Cuts Like a Knife… by JoAnn

A red post office with two windows and a mailbox.

I have often been told many times that I’m a sensitive person. That my feelings are easily hurt. That I carry my heart on my sleeve, as my mother used to say. I cannot recall being any other way. As hard as I may try, I never seem to change. I have naturally toughened up because of all my experiences, but my sensitivity never goes away completely. And I’m not so sure I want it to. After all, don’t we need a certain amount of sensitivity in order to be sensitive to others? I’m sure there’s a fine line there.

When someone wrongs me, it can take me a long time to recover. If a loved one has wronged me, I will always choose forgiveness for peace of mind and soul. When a stranger does anything unsavory, it’s a whole other ball game. When I realize I’ve been taken advantage of, I’m likely to become enraged.  

Recently, I went to the little post office here in my small town. As a matter of convenience, I frequently choose to purchase a $1.25 money order from them to pay a bill. I needed a $300 money order on this particular day. I had $100 in cash, and I planned on paying the remaining $200 with my Paypal debit card. I gave the attendant my request, and she printed my money order. I swiped my card and entered my pin. Only once.

I quickly filled out the money order and promptly sealed it inside the addressed and stamped envelope. Then placed it in the mailbox. All was done, and I checked another errand off my to-do list.

I got home a few minutes later, and as I usually do, I checked my Paypal account to see my balance. To my surprise, I see they charged me an additional $200 from the post office. It wasn’t added to the one and only payment for which I had swiped my card and entered my pin; it was an entirely different transaction, all on its own! How could that have happened? I only swiped my card one time and entered my pin number one time! I was quickly becoming angry, but calmed myself down, grabbed my keys, and went immediately back to the post office.

I stayed calm, went inside, and the same young lady was still there. I showed her my phone and say “You charged me $200 twice! My account is now in over-draft!†With a strange look on her face, she mumbled something that I could not understand and rushed to the back of the post office. A few minutes later, an older man appeared. He told me that he can do nothing on his end to return my money, that he will have to call Nashville to figure it out. This made absolutely NO sense to me. So, I waited while he returned to his office.  

Finally, I’m fed up with waiting. I returned to my car and called Paypal to explain my plight. Just as my call was going through, the gentleman appeared at my window. Again, he tells me he cannot refund my money, that I need to get with Paypal and tell them to cancel the transaction. 

I returned home with that all too familiar feeling of my heart dropping into my stomach. I had just been duped. I couldn’t prove it, but my gut feeling is always correct. After everything that I have been through in my life, there’s no doubt in my mind that the young woman and the older man were both in on what had happened to me. That extra $200 transaction was no mistake. They knew exactly what they were doing, and my guess is they have done it before. Perhaps to a friendly older lady, who isn’t paying attention to their every move. I was furious at this point.

I called Paypal customer service, and a very kind young man answered my call. I told him the entire story and he validated my own thoughts. He too said the whole scenario sounded quite “fishyâ€. He felt I had been robbed. He immediately filed for an investigation.

I have had my Paypal account for about 10 years and I have to say they have never, not once, disappointed me. Any issue I have ever had, whether my fault or not, they have been there to help, not only in a professional manner, but a very kind manner as well. The young man working there on this day was so very caring about the way I was feeling and gave me solid advice on how to get through my ordeal. I was expecting it to take days for my account to be cleared, but they did it in less than 24 hours. I am sure I have that nice young man to thank for that.  

What happened to me that day at the post office hit me hard. The last thing in the world I needed was for someone to take advantage of me. I count pennies to make it through every month, and I thank God for every penny. I do not have extra money in my account for emergencies. When I felt robbed, it cut me like a knife! I cried, I was angry, and I prayed through it all.  

Why do things like what happened to me affect me so deeply? I know I am not alone in the way I feel. Surely there are other people out there that are just as sensitive. My daughter Chelsea once told me that I am too trusting for my own good. Perhaps I am, but to be non-trusting, and miss the chance of meeting a wonderful human being, would be such a tragedy.