Friday, December 30, 2016
Today is Thursday.
Yesterday, I received an email that the police department's records have been corrected. I am no longer down last eh drive roof the car that I wasn't even in.
I was given phone number to call to check and see when my license is no longer suspended. They were not sure how long it would take for the record at the BMV to be corrected, but my hope was that it would be within 24 hours.
The number I was given to call is automated. You call and then put in your license number, part of your social security and your zip code, then it tells you the status of your driver's license.
My desire was not too become too familiar with that automated voice.
Yes, I am filled with hope.
Than and a desire to not hav to place another order for grocery delivery on-line.
I haven't yet mentioned it, but the emails from the police department came compleste with large font red letters wishing me a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"
I didn't really mind that, it was cheerful, even if Ia bit Christian themed for a public agency.....
it was the smaller font red letters at the bottom that got me .
My public agency thought it important to send me Bible verses:
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of
great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David
a savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11
Ugh. My tax dollars at work promoting Christianity as the official religion of Indiana,
or , at least, Indianapolis.
I wish that people had some idea of what the constitution says.
But, at least she was helpful.
The representative's office did call back, but after I was already dealing with the police department to get it resolved.
And as of early this afternoon, it is official, I have a valid driver's license.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
On Saturday night, I realized I had to start canceling appointments. I had been under the mistaken impression that, when the weekend ended , I would be able to start working on getting my license back, and that there was a chance I could get to my Tuesday appointments. But I had not taken into account the fact that Xmas was on Sunday, meaning that government offices would be closed on Monday. The soonest I could, again, start working on this, would be Tuesday morning.
So, I called and left a message on the phone at one office, knowing they would not get it, until that day, and that I might be subject to a fee for not cancelling my appointment in at timely manner. The other, luckily, was with someone who is a friend on FB, so I sent a message.
Then I took a break from dealing with it, if only because I had no other option.
But, bright and early on Tuesday morning, I was, once again, making phone calls.
What ensued were a few calls with the woman at the insurance agent’s office who has always been both pleasant and helpful . Connie went over what had happened, and contacted the BMV.
Fortunately, they were willing to speak with her.
Unfortunately, they can’t help.
They can’t help because the driver in the accident is listed as me.
Now, that Thursday evening, in November, not only was I not driving the car, but I was not even in it.
It was my son who was driving and whose car was rear-ended.
The police officer, however, put down that it was me. He entered my driver’s license number and not Aaron’s.
I can see how that would happen.
I am 5’4”,
a chubby, almost senior (just over 3 yearss to that milestone) woman.
My son is a 6’3’, very muscular guy.
Yeah, I can see how that might happen.
We also have different last names.
We do, however, have the same first initial.
And the first part of Aaron’s very long last name is the same as my last name. The second part of it is my husband’s last name.
You see, we share very nicely.
Regardless as to how he made the error, the police officer who entered it is where the problem occurred.
And the BMV cannot change that information.
Connie explained to me that I would now have to contact the police to get this changed.
Okay, fine, I like clear instructions on what to do.
She also gave me a piece of advice, she told me to make sure that Aaron carries a copy of the COC in his car.
I like how she thinks. Considering how this has been going, I consider that good advice.
So, this morning, I got to make a few calls to the police department. Three, so far.
The first one made the second necessary, because the recorded message was too fast for someone with hearing loss to get on the first try. I did, however, leave a message with my phone numbers and the nature of the problem.
I also tried a second number that I had located on an Internet file.
This number’s recorded message let me know that , if I really wanted a response, I needed to send an email.
Which I did.
A few hours later, I actually had a response.
The woman seemed to think that the error had been an easy one to make and now wanted my son’s information: his name, DOB, etc. etc. etc. , and his license number.
I sent those back, hoping that they can change the information that they sent to the BMV, and then let the BMV know of the change.
I can see that what this translates into is, now, trying to get the BMV to respond, so I know that they have received it, and then to try to get them to lift the suspension……
I had thought that those things would constitute the next parts of this saga, but I was wrong.
The next part came in the mail, this evening.
This evening’s mail brought something that I thought was junk mail and almost tossed into the recycling bag before even opening.
It was an envelope from State Farm, addressed to “Kassia Margolis”.
I am sure that you also get a lot of unsolicited appeals from insurance companies about how they can save you money.
But it wasn’t.
It was a note from a claim’s adjustor for one of the other drivers’ insurance companies.
A note for me, the listed “driver” in the accident.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
So, now to Part 4 of the saga of the suspended driver’s license.
By Friday, I had called the BMV, three times. This resulted in my being told that they could not help me, if I called. They could only respond to a written request for reconsideration under the same long Code as suggested in the missive.
I had also emailed them a similar number of times.
Two of the contacts resulted in this message:
According to our records the last Certificate of Compliance on file was received 9/9/2015 from E-Insurance. No insurance document has been received for the incident of 11/3/2016.
The third was in response to my sending their message back, explaining , yet again, the situation, and attaching a copy of the COC that was electronically filed on 11/07/2016- contradicting their assertion.
Instead of even acknowledging the COC that I had attached, I got this response:
Re: Question about License Status
Your driving privileges were suspended on 12-17-16, for failure to submit proof of insurance coverage for an accident occurring on 11-03-16 in which you were involved. This is a 90-day suspension, remaining in effect until 03-17-2017. As a result of the suspension received you will be required to submit both an SR22 insurance filing and a $250.00 insurance fee to the BMV prior to license reinstatement.
So, now, not only is my license suspended, but I am going to have to pay $250 to get it reinstated……
Wait, I forgot to add what came next, information about my needing to submit a COC……even though I had attached the form showing that it had already been submitted.
However, if you were insured to operate the vehicle involved at the time the 11-03-16 accident occurred, please have your insurance carrier electronically submit a certificate of compliance to the BMV, where the insurance suspension will be deleted from your driving record.
So, that was Part 4- my interactions with the completely useless BMV.
Part 5… that was probably my four phone calls to the assorted numbers for my state representatives. One has not yet responded. One did answer their phone, and told me that they do not deal with the BMV.
I can’t really say that I blame them.
In the meanwhile, I am panicking.
I am Jewish, and I am genetically programmed to fear starvation.
So, in desperation, I ordered groceries to be delivered.
Let me explain, my weekly grocery shopping is done on Thursday mornings. This works well for me because I often work on Thursday evening and on Friday morning, and I need groceries in the house , so I can cook, Friday afternoon, for our Sabbath.
On Thursday mornings, I do a very carefully scheduled “round” of the stores. I stop for fruits and vegetables, drop off the recycling, stop at the store that carries a lot of kosher items we use, and the almond milk we prefer, then, possibly, add a stop- Trader Joes or Costco or , rarely, Wal-Mart for a few items that we only buy there. Wal-Mart, for example, has the only kosher salsa in town that does not cause me to break out in hives.
I just love food allergies.
Oh, and I buy gasoline, while I am out.
The trip is organized to make a loop with no doubling back or extra driving to eliminate wasted time and gasoline. I would love to only have one stop on my list, but in Indianapolis, there are several things that , if you keep kosher, can only be found at one or two places…
The entire outing runs about 2 hours, if I also have to stop at CVS, or less, if I don’t.
And, here it is, already Friday, and, not only do I not have fresh fruits and vegetables , we are almost out of milk for my daughter (she drinks cow’s milk) and out of almond milk for my husband and me. Furthermore, it is not just Shabbat, but we are looking at a long weekend with no easy grocery store access. You see, it is about the be Xmas- that holiday when even the 24 hour grocery stores close…
So, I get on the internet and type in “ grocery delivery Indianapolis”, and, lo and behold, up pops Fresh Thyme and Amazon prime. I go and make orders. For only $10, I am getting delivery from each. I would have gone with just one or the other, but, because we keep kosher, Fresh Thyme didn’t have some of the things I needed. In fact, neither of them had some of the food I would have normally bought, so my order is about half of what I normally buy on a Thursday, but it is enough to get us through the long weekend. Even better, the delivery will come early enough for me to have time to cook.
Then, there was Part 6, assuming that I have not lost count……I called the claims adjustor – the one the insurance company assigned for the accident. I did this because the insurance agent’s office was still , apparently closed, and the weekend was fast approaching.
The claims adjustor was very polite…and she told me that I was going to need to go through the insurance agent’s office, since they had filed the COC . She did, however, say that she would send them an email. This would be in addition to the emails I had already sent, but would look “official”.
She also told, me that she was no longer the claims adjustor. The car that Aaron’s car hit….actually, was pushed into by the car that rear-ended Aaron, well, that driver has retained an attorney. This “escalation” means that the case has to be moved up a level to a different claims adjustor.
Okay, great, fine… and the new adjustor, Lisa, would be calling and taking down the same info we had already given.
A bit later, Lisa called my cell phone and I vomited all of the frustrations I was having out on her. I did tell her, a few times, that I was NOT frustrated with her, and I knew she had nothing to do with it, but would appreciate any help she could give me.
She politely listened to the saga, and told me that if I hadn’t gotten anywhere by Wednesday to call her back. That put her in the unique position of being the only person, so far, who even seemed to want to get involved.
Then she very carefully asked me if Aaron was available to talk. I said, “Yes, he is right here, eating.” (She had called late enough to catch him, but early enough that it wasn’t yet, Shabbat.)
Then, she said something that made me realize why she had asked, so hesitantly, to speak with him, “I understand that he is deaf.”
I explained that he is, but that he would probably be okay on the phone, just to be aware that he sometimes answers the wrong question, since his brain fills in for what he doesn’t hear; so she might have to repeat a question or phrase it differently. I also assured her that his speech was easy to understand.
I gave the phone to Aaron, and signed to him that I had a question to ask her, when he was done.
About 5 minutes later, he handed me back the phone and I asked her, “Does the other driver who was hit getting lawyer mean that we need to get one?” To which she replied, “No,” Since the accident was clearly not my son’s fault.
At the time, I believed her….but the saga didn’t end there.
Monday, December 26, 2016
On November 3rd, 2016, my son was rear-ended while he was stopped at a red light in Broad Ripple. He was on his way home from a late shift, and his car was pushed into the vehicle in front of him by the force of the impact. Thank G-d, no one was hurt, but the driver of the car that hit my son's car was arrested and got to spend a few days in jail. Apparently, his blood alcohol level was 0.21 and he had a passenger (who may have been minor) in the car.
After 3 weeks, my son's car was finally repaired. My son was slightly disappointed, because he had enjoyed driving the very fancy rental car around, but , c'est la vie.
That was Part one of the story, although, I am posting all of this as one story….but that was still part one. Part two occurred after Aaron returned the rental car. About a week afterwards… the rental company tried to insist that he owed them $500 for additional insurance that he had declined. I know he declined it, because he spoke with me about it, while he was renting the car, to make sure he was doing everything correctly.
Especially, since he was using my credit card.
He was very clear to Erica, at Enterprise, that he didn't want any coverage, since he had insurance. Oddly, now, they are pretending that he did. This was despite the fact that the woman who called to speak with him also couldn’t find the contract he had signed.
Today’s mail provided part three.
Part three occurred at about 7:20 PM. The mail probably showed up at about 5:30 ( we have very late delivery), and was brought in by my husband , when he returned from work.
There was a slight further delay in my opening it , because I was busy stuffing M&Ms into my mouth.
In the mail, was a notice from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that they have suspended my license for 90 days.
They did this because because I did not file a Certificate of Coverage ( car insurance) with them, promptly.
You see, the car being driven was mine. My son has been driving it, and will be purchasing it from us, soon, but it is , currently, still mine.
Since it was well after 5, and our insurance agent's office was closed, the best I could do was yell, "F***! F***! F***" a few times.
I did this in sign language, to make sure that Sarah didn't miss it.
Then I went into my email and sent the insurance agent's office an email saying that I would be calling them in the morning. Oh, and I attached a copy of the letter from the BMV, and a copy of the COC that was filed...on November 7, 2016.
Electronically filed. Filed by our insurance agent.
Filed with the BMV that is insisting that it wasn't.
Apparently, I can now write to the BMV with my supporting documentation, and they will review the case within 30 days of receiving my missive.
Or, my insurance company can file a COC with them. There is no time frame, however, in that case for un-suspending my license. I would guess, however, that with their previously demonstrated level of competence, we might be looking at 30 days...or maybe, they handle that faster, so only a week to review it- with, of course, time off for Xmas...and New Years, and an added week to mail me the results of their review or re-receipt of the COC.
At any rate, I will not be buying groceries, tomorrow; I will not be dropping off my recycling; I will ,also, not be taking my daughter out to do practice driving for her license, or anything else.
And , by this time next week, I suspect that I will have become good friends with the taxi services in our town.......
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The third part of the story occurred, yesterday.
Yesterday, after the holy day of Rosh Hashanah was over and I could turn the computer and my cell phone on,
Sarah let me know that she wanted to Skype.
It turns out that the girls had a very interesting day.
Yesterday afternoon, Sarah’s roommate gets a text from the maintenance man.
The girls live in a four apartment unit building, and the other tenants,
all of the other tenants, had contacted him because the girls smoke detector has been going off.
The other tenants tried to get the girls to answer their door,
but, because there is no flashing doorbell, the girls had no idea that anyone was knocking furiously or ringing the bell or….
They were also pretty sure that the smoke detector was not going off.
So, they both went and got on a chair and touched it, but it did not seem to be vibrating.
Then, Sarah’s roommate went and put on her cochlear impant and got up near it,
and Lo and Behold, their smoke detector was goibg off. Furiously.
The maintenance man, now let into the apartment, took the unit down and away with him.
I suppose we should all be worried, now, that they have no smoke detector in their apartment,
but, on the other hand, even after the firemen fixed how it was installed, it wasn’t going to do them any good.
It did, this most recent incident, however, seem to spur the maintenance man into asking the girls where he could get a flashing detector for their apartment.
I am, however, sure that with this level of diligence, he will get one,
and possibly not correctly install it…
and what about the flashing doorbell?
I think it is reasonable to assume that a part 4 of this story is in the works….
Monday, October 10, 2016
This is a story of the day that occurs in multiple parts. The first part was the last story that I posted.
The addendum to that story is that, after another couple of weeks, my son had a flashing smoke detector installed in his apartment by the management.
Hearing that, you might think that the saga of the smoke detector was over, right?
That was just the first part of the story.
The second part of this story occurred, yesterday .
On Tuesday, Sarah called me on Skype.
Actually, she called my cell phone.
When Sarah calls my cell phone, it means that there is something very important and she needs to speak with me, just not on my cell phone.
You see, Sarah is also deaf and she hears nothing and doesn’t use spoken English at all; so calling me on the cell phone is simply a way of sounding an alarm that I will hear, to let me know that she needs me.
And, I saw that she had also texted me asnd said “SKYPE!!!!”
So, I quickly connected with her via Skype and she told me that there was a burning smell in their apartment. The smell had started about 10 minutes after her roommate had turned on the oven to make a casserole.
The girls were not sure, but they thought it might be the smell of gas.
I asked a stupid question, “Is the oven clean?”
Now, this is a very stupid question. These girls rented a house, last year.
When I moved them in, the house was….dirty. The kitchen cabinets were sticky with food residue and there was about 3 decades of dirt in the basement.
The next time that I came to visit, not only was all of that dirt gone, but they had cleaned – to a bright shine- the overhead ducts in the basement that had previously had a few inches of dust covering them.
I mean, how many people go and use pledge on the basement ductwork in an unfinished basement?
The lemony scent went really well with the cold cement floor and walls....
So, I knew the oven was sparkling clean.
(Dang, why can’t I get them to come clean my house?)
And, yes, Sarah responded that the oven was clean.
I told them to open the windows, and to turn off the stove.
Then I told them to call the gas company.
Sarah’s roommate did this while I stayed on Skype with Sarah.
A few minutes later, Sarah tells me that the gas company is telling them to call the fire department.
The girls don’t want to do this, but I tell them that is what they should do.
At this point, I tell Sarah to keep me updated, and we disconnect.
About 15 minutes, or maybe 20 minutes later, Sarah calls me back.
After I got off of Skype with Sarah, the fire department told them to leave the apartment and wait.
When the firemen came, three of them, two suited up and one man in nice clothes who seemed to be in charge, they brought equipment and checked the apartment for gas.
They found no leaks, but they agreed that they were smelling something burning, something chemical.
After nosing around the building, they discovered paint thinner in the apartment right beneath theirs, which was being readied for a new tenant.
The paint thinner had been left just below the area that was the girls’ oven. When the oven was turned on and the air started being exhausted and new air drawn in, what was drawn in was the paint thinner fumes from the apartment below.
The paint thinner was properly closed up and removed from the building, and the firemen left;
but not before showing the girls that the smoke detector was in wrong. The men kindly pulled it down and fixed it and reset it.
Of course, the fire detector was not going to do the girls any good, you see, it was a regular one, not a flashing smoke detector……..I will get back to that part of the story, in a minute.
The girls went back to cooking dinner and homework, and a minute later, a light is being flashed in their window…..on the second floor.
They go to the window and see that the firemen are trying to get their attention.
The man from the gas company is now here, and he can’t get their attention to let him in.
He can't do that, because the landlord hasn’t yet installed a flashing doorbell.
The girls let him in and he checks and agrees with the firemen that there is no gas leak.
After Sarah calls me back on Skype, I ask, appalled, “Why are there no flashing smoke detectors and doorbell?”
When moving in, Sarah’s roommate asked them to install them, and was told by the maintenance man , “I don’t know how.”
She thought that meant that he would figure it out and come back and do it, but that was a few months ago,
so , apparently it meant, “I don’t know , so too bad.”
I told the girls to send a letter in with the rent check- due to be mailed- and I typed up a short note for them to adapt as they saw fit.
I also sent them the contact information for Protection and Advocacy in Rochester, NY.
That is the second part of the story.
I am sure that there will be a third part.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
My son is getting a smoke detector. I mean, the apartment complex in which he lives is FINALLY going to get one and install it for him.
Months ago, not many, just a few, he requested one. the office told him that he had to go get an official letter from a professional that he needs one.
Now, I need to explain that my son is deaf. Deaf as in can't hear. Deaf as in, when the hearing aids are out ( and this happens when he showers, sleeps and at other times) he cannot hear . yep, that annoying smoke detector that screams at you when you burn the toast you were making? He can't hear it.
Now, if he is awake, I suppose he might smell or see the smoke, but he is most likely to not be wearing his hearing aids when he is asleep - making him a sitting duck...I mean a sleeping duck, in case of a fire in the building.
So, after several missed meetings with Dr. Deb, Aaron returned a letter from a professional ( noting that he is deaf and requires a flashing smoke detector) to the apartment's management office.
Then he was informed that they would not buy one . He could, if he wished, buy one and they would install it. The office told him that the ADA and the Fair Housing Act do not apply to them because they are
_alternative" housing. Since it is an apartment complex with something like 80 units with people paying monthly rent , I am not sure how alternative it is, but....
My son told me this and I told him to call one of my favorite numbers, the one for Protection and Advocacy.
When Aaron called , the gentleman at P & A told him to inform the apartment manager's office that the Fair Housing Act does apply.
So, my son made a few attempts to tell the office- which kept being closed during regular hours. When he finally did, the message was relayed to the higher management which told my son that it does not apply.
So, I told my son to call P & A back and let them know that they needed to call the management.
They did and , now my son has been told that the complex WILL purchase the smoke detector AND install it.
Hopefully in les than another 3 months.