So, it looks like the Puddings are headed to prison.

A little over a year ago, Jeff noticed that he was paying our trash people more than once each month. (And when I say Our Trash People, I mean the environmental service that comes to our house on Thursday mornings to haul away the things that we DIDN’T recycle. I’m still wearing my Birkenstocks.)

Anyway, when he pulled up the information online, he realized that he had been double paying for the past six months! He quickly called Our Trash People (OTP) to figure out what was going on.

OTP: It looks like we accidentally created two accounts for your home. I’ll go ahead and delete the second account and credit your first account with six months of payments if that works for you.

Jeff: I’m down with OTP. Yeah. You know me.

Six months passed before we received the next letter from OTP, which said something like, “Hey, Stinky! You’ve probably noticed that we’re no longer picking up your trash! Do you want to know why?! IT’S BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T PAID US IN SIX MONTHS!!! Money! Bring it!!!”

(They had NOT stopped picking up our trash.)

Jeff, who is always surprisingly calm in these situations, picked up the phone and called them.

OTP: Whoa! Hey! Look at that! It looks like we credited the first account with six months worth of payments and then DELETED that account. That’s funny!

Jeff: That’s not funny.

OTP: Our bad! Our bad! Don’t worry. We’ll reinstate the first account and delete this empty account. You’re good to go! Trash away!

The bills started appearing again, and we assumed All Was Well.

Yesterday, we received a letter in the mail that featured an embossed stamp and said something like, “Check it, Heedless Sloth. You haven’t paid your stinking trash bill in over a year! What’s up with that?! Wait. I’ll TELL you what’s up with that! What you’re holding in your hand right now is a summons! On February 25th, if you don’t show up and explain your sorry back side to a judge, we’re going to burn your House o’ Trash down and toss your entire family (including the cats) into the slammer!”

Jeff, who is always surprisingly calm in these situations, picked up the phone and called them.

OTP: Oh My Gosh. This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. For some reason, we just keep deleting the wrong account! Comedy Gold!!! I’ll take this in and talk to my supervisor about it. No worries. Fixaroonied!

Jeff: Can you ask your supervisor to send an e-mail assuring me that it’s been taken care of?

OTP: Are you kidding? We can’t send e-mails to people on the outside! Believe me. We’ll take care of this. Hey! Where’d my sandwich go?!

A few minutes later, Jeff received a call from the OTP Supervisor assuring him that the court date has been canceled and All Is Well.

Because I do not trust the OTP, the Puddings will be fleeing the country on the evening of February 24th. Hey, Coffee Lady! Do you have room for some Puddings?


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19 thoughts on “So, it looks like the Puddings are headed to prison.”

  1. I’m pretty sure that your OTP is related to MCI long distance, and I’m also pretty sure my MCI payments are going into your deleted OTP account.

  2. I almost splurted my soup at “I’m down with OTP” (yah you know me). So well done.

    Love this story. You can come hang with me in Canada if you need to flee the country. My place is small but we can squish.

  3. Ohmygod, that is so funny! This reminds me of my dealings with Verizon Fios….although it takes three hours to get someone on the phone first before you can even have a an actual conversation.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  4. I’m in MI and therefore close to the Canadian border so I can hoard you guys if need be. I’ll tell my cat your cats are nice and make her get along with them.

  5. Last year the police department called my house and said that someone claimed I had hit their car with my car that afternoon in broad daylight on the main road by my office. I told them that I hadn’t hit anyone, had no idea what they were talking about, and they were welcome to come look at my car if they wanted to.

    Long story short, I was told that I had bring my car to them the next day (or what??). I had to use my lunch hour to drive to the main police station, and wait while two officers inspected my car and asked questions like, “where did this scratch come from” and then finally declared that my car had not been involved in an accident.

    Yes, I know it wasn’t. Nothing like trying to prove you didn’t do something.

  6. agh! just reading about this! when things like that happen and i have to take care of the mess (vs my husband taking care of the mess) i always feel DEEP DESPAIR. i’ve learned to demand to talk to a supervisor during the first phone call, otherwise it goes on for years.

  7. There are few things more frustrating than having to deal with a utility company (is trash a utility though).

    IF and when you guys are in the slammer, I’ll come visit (so we can talk to one another on the phone and look through the plexi-glass). I will also bring you calling cards ( I was watching Nancy Grace (bad, I know … really bad) last night and a girl was in prison and was asking family to send calling cards and money) and money. I hope I put your mind at ease.

    You Have Nothing To Worry About!

  8. At least they still picked up your trash. Our trash company quit picking up our trash for three weeks because they had us mixed up with someone on a different street, with the same house number. After repeated calling and them reassuring us they would send a truck out “that afternoon” to get all our trash, (it took two weeks for said truck to show up) our neighbors thought we were some hoosiers who never brought the trash cans in.
    At least we didn’t end up in jail over it! :)

  9. Sounds like you need the Isabella Golightly Witness Protection Program, which is live and well, and running in Sunny Newport, NSW, Australia. Come on Down! (We also don’t have to pay for recycling, so you don’t have to worry about getting found out a second time ;-) )

  10. Angela, as part of The System (I’m an attorney, not a trash collector), might I recommend that Jeff contact the courthouse to make sure the legal side of things was dismissed as it should have been – otherwise, a default judgment could be entered against you. Just fixing the glitch with the trash people isn’t enough … or at least, I wouldn’t trust ’em to do this, and not wind up getting a judgment against you “by mistake”.

  11. A few years ago we had an oddly similar encounter with the cable company, who suddenly started sending us demanding letters and threatening to sue us for a cable box we had returned to them three years earlier when we downgraded our subscription. Maybe it’s part of a Secret Order of Utility Company Workers hazing ritual?

  12. I’ve been dealing with Wells Fargo in the same manner…except, unlike Jeff, I wait until I have PMS to call and freak out until I get my way. It seems to only have a temporary fix because the poor soul on the other end is sick of being belittled by a psycho (me) on the phone. Also, I live in NJ so I can’t help too much on the hideout. But you should visit anyway if you ever get back in the country.

  13. Oh, my law.

    More importantly, what did you wear to church? I loved the suggestions to belt the cardigan. (That is so Michelle Obama.) Apparently, there are some people at my church (old ladies, actually) who think that because I am the pastor’s wife, I should not ever wear jeans to church, even though it’s clearly okay for everyone else to do so. So guess what I’ve been wearing to church e-v-e-r-y Sunday? I’m with yo mama.

  14. No problem. We can take Puddings. Stay as long as you like! We don’t pay for our bin men, so no need to worry about bringing your problems with you!

    Eldest can compare broken glasses with Meredith; Littlest can, you know, just run about and shout at you all, and we can make lemon drizzle cake!

    When are you coming?

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