The following was written last night after a close encounter with almost insane rage and then posted tomorrow, which by the time you read it will be at least today,Wed 3/9/11. Delaying publication will leave me some time to review what I wrote before I make a fool of myself and post it out there for all to see.
Okay, Okay. I know. The fool ship sailed a long time ago. I'm comfortable enough with my flaws and ingrained clueless demeanor now that posting more of it is just more of Mike's character anyone who knows me already knows. You might as well know too in case you didn't know it already. Call it a replay of tendencies I cannot seem to lose. If I wasn't a bonehead at least once a day, I probably would take my temperature when I got home and crawl into bed.
Ah that's better. Where to start?
"Out Post # 4?"
"Yes HQ. OP #4 here."
"Mounting frustrations instigated here at HQ with things mechanical, electronical, and unsatisfactory encounters of the long distance phone kind of your client, one Mike Macrum, have racheted his stress level up better than 40% above normal over the last two weeks. The target is now primed and ready to be taken to the final level, just shy of Meltdown. This is a check,,1,2,3,4.....Check? Are you ready to proceed OP #4?"
"Check HQ. Everything's a Go here."
"Okay, implement final procedures to bring subject to full boil."
"Roger Wilco HQ. Final countdown to meltdown on my mark........Mark.......10...9.....8."
This conversation early this morning between HQ and Op #4 set the stage for the moment I was not waiting for around 6:15 PM as I tried to make sense with one more phone voice, this time named Helen who was located somewhere not close.............Pause....Need some music. And a picture or two if I can remember how the self timer gizmo works.
Backing up some here - Over the last two years, I have done what I considered a much better job of running things down to the Bike Shop. I actually was beginning to feel I had a grip. I was watching all the lines, not just the bottom one. I felt oh so smart and on top of it when I caught over a $grand mistake in my bank account the same day it happened and stopped disaster before it even lifted off, I almost sat back satisfied.
And then I looked at the credit card processing fee on the bank statement................Hmm. At first that is all I had.......Hmm. I set the statement down on the counter and poured some more coffee. In mid pour, I realized what I was Hmming at. Two charges for processing, not one. I dropped everything and chased down my processing statements online. But first, because I had wiped my computer clean when it recently died, I had to re-register to see the account. An hour and two or three phone calls later I had my recent statement staring back at me. $76.50.......Hmm.....I look at my bank statement.........Yep, it's there. But what about this one just under it and just after almost in the same electronic breath on the bank statement, this $110.50?.............Hmm.........I sit on the stool sipping coffee and feel myself winding up as I try to make sense of this.
"When did I sign on with you people?"
"Mr Macrum, let me bring that up on the screen..................You came on board September, 2009."
I feel sick. Any delusions of grandeur about my business acumen disappear in an instant. I have just been caught being extremely stupid. Expensively stupid. Outrageously stupid. Mindlessly stupid.
"Mr Macrum? Are you still there?"
"Uh Yeah , I'm here. Angela, I have to go now. I have a door to kick in. See Ya......Click."
I punch the off button and toss the phone on the sales counter. I first stare at the phone, then the bank statement, and finally back at the online e-statement. My nausea passes and slowly turns into a growing, erupting, boiling over anger. I turn back the recall roll in my brain and try to remember how this might have happened. I remember the sales rep who got me to switch told me they would take care of turning off the spigot to the old processer. I then remember making sure by telling the bank to not deduct any more money to that account. Yet I sat there realizing that by not following up, I had been screwed. And screwed out of at the least several thousand dollars over the last year and a half. Feeling chumpish and rube-ish does not even cover how I felt.
"Okay HQ, subject Mike Macrum is now ready for meltdown. HQ? Are you there?"
"Yes OP #4, we are monitoring his stress levels. The question to your there, I mean after all it is you who is there with boots on the ground.......Will this incident be enough to push him over the edge? We would like to include your opinion as part our final judgement of when to pull the lever."
"HQ, I would say given his history, we are wasting our time."
"Why is that OP #4?"
"Well, you could give him a few more hours. But I don't think it will make any difference. He seems impervious to his own stupidity. He is more resilent or is it dense than you might think. Pushing him off the edge might just be wasted energy for not much gain. Most likely he'll just lay there a lump and take up space. You will gain no beneficial returns."
"Okay OP #4. Keep us posted. HQ out."
I had previously unloaded my sad sack story to my wife over the phone. I obviously had exhibited the right amount of pitiful me sorrow for being such a dunce, that she didn't lay into me. She just said, "So you fix it and move on." Or maybe she could sense just how tense and clearly ready to implode I really was. Whatever, she cut me some slack. I truly appreciate that.
So with my third beer and a second shot of Rebel Yell sourmash warming my belly, I feel comfortable and cozy once again. The alcohol has dulled the pain the sharp jagged searing edge my self inflicted stupidity cut into my ego. I remember the why of what it is I carry as I go forth into the madness and wilderness that is always just around every next bend.
Money can always be made again. Mistakes are but something you try to not repeat. And always remember the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers - "Pot will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no pot."
Of course with no money nor any pot, it's the thought that counts. Just remembering Phineas, Frank, Fat Freddy and his Fat Cat conjurs up very pleasant and soothing THC tinged flashbacks. An almost satisfactory contact high is located, downloaded and allowed to join the alcohol charged memories recent and long dog gone.
Tomorrow, or well, later today, armed with righteous indignation and a hangover I will march into the bank. Before I leave, this situation will be a memory. .............Hopefully one I won't soon forget.
An Afterword - I have now