Monday, December 19, 2005

Time Well Spent

My convalescence has resulted in an abundance of Time to Get Things Done on the Phone. I mentioned last week a series of successes with various entities. Happy to report that my patience on the phone resulted in a 99-cent natural gas bill this month, a $10 gift card from the newspaper subscription department, and a win while tilting at windmills with the County Appraisal District.

I believe in telling good stories about people who’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty in doing their job.

Cynthia Gray is one such individual.

Cynthia spent a lot of time with me on the phone last week from her cubicle at the County Appraisal District. The County managed to ignore my valuation protest this Summer, and certified my home value way higher than it should have been. Cynthia’s job is to unravel those kinds of things, and she had her cut out for herself with me, especially since I am unable to travel about town right now.

But she persevered—on my behalf—even going into the office last Saturday morning to finish up several cases like mine. Within ten minutes in our final phone call together, she was able to verify the actual sales price of our home when we acquired it last March, and certified the price as the correct valuation for the taxing authorities. She also promised that her office would contact the other tax offices and our mortgage escrow department with the correct figures.

Lots of dirt is flung at the County Appraisal offices around the state. Some of it may be justified. But at the Harris County Appraisal District, Cynthia Gray is worth her weight in gold. Or at least a tax deduction!

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