This is not about credit cards. The OTHER kind of visa.
Well, Frugal Son just got his visa for 5 months in France (pauvre petit!). Problem is that he was supposed to leave this morning. When it was clear that the USPS would not get it here on time, we re-scheduled his flight.
Whose fault? That's what God says in Paradise Lost. The answer: our fault. "Whose but his own? I made him just and right." Then God goes on to say the words that I tell my student are the key to understanding Paradise Lost. "Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall."
So, the fault lies with Frugal Son who underestimated the time it would take to get a visa, which entailed an appointment (only 5 available per day) and a trip to the French Consulate in Houston. Then he had to wait over a week for the paperwork to be done.
The French Consulate came through.
But a bit of fault lies with USPS. The fellow behind the counter did not tell me that express mail was not really overnight, though I asked. And that Sunday delivery cost extra. We were ecstatic to see that the item arrived in New Orleans Saturday at 6 a.m., so we assumed we would get it that day. We live only 40 minutes away.
I called the USPS and the operator said "Didn't you get an estimated delivery date on your receipt?" What receipt? I wasn't given one.
So 90% on Frugal Son, who was nagged by us all summer.
10% to USPS for poor customer service at point of purchase.
Meanwhile, postal truck has been outside for 20 minutes with worker just sitting in there. After 15 minutes, he put one foot on the ground.
Stress Level: huge. Cost of nagging son all summer: huge.
What about the financial cost? Strangely none: the price of the ticket has gone down (a LOT, thanks to the recession?), so even with a $250 penalty and the loss of a one-way ticket to New York, we came out a little ahead.
Frugal Son is more cavalier than most about deadlines and bureaucracy. All this was a good lesson for him. But the stress has taken some years off my life, I'm afraid.
Frugal Son accepts 90% of the responsibility. But he also says FEDEX, which we've never used, has a customer for life!
Does anyone have tips for dealing with cavalier and procrastinating youth, when they are still supported by you? One friend, with an even more cavalier son, said, "Let him fail." To which I replied, "But we have to pay for whatever happens." Even if it "come out of his bank account," it's still all on us. Right?
Any tips or wisdom appreciated.