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Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Some people get quiet and withdrawn when they're sick. I get angry, and I take it out on anyone who's available. Since I'm here alone all day, I had to do it over the phone this morning. The Boss had a woman from the credit card company on one line and me on the other, with a phone in each of his ears. Since I couldn't yell directly at her, I yelled at him. (I think he probably was smart enough to put the phone down.)

The last time the Boss lost his card and had to have it replaced, the Uncover Card people started sending our statements to the wrong address. The envelopes were returned to them by the post office for two months before they called and told us about the problem. Then they wanted their money right away, because of course our payments for the last two months were past due.

Last week he got them to promise to send the statements and reverse all the late fees, if I would pay the minimum as soon as I got them. This I was prepared to do, except that they arrived yesterday and the due date is Thursday. Not only that, but one statement is still missing, so I don't even know if all the charges are legitimate.

This is what I was trying to explain to the Uncover woman, through the Boss, in a calm, reasoned voice. Well, no, not really. I was shouting that the whole problem was their fault, not ours, and they didn't give us enough time to pay, and they should at least allow us a few extra days. Meanwhile, she was telling me (through him) that there was "nothing she could do," (that old chestnut) and that I had to overnight the payment to her (at our expense, natch).

Eventually I talked the Boss into letting her transfer some money directly from our checking account. This seemed to make her happy, which is of course oh so gratifying to me. I was reading the routing number and account number to him, still at the top of my voice, and as he was quietly repeating the information to her he was saying to me in his soothing manner, "Just slow down and relax."

He gave me ten minutes to cool off before calling me back to make sure I hadn't somehow harmed myself. I was calmer by then and a little ashamed. Also exhausted, and it wasn't even nine o'clock yet. It's hard to expend all your energy for the day before the first hour is up.

yellow iris

The garden in early May, with the first yellow iris blooming.

As I mentioned, I had a reason to be a little fierce this morning. What I thought yesterday was a touch of allergy turns out to be a full-blown miserable cold, with all the nasty symptoms. In my case it's mostly a stuffy head and sore throat, but I think that's what made it sound as if I were bellowing into the phone. To be honest, I was consciously using it to amplify my voice more than usual. It felt good until I quit. After that I couldn't talk much for the rest of the day.

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