Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Insider's View

To be God
The view from on top of the water tank at the new property

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. My friends and family can all attest to one moment or another when I was a little too trusting.

And for that reason it has taken me a long time with NPH to commit to this blog some of the little daily frustrations.

For example, I received a phone call last week from the phone company. My account was expiring that day, so they need payment or my service would be cut.

Now this isn't my personal phone. This is my NPH phone, used to accomplish NPH things, but apparently not very important to NPH accounting.

Also, I generally receive these calls every month. As I understand it, they cut my service most months because my payment due date is before the bill normally arrives in the mail.

The most fun is when I arrive at the airport in Managua fresh from a trip to help support NPH and I discover I have no phone service because my bill hasn't been paid and it wouldn't be a problem except the office has forgotten what time my plane gets in (7 PM) and isn't there to pick me up.

After I visited the phone company and was assured that they could not sent the bills out any earlier and I couldn't pay online because I needed a number on the bill to do so, the only option was to go each month and pay in person.

Since I am not part of the payment department at NPH, I can't do that, but I worked it out with someone who would. And so for 3 heavenly months I didn't get my service cut off. Then the worker went on maternity leave and for 3 additional mysterious months, I didn't get my service cut off.

But of course, it couldn't last.

So when I received the call I went to the accounting department to ask if they had paid. I learned well long ago that just because they say they're going to cut off your service, it doesn't mean you haven't paid.

Accounting said they haven't paid because they didn't receive the bill. They also made sure to let me know it wasn't their responsibility to pay bills that didn't come in. So I asked whose responsibility it was to track down these bills, and I was informed that it was the responsibility of the company that is billing.

Ok, so I've lived here for a short while, but I'll let you in on what is apparently a secret, the companies don't always sent the bill on time! Incredible! I know! But apparently the people in the NPH accounting office don't know! Shhh!

So I was told I was welcome to go to the phone company myself that day(although there was no transportation available) and get the bill.

I decided to decline the exciting field trip like so many other similar opportunities I've been given (got to draw the line somewhere or I wouldn't have time for construction!) and let them figure out what to do because I've got a secret weapon. The director's phone account expires the same day mine does and sometimes he gets slightly better help than I do.

So all the accounts will be paid in the end. Whether or not there is a fine this month is yet to be known.

But one thing I HAVE learned!

If I don't worry about all the little things that happen every day like this, nothing would get done!

On the other hand, if I do worry about all the little things that happen every day like this, I won't get anything done!

And I would get an ulcer. Trying not to worry wins!

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