Can Pay, Won´t Pay
I just got a call from the police. No, my violent political past (one No Blood for Oil demonstration last century) hasn´t caught up with me. It´s my occasional inability to understand what´s going on in a Spanish phone call that had me talking to somebody from ARSA (Spanish for “arse”? Actually, it´s the Asociación de Radioaficionados Santo Angel del Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, an association of policemen who are ham radio enthusiasts).
It seems I´m in debt with ARSA to a bottom line of some €242 for an advert in their magazine.
How did that happen?
Go on, you all know already.
A chapuza, that´s what. A botch, a mess, a piece of crap. Hardly a candidate for the Word of the Week, since you can´t be in Spain for five minutes without learning it, but …
No Gato por Liebre (No Pig in a Poke)
About a month ago, someone from the police called me about our little translation service, Alba Language Services. It was all very bleeding heart and I nearly wept into my wine glass: ”We´ve heard great things about your work and we want to help you grow, so we´re going to advertise you in our magazine …”.
Fast forward to una nada, hardly anything, of €200 plus VAT and somebody would call me for payment. ¡Clic!
What? At some point in the conversation I did agree that they could send me a copy of the magazine, just to check it out. I didn´t want it, having no intention of placing an advert in it, but I was Being Nice to the Big Policeman and anxious to get off the phone. (It was after seven o´clock in the evening and I was trying to wind up my working day).
We have always put an advert in another publication. I meet yearly with the person responsible and she updates it, make sure it´s correctly spelled and tells me exactly how much it´s going to cost. This delightful woman buys me coffee, gives me free pens and explains about the interactive online version and only then does she issue me an invoice, payable after I receive a copy of the publication and make sure it´s all shipshape.
None of this happened with shitshape ARSA. So when a large envelope marked Policía arrived, complete with a bill for the aforementioned amount, I ignored it and didn´t even look at the magazine.
No Dosh for Dross
Well, I should have, as it would have helped me fend off the policeman who called this morning for his two hundred and forty two smackaroonies.
“There is no way out of this, Náuren”, he told me. (¿Náuren?). ”The advert has been published and you´ll have to pay, even if there´s an error - we´ll fix it for free.”
So I finally checked out the full-colour advert with its British and American flags. It´s for:
ALBA LENGUAGE SERVICES
¡Me cago en la leche! Thankfully, I told my policeman caller this morning that I had absolutely no intention whatsoever of paying this bill, fraccionado (in instalments) or otherwise.
What I should do is call him up and demand redress for the harm this piece of shit will do to our translation business. Would you trust a language professional who can´t even spell “language”? (Or even lenguaje). Would you trust a police force that can´t copy correctly the name of a business from one of the leading directories in Madrid?
My next post might well be from Alcala´s spanking new jail because I´m adamant I´m not coughing up. (Surely they won´t send me to the maximum-security Alcalá-Meco penitentiary alongside the likes of the sinister, thieving, Mario Conde? Oh no, I forgot, he´s out and going into politics. He´ll surely do well).
And by the way, there´s nothing wrong with my phone Spanish – when the person on the other end of the line, law enforcer or not, isn´t trying to estafarme. (Cheat me).