R.T.A. - Really Taken Aback! "But I've paid." "No. You haven't."

“And you probably had to wait a long time !”, said the liquor salesman.
I laughed.
Quite right.
.
I had driven around the block and to the liquor store, in spite of good intentions, to not drink.
I had been technically called a liar by the three women behind the counter, ten minutes earlier.
.
“I’m a retired primary school teacher,” I laughed, to the man handing me the bottle of wine. " I have never told a lie, in my life! "
We had a good laugh and I started to feel better.
.
A few hours earlier, I had transferred money, via the internet, via my account, at the Teachers Credit Union, to pay for the renewal of the registration of my car.
Then I looked at the notification, from which I could now remove the sticker, to put on my windscreen and noticed the word: Pensioner.
Since October 2008, that’s me!
.
Back to the internet.
Found the contact number and a friendly (youngish-sounding) man informed me that I wasn’t just entitled to a concession. I need not have paid.
Could I go to a local office and show them my pension card before the due date? Then all would be well!
.
An hour or so later, I walked up to the local office and a woman shouted past me: "It’s jam-packed in there! "
.
Quite right. After a while I was able to sit down. (If anyone had the dreaded flu in that room, sixty or more people should now not be too well!)
.
Finally my number came up. Smiled at the young lady. Explained that I’d paid but need not have.
In, honestly no time….two older (sorry: more experienced ?) women were standing behind the person who denied that I’d paid.
.
As a teacher, I’m used to explaining the situation. I assured them that I realised that the information might not have reached their computer yet.
.
I was expecting, perhaps, my pensioner number to be noted and to be sent home, feeling assured that a refund would be due.
.
No. I had not paid!
The screen told them so!
.
I was surprised at how easily my mood swung from friendly chat to tears somewhere, inside, about shoulder-level.
.
( Visits to my father (92), with arms covered in red and broken skin, pleading with me, to take him home from the hospital, are not helping. )
.
It’s only a minor hiccup, really. Tomorrow I shall go back. Take a number from the machine and join the crowd.
.
I shall say: Thank you.
.
I don’t expect everyone to be my friend.

R.T.A. - Really Taken Aback! "But I've paid." "No. You haven't."

MrJoop

Ramsgate, Australia

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

“And you probably had to wait a long time!”, said the liquor salesman.
I laughed.
Quite right.
.
I had driven around the block and to the liquor store, in spite of good intentions, to not drink.
I had been technically called a liar, by the three women behind the counter, ten minutes earlier.

POST SCRIPT:
This has a happy ending.
.
I did of course attend on Wednesday and this time was served by a much more sympathetic person.
Murphy’s Law was still very much at work: She wanted to see my driver’s licence.
Of course it wasn’t there. She suggested I look for it and I need not take another ticket and wait again to be served.
I raced home; searched my desk and knocked down a small pile of slides.
Just where they dropped lay my driver’s licence, on the floor.
Raced back and completed the formalities and then received the good news that I was due to receive a bigger refund than I thought.
Got back in the car and was rung by the hospital, asking for consent for my father, who had been taken from Auburn to Westmead Hospital, to have his skin problem investigated.
When I returned to my desk there was an email asking for further details regarding the “incident” on Monday.
I wrote back how pleased I was with the way I was served this time and how keen I am to put this behind me.
I quoted the Dutch expression: _Zand er over! (Cover it with sand. I.e., forget about it.)

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