one step forward, two steps back

my brother mailed me the check for the element on jan 17th. he sent it certified, so i was going to have to sign for it -- but i figured they'd just leave a note and i'd go by the post office to pick it up. after talking to my brother wednesday (the 23rd) and getting the tracking number, thursday morning (the 24th, one week later) i finally decided to see if maybe i'd just missed the note letting me know i had a certified letter to pick up. i went in and they took my name and went to check on it. no, no certified mail for me. i told them it'd been sent a week earlier and the tracking info appeared to show it'd already arrived there. she went and checked all of the certified mail, not just the stack mine should have been in, but couldn't find it. i gave the postal employee the tracking number and she took it back to someone else. i guess they looked it up and verified they'd gotten it. she came back up front and told me a supervisor was looking into it. after waiting some more, the supervisor came out and told me she'd called the carrier and they'd had it out for delivery the day before. the carrier said she'd handed it to her supervisor, but that supervisor wouldn't be coming in until later. i asked when it had arrived at their office and she said on the 18th. (so i'm not sure why the 23rd was the first day they attempted delivery.) the supervisor told me she'd have it delivered that day, but i told her i wouldn't be at my house. i gave her the tracking info and my cell number and she said she'd call me. i didn't get a notice in my mailbox yesterday, or a call, so this morning i went back by to see what if anything had happened. the supervisor i'd talked to yesterday came out and had the letter. she said she hadn't called me because she didn't get it until this morning. so i don't know what the deal was, but i finally got the check. i couldn't see anything weird with the letter, like it'd been run over or ripped or something. but my brother was fretting about having a check for several thousand dollars just floating around somewhere unknown, so he was more glad i finally got the check than i was.

when i got home this evening, my satisfaction with finally getting the check for the element was countered by two new pieces of mail. the first one was a letter from the dentist office i'd gone to months ago. they said they'd miscalculated my costs compared to insurance coverage, so i need to pay them $172.90. i've been getting bills from them, but i kept waiting for insurance to pay it or for them to drop it. the thing i'm wondering about is if my insurance didn't cover it because they submitted some of the same stuff twice. and why would they do that? because they messed up my first crown and had to redo it. if that's the case, then i'm going to be paying for their mistake, which i would find greatly annoying. i'm going to go back over the paperwork and insurance claims and see if i can piece the costs together. it just seems like a pretty big error in insurance coverage estimation compared to the total cost of the work that was done.

the second letter was from my bank. in it was a statement that the final check i'd deposited from state farm had had a stop payment on it, so they pulled the money back out of my account and charged me $3. why did the check have a stop payment? i have no idea. i have gotten no calls or letters or anything from state farm indicating an error was made, or anything else. the thing i'm worried about is i finally dropped the element from coverage a few days ago, so now i'm wondering if they're going to try and say the vehicle isn't covered anymore or something stupid to annoy me. i hope not, but i don't know why they would have put a stop payment on the check in the first place. and why i had to pay $3 for what from my perspective looks like their mistake or problem.

it's also annoying that when i get home and get letters that disturb or upset me related to any kind of financial stuff, it's seemingly always after the business hours or whatever entity i want to try and get in touch with. so i have to just sit and stew and wonder about what's going on, instead of being able to get in touch with someone right then and have the issue figured out and dealt with.

yesterday evening i met emily at a le madeleine for supper. i got there first and decided to go ahead and order. when i got up to the register, the girl said "are you a mechanic?" i kind of looked puzzled, then she said "do you work in a shop? because of your shirt." mostly hidden under my jacket, i was wearing a mechanic shirt. i wear them fairly regularly. i looked up and said "no, i just like to dress this way." another employee, a black guy, was walking by and overheard this exchange and started laughing. she kind of stared at me. then i realized what i said sounded kind of snarky, if you assumed i was a mechanic. so i quickly said "no, i'm not kidding. i'm not a mechanic, i really do just like dressing this way. i work in i.t. i work with computers." so she replied, "oh okay, i worked in a shop for 8 years, so i can tell the shirts and i was wondering. but lots of different people wear those kinds of shirts...a/c repair, i.t....." i replied "i don't wear it because i have to. in fact, i actually probably shouldn't be wearing it. i probably should be wearing polos or dress shirts." then she said "oh, that means you must be really good at what you do. to get away with that. that's cool. i wish i could dress how i want to. but i'm pretty sure it'd get me fired pretty fast." she was wearing the le madeleine chef uniform with the pastry hat. i didn't think of it until later, but i wish i would have said "so you mean you're not dressing right now how you'd like?" i thought about mentioning the fact i like older cars and what i have. but i didn't say much of anything, and she went back to work and i went over to pick up my tea and numerous pieces of free bread with butter and preserves. i had also noticed early on she had a ring of some sort on her left bezymyannyi palets. i'm pretty good at looking for that. not that it really matters much for me, since all i'm ever apparently doing is collecting data.

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