As much fun as it was when the basement flooded, everything that went along with it, and the recovery afterwards, I think it’s fair to say that I’m pretty much ready to be all done with that chapter of my life, now. Really. I’d like to move on. But the government just won’t let me.
Why? After convincing me that FEMA had experienced a dramatic turnaround— resulting, at the very least, in a record-speed disaster relief grant for me—all their hard work was undone, yesterday.
I spent an hour on the phone with FEMA employees, explaining and re-explaining that yes, you sent me some money, and now my insurance company has pulled their heads out of their butts and THEY gave me some money, and now I would like to GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK. They have NO idea how to handle this. None. I could hear them scratching their heads. The phone was passed around, and the scenario spun out anew. Apparently I am the first person in the history of the universe to try to give the government their money back.
The final consensus was that I need to write a letter explaining what I’m doing.
Thank you very much for the lovely disaster relief grant. I enjoyed it very much, as did the dumpster rental people and the guys who came to spray the biocide. However, now that I have received a settlement from my insurance company, both Emily Post and federal law suggest that I return these funds to you to avoid upsetting anyone.
I would especially appreciate it if you could mention this to your friends over at the IRS, as I have a funny feeling they might bring it up next April. Call it a premonition.
Anyway, it means a lot to me that you stepped up when you did, and I hope that you can find it in your heart to actually make a note of this in my claim file rather than misappropriating my check and later accusing me of making a fraudulent claim. I may, after all, require your help in the future, as there are still quite a few natural disasters I haven’t yet experienced. So I hope there aren’t any hard feelings.
I wonder if they’ll write back?