Friday, January 25, 2008

It never rains...

Sometimes it really does feel like we're lurching from crisis to crisis. My mother has managed to get herself banned from driving for a year. No, it's not for doing anything stupid behind the wheel, it's because she fainted earlier today, and my grandfather's doctor (who she's never seen before as a patient) decided it was an epileptic fit. To be fair, her medical records do mention epilepsy, but on the basis she hasn't suffered a fit for years (I can certainly never remember her having one), and she has drugs which manage it to be on the safe side, she's not convinced he's right. But she's flying back to Spain tomorrow and can't get a second opinion from her own doctor for another month. To be fair, he hasn't taken her licence off her officially, but clearly no insurance company would pay out if she drove against his advice so it's as good as a ban until she gets it checked out in more detail.

The ironic thing is that my grandfather has a history of strange seizures, and the same doctor has absolutely no problems with letting him keep his licence. Given that he also has cataracts, I know who I'd rather have driving me...

Meanwhile, I'm engaged in a running battle with the New York people about making up the shortfall in my sponsorship. I have no problem with doing so, but because of grandma's illness I'm a bit behind schedule and wanted to do a bit more chasing up of people who said they'd donate before making up any remaining shortfall. Having not heard a word from them since New York I went to them at the start of the month with a clear proposal of what I planned to do and the timescales involved.

They ignored me for a while. Then on Wednesday they demanded payment by the end of the month, which basically means paying it myself because I am seeing most of the people I planned to chase in February, and can't get money off them within a week. I didn't think that was a particularly reasonable attitude from them. If they wanted to impose a deadline they could have mentioned it the first time I contacted them, not a week before. In fact, they could have chased me in November or December rather than waiting for me to get in touch to sort things out.

I've come to the conclusion that it's not about the money any more, they still hold a grudge about what happened in New York, and they want to threaten and bully me into doing things their way rather than accepting my way of dealing with it. Their emails have got more and more stroppy, despite me taking every effort to keep emotion out of things. It's about power, not about money.

But they've picked the wrong person for a fight. I don't go out looking for fights, but I don't run away from them either if anyone is stupid enough to pick one. Particularly when the fight is on home turf as it were, involving threats of legal action. I've not worked in a law firm for six years and not picked up a trick or two.

Essentially I've worked out a way to get the timescales I want while leaving them almost no comeback. It is almost perfect in every detail, and will sort things out relatively quickly (because to be honest I don't want to spend any more time stressing about it, and I don't want to remember the argument more than the good things that happened while I was over there), while making it clear that I've got the upper hand this time.

Oh yes, two can play their little game...


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