Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Newsday: Expect an Invoice!

A five-year-old boy, Alex Nash, was invited to a birthday party at a local ski slope in Plymouth, Devon (England, for the geographically challenged). Due to a bit of over scheduling by dear old Mummy and Daddy, Alex was re-routed to grandma's house instead of attending the birthday party. So far, nothing out of the range of ordinary. It might have been all over if Alex didn't come home with a bill for the birthday party - about $26 dollars, if I can convert the currency (and you'd better not bet on my math regardless of how charming my typing may appear).

When first I heard this story, I thought that was insane. But I pondered the subject a little longer and I could see this scenario occurring with adults; we're just not jumping on it with the same enthusiasm. I'm talking about any situation when someone's time is wasted. You've probably heard of alimony (the time someone wasted on marriage converted to an insuffient dollar amount). Doctors' zealous receptionists are comfortable with the threat of monetary loss if you miss an appointment without a cancellation 48 hours in advance, yet they seem oblivious to wait time. We've got to start moving on this issue.

Time to mail out my invoices:

To my third grade teacher:  $144.00
In 1967, the minimum wage was $1.40. I spent at least thirty minutes a day perfecting my handwriting and trying to have the best cursive in my row of desks. In spite of what I was taught, nobody cares one iota about my handwriting.
   180 days in class x 30 minutes = 5400 minutes, or 90 hours.
   90 x $1.40 = $144.

To my seventh grade home economics teacher:  $288.00
In 1971, the minimum wage was $1.60. With immature hope and gullibility, I followed you blindly as you instructed me in the fine art of sewing. Whatever made you think that making that groovy tote bag was more important than using the time for something a little meatier? As a matter of fact, I happen to still know most of the girls in that class and they still can't sew - but I won't be invoicing you for them.

   180 days in class x 60 minutes = 10800 minutes, or 180 hours.
   180 x $1.60 = $288

To my first hospital job manager: $4480
Circa 1980?: I'm not sure what year it was, but I'm sure about the wage: $7.00 an hour (after all the extras were taken out) and a promise that I would be on "the list" for an official full time designation, which included benefits. Boy, I bought that tale hook, line, and sinker and kept running after that carrot on a stick. One day, it occurred to me that I never worked less than 40 hours a week and full time status was still not anywhere close to being mine.

This falls under the "fooled me once" category, so I will take some of the blame for this soul killing waste of time and resulting lack of tenure. Call it a 50% discount.

   40 hours x $7.00 = $280 to take home - and no benefits
   8 months before I woke up = 32 weeks x $280, or $8960.
   With the 50% discount, which I WILL HONOR BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I TOLD YOU:       $4480 (No, I'm not bitter.)

To my grocery store: $12.50
In 2015, the federal minimum wage is $7.25. In the past month, the great grocery cashiers have consistently been absent when I am ready to check out. Without fail, the newbie cashier I'm stuck with will encounter some big problem that totally blows their mind. After the dust clears, they call for a manager. One can only guess where the manager is, but I'll bet the manager is lunching with the great cashiers and leaving the less desirable lunch times to the newbie cashiers.

   7 newbie adventures x 15 minutes = 105 minutes, or 1.75 hours.
   1.75 hours x $7.25 = $12.6875...I'll slap a coupon on you and make it $12.50, because when I have           a coupon, I like to subtract it correctly from the total. I'm just sayin'...

Realistically, I can't type all this out and work on the invoices - I'm just duplicating tasks for your amusement. I need to get back to my invoicing. Mama wants to retire someday!  So...

  • If you're a mechanic who kept me waiting three or four hours for a repair - and then I had to come back again because the car wasn't actually fixed...
  • The OB/GYN office with fifteen doctors covering patients, yet somehow, I was always waiting for a doctor who was tied up with a delivery...
  • My children that missed a curfew or kept me waiting in a parking lot when you needed a ride home...
  • That dental office in the mall that lured me in with the promise of convenient hours...
  • Every plumber I ever knew...
  • All the cable guys and "satellite" television hawkers...
  • Anyone selling anything at supper time...
  • Every schmuck who wants to offer me a lower credit card rate...that I have to take advantage of because it is the last time it will be offered...

....expect some mail. I've got a whole lot of wasted time that needs some redemptive invoicing.


  1. Well, you'll certainly not receive an invoice for my time spent enjoying your post, Cherdo. I delighted in it!

    1. Geo., dear, you are never on my invoice list. :-)

  2. I read that story! I was completely on the side of Alex and his parents. Ain't no way you can charge someone to not come to your birthday party.

    1. I'll even throw the other party a bone and say it might have been rude on the part of Alex's family...but if we start charging for rudeness - yikes! No end to those invoices.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    I needed to delete my first comment because it contained typos which I didn't catch even after proofreading. That's what happens when you comment in your sleep. :)

    I hope you don't send me a bill for all the time you have spent waiting to "get" my jokes.

    (Wait for it.......... BA-DUM-BUMP)

    I can relate to several of these. For years I dreaded having to visit my family doctor for my annual physical examination. The night before the exam I'd stay awake cramming till dawn :) and arrive 15 minutes early for my appointment. In success seminars I was taught that if you arrive for an appointment 15 minutes early you are right on time. If you arrive at the scheduled time you are 15 minutes late, Apparently my doctor never received that training. Year after year I waited an hour or more after the designated time just to get transferred from chairs to the exam room. That space turned out to be purgatory because there was even more waiting involved until the apologetic doctor finally walked through the door. I am happy to report that the clinic where he practices has made reforms, time management among them. When I visited the doctor a few weeks ago he was able to see me within 10 minutes of the scheduled time. As I was leaving his office I was handed a survey that asked how long I was required to wait before being seen. I am ecstatic over this improvement.

    I think we can all relate to long check-out lines and slow clerks at the supermarket and other stores. However I am happy to report improvements on that front at the food mart I use most often.

    I feel like I should mail a check to my handwriting teacher. As a lefty, I had my hand smacked with a ruler by my first grade teacher who insisted that I learn to use my right hand. Left handedness was no longer an issue by the time I learned to write and I enjoyed the process so much and did so well that I won a penmanship contest at my school. Ironically, the two runners-up, both girls, were also both left handed.

    Happy Tuesday, dear friend Cherdo!

    1. In answer to your deleted post:
      1) No, I haven't actually modeled.
      2) Why yes, I would like you to send me a huge stack of cash, if it's not too much trouble.
      3) Not as often as you'd think.

      My oldest son is a lefty and so is my dear mother. Remember, the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, so only lefthanders are in their right mind. Bet that was a surprise.

      What is your weather like today, Shady? Ours is COLD and we have grey clouds overhead. I've been running errands all morning, but I think I'm going to have to invoice myself for wasting time complaining about the cold.

      Gotta push myself back out the door for an appointment. Stay cozy! Have a good afternoon, SDK.

    2. I'm trying to figure out a way to delete your reply, Cherdo, because I'm pretty sure some of it is off color and I am easily offended. :) Speaking of color (the color of money), I wish I could send you some, dear friend, but all my spare, excess, surplus money is being funneled elsewhere lately. Let's just call it my least favorite charity. :)

      It started out very cool here, around the upper 30s, but it's turned into a nice sunny day although breezy and cool, in the low 60s. This beats the summer heat and humidity.

      I hope you got to your appointment on time (which means you arrived 15 minutes early :).

    3. It's 63 degrees at 5 p.m. No chilly breeze today. Franklin has been out all afternoon and doesn't want to come in.

    4. Shady: I do a lot of funneling, too - I just didn't have the terminology down. I thank you, sir. And I always arrive early!

      Janie: I'm with Franklin. It's cold here. Like 33 degrees cold.

  5. You're so persuasive, can you possibly formulate and send out for me a bill for the people who called me in for an interview, called me back again and again and again and then told me that they hadn't been considering me at all, just were 'curious'? Not sure what to charge them, but I think I did have some serious damage to my circulatory system because I kept myself from telling them what I thought of them.

    1. "To Whom It May Concern:

      We're sorry you haven't chosen to purchase the Complete Diana Wilder in 3D package. Please consider us in the future.

      I've attached the invoice for the Diana Wilder Meet-and-Great Sampler Experience (net 30).

      Kindest regards,
      Diana Wilder
      (Serious Professional)"

      Yep. That oughtta do it.

  6. I wonder what would happen if some of these invoices were actually mailed out? I did read about the invoice to the kid who didn't go to the birthday party. Last Saturday we had a party at the clubhouse here which had a sign up sheet of nearly 50 people. We set up for them, but we had one table completely empty with all it's decorations. Ten people who had signed up didn't appear and not one called to say why.

    1. Rude is just rude. If you accept an invitation, you need to follow up. Even if they weren't able to make it at the last minute, they could have saved you the effort of putting up the tables, etc. I would have called them and said you were waiting...or that you already put food on their plate, ha ha. But, as you know, I'm weird like that.

  7. CHERDO ~
    You go get 'em, Tigress!

    Your math looked fine to me (although my brain shuts down like two tons of bricks falling from a 12 story building whenever I see numbers).

    So, say, if I sent you all my own details of wasted time, you s'pose you would work up a compensation sheet for me to send in also? I can't pay you in money, but I do have a (partially consumed) bottle of Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita I could send you as a form of payment. Deal?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground

    1. I'm thinking I could set up a comp sheet and some exorbitant interest rate, just for you.

      The alcohol is of no use to me - I can't even have the REAL Coca-Cola that I crave (I'm in a love-hate relationship with diet drinks of all kinds). But I appreciate the thought from the Underground...

      Be a good boy, STMcC. Or have fun.

  8. I think I would be rich if I billed all the time spent waiting and having my time wasted. Love it!

  9. I'd be both rich and a pauper of people started back charging for things.

    1. That's the truest statement on this page. You are as wise as you are art-loving. ;-)

  10. Oh, dear. One year I canceled my son's birthday party because only one parent of the ten or so kids who were invited bothered to RSVP. I wasn't going to pay full price for a roller skating party with one kid, plus mine. We did take that one boy roller skating. I wonder about people who have expensive catered dinners at their wedding receptions and it costs a million dollars/plate. It must be quite upsetting when people who said they were coming don't show because the money must be paid no matter what. Fortunately, I spend very little time waiting on line in the grocery store. My plumber is a saint who shows up as quickly as he can and then pats me on the back while I cry over the bill. I certainly can't complain about the mechanic who takes care of my car. In defense of mechanics: Sometimes they can't hear the little cha-chugga noise that you say your car makes. They drive the car around, and it runs perfectly. You get it back and hear cha-chugga. You return to the mechanic. He spends more time on your car and finally hears cha-chugga. Fixing cha-chugga might be considered two billable hours. Meanwhile, he has spent six hours on your car. He only gets paid for two. Recently, Favorite Young Man had to take the top off of a convertible and replace it. I think the task allowed for eight billable hours. He had never replaced the top of a convertible before and couldn't find anyone who knew how to do it. He took another convertible apart so he could see how it went together. He spent more than twenty hours on that job. FYM works very hard.


    1. You're invited to a million dollars/plate dinner at my house. Hurry! Send me your money now!

    2. Janie: Send the money! Don't ask question! Financial responsibility is for squares.

      I hate the party story, but I love that you took the one boy that did respond. What's wrong with kids that they wouldn't want to go to a roller skating party. Give me all their numbers - I'll follow up.

      I love mechanics that just do what they say they will - and I know a few, too (thank you, Lord). But I've seen some really annoying escapades in my time. I'm envisioning those jokers when I think of invoicing.

      If you go to Shady's million dollar dinner, can I be your plus one - or do you think we'd both have to cough up the dough? We can eat off of the same plate, like puppies, if necessary.

    3. I don't mind eating off the same plate. I imagine the kids wanted to go roller skating. Their parents were too lazy to respond to the invitation. That was about 25 years ago. I know some stories about naughty mechanics because I've heard FYM and co-workers talk. I'll never tell.


Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo