Bureaucracy does not promote happy thoughts

Man, oh man, alive! (I don’t really know what that means, but I heard it in an old movie, and it somehow fits the experience I just had.)

Bureaucracy. It kills happy thoughts faster than a needle pops an overinflated balloon.

It all started when I received a late notice for a student loan on Saturday.
Only, there was no way the payment was late. I had paid. Early, in fact.

So this morning was spent on the phone with the ‘bureau’ that has my student loan.

It only took about an hour to finally find out what had happened.

  1. I paid my payment, due February 14, on February 4th (10 days early).
  2. On February 9th the ‘bureau’ changed my status and cut my payment nearly in half. (Nice!) I was not notified of the change.
  3. On February 14th, my account was marked as delinquent since in the 5 days since the status had changed I hadn’t paid this new, more reasonable amount. (Not nice!)
  4. To add to the craziness I was told that the payment I’d already sent for March, which is just short of twice the new payment I owe, wouldn’t even bring the account up-to-date. I would need to send more money.
Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
So I argued, and argued, and argued that they couldn’t bill me twice in one month, and I shouldn’t be dinged for a mistake they made.
I was told repeatedly that the black mark on my account would stay, and that I needed to send in more money.
So much for logic and commonsense.
After an hour of arguing I asked for a supervisor.
After another 30 minute wait I got to talk to one. She put me on hold for a while and finally agreed that the mistake was their’s, I was not late, and I did not need to send extra money. She even promised to fix it all, if I would give her 2-3 days so she could send it to the proper department.
Now I’ll have to check back at the end of the week to make sure everything is cleared up. Because it’s about as easy to trust bureaucracy as it is to spell it.
Wish me luck! I want those happy thoughts back!

What do you think?