed her a very appreciate thank you message!
My other phone calls were more mundane - doctor's appointment for me (regular check-up), and a couple of girlfriends confirming lunch dates.