Grateful for My Sense of Humor

I was nearly sent over the edge today by a half-dozen Verizon Wireless employees.  The odyssey started over the weekend.  I had fallen, smashed my chest, hands, and cell phone.   My chest and my hands seem to be recovering after three evenings’ application of a heating pad and a day of healing at Carnie’s Honker Springs Farm.  The cell phone — not so much.

I went online Friday night trying to determine my eligibility for an upgrade.  When I had determined that I could get one, I spent 90 minutes comparing phones to determine the “most bang for the least buck”.  Then I walked myself through the order process, only to see one of my lines deleted from the list in the “check your order” page.

At that point, I clicked “chat with a representative”, and spent twenty minutes online with “Shaleadina”, during which I would type a question, answer three or four e-mails, get her response, type another question or piece of information, go get a cup of coffee, come back to check if she had answered, waited, gotten her answer, repeat, repeat, repeat.  This person then informed me that she was “trained to place Verizon orders but did not have the right to access the account”.  Ohhh-kay.

I tried again on Saturday.  I cleared the browser, deleted temporary files, and went through the entire process again.  This time three lines were deleted from the list.  I tried chatting online again but the person did not know how to transfer an upgrade from one line to the other in order to process my request.

I resolved to try again on Monday, by phone.  I started the call at 12:15 p.m.  I tried being nice, cajoling, talking to a supervisor, repeating, talking louder, yelling, pounding my head on the desk, pacing, cajoling some more, talking to supervisors some more, speaking sternly (code word for more yelling), begging some more, and finally, at 4:40 p.m., I had a new phone ordered and being sent to the correct address.  The last lady asked me to “hold for a few moments”, which grossly under-stated the likely hold time, while she “confirmed the correction on the mailing address [had] gone through”.  I told her, softly but frankly, that the four-and-a-half hours on the phone had driven me to the brink of insanity, and that if she needed any more information, she would need to call me tomorrow.  I told her, “Merry Christmas, thank you, and goodbye” and terminated the call.

Two minutes later, she called back and asked me if I would “participate in a brief customer service to testify to the excellent service” that I had received.

I started laughing.  I’m still laughing.  It all seems pretty absurd now.  I do not know why their website didn’t work on Friday or Saturday.  I suspect it was just experiencing heavy traffic.  I don’t know why the chat folks cannot access my account or why the first five people who helped me today could not figure out how to do what I needed done.  But I do know that when the last person called me back to solicit my endorsement of their services, my sense of humor re-engaged and the whole matter suddenly seems extraordinarily funny.

You have to laugh, right?  Otherwise. . . well.  You know.


3 thoughts on “Grateful for My Sense of Humor

  1. Phil Carrott

    Aren’t the cell phone companies a “Hoot”………!!! All the same……can’t imagine working as a “agent”……I did laugh at your ending also, “survey, what survey…..!!!”

  2. Kati the cousin

    Yikes! I use Sprint and have never had an issue with them, but I go to the same store every time and never try to talk to the overseas customer service folks.

  3. Lisa Way

    “Here is a koan:

    Customer Service, how does one translate this?
    Mu, in Japanese. Wu, in Chinese.
    Or, in English, nothingness.”

    ~Elizabeth Bastos


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