By: Revanche

Wielding the big pen

October 27, 2009

There are some days when it feels like the big bad news is torrential, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.  Usually you can’t.  But there’s almost always something you can try to make it better: use your words.

vs. State of California

I called EDD five times a day since reading that letter, caught in the mill of bureaucracy.  I kicked myself, over and over, for scheduling my trip for the exact day that they wanted a phone interview.  “But,” I thought, “nothing I can do but keep on calling.”  Until I really listened to the voice prompts, and realized one day that they change slightly. They mentioned Saturday service during which most services would not be offered but that representatives would be available to help log online requests.  You’d better believe I was all over that website again, searching for that elusive online option.  I found a series of drop down menus that would suffice, and I wrote a thorough explanation for why a phone interview wasn’t necessary.  They provided a list of some 20-odd questions I had to be prepared to answer: I answered all of them in that form.  At the end of it, I clicked “send” with a prayer.

Result:  Win.

vs. county of San Diego

Immediately after receiving those fines, I fired off letters disputing the Toll Evasion Accusations.  In detail, I pointed out all the problems with paying a toll for which the amount was unstated.  I stopped short of making any nasty comments and offered to pay the original toll fee.

Result: 80% Win.  They want me to pay the original toll, plus $10 (vs. the original $50 fee) to cover their collection and processing.  To justify this, they’re calling the judgment “we’re right, but we’ll reduce the fee this one time for you.  Just pay our costs.”  Uh huh.  Jerks.

$39 cost to me, with a $120 discount.

vs. online class instructor
On a short quiz of only 10 questions, with a forced completion time, the percentage point loss when two of the questions are poorly worded is substantial.  I ran the possible equations, closed my eyes and picked a set of answers to submit – and lost the 50/50 gamble.  I sent the instructor an email letting him know the questions were ambiguous, and that I had run the numbers correctly supposing one of two interpretations.  I didn’t ask for my points back since he had to first acknowledge that my interpretations were valid.
Result:  Win.  The HTML had incorrectly rendered his text, and the question was posted incorrectly.  Points were returned to me.
Have you argued or negotiated your way to victory lately?  Will you, now?  Do share! I’ve got a few more pots on the stove bubbling away, I’ll fill you in on those when the incubation period is over.

6 Responses to “Wielding the big pen”

  1. WellHeeled says:

    AWESOME win against the EDD. 🙂

  2. eemusings says:

    So very glad for you (*feels the urge to burst into some spirited Rage Against the Machine*)

  3. Revanche says:

    WellHeeled: Thanks! 😀

    eemusings: Thanks! I can almost hear you from over here… 🙂

  4. SS4BC says:

    That is a lot of win – good winnings!

  5. Miss M says:

    what a record! On unemployment I got hit with an in-person interview when I was across country, I had to change my plans and fly back early. The only thing they wanted was to check that I had registered with caljobs, which I had and which they could check via their records. It was completely unnecessary and a waste of my time and their time.

  6. Revanche says:

    SS4BC: Thanks!

    Miss M: I was just bracing myself for something like that to happen. I feel a little guilty that I’m glad I probably got off easy this time because of the record high unemployment.

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