12-20-2009, 12:04 AM
Kindle: Snow Crash
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denville, NJ.
Post Thanks: 31
Thanked 275 Times in 267 Posts
There is finally a happy ending. I'll leave it to everyone to decide just what kind of happy ending I'm talking about.
The final Hail Mary play failed miserably. I suspect the crack team of tech support personnel made a half-hearted attempt and then knocked off early for a game of Dungeons and Dragons. It's also possible that this crack team never existed outside of the imagined world of a customer service rep with a deep-rooted psychosis. "Invisible friends", like that loner kid in 3rd grade who was always having deep conversations with people only he could see. Everyone gave him a wide berth in the hallway, fearful that he would choose the first person to make eye contact as his first real world pal. Nobody wants to be that guy.
So the next day, after enjoying my chamomile tea (in as manly a manner as I could muster) and a fine Dominican cigar (Arturo Fuente OpusX), I steeled myself for another encounter with the Automated Phone System. After wading through the autobot's menus and sub-menus, answering questions the eventual live human will just ask again, and issuing only a single (but heartfelt) curse, I got another bona fide person to speak to. He read the book-like notes attached to my file** and immediately cut to the chase. My kind of guy!
I was pre-approved for an immediate New Order Ticket, something that would allow me to take my current cable box to a Verizon store and do a fast exchange for a brand spankin' new one. No fuss, no muss, and no questions. At least that was the promise. They'll take that useless box (still active on somebody else's account) and return it to the service center to be neutered, and I will walk out with a factory sealed box and all the trimmings.
I arrive at the Verizon store at about 11:00 AM, full of all the hope and promise a new day (and a shower) brings. It's just across town and there's a Starbudks nearby. That means that when I'm done and get my new box I can celebrate with my usual concoction: A venti cafe Americano wth 8 shots. I suck those things down like a little kid with a Yoohoo addiction.
I give the girl at the counter the special ticket number, which is supposed to be all I need to do to get my new cable box. But she says the number won't allow her to access my account to enter the ticket number. She'll need my phone number. No problem. I give it to her and then I hear that all-too-familiar "Hmmmmm....." It's never good when they pause and say hmmmmm......
"Sorry sir, but we show no record of that number in the system."
"Your phone number is not in our system."
"You bill me for this number every stinkin' month! How can you not have a record of it?! Where does that phone bill come from??!!"
"Do you have some other Verizon information?"
So I give her my Verizon.net email address.
"I'm sorry, but that's not coming up in the system either."
And then she does that shrug and point at the screen, like it's the Burning Bush or something. If it doesn't come up on the magic screen, it simply cannot be true. I know the type well.
"How can Verizon NOT have a record of the email address THEY ACTUALLY PROVIDE??!!"
"Oh, I'm sure they have it. But I don't. It was never included in the information my system has about your account."
I just start at her and blink. What's left to say? My account doesn't even come up with my name. She can see who should have the box I just turned in though. His account comes right up. Which gives me an idea. I call home and ask the wife for the serial number on the original box, the one that got bricked and started this whole fiasco. It's on the original paperwork in a filing cabinet in my computer room, and it saves the day. That number gets her my file, and I learn that they have me down as first name RASEIJAS, no last name, and no address. I feel like Madonna, or Sting. But with way less talent. Every department at Verizon has it's own file on me, and none of them match up. None are linked to any of the others. Each department is compartmentalized, much like a terrorist cell. But instead of bomb vests in crowded markets, Verizon's weapon of choice is shoddiness.
I finally got my cable box back up and running. This new one activated properly and I now get all the channels to which I subscribe. I will miss that other guy's subscription to the Playboy Channel though. Of course I cannot utter those words around the wife. That would be bad. For me. Some years back I made a foolish decision. I thought she should know about firearms so I taught her to shoot. Turns out my wife has an aptitude for it and really loves it. Her favorite is the AR-15, but she's also quite accomplished with a Glock pistol. None of this bodes well for me should I mention the Playboy Channel in anything but derogatory terms. "Oh, no dear. That Playboy Channel is awful. Lets watch Roseanne together instead." Oh well. At least I can watch Roseanne in high definition!
** I suspect this file is an extension of the "permanent record" we heard about in grade school. "This is going on your permanent record, young man!" If my suspicions are correct about this, there is some REAL EMBARRASSING stuff there. A girl named Lisa Lane knows what I'm talking about! But that's a story for another day.