So last night I was just kicking back on the couch after a long (but good!) work week chomping down on some kielbasa & sauerkraut & indulging in the second-to-last episode of Lost Season 2 (h/t to my friend Barb who lent me the first three seasons on DVD), when my cell phone rang. I paused the DVD & answered.
“Is this the person calling herself Melissa S. Green?” the female caller asked.
I thought to myself, not only do I call myself that, but that is in fact who I am. But I simply said, “Yes.”
Whereupon my caller launched into a rant about what kind of fraud was I attempting to perpetrate by having my mail sent to her address — and named off the address — where she had known the landlady for 20 years & knew that no such person as me had ever lived there (in fact, I had lived there for five years from 2001 to 2006, when I moved to my current place), and told me I was a lowlife who didn’t pay her cell phone bills, and then named off all three cell phone numbers attaching to my account. (Mine, Ptery’s, Jesse’s.) Apparently she was also getting a baby magazine directed to me.
Me? A baby magazine? Hardly.
I will not lie & say I remained calm throughout. Bloody hell dammit, I had worked hard this week, was entitled to some Friday night relaxation without being yelled at & called a lowlife by a complete stranger. I called her a bitch at one point. I think that’s the word I used. Or maybe I told her to frak off, only using the non-Battlestar Galactica version of the f-word? Don’t remember. Anyway, she scolded me — in a near-scream — that I shouldn’t use foul language, & later proceeded to call me a cunt. Ah, okay. Do as we say, not as we do.
All the same, as I reflected after she hung up on me, there must be some truth to the rumor she was getting some of my mail, since she couldn’t have gotten all three of our cell phone numbers without opening up one of our GCI phone bills. (Which means, I must add, that she committed a federal offense worth up to five years in prison under 18 U.S.Code 1702. Funny — she threatened to file charges against me, on what grounds I’m not sure. But I have pretty clear ground to stand on to file charges on her. Not that I will.)
Anyway, I decided to calm down & just try to get to the bottom of things. Her number, of course, was recorded on my cell phone — I don’t know her name, so she’s now listed in my address book as “Accusatory Woman.”
“I just want to get to the bottom of this,” I said when Accusatory Woman answered my phone call. She retorted, “So do I, so go to the post office and fill in a change of address form.” I tried to explain that I had lived at that address through August 2006, and my landlady was named [name not given to protect my landlady’s privacy]… & then I realized that Accusatory Woman had hung up on me.
So… I called my prior landlady.
“Yes, of course I remember you!” she said. And “yes, that sounds like it could be my present tenant,” she said after I told her about Accusatory Woman, and “she’s been having some issues.” She said she’d give her a call in the next couple of days — probably not tonight since Accusatory Woman didn’t appear to be in a receptive mode — & try to get any of my mail that Accusatory Woman might have, so that I could contact any businesses I did business with, etc. She asked after Ptery, asked after Jesse, told me what a pleasant polite young man he’d always been — it was a nice conversation, really. She sounded good.
And then I watched the rest of Lost Season 2. And the first ep of Lost Season 3. I quite like it, but not at the same fanatical level as, say, Battlestar Galactica (the reimagined version, of course).
Then today, after Side Street writing, I stopped by GCI and checked into whether my cell phone bills were really getting sent to my old address. See, it used to be that our GCI cable service was under my name & phone/internet was under Rozz’s (before Rozz became Ptery). Or vice versa, I can never remember. (This got changed a couple weeks ago when Ptery was still here: now everything’s under my name.) Anyway, when we moved here, the billing address for our cable service changed — of course it did, because it’s also the service address. I just assumed that the phone billing address moved over too, & the reason I didn’t get the bills in the mail was because I had asked them to only send my bills via email.
I guess I was wrong. And so Accusatory Woman, and whoever lived at that address between us moving out and her moving in (which I know at one point was my landlady, because I talked with her when I passed by there one day a year or so ago), was in fact getting some of my mail. Well, I get other prior tenant’s mail at my current address sometimes too, & it is kind of an annoyance. So much of an annoyance to Accusatory Woman, apparently, that she called to rant not only at me, but Ptery as well. (For some reason Jesse was spared.) I suppose — as I told my prior landlady when I called to tell her I’d fixed things with GCI — that Accusatory Woman had a particularly bad day yesterday, & when she got the mail it was the last straw & she popped her cork. But what came out was not champagne.
My prior landlady will still try to get any mail of ours that Accusatory Woman may have so I can deal with it, and I will go to the post office and do a change of address. I don’t know what to say about the alleged baby magazine. Probably junk mail, about which I can do little. She’ll also let Accusatory Woman know that I really did used to live there, and also that I don’t bear any grudge & don’t plan to file charges against her for her violation of federal law in opening my mail. It was all just simple misunderstanding, really. Nothing to go postal over. Heh.
Meantime, I’ve got the problem partly fixed. I’m less of a lowlife today than I was last night.
But I’m still a lowlife. Dammit. I need some beer.
P.S. By the way: I do too pay my cell phone bills. Sometimes I’m just a little late with them, is all.
P.P.S. It must be at least six months since I’ve watched an ep of Battlestar Galactica. I must do something about that.
P.P.P.S. It doesn’t seem entirely fair that Jesse was spared a rant call from Accusatory Woman. After all, he’s the one who racked up the most over-our-plan’s-“anytime-minutes”-limit of cell phone charges since April when he met his girlfriend. If she’d inspected our illegally opened phone bill more carefully, she’d see that.