(FAIR WARNING: this is gonna be one of those rant-y, vent-y posts. You’ve been warned.)
Ever had one of those days? How ’bout one of those weeks?
Yeah…It’s been one of those, only it’s been going for about 22 months now.
So here’s the thing.
The hubs underwent his fourth cervical spine surgery in mid-July 2009. This resulted in a permanent disability. Now, the hubs, to that point, made a really decent living as a licensed electrician. Fortunately, he had short term disability through our workplace (THE HARTFORD SUCKS, by the way). Only, then? They didn’t suck because they did what they were supposed to do and paid his short term on time. After the six month short-term point, the disability (THE HARTFORD SUCKS) company picked up his long-term disability. At this point, they recommended that he start applying for Social Security Disability, which he did. Several times. Long story short? It took three years and an attorney to get SSD approved.
Now, we’re not stupid, and we understood that 40% of his disability would be paid by the private disability company (THE HARTFORD SUCKS) and 60% through SSD. We also understood that 60% of any retroactive amount paid to us through SSD would need to be repaid to the private company. And we held that amount back. The retroactive amount came to us in March, 2012. The judge found his effective disability date to be May, 2011, so there was a ten month retroactive lump sum. In June of 2012 the private disability company (did I mention THE HARTFORD SUCKS?) up and stopped making their share of the payments. We didn’t get a bill. We didn’t get a statement. The payments just stopped. We ended up having to hit up our savings (that was the amount that we’d set back and what had been in there prior) to make up the cost of living. (Keep in mind that the amount we suddenly stopped receiving was/is more than one of my paychecks, which isn’t exactly shabby.)
Now it is May of 2014 and the hubs has been after said company for an itemized statement of charges/reimbursements due them for over a year now. Yes, over a year. We still haven’t received payment one from them since June of 2012. Yeah…TWENTY TWO MONTHS, people! Well, about eight months ago the savings ran out, so we’ve been really struggling to make ends meet, and they have taken way more than their share of the retroactive amount due them, so we’ve contacted an attorney. I am not going to quote dollar figures, here, but when he actually got to talk to a real person at the unnamed disability company earlier this week, the dollar figure they quoted him as what we still owe them? It is big enough to choke a horse. Oh, and it’s wrong…and they said they’d have an itemized statement in the mail that day. It’s been almost a week and still no statement in the mail. Guess what, Hartford…you screwed with the wrong crazy person. I’m all good till you a) mess with my kids; b) mess with my spouse; or c) screw with my money. Well they’ve hit two out of three and I have legal counsel. Yeah, I finally sucked it up and called my attorney.
So when I say we’ve had our fair share of shitty luck over the past year or so? I’m not exactly exaggerating. The kitchen sub-floor needed to be replaced last winter (and guess who got to do it?), one of the kids has been in a financial bind and I’ve been unable to really help him out, one kid got married and I simply didn’t have the cash available to fly three quarters of the way across the country for the wedding, and then there have been mammograms, biopsies, endoscopies, colonoscopies, and dental work bits that my insurance hasn’t covered. I have tried to find a second job to attempt to keep the ends meeting, but the economy’s bad and I’m no spring chicken. Fine. We’ve been handling things pretty well until recently. (Read: IRS.) So that was strike two this week.
So here’s where it starts to become the Vodka Chronicles:
We’ve had some fairly nasty weather in this neck of the woods, which I shared with you last weekend. On Wednesday it was supposed to be really severe, but we lucked out and simply got a crap-ton of hard rain. I had to stop at the grocery store up the street to pick a few things up. As I was leaving, I was almost T-boned in the parking lot exit. Thank goodness the guy in the right exit lane was far enough behind me that I only cut him off a little before I jumped the curb when that asshole in the big, white, Chevy Silverado 4×4 didn’t bother to mind the stop sign and almost hit me. Okay, fine. I can handle one close call.
This morning, on the way to work, I avoided TWO more accidents. The first was the guy in the Mitsubishi that apparently didn’t see me and was in a huge hurry to get around the dump truck in front of him. He started easing over into my lane, and thankfully I saw him coming, so I slowed down and he only managed to cut my ass off by about a hair’s width. No signal, no nothing. Did I mention Ass Hat? No? Well, then…ASS HAT! Look where you’re going, jerk!
So I’m getting my heart rate back down to a manageable level when the little old lady in the maroon Chevy Traverse tries to take me out. I’m in the middle lane, looking to get into the right exit lane, and there’s a truck back that right lane. Apparently the little old lady decides she needs to be in my spot, in my lane. She just comes right on over, as if she’s the only car on the road. I don’t even have time to lay on the horn. Obviously, my personal Higher Power was looking out for me and the guy in the truck in the far right lane must have had hindsight. It was either veer into the right lane or let Grandma hit me, so veer it was. *WHEW,* y’all. By the time I got to work, I was ready for an adult beverage or a Valium, one.
I mentioned the wicked weather we’ve been having. Shortly before the close call in the grocery store parking lot, I’d been talking to the hubs on the phone about the grocery list and he said the power flickered. Well…after committing to the May 1st Challenge that Lisa posted on her blog, I went out to the studio yesterday to lift some weights. I usually listen to music on Spotify when I work out and found my iMac turned off. I assumed that the power glitch from the day prior might have shut it down, so I rebooted, and it never really came up right, so I went ahead and worked out, thinking I would work on it today after work.
Yeah. Kick a girl when she’s down, right? I tried several times to reboot my Mac and it froze before everything came up. I went through the owner’s manual and attempted to boot that puppy up holding down this key, that key, this combination of keys and that combination of keys. At one point I tried to re-install the operating system, but got a message that my hard drive had S.M.A.R.T. errors, and they could not be repaired. Oh, shit. Seriously? The Mac is my MAIN computer. I have a shaky Windows laptop, which I’m typing on now (and I ADORE, do you hear me Windows laptop?) and saving every few minutes, you know…just in case…as my backup, but most of my photo editing and the like is done on the Mac. I called Apple support. Yes, the hard drive is toast. What’s it going to run to get it replaced? Oh, only the expendable cash we don’t have because we’re short the equivalent of more than one of my paychecks every month. (THE HARTFORD SUCKS!!!!!!)
So, on the advice of my attorney, I will be typing up a narrative timeline (with screen shots) of what we received from whom, and when so that they can represent us when they go up against that disability company.
Apparently, I will be doing this tomorrow, because right now I am just so pissed off I can’t see straight, and it’s been hard to keep THIS post polite enough for Mom to read (which she does, on occasion), so I know, that after the couple vodka tonics I’ve had already, typing a narrative with the right dates and amounts would not be the smart choice.
So, Rob? Here is the post we talked about last night, although I didn’t realize I would be REALLY frustrated when I typed it.
Until next freaking time…
P.S. Is it wrong that after a hellish week at work, a falling out with my middle son, a go ’round with the disability company and THREE vehicular near-misses that it was the horked hard drive on my Mac that drove me to tears?
P.S.S. I did, by the way, get a phone call this week from a manager at Walmart apologizing for the treatment we received at our local store a couple of weeks back, so there’s that. We can go back now.