Angst’s set? Or mine?

This is, as you may have guessed, a chapter in the angsty story whose exposition I’d presented in my post Angst. This is also (blush, little bow, giggle) my 20th post… so something of a milestone in MY world, any way… thenk you, thenk you vry much (my inner Elvis says)… so, moving right along…

Another small aside, regarding angst, It’s everywhere. Including in making decisions about exactly what do I really want to post in this blog. Should I stick to one type of writing, real life, fictional shorts, non-fiction essays, etc.? And I admit, I don’t want to exclude/discontinue the occasional media post, and I’m sure as heck keeping my FractalFridays intact. Idk, Idk, Idk. Angst – my friend, my doubter, my sidekick, my insecurity, my challenger, my purpose driver, my ever present self/devil’s advocate. So, since I’m keeping myself to one blog only, for the time being, I permit myself to post what I want, when I want. This is what I feel like posting today.

Point: me. 15-love.

The past couple weeks have been quite enlightening for me in several ways, perhaps even an epiphany or so (wait… was there.. but I… isn’t that… the 6th… perhaps a holy day…?), but, that’s not what today’s post is about…

Today I want to celebrate the road to a couple of small, albeit impactful, strategic successes…

You may recall that fiscally, I live very, not in any understated way do I mean very, close to the edge. Also, in the works is an arrangement between my friend, PC and myself. This arrangement, if successful would mean many benefits for each of us, and even if it would become impossible due to circumstances beyond either of our control, I was promised a minimal sweet benefit, something I needed but would not have been able to afford on my personal budget.

While that began to take shape, I decided to take care of a few loose ends myself, with a great need to focus on the fiscal bottom line, at whose edge I was very close.. This included picking up my monthly Rx batch, which is always a hefty part of the monthly budget (about 18% hefty), which I did, trying to keep it bright and positive as I spent such a chunk of my monthly funds on it. It helps that I have a friendly professional respect for all the Pharmacy personnel with whom I deal, and they seem to have the same for me. I should interject here, that due to discounts and other lovely saving options, my funds are spread into several (4 major and a couple minor) cups, shall we say. Hence, one of the biggest challenges of this day would be to keep balances straight, such that cups were taken from wisely, while not depleting any of these into the negative.

So, I proceeded, gathering supplies for the next couple weeks with the strongest staying power and the least fiscal damage, making sure to cover all nutritional and sundry needs, mine and the cats’. By the time I was at my last stop, it was necessary to really be on my toes, there being great juggling and dancing skills now required. So far, so good. I kept the cashier in the loop, explaining as we began, there were going to be 3 separate transactions (cups, to you and me) depending on how much could be taken from each cup allowing for the best use of discounts and such (really, it’s quite complicated, sometimes). Needless to say, the young cashier did not grasp any of the concepts of why, nor any of the parameters I’d clearly stated. I advised at the same time, that my processing speed might not quite match hers, asking for her patience. That part was totally missed. She just grabbed and scanned, grabbed and scanned, reaching out for whatever she could, not the least interested in any sort of plan, etc I had. While this was going on, there whooshed up next in line, a young man accompanied by a team member, throwing his items onto the counter close and directly behind what I’d put onto the counter, with many still in my cart to be carefully sorted, moved to another cup, etc. I mentioned to said young man and his team member friend, there to see the guest actually performed the payment ritual, rather than skipping out once the alert team member had left him on his own, that I would probably be a while, so they might want choose another, quicker exit route (hoping to quiet the deafening chatter, so I could perform with the mental agility I needed here). They remained where they were. As I (having kept an eye on the rising total as she robotically grabbed and scanned) stopped the cashier deciding this cup was done, so let’s put this transaction to bed she was really more interested in what the young man and his team member friend were discussing. She did, however, oh so innocently ask about the cat food still in my cart –“ you don’t want it then?” No, I reminded her, I would have 3 separate payments, this one was full. So then we got through the rest with me only having to relinquish a couple of OTC products that I talked myself into foregoing, in favor of cat food.

Then, as I was transferring all the lovely packages into my vehicle, it hit me. Slam. Prior to stopping at this favorite one-stop shop, I had stopped at the garage for the to-the-penny estimate required by PC for some work needed for the pending arrangement between the two of us. OK, I’d told myself, time to fill the tank. However, I selected the wrong cup for this, and forgotten that entirely, which meant that all my mental gymnastics, math and calm planning had been kicked out from under me – by MYSELF!!!  AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!

What a disaster, I could face, NSF, unpaid/rejected debits… OMG what a mess…

So this tipped the score to 15 all.

So, the entire ride home, I’m not yet into full panic, but can see it looming large on the horizon.

OK, so home, rested and ready for mental/fiscal battle. Come what may, I knew that somehow I could rearrange funds, such that my damages would be minimal… here, I should remind of the time delay between some transactions and banks, depending on which cup is used, and such. I am aware that when it comes down to it, the transaction date is the bar, the column by which all other factors are sorted. I immediately went online, with all accounts visible and available for electronic manipulating. Unfortunately, there was no way, using these tools only, I would be able to rectify this, so I had to quickly search and find what other options I had access to.

Almost immediately, it came to mind to return to pharmacy, ask that some credits be posted back to first & most dire cup, then recharging, as necessary. This would do quite well, I ascertained, knowing in the back of my mind that in the electronic age, weekends and overnight are not the friends they used to be in fiscal management, but still hold court. Here is where I must take a moment to acknowledge and express gratitude to those same pharmacy personnel I earlier mentioned. I instantly knew (from decades of managing in that industry myself) the most direct path to quick and painless resolution to my dilemma would be through the pharmacy, directly. Not just “the pharmacy”, but the top dog, ruler of the domain, she/he who must be obeyed, the head pharmacist. No service desk for me, with hours of repeating situation/problem/suggested resolution going up the food chain until I would be totally exhausted and frustrated and lectured beyond even my deep patience, again, having been there, done that. So my first call to ID Top Dog (3 top dogs in total, all with whom I have intelligent, respectful, friendly, balanced relationships) got me to this weekend’s top dog, NM. I barely needed to provide basic info, she was all, don’t worry about a thing, we can take care of you, bring what you mentioned (paperwork wise) and we’ll take care of you. And they did. Though NM was herself too busy to make time for it, she asked me (!!!) if I minded that she delegate the process to AA, a sweet, intelligent member of the team whom I hadn’t seen a lot of lately, but trusted 100% to understand and take the appropriate actions. So, with about a sentence of background given to her by NM, AA proceeded to do what needed doing, in fact – she was not already mired in confusion, as was I, and was way ahead of me as we finished up. I’d bought a Starbuck’s GC for NM, and will also bring one in for AA to express my deep gratitude at their cheerful willingness to work with me, not against me, in resolution of, admittedly, my problem.

Nice. Point – me; 30 – 15.

So, just to keep up, I reviewed cup account online and found, to my deepest dismay, I had forgotten to take into account the “my bad” fees I would suffer for my transgressions, so the math was STILL off.  So, now, it’s just me and the cup providers. They, as well, usually provide service levels of reason and integrity, and even, on occasion, proactive in nature so my hopes were high. The bottom line resolution I hoped for was one we could arrive at over the phone, rather than one that left me required to drive across town and provide an actual signature.

So I get A1 on the line. I immediately clarified my intent not to request credit for the “my bad”  fees, even then she then expressed sadness that since I’d already had the annual courtesy waiver, she could not provide that for me. It usually keeps things moving more smoothly if the opportunity to read between the lines, that which may not even be between the lines is removed. A couple options were suggested by me, things which I’d thought to be able to perform myself online, but could not. The possibility of more “my bads” was still looming. The disposition of the recent “my bads” (ie “too bad”) would greatly escalate my situation and angst. A1 was able to take the “too bads”  off the table, fixed, while we were still on the phone. Her remaining option seemed to be the last I would need, but was subject to the approval of a “top dog” somewhere, whom she would contact, requesting such approval. All I could do, at that point, was wait to hear what was decided. Because the day was getting away from me and I had yet to hear, I called back, this time getting A2. She was, in fact, sad, like A1, about the fees, and did not know what earlier request status was. So she offered yet another, even better resolution, which she would then send up the food chain, as was the first one already, and I expressed angst over the passing time, which directly affected me getting to their location for that “live” signature, if that should become necessary. A2 truly got that and promised to get right on it.

In the meantime, A1’s top dog did call me back, with positive response, in that our original request was approved, and did not require my presence, my signature. Shortly after that, A2 herself called me back advising her best yet option was in fact approved, and again, did not require my presence or my signature.

So, my relief was complete.

New score: Angst 15, me 40. Not bad.

One last checkup is in order. All resolutions have been applied at bank, “too bads” turned back into “OK’s” and one more little manipulation by me. Just have to wait until tomorrow, hopefully before but mayhaps after close of business to confirm, but I’m pretty certain the point will be mine.

And Set. But, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Namaste all.