Thursday, February 02, 2006

It's the small things that get you....

I'm sorry for not posting any updates recently. Work has been incredibly busy for me - I'm deep into a bunch of really cool software development so its been hard to switch gears back to writing English instead of code (not to mention speaking Spanish). But my time has also been wasted trying to resolve a bunch of little things - it's been like death by a thousand paper cuts. Some of these have included:

  • Our last purchase of Skype minutes for calling out to people didn't go through. Our credit card was charged by the Skype's processing company (MoneyBookers) but the credit never showed up in our Skype account. Skype's customer service claimed it wasn't their problem and that I needed to contact MoneyBookers. MoneyBookers never answered my e-mails to their customer service department and for some reason, Skype has their customer service numbers blocked so I couldn't call them. And even if I could have called them, I didn't have the credits in Skype to do so. This finally got resolved today after I had to spend much time making a royal pain in the ass of myself in Skype's customer forums.
  • It took me two days to get the final installment of the rent on our house in Peru wired. Between a dodgy network connection and USAA Federal Savings Bank's customer service hours not really being what the claim on their web site, it took two days of calling to get this resolved. At least I can take comfort in the fact that I'm now certain to be on some watch list for some shadowy U.S. intelligence agency. I am now a U.S. citizen that called from Peru to wire money from a U.S. bank to an account in a Indonesia that belongs to an English citizen.
  • Finally, I'm still in an ongoing struggle to get reimbursed for Will's daycare post-Katrina from our dependent care flexible spending account (FSA). We had started the account when my company merged with SAIC to cover his costs at Newcomb this fall. Once the storm hit and Newcomb was flooded, we requested that our contributions to this account be stopped since we were not sure if we'd have a change to even use the money already in the account. When we returned to New Orleans two months later, we were fortunate enough to find another pre-school for Will and we submitted their bill for reimbursement from our FSA. It was rejected because stopping our contributions resulted in us being considered to be no longer enrolled in the FSA. Even though the FSA is supposed to cover any expense in the calendar year, we're now finding we're being denied access to our own money. Fortunately, I have an awesome HR representative from my company batting for me on this one so there is hope yet.
Taken singly, none of these is all that major (except maybe for the last one) but dealing with them all together has just been a royal pain. I'm looking forward to getting away for a long weekend this coming weekend and doing my best to not thing about all the work stacking up.


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