>Phone Collection

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Lydia rustled through the paper work on her desk. She really hated doing the monthly bills, but they were piling up again. The last bill to pay was her phone bill. First she needed to check her balance to make sure she had enough money.

Her addition sucked. She shoved the papers out of her way in search of the calculator. It was hidden under the paid pile.

After punching in the numbers she determined a shortage in her account. The phone bill would have to wait another month. Hopefully they would not shut off her phone before she could come up with the money needed to pay the bill.

Lydia noticed the time. She had better hurry or she would be late for work. Another day another dollar she thought. Did that mean another dollar less or more, she wondered. Lately it seemed like a dollar less.

She picked up her purse and keys along with a few paid bills and hurried out the door. Lucas was already waiting with the rest of the car pool.

Lydia waved her handful of envelopes at his window before taking a spot in the backseat. She felt crowded with three of them stuffed in the backseat. They were always fighting for a window. An hour ride to work every day, and sitting next to Allan was not her favorite thing to do. He was one of those people who had a problem with sweating and his deodorant did not always work.

This was one of those days. How wonderful, and it was her day to sit in the middle. “Hey Lucas, I hope you don’t mind…but could you stop at the nearest mailbox? Got some bills that need to go out.”

“Yeah…sure.”

“ Lydia…I got you a coffee this morning.” Carrie handed the hot drink cup to her.

“Thanks.” Lydia said. She exchanged the envelopes for the cup of coffee. The cup was still really hot. One road bump would be all it would take to toss that hot coffee on everybody in the back seat including herself. She would have to wait until they got to work before she dared take the lid off.

The office was not her favorite place to be. Not every one likes their job and Lydia was one of them. Ugh…she thought as she sat in her chair, stuffing her purse underneath her desk out-of-the-way

Lydia had a feeling that this would not be a good day. She took off the lid to her cup of coffee and almost dumped it all over her papers. That would have been a disaster in its self.

Patrick, her boss approached her desk and set a stack of files down for her to go through. “I need these people called immediately.”

“All right. I will get right on it.”

Lydia looked at the first file. It was for a woman in the state of Maine. The woman owed five hundred dollars to a credit company. This call went well with the woman agreeing to send in a substantial payment to cover the bill for one month.

The next file was for another woman living in Florida. She owed three hundred dollars for a doctor bill. This turned out to be another successful file taken care of.

The last file was the moment she had been bracing for. It was for a man who owed fifteen hundred dollars for some sporting equipment. She argued with him, for a good fifteen minutes, over the bill itself.

“You have the wrong number,” he kept stating. Finally he demanded to speak to her supervisor.

“Hold on one moment.”

Lydia found Patrick in his office and she explained the problem with the account. Patrick said he would handle it. She went back to her desk and forwarded the call to his office.

Five minutes later he stood in front of her desk. “ Problem with the account you just handled. It turns out to have been a wrong number listed in the file. If you had double checked the number before calling it you would have noticed the discrepancy in the number.”

Lydia pursed her lips together and made a silent Oh.

“ I have spoken to you about this for the last time. I have to let you go.” Ryan said sternly.

“But…but…” Lydia tried to plead.

“ You need to gather your things. You no longer work here.” Patrick moved the chair exposing her purse below the desk.

Lydia finally got the words out of her mouth. “ But I did not drive here today. I can’t leave until Lucas leaves.” She hoped if only she could get him to let her finish out the day. Maybe then he would change his mind.

“It does not matter.” He picked up the phone and punched in the numbers. “ Hi there…could you send a cab to 247 Office Park Drive. Great. Thank you.” Patrick hung up the phone. “They are sending you a cab. Get your stuff and let’s go.”

Lydia bit her trembling lip. She wondered why this could not have happened to Allan instead. Why did this have to happen to her.

She slipped the strap of her purse over her shoulder and followed Patrick out of the building.

The phone bill was going to have to wait. Maybe in a few months Allan would be calling her in an attempt to collect the payment from her. She never liked bill collectors anyways. This must have been why she never liked her job in the first place. She had become one of them in the end.

Copyright © December 2010

Bed Bug Ridden

Howard and Lorna just moved into their new home. They have come to learn they are not the only inhabitants of their new home.

“I never would have purchased this house if I’d known that…” Howard said to his wife.

“Known what?” she asked.

“About this house being infested.” He replied.

“Is that what you think the problem is?” Lorna held up her arm to examine the rash. Red marks covered her right arm and she had more of them on her right leg.

They just moved into the house on Friday. After spending the past three days in it, both of them were now covered with some sort of strange rash. The rash was itchy.

Howard ripped the sheets off the bed to expose the mattress underneath. It was clean. He then lifted the bottom of the mattress seperating it from the box spring. A couple of small bugs crawled closer to the center of the mattress.

“What are they?” Lorna tried to peer closer, helping him lift the mattress higher.

“I don’t know, but look there is a mess of them there in the corner.” He pointed to the far corner which had slid off the box spring.

Small brown bugs which looked like small beetles clung to the corner of the mattress. Howard grabed a can of bug spray and squirted it on them. There was no sign of them being effected by the spray.

“How do we kill them?” Lorna grabbed a kleenex and wiped them off the corner. She missed a couple and they fell onto the floor beside the bed. They scurried away under the bed.

“I’m going to go call an exterminator and see what he says.”

Howard left the room. Lorna followed him into the den where he searched through the yellow pages, searching for local exterminators. He found a couple of them and called them.

He told the exterminators of their problem with the bugs and the rashes. He tried to describe the bugs as best as he could over the phone.

“Bed bugs!” he said to the exterminators. “You say I have bed bugs?” He listened again to the exterminator.

“But how can my mattress be infested like it is? We have only been living here for three days now.”

Lorna listened patiently to the one sided conversation. She began to wish they had never moved out of their home they had lived in for the past fourteen years. A bug problem, they never had a bug problem before.

“When can you come out and take care of this infestation?” Howard asked the exterminator. This was the third exterminator he called. So far they were all back logged with current clients with extermination issues.

“In two weeks? I will keep looking then. Thank you for your time.” He hung up the phone and called yet another exterminator.

This exterminator was also booked up for the next month.

“This is rediculous.” Howard sat down on the sofa in the living room. He had called about ten exterminators in the area and they were all backed up for the whole month. Apparently every one was having a problem with bed bugs.

“Oh my God!” Lorna said. She noticed a bug crawling on her leg while she sat back on the sofa with Howard. “They are every where!” She smacked the bug on her leg, squishing it dead.

She lifted the cushion to the sofa and there were several bugs underneath the cushion. Lorna looked around the room. There seemed to be no where they could sit in the living room with out risking being bitten by the bugs. They would not be able to sleep in their bed either.

“I can’t live like this,” she told her husband. He looked just as distraught as she felt.

“I know…” he replied, “I can’t either.”

“We should never have moved.” Lorna said angerly.

“Well we are not going to deal with this problem much longer. I will take advantage of the home owners insurance. They can pay to for the removal of the bugs from this home.”

“But the homeowners insurance does not cover for infestation.” Lorna stated.

“I know… That’s why tomorrow I’m setting it on fire.”

Copyright © July 31, 2010 by Linda Nelson

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