Before a fight, know your opponent

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2001

One of Greenville’s better known businessmen recently suffered the ultimate humiliation at being gunned down by a computer-biller, named Mr. Levy, of Hotlanta.

The story, as recalled in this latter day, went something like this.

Greenville’s executive, whom we’ll refer to as &uot;Mr. R.&uot; for reasons of brevity and anonymity, hosted a van-load of fellow VIPs at a dinner conference in Montgomery.

Email newsletter signup

The group feasted at one of the Capital City’s more posh restaurants, where they chatted, chewed, sipped and dipped for the better part of two hours.

As they left that eating emporium, the genial &uot;Mr. R.&uot; picked up the tab

for some $90 and signed for it on his company’s A. Express credit card. Never leave home without your AECC.

Well, sir, about a month after the now-very-memorable event, Mr. R. received a bill from the credit card folks, but it was not for the $91.50 as anticipated, but for 915.00.

&uot;H-m-m,&uot; mused Mr. R. to himself, &uot;they goofed

pointed off the decimal in the wrong place.&uot;

So, he drew a check for the correct amount, $91.50, and forwarded it with an explanatory letter, requesting that that particular charge be fully credited.

Things rocked along smoothly for another month or so, when suddenly Mr. Levy of the credit card firm wrote to Mr. R. directly, crediting his account with the $91.50, but billing him with an outstanding balance of $823.50.

Mr. R., still unruffled by all this bother over so apparent an error, simply dropped his friend Levy another note explaining his position in more detail.

To shorten a story that could steam on to a great crescendo of unimaginable intensity, suffice it to say that three or four more exchanges of the same nature followed

until in an apparent fit of frustration, Mr. Levy impatiently informed Mr. R. that he demanded satisfaction

settling of the &uot;delinquent&uot; account within five days or ELSE.

Mr. R. became equally steamed, and put in a direct telephone call to those in charge of the credit card accounts department, and spoke directly to the head of that section.

The man at the other end of the line guffawed, chortled and snorted at Mr. R’s threat to do in Mr. Levy were he not properly credited and an end brought to the tiring affair.

Mr. R. said his file on this insignificant matter had grown to the bursting point and that he was completely &uot;worn out with Mr. Levy and his shenanigans, and I, like your Mr. Levy, also demand satisfaction. What the heck are you laughing about anyhow?&uot;

It was then, and only then, that the department head explained his great compulsion to be mirthful about the situation.

It sprang, he said, directly from the facts surrounding the lineage and heritage of Mr. Levy.

&uot;You see,&uot; said the account executive in Atlanta, &uot;Mr. Levy is neither chick nor child

he is, rather, of an inanimate quality, having been hammered and chiseled into the piece of machinery that he is.&uot;

The exec explained further that Mr. Levy in reality is a computer, one that is programmed to take care of bad &uot;R&uot; accounts.

Needless to say, Mr. Levy was chastened for his insubordination, Mr. R’s account was fully credited, and the letter-writing computer-robot, Mr. Levy, was put into sick-bay for rewiring.

We at The Advocate hazard no risks as do our computer counterparts, since we are living, throbbing, flesh and blood individuals.

Should the unlikely occur, and a bookkeeping mistake is made at this office, our clients have folks with sympathetic feelings and leanings with whom to deal.

No metal hardware and floppy discs are we. Any error occurring hereabouts is dealt with summarily and with dispatch.