August 5th, 2010

walrus

(no subject)

So yesterday I and my family (mother, father, brother, and I) went on a dayAlth-trip to a popular tourist island. We escaped the worst of the crowds, going on a Wednesday, but it was still quite busy. As we had brought our dog with us, we were limited to restaurants with outdoor patios when we got lunch, and following a tip from a taxi-stand attendant, we headed to a nearby restaurant.

Although there was a hostess stand and a sign saying "Please Wait to Be Seated", no one showed up to assign a table to us. Several minutes later another group came in and simply walked over to a table and sat down, so we followed their lead.

About ten minutes later, a waitress arrived and handed us the breakfast menu. It was about 11:30, so we inquired whether they were serving lunch. The waitress told us that they were on the breakfast/lunch turnover, and said that she would bring us a lunch menu and could serve us lunch. After a moment she reappeared with the lunch menu. She then left without taking our drink orders.

While we waited for our waitress to return, I went inside the restaurant to use the restroom. On my way in, I noticed four teenagers mopping the floor, which struck me as funny - I work in food service myself, and regularly mop the dining room. I can assure you that it does not take four teenagers to mop the floor. Or three teenagers to make iced coffee.

In fact, it quickly became apparent that all of the waitstaff were either teenagers, foreign workers, or both. We stopped a waiter to ask him where our waitress was, to which he responded, "Is she a girl?" (to the question of "Do you know where our waitress is?") I was under the impression that usually restaurants have seating plans according to which certain waiters and waitresses have certain tables...

Five minutes later, a different waiter appears to take our order. Judging by the accent, he was probably one of the many Russian workers who come to the area in the summer - I work with three. His accent made the conversation a little more impenetrable than usual. My father asks for a bacon cheeseburger.

Waiter: "Okay, but we only have croissants or english muffins for the burger."

Father: "You don't have hamburger rolls for your hamburgers?"

Waiter; "We won't have hamburger rolls until 12:00, we're on breakfast right now."

...at this point, we decide to go to another restaurant, where we had a nice meal and a wonderful waiter. Whom we tipped well, out of relief and gratitude.
ghost through the parking lot fields

Collections help

So I moved out of my apartment in 2007 when my lease was up. We cleaned the apartment, dropped off the keys, and went on our way to our new apartment across town. The complex never called me to express any worry over the old apartment, and three years went by.

I was looking at my credit report the other day, and saw I had a debt owed to some collections agency for 200 dollars. I checked the detailed information, and saw that it was a debt purchased from my old apartment complex.  This is negatively impacting my credit, as it is showing as an open, outstanding account. The date the collections agency received the debt is listed as June 2007. The date I moved out of my old apartment? May 31st, 2007. So the complex, without ever contacting me (and they had my cell number and it has never changed once in 12 years), sent what I "owed" them to collections IMMEDIATELY after I moved?

My question is this: Can they do that? Don't they have to try and contact me to settle this "debt" with them before they just send me to collections? And doesn't the collections agency have to contact me!? I had my address changed at the post office and with every bank account and other account I held when I moved. My cell number and home number did not change. I am completely contactable, and yet have not, to this day, received anything by mail or phone stating I owe money. And yet there it is, on my credit report, lowering my score. What can I do about this? Do I just need to dispute it online through Experian? Is there a better way to handle this?