Friday, 19 June 2015

Alberta Works (sometimes?)

Alberta Flag
Alberta Works is the department of the Provincial government who loaned me some money while I was waiting (a very long time) for my Federal pensions to be processed. Now, what the Federal government does not tell you is that Alberta Works expects everyone to live on about $900 a month although another branch of the same government had said that this was too little. Apparently, the departments do not talk to to each other. Actually, I once did live on about $900 a month  (give or take) when I was a starving artist back in the seventies.

After the Federal government deposited my backlog of payments into my bank account, I requested a statement from Alberta Works, explaining that I had just received my Federal payments. The invoice arrived on the first of June with a note saying that I could pay it at any of their offices, so the next day I wrote them a cheque and tried to give it to them at their closest office to where I live. I was told that this particular office could not accept payments.

After getting the address of another office, not too far away, I presented my cheque there. The woman at the desk told me that her receipt book was being audited in another department and I would have to wait while she phoned to have someone bring it back. About ten minutes later, I was officially debt free (I had already paid back the other loans that I had needed to meet my expenses).

Yesterday (June 18th), I got a nasty letter from Alberta Works with the threat of the file being referred to a private collection agency unless I paid, or arranged to make payments for my outstanding debt of $3,613.00. I had received the invoice on the 1st of June, paid it and got my receipt on the 2nd June. The cheque money came out of my account on June 5th. The letter was actually dated June 10th although it was postmarked June 15th.

Most people would probably phone them to say that the debt was paid promptly, but I am curious as to just how inefficient this department really is. It already seems obvious that the departments do not communicate with each other but now. it seems, neither do offices within the same department. I am not responding at all to the nasty letter (being polite and helpful are qualities apparently disallowed there).  I want to see what comes next. Will they realize their mistake and do nothing? Will they sell my account to a collection agency? (that would be especially funny). Or will they realize their mistake and send me an apology for all of the inefficient and rude treatment I got? For you gamblers out there I am offering ten to one odds if you want to bet on the latter. ;-)

One more thing before I go: coydog Tristan is now exhibiting very civilized behavior to other dogs, even small ones (whom he especially did not seem to like). Tristan is on the right in this photograph I took this morning. Next to him is Chihuahua Indy, the most well-behaved, calm and happy chihuahua I have ever met. He and Tristan have played together twice now. The older dog on the left tolerates Tristan's youthful enthusiasm, but will growl at him when Tristan gets too insistent that he play. Tristan then backs off. Have a great weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment