Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time To Pay

I got thinking the other day that it must be getting close to the time of year to pay for my medical insurance again.  I got out my previous years stuff and sure enough it had to be paid before the end of March.  I never use this insurance, I just have it in case something major happens, so I kind of forget about it for most of the year.

Friday morning I proceeded downtown to the office with my folder of documents in hand.

When I entered the office it looked like a confusing mess.  The lady that usually sits at the desk and directs people to the correct window for their questions was missing.

  One gentlemen waved me over to his line and told me the lady wasn't in today and that I should stand in line behind him.  He was lined up for a different window than I usually go to for my payment forms and stuff so I asked him if this was the right line to do that.  He didn't think so and directed me to the line that I had thought I should be in.  Everyone was wandering around looking confused, it was kind of funny.  I moved over to the line that I thought I should be in and stood and waited.  The young fellow in front of me turned and asked me what I was there to do.  I explained and he seemed to think that I should just go straight over to the counter.  Hmm, that wasn't what I did last year, last year I had to line up at that window first and get papers before going to the counter.  I always doubt my knowledge so took his advice and went over to the counter where I was informed that I needed to be in the line I had just left first.  Too funny, I should go with my own ideas sometimes I guess.  The young man ahead of my just grinned and shrugged.

When it was my turn, the gentleman behind the counter remembered me from other years and asked me how I had been.  We did the usual pleasantries and then got down to business.  He looked over my papers from last year, entered his data to get this years forms and hit "print".  Nothing happened, he hit it again and waited, rolling his eyes as his stuff was in the line with everyone elses stuff to be printed.  All the windows use the same printer.  He waited, then the fellow working at the next window had a problem with his computer and his stuff wouldn't print.  He asked for help, and they couldn't get it going.  My papers were in the line behind his stuff so I waited also.  After much eye rolling he grabbed his cup and said he was going to get a glass of water and the lady came over to work on his computer.  She got his going and it printed out his stuff; but mine still wouldn't print.  The fellow at my window re-arranged the paper in the feed, shut the machine off and still it wouldn't work, by then he and the fix it lady were standing around the printer and basically scratching their heads.  We were joking back and forth about the machines, etc., and he asked the ladies to start dancing and maybe it would work.  I told him then that he should close his eyes, turn around 3 times and then hit the machine hard and it would work.  Amid much laughter from everyone he actually did it. Too funny.  Finally the fix it lady came and sat down at his computer and tried to get it to work.  We chatted as she played with the computer and she told me that she keeps all the machines in the office running, over 100 and that there are many problems with them every day.  Eventually she got it to work, I thanked her, the worker thanked her and he handed me the forms to sign.  Two different forms, 3 copies of each, all needing my signature.  That done he told me to go to the guy at the counter and he would give me the forms to take to the bank to pay.

  I wandered over to the counter and saw the husband of one of the ladies that works at our local mini market store so we had a chat while I waited.  The counter fellow also remembered me from other years so we had to go through all the pleasantries again before he could print off my forms.  That all done I headed off to the bank to pay, and then to a copy store for the required copies of the form.  Back again to the office where I handed over my forms.  They stamped them all, gave me back the original for my files and bada bing bada boom I am done for another year.

Start to finish about 2 hrs. with the majority of the time spent waiting on a recalcitrant printer.  Pretty good and very simple renewal.  It was also that easy last year so this year I thought something would have changed to make it so that I needed something else; but nope, easy peesy.

Done for another year.

In spite of the malfunctioning machines, it was actually a kind of nice morning, no one was angry, upset or yelling.  Everyone was smiling, joking and just generally being pleasant.  If you have to do paperwork and pay bills that type of attitude sure makes it easier to bear.

Just another day in Mexico.  Gotta love it.


Steve Cotton said...

An d you just reminded me of another task. My FM3 renewal. I need to get working on it. Otherwise it will not be done b y the time I fly off to Egypt.

Brenda said...

Have fun, ours are good until beginning of October so I have some time before that comes.

1st Mate said...

It struck me that your ability to speak Spanish was a huge help in this experience, as I'm sure it smoothes the way in every interaction you have in Guaymas. Not to speak of the fact that it made it all more fun. And your infectious sense of humor helped a lot, too. Bravo!

Brenda said...

Thanks Bliss; although my Spanish stills leave much to be desired at least I can make a boring time more enjoyable now.
My sense of humour is at times, or so I have been told, quite strange lol.
Oh well, if you have to wait in line you may as well enjoy it.
Miss you at class; but sounds like you are having fun with your music.