Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Phone Tag - You're It!

So here is an example of how having the tiniest bit of competence and empathy can be a good thing:

Still trying to sort out the restitution kerfuffle.

Actually, it's not a kerfuffle. A kerfuffle sounds too much like a fun thing. Something soft and sweet and perhaps not unlike a guinea pig.

So, I'm trying to sort out the restitution debacle.

Since I'm tired of using the victim advocate, I pulled out the letter from the Moose Lake Prison, send by STBX's caseworker, that invited me to call her if I had any questions. (This is also the letter that got his middle name wrong.) I ended up leaving her a message.

Two days later, she called back. In the course of the conversation I learn that no, they have no order for restitution, blah...blah...blah. I've heard it all before. What was striking though is that during the course of the conversation, she referred to me on three different occasions with three different first names, none of them correct. She also referred to STBX's last name twice and both times got it wrong.

Hi there! I'm not Susan. I'm Not Mary. I'm not even Tricia. Also? His last name isn't Shannon or Shandling.

Well! At least I can be fully assured that you were the one that wrote the letter you signed!

So, my conversation with Ms. Smith, I mean Ms. Jones, I mean Ms. Headuptheass lead me to call the courthouse.

Hooray! I got to talk to the fine folks in the finance office! Now that is one place that I haven't had the opportunity to be transferred to yet.

Now, there is no way to begin to describe just how difficult it is to encapsulate our story in one or two sentences on a cold call to accountants and bookkeepers. It's hard enough to verbalize to probation officers and law clerks.

I stumbled my way through my story only to have the woman say that she only dealt with part of it and would have to transfer me so that the person that dealt with the other part of it could investigate.

And I got the next person. And I asked the second person "Did the first person tell you anything?"

Of course not.

OK. Here's my story. Again.

She checked a few things and then determined that I needed to talk to another person.

I asked the third person "Did the second person tell you anything?"

Of course not.

OK. Here's my story. Again.

Oh, but wait! The third person had a question! It was a question for the second person!

So what did she do? She just held the receiver away from her mouth and asked the woman.

Yes. The three women that I had just individually spilled my guts to were all in the same office and within conversational distance.

Now, perhaps I'm expecting too much. My only experience with this sort of thing is working in the medical field. I learned that you actually prefaced your transfer to another person with at least the gist of what was going on. The fact that these women were all in the same area and could have easily put me on hold to discuss things instead of passing me like a hot potato didn't escape my attention.

So allegedly, the order is now in the system. I get to call back in two days and talk to a supervisor who will be able to access the magic vault and tell me definitively that yes, the US Government does in fact have the Ark of the Covenant in a large warehouse outside Washington DC. Oh, and whether or not the order that was put into the system has "triggered" all the bells and whistles.

Then I'm supposed to call down to Moose Lake and talk to Ms. Smith - Jones - Headuptheass so that they can check the system on their end and see if they can actually find the order for restitution.

Right hand? Meet left hand. Maybe you should finally get to know each other.


Shelly said...

"The three women that I had just individually spilled my guts to were all in the same office and within conversational distance"



Why am I picturing three of what I like to call "slow walkers". You know...the kind of people who walk sloooow, because they can't grasp the concept of anything going on that they need to move quickly for? Their physical appearance typically includes really gigantic asses, and perhaps the same hair-do they had in high school...? AKA, Lazy, Worthless People?

I would have said something, but, I'm a bitch like that. I'm sure they would have fallen back on the "private information" rules that they interpret precisely to their own, lazy preference, which forbids them from speaking of anything, to anybody, especially in a cooperative way.

Anonymous said...

That's all
Tabatha (friend in folsom)