A Longer Walk

Remember my tale from two weeks ago about my adventures in repaying an overpayment?

Well, I never thought it possible, but here’s the sequel:

As you may recall, I walked a significant distance – I’ve since learned that it was just shy of a half mile – to drop off a check for $87, the amount I was overpaid for some additional work I did at the university.  The office was closed, so I put the check in an envelope, and slid it under the door to be picked up the following Monday.  Aside from my rather painful state the next morning, that’s pretty much where the story ended.

Or so I thought.

The following Monday, I expected an e-mail acknowledging the payment, with an acknowledgement of sorts of how I really went out of my way to correct their mistake.  I expected it, but that’s not what I received.

Oh, we received your payment, but everything is wrong.  First, you made the check out to $87, when in fact, the overpayment was $85.13, so this is the amount for which the check should be payable.  Next, you listed the payee as ‘ABC,’ when in fact, it should be to ‘DEF.’  Please advise as to what you want to do.  We will need this matter to be resolved by the end of this month, so please call if there are any further questions or concerns.” *

(* Not the actual text, but a reasonable facsimile.)

In plain English, this meant that the previous episode was for naught, that I was going to have to repeat my trek to the central HR office, and that I was going to have to cut another check.


I contacted the office and asked them to hold my original check; I’d swap it out the next morning.  I wrote a new check – in the proper amount, and addressed accordingly – and tucked it into my wallet.  My big fear was that I’d take my checkbook to work with me, where I would some how manage to lose it.  Bear in mind, that I never lost a check or checkbook in all the years I carried one on my person regularly, but for some reason, I was convinced that if that book left the safety of my domicile, it would never come back.

I should note here that I’ve been suffering from a number of irrational thoughts as of late, so this fixation on the checkbook comes as no surprise to me.  I’ve stopped worrying about any possible fallout from my car’s transmission.  If it happens, it happens; not much that my worrying will do about it.  But that sense of security comes at a cost:  I’ve some how managed to convince myself that if I turn on the car’s radio or CD player, that it will inexplicably trash the transmission, and I’ll be stuck without transportation.  Never mind the fact that an automobile’s transmission and its radio/CD are two entirely different components and aren’t dependent upon one another in any way.  Never mind that in the history of motorized transportation, there is no report of any vehicle ever being disabled because someone popped in their KC and the Sunshine Band Greatest Hits CD.  This kind of stuff does not happen.

Yet, for that same bizarre reason, all of this makes perfect sense in my damaged head.

This time, I decided to wait for the shuttle, and once I made the exchange – a good check for a now worthless one – I decided to invest an extra three minutes and wait for the shuttle’s return trek.  Strange, but those three minutes meant that I was spared the near-crippling muscle pain I felt after the last trek.  I guess being patient for the shuttle was a good thing.

I’ve since been assured that the debt is repaid and I’m good to go.   Great . . . ’cause I’m not going back.

We shall see . . .

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