Adventures With Bureaucracy

MINOT, N.D. — The other day, I found a notice from the City of Minot on my front door indicating that I had 24 hours to pay my water bill or they’d be turning off my service.

Needless to say, I was alarmed.

My water bill is the only bill I still receive in the mail. I’ve moved everything else to online billing. I checked my records. The last time I paid this particular bill was in March.

I was floored.

I couldn’t call the city immediately. I didn’t discover the note until after business hours. After a sleepless night — I can be a little crazy about paying bills on time — I found myself sitting at my desk waiting until 8 a.m., precisely, to call in and get my bill paid.

And also to figure out what happened, because there is no way I missed three straight water bills.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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