Posts Tagged ‘always paying bills on time’

I am a person who prides myself on paying my bills on time. There, I went and said it. 

Anyone who has read my post about my toy box classification system may not be surprised to hear this fact – nor that I have created an Excel Spreadsheet and filing system to ensure that nary a bill goes overlooked or unpaid. 

However, anyone who has actually seen the state of the rest of my house –  or, indeed, watched me run along the street with multiple children in tow, screaming “We’re late! We’re FUCKING LATE” –  may be surprised I’d ever be organised or punctual about anything. Ever. 

What can I say? I offer the world a complex package. 

Anyway, the other day I received a surprising letter from the State Revenue Office informing me there were “Legal Proceedings Pending” because of the matter of some unpaid land tax. Unpaid? How could this be? Especially since a quick check of my spreadsheet, files and bank records showed our last land tax bill had been paid in full last June.

It turns out – after a phone call to the SRO – that the unpaid bill in question was first issued in 2006, shortly after we’d moved in to our new house. And the reason that I’d never received such a bill was because it – and all its cheerful red-coloured successors – were sent to our previous (rental) address and not the address of the house we’d just bought to live in, even though that was the address whose land was being taxed. You know it makes sense. 

Anyway, the crux of the matter was that we owed the SRO two hundred and forty big ones and had less than two weeks to pay. I broke the news to my husband, who took it rather badly. 

“Who the hell is the State Revenue Office, anyway?” he snarled. “Why, I’ve never heard of them! How can we be sure they’re not some Nigerian widow outfit looking to extort money out of us?”

I showed him the bill and the website and told him I’d just spent 15 minutes trapped in their elaborate automated phone system. “Either they’re legit or this is the sting of the century,” I told him. “In which case, you’d think they’d aim a little higher than $240, wouldn’t you?”

My husband humphed for a while and then said “They can’t threaten us with legal action just like that! I’m going to sue them! I’m going to speak to our legal team!”

I gently reminded him that we didn’t have a legal team. 

“Yes, we do! We have that guy who helped us with those contracts last year!” he replied. “In fact, I’m going to ring him! What’s more, I’m going to ring him RIGHT NOW! Threaten us with legal action? The nerve… the sheer bloody nerve!”

He disappeared into the back room with the phone, emerging some fifteen minutes later.

“Well, I rang our lawyer,” he said, somewhat satisfied with himself.

“And what did he say?” I asked. 

“He said ‘Pay it’,” my husband mumbled, adding with greater confidence: “Still, I’d like it stated for the record that I didn’t take all this lying down. They threaten us with legal action and we threaten them right back.”

“By ringing our lawyer totally unbeknownst to them?” I asked. “Yeah, that’s a pretty big threat. Like, a totally ‘under-the-radar’ threat. Perhaps even an ‘under-the-table-completely-shit-faced-drunk-and-passed-out-in-a-pool-of-our-own-vomit’ kind of threat. That’ll learn ’em.”

“Indeed it will,” he replied, pouring himself a big glass of wine. “In fact, I am going to continue showing the State Revenue Office exactly what I think of them by drinking this glass of wine and living a good life.”

Apparently, as he told me later, he was paraphrasing the “Living well is the best revenge” quote by some metaphysical poet (by way of Seinfeld). Whatever. There’s one thing that’s for certain here: that living-well-by-drinking-wine shit sure would have fucked the SRO right up.  

As for the lawyer, apparently he was “really nice” about it all.

“He even said I should feel free to ring him whenever I had any legal queries,” my husband boasted. 

“Of course he’d say that,” I said. “That’s because he gets to charge us every single time.”

“Yeah, well, obviously… ” my husband replied, somewhat deflated. “Whatever you do, just make sure you pay *his* bill on time. I won’t be able to ring our lawyer if it’s our lawyer himself who’s taking us to court over unpaid bills.”

“Don’t worry, my darling. You’ll still be able to drink wine and show them all,” I said.

And we both drank to that.

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