Saturday, August 8, 2009

Standing Up For Myself and the Pool

In the past, I've encountered situations that I felt were unfair but simply resigned myself to them because I assumed (usually incorrectly) that I couldn't change them or I didn't have the balls to do something about it. They were usually no big deal, but every now and then, a bigger issue would arise and my lack of ability to stand up for myself on the little things would carry over to the big things. It makes you bitter and resentful, because nobody is going to stand up for your rights, nor should they, more than yourself.

Two episodes happened within a day of each other, and in an effort to be a real man and set forth the proper example to our kids, I had to speak up, even if they were no big deal. The first was with my credit card. We don't carry a balance on our cards, even though we use them for everything. The other day I had problems on Amazon and had use my backup card, which I never use. So much so that they punished me by lowering the limit, but such is life. Anyway, I hadn't received a statement and the due date came and went. Being late, they stuck with me a late fee. Bummer.

For whatever reason, these things really get to me. They make me depressed because I feel I've failed, not to mention they cost more money. In the end, however, it's not the money that's the issue. Now in the past I would have simply accepted the fine as part of my screw up, because I should have been aware of the status of my account, and I was too spineless to speak up. Also, I figured they wouldn't believe me since anyone can claim they didn't recieve their statement.

But not this time. I called the company, and in light of the fact that I have a history of paying off the entire balance, they waived the penalty on the condition that I pay immediately, which I did. It just goes to show you, you might as well give it a shot if you've got nothing to lose. This sounds perfectly reasonable in theory but doesn't always translate into practice. Whatever be the case, the most important thing is that I scored one for my self-esteem.

The second thing was even smaller, but it boiled down to principle. We were at CVS and the M&Ms were on sale, 2 for $7. For whatever reason, the computer didn't know this and I got charged $8. One dollar, no big deal, right? I mentioned it to the guy, but it was crowded and I didn't want to make a stink. Usually I don't even pay attention to the receipt (my bad), but a deal is a deal. I went back to make sure, then went back to the register to tell them. The guy, who was the supervisor, seemed a bit peeved that he had to deal with it because he had to go through this whole rigmarole to refund my money and then charge me again, but I stood my ground. Besides, he should have gladly done it, it the store's screw up. I got the price I was supposed to, but still apologized, which I shouldn't have done but seemed to soften the whole situation.

Okay, one last note. We found a new pool, and we had fun, though it's a colorful crowd. I've been told the pool gets crowded on hot days, but it was only medium hot that day. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it was too cool to swim, and breezy. We were freezing, but it was fun, and the kids got to make a new friend, though she struck me as a bit crass, and very overweight. She said she was 8.5 years old, and she was all by herself. Is that illegal? Anyway, the pool grounds are nice, a big park if you will. It was the Lebanon Memorial pool, BTW, and you simply cannot beat the price. $7 for all three of us. If we go swimming again this summer, it's there. We are so done with Storr's Pond.

Either way, it was a good couple of days. Good results, nice new discoveries. Enough said. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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