Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pay up or Else !!!!

One of the more unique events of recent times occurred in the Wayside Tavern car park during broad daylight.

Agents repossed a car.

The saga of the person who thought they could keep the car but not make repayments had reached its unfortunate and inevitable conclusion.

We all watched with an unavoidable vicarious thrill as the agents surrounded, identified, then winched the car onto a tilt-truck.

All in all a very exciting change from the ordinary.

Like all others present, Mine Host presumed that his involvement went no further than furtively observing the events of the repossession through the office window.

A few weeks pass, then comes a letter for Mine Host. Clearly addressed to him, from the finance company which had repossessed the car.

The letter named Mine Host as the defaulter, detailed the amount "still owing", and made a demand for immediate payment of the "amount outstanding".

Mine Host has never had any involvement with this finance company, not as a client, employee, informant, contractor, or supplier.

This finance company bears the name of, and is owned by the instantly recognisable worldwide firm which manufactured the car.

The application & investigation process by a finance company, when granting a personal loan, is not a process in which the identity of the borrower is prone to be overlooked or mistaken.

Thus Mine Host, quite reasonably, is gape-jawed that this firm seems to have forgotten to whom they loaned the money, and from whom they subsequently had to repossess the car.

He is equally mystified as to why this firm then ups & decides to name HIM as the defaulter.

A phone call to the debt recovery hotline listed on the letter brings unanticipated results.

Instead of abject apology, the signatory to the letter (a bone-headed debt collector remember) launches into a fusillade of questions about the actual debtor. Does Mine Host know this person? Does he have any connection to this person? Will you be paying the bill? WHEN will you be paying the oustanding amount? And sir, how could your name have "just got" onto our database? etc etc etc.

Mine Host briefly outlined his belief that the identity, whereabouts & anything else about the debtor was not his concern.

His only concern was the the finance company rectify their error, immediately, in writing.

Due to the intractable nature of the debt collector, the matter will now be handled between Mine Host's preferred law firm and the debt collector's very very high up (& presumably embarrassed) superiors.

The debt recoverer was offered control over the ultimate outcome. He gave away this control.

Some people have a tin ear when it comes to career matters.

Friday, May 04, 2007

They are still down there!

Many years ago, Mine Host's father shot a crocodile in notable circumstances in the bed of a channel in the region of the East Alligator River. Mine Host now possesses two items which show signs of the encounter, the skin of the crocodile, and the rifle.

Mine Host pondered upon this, looking down on the now flooded East Alligator plains. To the east in Arnhem Land there are Buffalo galore, in surprising numbers, however there is little sign of them on the East Alligator plains.

Crocodiles however, are still there in numbers aplenty.

Surreal moment of the journey: At one territory hostelry, Mine Host was served both Camel and Buffalo as "native" dishes.