What I did September 11, 2006
Most consider 9/11 a day of remembrance. Ceremonies are held where survivors give statements about how the events of that day irrevocably changed their lives and our current regime doles out their usual fear-mongering and panders their failing agenda. I for one had neither time for reflection nor outrage: I was busy collecting a delinquent payment due to my husband.
An advertising agency has repeatedly failed to pay my better (?) half for his consulting services. Five hundred dollars worth of consulting services rendered over two months ago, to be precise. I suspect these people have been acting in good faith; their incompetence was (is?) the root of the problem.
Last Friday I visited their office and personally picked up a new check. The prior two checks they have cut never found their way into our possession. This is probably due to the fact that this agency addressed these checks to my husband’s DBA and had them delivered via the United States Postal Service to our home. I do not know where these checks went and I do not care to know. What I do know is that my husband and I want our five hundred bucks.
The check I picked up last Friday also proved to be made out to my husband’s DBA, so we could not deposit it. My husband got really pissed, so I took charge. I sent an email to his contact stating when I was going to return for a new, properly-written check: September 11, 2006 at 11:00 a.m.
September 11, 2006
I woke up late and hurriedly put myself together. Most of my clothes were dirty, as was my hair, but I did not give a damn: $500 was at stake. I threw on the first clean tank top and skirt I could find, pulled my ratty hair into a ponytail and headed to Manhattan.
I arrived ten minutes early. This agency had just relocated to a new office, so everything was in disarray: lots of plastic sheeting, plaster and no Receptionist to meet or greet me. I waited and surveyed the cubicle farm around me.
Several years ago I worked in the Advertising Sales Department of a travel magazine, so I have some familiarity with the industry. This office struck me as being just like any other: an incubator (presided over by Baby Boomers) teaming with fresh-faced, edgy, 20-something college graduates awaiting transformation into the surly, burned-out assholes who staff the so-called â€˜upper tierâ€™ agencies I had the misfortune of interfacing with. Young and Rubicam immediately comes to mind, but I digress…
I waited for ten minutes before a high-status silverback female saw fit to ask my impeccably-wrecked 30-something person if I have been helped. I told her “no”, explained why I was at her place of business,and handed her the bad check. She ambled off to find someone to help me.
The cubicle monkeys took note of my blighted presence and whispered among themselves.
The silverback woman came back 10 minutes later and told me that the people I needed to speak with were not in the office, but they would be back soon. I asked if I could wait. Reluctantly, but politely, she said OK. I sat in a cubicle right by the front door (clad in this tank top) in plain view of anyone—staff and clients alike— who came and went. I made myself feel right at home.
For the next forty minutes I:
- called friends
- asked the employees around me where the kitchenette was so I could get a glass of water
- asked around as to where the bathroom was â€œbecause I drunk a lot of coffee earlier this morningâ€
- made a rather lengthy phone call to the Bureau of Fire Prevention about some construction work that was â€œblocking the only means of egress* from my neighborâ€™s apartment (other than the front door) in the event of a fireâ€
Long story made short: I got our money.
*It has been my observation that civil servants really like it when you use the proper terminology. It makes their job easier.