December 15, 2005
Paid in advance

I don't like dealing with bills, so where ever possible I set up automatic payments through my bank to pay my bills. As an example I roughly know how much my phone bills will be monthly, so I set up payments that pay the roughly correct amount and I adjust as needed every couple of months. Usually I end up with a little credit on accounts after a while but that's OK since I get the warm and cozy feeling that the bills are all paid.

One of the newspapers we get every morning is the Pasadena Star News. When we subscribed, I estimated the monthly amount and set up a monthly automatic payment and didn't worry about the bill any more. Since we are paid up, I don't get a bill from the newspaper, so I don't check the balance.

Yesterday I received a message from Jackie at the Pasadena Star News. I called back today and conversation went something like this:

Jackie: Mr. Pusateri, do you use a bill pay system?
Me: Yes, have the payments not been arriving.
Jackie: No, to the contrary, you are a very regular payer. The opposite of most of the problems we have.
Me: And so...
Jackie: And so since you have been paying us so regularly, you are paid up until well into 2009.
Me: ... um ... wow ...
Jackie: Yes, so Mr. Pusateri you need to stop paying us for four years, you are maxing out our billing systems.
Me: OK, I'll cancel the payment. So when I use up my credit, you'll send me a bill?
Jackie: Yes, your next bill will be in four years.
Me: Right. Talk to you in four years.

I'm not sure what happened, whether they lowered their prices or I calculated wrong, but I am Paid in Advance!

Posted by michael at December 15, 2005 10:43 AM


Hilarious! Thank you for the laugh this morning. I really needed it.


Posted by: Llewelyn [] on December 15, 2005 11:41 AM

4 more years of the Star... I'm truly sorry!

Posted by: kingpixel [] on December 15, 2005 12:36 PM

Show off.

Posted by: Mister P. [] on December 15, 2005 12:41 PM

LOL, Mike doesn't like paying the ol' webhosting bill either.... ;)

Posted by: Nox [] on December 15, 2005 4:02 PM

Nothing like pre-paying for obsolete media.

Posted by: BillB [] on December 16, 2005 4:40 AM

Thanks Mike ... for the wonderful laugh.
Helped a lot in an otherwise serious and busy day!

For BillB. Do I understand that you don't read newspapers? I certainly hope that the print news does not become obsolete in my lifetime. Reading a newspaper which I hold in my hands is one of life's true joys.

Posted by: Mom [] on December 16, 2005 12:51 PM

:dies laughing:

Posted by: Rachael-nanny [] on December 16, 2005 6:46 PM

Still chuckling.

We have a cool system out here in India called ECS (Electronic Clearing Service). For instance, if the Phone bill is INR 2,005.12, the Phone guys will instruct the bank to do a debit for the _exact_ amount.

I have set it up for all the utility payments, with the net result that I have to "cut" only one or two checks per month.

Easy, peasy, Japaneasy.

Posted by: Srinivas Shastri [] on December 17, 2005 2:35 AM

Mom - I get all my newspaper reading done online. The only thing I really miss is the 'funny pages'.

Every now and then the romantic in me misses the black ink on my hands, but I left that stuff behind when we moved from Long Island. No train commute = no newspaper for me.

Posted by: BillB [] on December 17, 2005 4:15 AM

Yeah, the ink can get messy, but I'm afraid many of us could not sit at the computer as long or simply can't read as fast as you must be able.

You young people are very used to working on computers, and probably don't remember when they weren't available for private homes.
The neat thing about the print newspaper is that it is light and easy to carry anywhere. Any room,any place.

People keep saying that even books will one day become obsolete. I hope that doesn't happen in my lifetime. Even the thought of living without newspapers or books makes me unhappy.

This is not to say I would like to have to give up computers. There are now three desktops in my office. Two Macs and one PC. :-)

Posted by: Mom [] on December 19, 2005 12:41 AM

I only read our local community paper called The Independant. It comes out twice per week. My favorite part is the Police Blotter where I can see which of my neighbors was arrested for DWI or disorderly conduct.

Ahhh... Small Town, USA. :)

Posted by: Bribo [] on December 19, 2005 8:41 AM

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Posted by: Sergej Brin [] on January 29, 2006 7:55 AM
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