Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Scarlet Check Bouncer....
this column isn't finished, they came to take me to jail. I'm an
honest person, more or less. I would not deliberately write a
bad check. But this week I did a very bad thing. It was an
accident, I swear. You are thinking, "That's what they all
say," aren't you?
It all started when I decided to take the plunge and replace my
shabby, worn-out carpet with some of that new pre-finished
hardwood. I have made several trips to look and we even had
someone out to measure and give us bids. We picked our favorite,
Brazilian teak, gorgeous, and I wrote a check for the down
That was that -- except for one minor detail. I have two
You can probably fill in the blanks at this point. Yes, I used
the wrong checkbook, the one I use for small purchases, the one
attached to my debit card, the one without much money in it.
I figured it out when I used my debit card and the store
wouldn't accept it. Stupid clerk, I thought. I know I have
plenty of money to cover a $10 purchase. Then there was also a
stupid clerk at the drugstore that very same day. It dawned on
me that I might have a problem.
I checked online banking to see what was going on with my bank
account and to my horror it was $2000 in the red. Don't tell
anyone. The bank might cover an error until I could transfer
some money. But I could understand them not wanting to go into a
hole for that much.
The more you need to talk to someone, the harder it is to get
through to customer service. After spending 30 minutes talking
to the bank's automated recordings and finally being cut off, I
decided to just go to the bank in person and confess. I needed
to know if the check bounced.
The service rep at the bank was actually pretty nice. He even
waived the $35 bank fee. I guess he could tell by my scarlet
neck that I didn't do this all the time. But my check had
bounced like it was written on a basketball at 9 a.m. that
morning. He suggested putting enough money in the account to
cover it. Good idea.
"Some merchants run bounced checks through again and some
don't," he told me. I had several choices at this point:
1. Transfer money into the account and hope they
redeposit the check.
2. Stop payment and write a new check out of the right
3. Call the merchant and find out how I can fix this
4. Lock the doors and hide.
I probably should have chosen number 4, but I picked 1 and 3. I
called the store from my cell phone and the salesman gave me the
number for their corporate headquarters. The customer service
guy on the other end of the line was looking at his watch and
not too sympathetic about bad checks. He put me on hold.
Finally, he came back and said he had made a note of my call and
I had been assigned an adjustor who would call me within 36
hours. I've not heard anything yet except for an email with my
complaint number. Complaint? I would call it more of an apology
than a complaint.
In the meantime the installation contractor called. He wanted to
finance the installation and couldn't say who a check should be
made out to. I've never had so much trouble trying to give
people money in my life.
Anyhow, the sheriff hasn't come yet. I did have a knock on the
door, but it was only a gypsy traveler wanting to seal the
asphalt on my driveway. Wonder if he will take a check?
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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