The Senator is right! I DO have the confidence to approach people in high places...and most of all, to defend myself with my writing, etc.
Over the past few years, I've had a bone to pick with the VA Medical Center, and that's why Senator Domenici got involved. This is a matter whereby the VA Medical Center has wrong and wrongdoing on their side...and I have right on my side, and that's why I'm confident with my writing and my case, etc. It's easy to be confident when you're right!
Senator Domenici; Senator Bingaman, the other New Mexico senator and U.S. Representive Heather Wilson (District 1) have all been involved in this matter over the past three years.
And, It all started with a letter to the Congressional representives, to state my case and the problems involved. As time went on, I constructed a 60 page booklet (bound), stating my case and mailed it to others in high places such as; the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.; The Inspector General of the VA; The Director of the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico (where I live); and even to a local judge, etc. So, I have DO the confidence in my writing to approach pretty much anyone in high places, and it all started many years ago with an invitation.
In the early 1990's, I was invited to join the Southwest Writers by the then, president of the organization, Eileen Stanton, who is one of New Mexico's top writers. She has sold over 5,000 of her articles to some of the top newspapers and magazines in the country and she has penned a book as well. With over 700 members nationwide, S.W. Writers has some of the most talented and accomplished writers in the country. Obviously, I was flattered by the invitation.
A couple of years later, and in my 40's, I decided to take a few writing courses, to try to improve my writing skills, so I completed the following; Writers Digest course; the National Writers Club course, and a creative writing course at the University of New Mexico taught by Elieen Stanton. All of this took about 18 months to complete and about two hundred dollars at the time. This is one of the best things I have ever done for myself, and I've had to pay my dues to do it, etc. So, if the reader wants to get good at anything...you're going to have to pay your dues!
I remember, when I did my homework (age 43) at work during lunch time, a fellow employee looked over my shoulder to see what I was doing and remarked, "Didn't you learn all that stuff in high school?" I told him yes, but that I was refreshing my memory because I was interested in writing for the future. He just laughed and walked away! (guess who's getting the last laugh?)
I don't think a year has gone by, when I haven't had to fight the sharks...lurking in the water for one reason or another...you know...the bank; the cable company; the telephone company; the medical center and so forth. And, I don't think I could do it successfully, if I was not confident in my writing, because that's where it all starts...with a nicely- crafted, one or two page letter to somebody!
I remember, when I was taking the writing courses, one of my instructors told my that I was too, what she called..."conversational" with my writing! Well...exc-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-se me! I'm so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o sorry that I'm a blabbermouth with my writing! (conversational is a nice way of telling me I'm a blabbermouth) She said that I had to use more, what she called, "tight writing" to tell my story. I had too many words that were taking up space, that had to be cut. At the time, I had no ideas what she was talking about.
Okay, so I'm a big blabbermouth!
So, she took one of my paragraphs and wrote it again, with her own words, and said the same thing... only with fewer words! WOW! Tight-writing, eh? Knowing now, that I was a blabbermouth...I was going to have to change...change in paying more attention to tight writing. I was going to have to edit and polish more and cut all those unesessary words out!
This is so important, because people in high places, don't have the time to read about your Aunt Alice in Montana who makes butter for a living, etc. You can't waste these people's time! You MUST say what you have to say in the least amount of words...make your point...and eliminate all the gibberish from your piece, etc. The use of bullets are handy for brevity as well.
The more you write...the more practice you get in tight-writing! In 2009, I can take one of my pieces, with 1500 words and cut it down to 1,200 words, and say the same thing! (I'm so impressed, Jer!)
I'll give the reader a couple of examples of having to deal with the ever-present sharks lurking in the water, and what I do to combat them, etc.
I bought my computer in 2001, and with it came bundled the MSN (Microsolf Network) free for a year. I didn't like MSN, so it expired after the year. Get this...over 18 months after it expired...I got a letter from Microsoft, informing me that, I had not followed the guidelines of their TOS (terms of service) and, therefore, I owed them $48.00! WHAT?
Well...I had no plans to pay Microsoft a dime, so I scribbled out a letter, that was about five pages and a mess! By editing and polishing it over a few days, I cut down all the not-needed words to about a page and a half, etc. Now, that's better! Like I have done several times before, I mailed the letter to the Attorney General's office (Consumer Protection Division) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a copy of that letter to Micorsoft in Arizona, where the initial letter came from
Well...well...well...guess what I got from Microsoft a couple of weeks later? A very nice letter saying I didn't have to pay the $48.00 and it would be a credit on my account, and they would be pleased to have me as a customer in the future...blah...blah...and more blah! Now, I can now see, why they're all billionaires...$48.00 here and $48.00 there...gathered from all suckers around the country who can't defend themselves and...PRESTO...you're a billionaire! That's how easy it is to become a billionaire, etc.
At the time, I think this was my 7th victory in a row (but who's counting) and, all in all, I've won nine out of ten in my fight with these sharks! Another example:
One year, the cable company and the telephone were being paid automatically out of my checking account. Everything went well for about a year, and then I got a notice and a not-so-pleasant letter from the cable company, informing me that I was late on three months of cable, etc., and I owed them $75.00! WHAT? How could that be? I thought they were taking the payment out of my checking account!
Well...well...well...it was time to write another letter to the Attorny General's office in Santa Fe. The cable company threatened to cut off the cable...and they did! This mess was on the cable's side of things...not on mine...so I sent a copy of the letter to the cable company!
About a week later, came a knock on the door, and there stood the cable guy! "What do you want?" I asked him. He told me he was there to turn the cable back on, and he had a letter from his manager apologizing for the mix-up, and a $75.00 credit that I would not have to pay! Gee...I told the cable guy..."you're all so generous!"
In the previous weeks, I was treated like crap by the cable company, so I was going to turn the cable off anyway. But I let the cable guy turn it on and the next week, I got the satisfaction of going to the cable company, and giving them back their little black box, and I turned off the cable! A feel, good feeling for sure!
I didn't write this piece to criticize others, but I have to make a point, and the only way I can do that, is to tell the reader the worst letter I've ever seen. One of my sisters sent my a letter, when I was in boot camp in the Air Force. The letter was ugly...filled with spelling and grammar mistakes. How my sister ever graduated from high school...I'll never know! She could never do what I do...defend myself.! The people at the other end, would throw her letter away...and not take her seriously!
If I wrote this poorly, I could never do what I do...and that is to defend myself and to get my articles published, etc. I could never write to a Senator; a judge; the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; the governor, the editor of a newspaper, etc. I couldn't write to anyone, because I would ashamed of my writing...plain and simple!
And finally...I'm not a musician, so I can't "toot my horn," but aside from my writing helping me to defend myself...I am so pleased that, in my first two years in writing, over 80 of my articles have been published on more than 465 websites to start the new year of 2009! I am so grateful to all the website owners who have given me a chance to display my work around the world for all to see!
UPDATE; March 1, 2009; In the market for an apartment to move to another apartment, as my lease here expires on April 30, 2009. A short two-month window, so I have to move fast of my search. I noticed a sign in the neighborhood about a property management company, so I went to their website to look around. They had about six properties that I was interested in, so I made a list in order of preference. This could save me some time in my search for an apartment.
The apartments were all in the part of town I was interested, and the price was acceptable as well. So I followed the instructions in filling out the application and sending a money order for the application fee; there was also a $100.00 partial deposit fee, which I paid with a money order and I thought I was all set, but I was wrong. I continued my search elsewhere, as two months is not a long time.
After six weeks, I had not heard from anyone from this company...not a rejection...nor acceptance...nothing. I called the company about two weeks after I submitted the application, and I was given a name to call, and left a message, and I was not called back. Now, six weeks have gone by and the lease where I live is getting closer to expiring. So, on April 14, I signed with another company and got an apartment I was happy with.
In the meantime, I was told by the property management company that somebody would call me back and inform me what happens about a refund of the deposit money and the application fee, since I got no service from this company. Nobody called me back, I did what I've done so many times in the past...and that's to gather the information to send to the N.M. Attorney General's office (Consumer Protection Division) That was done on April 16, 2009 and all I can do now is wait to see what happens.
In the past, I've won nine out of ten cases, including my case against Microsoft; Comcast; 1st National Bank and others, so I expect to win this one, too. And, it all starts with a page and a half letter, explaining the facts of the matter, with no puffery or exaggeration. I will let the reader know how things turn out right here where I get the results.
Question: Why is there a Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's office in the first place?
Answer: Because the general public has to deal with the liars and cheaters in the business world, that's way!
SITE MAP For Hopelessly Lost People;
Copyright; 2009; Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor
Website name; humordoctormd