Clerical Note:
Misdirected
12 December 2018

¶ Tucked under the front door this afternoon was a love note from the building management, a First Notice concerning non payment of rent. This occasioned several trips to the management office. 

I had paid the rent on Monday. I had slipped the envelope into the little mailbox that the management has installed in the wall next to its interior entrance. Could I remember the check number? I was asked. Miraculously, I could: 726. But the last check that the management had received from me was numbered 715 — last month’s rent. I went back upstairs to check. Yes: 726 was the check number.

When I returned to the office, I was met with a curve ball: was I, by any chance, a customer of Diner’s Club?

It became obvious at once. I had printed three checks on Monday, one of them to AT & T, one of them to the building management, and one to Diner’s Club. Then I affixed postage stamps to the two envelopes that needed to be mailed, but not to the rent check, because that was headed for the little mailbox downstairs — no postage required. Then, on my way out to run errands, I grabbed the envelope that didn’t have a stamp on it and slid it through the slot. At the Post Office, I mailed the other two bills. But the unstamped envelope that I deposited in the management office’s receptacle wasn’t the rent check. I had made a little mistake, and then compounded it by not looking at what I put into the management office’s  mailbox. The very nice women in the office remembered finding a Diner’s Club payment amidst other people’s rent checks. They hadn’t opened the envelope, and there was no return address (I can’t be bothered), so they didn’t know who the sender was, but they kindly put a stamp on the envelope and sent it on its way. Now, two days later, they made a connection, bearing in mind that I always pay the rent on time. 

I had brought down a blank check, which I filled out in payment of the rent. Whether I’ll be charged a late fee, and what will happen when check 726 arrives in the mail, remains to be seen. 

Believe me, it would all be much, much worse if I tried to make use of automatic online payments.

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