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Guess I’m a maths hotline now

I posted yesterday but this great community I feel like I must share more from the trenches for us all to gawk at because that person on the other end of the line never ceases to amaze.

So context, I work in City Council. We deal with anything you can think of public service wise and FYI its not the US so I think we have a bit more that we are generally responsible for in our municipality (ya’ll have that HOA thing) but I digress.

This fateful day I had a lady call up who wanted to know how much she owed in tax to the council for the year (its a combo of land tax, waste services and general community stuff for property owners) . Standard call, people misplace their notices all the time and I do some security checks to verify her identity and then

Me: OK so do you want to know how much you owe for the quarter or for the year, I can see here that you have… (she cuts me off)

Lady: no no dear, I know how much I owe for my ACTUAL amount but LAST year I was charged MORE than I owed

Me: oh no, my apologies I’ll just check through the past transactions…

Lady: it was some sort of PROCESSING FEE and I’d like to be made aware of HOW MUCH I WILL BE PAYING IN FULL THIS YEAR

(as she is going on, I’m looking through her payment history and everything is actually great, she pays on time every year the full amount exactly)

Lady:… so I need to know what the full amount with the 0.something percent added on please

Me: oh do you mean.. the transaction fee? There is a 0.75 percent transaction fee when you use certain credit cards or payment methods, it tells you on your notice

Lady: yes, I know! So what is that amount!

(I’m like, OK.. Maybe she does in fact want me to.. Do the maths for her?)

Me: OK can you hold the line please

(I calculate 0.75 % of the total amount she owes, add it up on her total taxes.. Is this what she wants.. That 0.75 is actually a bank fee and its a courtesy on our end telling people because only some transactions have it.. and I’m talking like, 0.75 of her amount to pay is in the single digits people)

Me: hi, so the total that will come out of your bank account including that 0.75% fee will be $x

Lady: thanks! Finally! click

  • am a maths hotline now.

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