These are a constant source of worry, anxiety and the bane of my life: yet they are not even my own bills. No, the bills I hate are the ones that my mother receives because she won't relinquish the responsibility to me to be able to just pay them yet she wants me to help her sort them out. It begins with the delivery of the bill, first I have to get the panicked phone call to alert me that there has been some post, and then she proceeds to tell me small pockets of information so I have to decipher exactly what the bill is for. It's like some kind of verbal Pictionary, and I hate playing.
For anyone else, it would a case of getting a bill and paying it, that's it. Easy, effective, succinct. Yet with my mother in play it's a constant cat and mouse game which can span over the course of a week of debates. Where do we pay it, why has it come from a different address: she scrutinizes the address on the envelope nowadays and doesn't accept they have different admin offices?
Usually I say I can pay it online, this is the easiest way for me and I can either pay it from my account and have the money returned or pay from her bank account or card when I am with her. However, every time we do this we have to go through the tribulations of security and talk through the fact that it is safe and it's how I pay my own bills. Like a lot of older people she likes to have a physical version of payment, and prefers to pay at the post office and have a stamped receipt, which I understand and will organize a day to take her (because this does encompass the whole day).
However then doubts seep in and she doesn't trust the person down the post office, perhaps he or she doesn't know how to do payments, they might pay the wrong thing or pocket the money, or question her about the bill and cause someone to come around and kick her out of the house etc etc. These days I tend to just leave her to tire herself out now as nothing I can say will stop or soothe her paranoia which she states defiantly isn't paranoia, she's not mad. She tells me this quite consistently in case I call the men in white coats as she supposes. Then once we have gone around in circles for a while, she eventually relents to letting me take the bill to pay it, as long as she gets the bill back and I don't lose it (this has never happened). I also have to make sure the receipt is printed out and it has to be stapled together. Except last week I was told not to since someone might come and steal the bill and then they will have her bank details too.
Seriously, do bills have to be such an effort?