One day last week, I walked out my front door which I rarely do. Not even sure what prompted it, but glad it happened. I walked out the door onto the front porch and as I grabbed the doorknob to pull it shut, I felt something. Looking closer, it was what I call a “doorknocker”. You know…what those lawn companies put on your front door when they comb your neighborhood in the late winter months right before spring…However, upon closer look, it wasn’t a “let us spray your yard for weeds” ad at all…instead it was a notice from Spire (previously known as Alagasco). The “notice” stated my gas had been disconnected and I’d need to call 1.800.xxx.xxxx to pay my bill.
Seriously yall, like WITW??? How could my gas (hot water and heat) be cut off for non-payment when my payments have been autodrafted for 14 yrs at the same address from the same bank account? How could or would they just “turn me off” with NO email, mail, phone call, or knocking on my door notice? Something wasn’t right!!! I quickly called the 800 number only to be met with “you must pay $xxx.xx (A LOT OF FREAKING MONEY…ESPECIALLY AT THE END OF THE MONTH WHEN YOU ONLY GET PAID ONCE A MONTH) in order for your service to be restored…along with a $50 reconnection fee AND a $175 deposit.
Ok…sorry…but what just happened here? Yall, for realz…my life…you CANNOT make this stuff up. I called a friend who has been with Alagasco/Spire for 20 yrs in hopes that maybe he could help and have some pull. Shortly after that…resolving to a night without hot water and heat (it was mild so thankfully not needed), I explained the situation to my 16 yo daughter and went to bed.
Next day…after calling and talking with a Spire representative, who was very nice I might add, learning what caused the fiasco and realizing it wasn’t due to any wrong doing on my part, but was going to affect me…I paid the $xxx.xx and anxiously awaited Spire’s rep return to my home the following day to restore service. Due to my friend’s help, they waived the $175 and I was only charged the $50 fee over and above the 3 months past due bill (not all of which was at this residence…long story).
Top 8 Things this Experience Taught Me…
- Good friends with connections are really valuable and appreciated, thank you, Jeff.
- Don’t ever misuse those friends. Reserve “favors” for times when you really need them and be willing to repay when the opportunity presents itself.
- Good people as long time friends are one of life’s greatest blessings.
- Sometimes other people’s actions (like not paying bills) can and WILL impact you. There is NOTHING you can do about it. That sucks. It’s not fair. AT ALL. But that’s life. Yet another time I’ve had to “suck it up buttercup”!
- No matter how much you plan and try to be fiscally responsible, you can bet the devil will do anything he can to try and sabatoge your plans and make you feel like a failure and try to stress you out!
- You CAN live without hot water for 2 days.
- If you ever get divorced, make sure all the bills are in your name. ALL THE BILLS. No matter how many years you’ve been paying them.
- Usually (in my experience) the devil will use this type of experience to bring you down. He will use it to bolster his lies about you being a failure. He will try and find another way to attack you at the same time to send you a double blow and kick you while you are down. That’s just his style. He’s a COWARD and only hits below the belt. He uses other people to do his bidding so you will focus on that person and what “they’ve done to you” and not focus on the real source of pain and that’s the DEVIL. He wants you to turn against people and harbor bitterness and unforgiveness towards an individual. That will keep your mind busy and start to harden your heart…That’s his way. Do yourself a favor and DON’T let satan get a foothold. Trust God and look to HIM…HE will sustain you.
THEN…guess what I did the day AFTER my gas was literally disconnected…cutoff…notice on the door…CAN YOU SAY HUMILIATED???
Yep…I drove myself to Starbucks and bought a $5 coffee like I didn’t have a care in the world. Like there was something completely normal and logical about buying a $4.87 tall blonde flat white with vanilla cup of coffee when your gas has been turned off and you have to pull $450 out of your BEEEEEP! WITW???
Yall, I don’t know what to say. I can’t decide if what I did was an act of belligerence against the world for throwing me yet ANOTHER load of crap that I had to fix and figure out…an act of oblivious denial pretending that everything is really ok and that I am going to be just fine financially…or an act of entitlement thinking “after all I’ve been through and as hard as I work, I deserve a $5 cup of coffee” (insert eye roll). Truth is…$5 on a cup of coffee had little, if any, impact on me paying that $450. BUT I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t much more left in my account after buying the coffee. (insert shoulder shrug).
There is something eerily comforting about knowing payday is 48 hrs away. At the same time…ONLY IN AMERICA…would a person…i.e. MEEEEEEE…think it would ever be appropriate or acceptable to “treat yo self” (treat myself) to am overpriced cup of branded coffee when I am in debt, over my head in expenses, working my butt off to make sure everything is getting paid, while anxiously awaiting the Spire man to come by and turn my gas back on.
WOW…at times even I am dumfounded at my ridiculousness, entitlement and screwed up priorities (INSERT FACEPALM). I debated about whether to share this life moment. It is sort of embarrassing and on the verge of humiliating! But then I thought…this is REAL Life.
It’s a mess and it’s my life. 2019 WILL be the year that I get my stuff together. I used to have it “ALL” together…or so everyone thought. That was NEVER the case. My heart was dangerously hard and behind closed doors things looked very different than what the world “chose” to believe. It takes a
while long time to recover from such deception. Even if the deception is completely accidental and unintentional.
SO…I spell it out here and share it publicly. I have no problem being transparent. Who knows…maybe what I say will resonate with someone else?? One thing is for sure…hiding behind a facade or “having it all together” does NOT WORK!! I am done living in shame behind the curtain of “everything is rosy”. The ONLY rose-colored glasses around here are cracked.
the whole truth & nothing but,