Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I've decided to begin knitting again, which I have not done in at least twenty years, maybe thirty. I used to make multicolored sweaters out of handspun yarns I dyed myself with natural dyes made of various plant materials and the process, especially the knitting, was extremely relaxing in a zen zone way. (My daughter has already requested that I not send her any [more] Charlie Brown sweaters.)
In August I bought some yarn from a seller on eBay, yummy, 100% hand-dyed alpaca. It will be like wearing a cloud, and I thought the price was a steal.
It turns out it really was a steal because although my PayPal account states that the money was paid, the charge has never appeared in my bank account which is linked to the PayPal account, so I called my bank to find out why. They said it had not been presented for payment, yet I know that the seller got her money, so I began the process of trying to get PayPal to correct their error.
Their website has a make-believe person named Sarah who is happy to answer my questions, provided they fit her very narrow range of issues. If they do not, she begins to recycle them until one gives up and tries to call customer service on the phone. Here is yet another example of customer DISservice. I was told that the wait would be at least 1/2 hour and it is not even an 800 number. I hung up and sent them an email explaining that they needed to return the money to the person who inadvertently paid for my yarn and charge it to me.
Several months ago, I got a double bill from the phone company which stated that I had not paid our bill the previous month, although I had. I had the bank statement to prove it, but undeterred, the phone company continued to charge us double for several more months, which occasioned countless upsetting phone calls involving very long waits to speak with people who couldn't help me. Eventually, they discovered that they had paid someone else's bill with my funds and rectified their error. I will never get back the many hours, literally hours, that I spent attempting to untangle this mess. It would have been far less stressful to simply pay it again and forget it, but that offended my sense of fairness.
The new yarn winks at me seductively from its basket. It has been wound into balls and every now and then I pick one up and hold it to my cheek. I don't know when I will use it, though, as in conscience (with a tad of OCD mixed in) I must first complete a sweater I started before I stopped knitting, whenever it was. Both sleeves were completed, and they are perfect. Unfortunately, I no longer have the pattern so I have spent hours on eBay looking for old knitting magazines from the late 80's and 90's, hoping that one will look familiar. I even bought six old McCall's Needlework and Crafts issues, none of which has the pattern, but one had an ad for Homemade Magazine, which I now think may have been the one. It is no longer published, although there is another magazine in Australia with the same name. I am not a good enough knitter, especially after such a long layover, to adapt another pattern so that the shoulders match the tops of the two completed (and did I mention, perfect?) sleeves I already have. I will have to rip them out and start over, of course, but I am stubborn. I will continue to put myself through unnecessary stress even though the act of knitting itself is a marvelous stress reliever.
As I was typing this, I actually received a response to my email from a person at PayPal named Hans. (I think he's married to Sarah.) The money was already in my account because I had returned a defective item and gotten a partial refund, so the yummy alpaca yarn purchase was made with that money instead of being deducted directly from my bank account. Mystery solved. I think I should get an accountant to tend to these complicated matters so I can spend my days zoned out and knitting.