Just One More Look

Yesterday was one of the most hilariously frustrating days that I have had in a while.  I became one of those people that the ones on the other side of a support call are rolling-in-the floor laughing at!  The day actually started out decent. Since it was extremely cold outside, I snuggled in the nice warm bed late and then just stayed inside all day, catching up on stuff, paying some bills, doing some laundry.  I should have left off at the laundry!  I may have saved some of my dignity!

(OK, so up front, this is a long post.  I tried to cut it down, but it would not be cut.)

I think I mentioned in a previous post about my phone taking a swim in the toilet.  Well, it dried out pretty well with only a few functions that are not working.  The main ones being the camera and the flashlight and the magnifier (that I used a LOT!)  So my niece mentioned that it is insured.  Why didn’t I think of that!  So I logged onto my wireless carrier’s app on the phone and tried to find out about how to submit an insurance claim.

It started innocently enough.  I even tried calling the wireless carrier’s support line first.  It gave such a nice message about logging onto the app to take care of issues that I figured I would give it a try.  So after I read the FAQ questions, I started the insurance claim. I got to the spot where they wanted the original date of purchase.  So, I thought, “I’ll just go to the location where “all” of my receipts are kept.  I did this.  There, where ALL of my receipts should be, were two receipts that were duplicated over and over and over.  It was for a purchase that was made early last year for some headphones.  None of the other receipts, for ANY of the (multiple) phones that were purchased were present.

This was somewhat alarming, so I thought I would access the chat feature and see if they could assist. Then, at the appropriate location, I typed, “CHAT.”  Thus started nearly two hours that ended with me yelling at the computer on the other side of the screen that was dissing me, and throwing the phone across the room!  (That really made a lot of sense, didn’t it?  Although, technically, I did throw it in the general direction of the bed…where it landed hard in a soft kind of way!)

So, the first sign that it was going to be a long support session should have come the first time that the app shut down and kicked me out of my chat session.  I gave it the benefit of the doubt and tried again.  At the point where it said I was connected, it shut down the second time.  So, I tried it again and was at least able to get the reason for the support chat typed in before they shut me down.  I was a little frustrated at that point, but then I saw a text come through on my phone that said, “It appears that we got disconnected. Please feel free to chat us back or call us at {a number that was never answered}.  Then a second message came immediately after that, and it said, “No worries, everything is all noted.  Thanks for chatting with me today.”

I felt pretty proud of myself.  So, just in case they had not gotten it the first two times I sent it in, I entered in my issue again.  Where upon sending, I immediately received a text back saying, “Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately this mailbox is not attended and your message will not be responded to, please call {that number that was never answered!} for assistance.”  <SIGH>

Did I give up at this point?  Oh no!  I logged back into the wireless carrier’s app and started the chat process again…I got a little farther this time.  Did I mention attempting to use voice entry made a crazy situation even crazier, because my phone definitely does NOT understand my accent?  The computer on the other end did a pretty good job of pretending to be a real person.  I was able to enter my issue again  Plus as soon as I submitted, I even added an additional comment…before the screen went blank and I was kicked out again.  Then, there it was, another text flashing on my phone.  When I read the message, it said, “Hi this is Riley.  Just want to let you know that we have an active chat.  Please reply to continue chatting.”

Finally!  Someone had heard me.  There really were people, or at least “a people,” out there in the abyss!  So I immediately responded with, “I am very frustrated at this point, so thank you for contacting me.”  Then I quickly followed it with the explanation of my issue again. Two, I tell you, two, back to back texts came through.  Yep, they both read, “Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately this mailbox is not attended and your message will not be responded to, please call {that evil number that was never answered!} for assistance.

In my frustration, I just yelled, “HELP!”  What did it get me?   “Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately this mailbox is not attended and your message will not be responded to, please call {that abominable number} for assistance.”

If you can believe it, I went back into the app yet again.  Somehow this had become a quest for me.  The funny thing is that no matter how many times I got kicked out, when I got back in, my chat session was just sitting there, acting like they were ready to talk to me…but they lie!

I typed, yet again, “Chat Please.”  I received a response,” Sure thing.  Tell me what you’d like help with and I’ll connect you with the right person.”  So I selected the option about managing my account.  They so politely (for the umpteenth time) asked me to sign in (which I had already done for the umpteenth time) so we could get started.

I played their game, again.  I selected the “sign in” link and signed in, to what I am not sure at this point.  The next step started with, “Great.  What do you want to know about managing your account?”  I entered my concerns about my receipts being missing from my account……again.  They promise to connect me, but then they shut down the app again.  Again, when I got back in, the chat session was acting friendly and welcoming me back and telling me that I can always ask a question below.  So I asked, “Are you a real person?”  What I get back, “Hi there! I’m the automated {unnamed carrier} wireless virtual assistant, programmed to answer most of the common questions we get from our customers.”

Then, it added, kindly, “If you’d like to speak with a live agent, simply ask for one in the box below.”  Which I did.  I requested, “Speak with an agent.”  They take me right back to the same loop of “what do you want to talk about.”  Again, I selected the managing my account option, whereby they ask me to sign in again.  Yes, they did.  Yes, I did.  This gave the exact same answer as when I was knowingly speaking to a computer, “Great.  What do you want to know about managing your account?”

I’m telling you people.  I was like a crazed person at this point.  I could not quit.  Why did I just not quit? I did this over and over and over until I was, literally, in tears.  I kept trying to word “help” in as many ways as I could come up with in addition to asking for a real person, asking if they were a real person, asking if there was any way they were going to help me today.  With every question, the app threw out random support help blurbs.  Even when I was in the middle of it, I knew it was hilarious, and fruitless and useless; but I couldn’t stop.  I just could not stop.  I asked at one point, “Are you people messing with me?”  Up popped another random support fact.  I started to type in, “For the love of all that is holy SOMEONE please help me!”  then I caught myself.  I had become one of those people!  (Yes, Kim and Paul, I had become that person…and you know who I am talking about!)  The last time I worked on a support desk, we had a caller that called almost every day for the same issue.  They’d forgotten their password.  I kid you not, nearly every day for a solid three weeks or so, their password had to be reset.  There were three of us answering phones on the support desk and we all tried to NOT be the person to answer the phone when this person called.  It was getting harder and harder to politely answer the phone with just a smile and not a burst of laughter.

I logged off the computer and called the number, (you know, that odious number that no one actually answers)  and waited, and waited, and waited, until I finally yelled at the phone and threw it.  I suppose I am just glad that it did actually land on the bed, where, technically, I aimed it. To say I was irritated was putting it mildly.

Anyhow, the reason I logged onto the wireless carrier’s app in the first place was to find the date on a receipt. Heck, I just pulled out my calendar and figured out the closest date to the purchase of the phone and entered that into the insurance claim, (which I’d had to restart by this point.)  It allowed me to complete the claim.  I was feeling a little vindicated.  I went through the claim form and answered all of the questions and the application completed.  As soon as it finished, a message flashed on the screen that the issue seemed to be an equipment malfunction and I would have to contact the manufacturer, even though it was damaged by an accident…which is what the insurance was for in the first place!  Seriously?!?

My irritation turned to resignation. My head bowed, I stopped and gave up.  It is not the first time I’ve been bamboozled by cell phone insurance.  I should have known better, but I had hoped for better this time though.  So, I finally gave up and got on with my day.

So fast forward to the end of the day, late at night into the early hours this morning.  I am writing this blog and I forgot a couple of details, so, yes really, I logged back onto the wireless carrier’s app to check the wording.  You guessed it!  As soon as I logged into the chat area and initiated the conversation, it kicked me out.  What was I thinking!  But, alas, yes, I did log back on again because I wanted to get a screen shot.  But…this time, there was something different when the chat session was initiated this time.

Instead of kicking me out, at the top of the screen I read, “Your live chat will start soon.”  Then, after a minute or so, “You’re chatting with Jamie.”  Seriously?  Yep, and a pretty polite Jamie at that.  They said, “It’s nice to know you, Elaine!  Other than the receipts, I hope you’re doing great today.”  Oh, but I wasn’t giving in so easily.  Oh no, no, no no.  I was still feeling quite burned.  I did not respond, and I just sat there, not responding, and not responding.  I started to feel a little churlish with friendly little Jamie there, so I said a simple, “Thank you.”  I just got straight to the point of my issue.  Even though they were trying to draw me into conversation, I just kept it to the facts and and a “Thank You” when necessary.

Well, we were on the chat session for a few minutes and I finally told Jamie that I knew this was not their “bad.”  Yes, their niceness had sucked me in.  So toward the end of our conversation I’m blubbering on about the whole situation and why I needed the receipt in the first place and the evilness of insurance companies and I don’t even remember what else!  To which, good ole Jamie responded, “Oh my!  I am truly sorry.”  and I believe them.  I believed them because they then told me how to actually submit the claim and that they would assist if necessary.  I’m not convinced, but I think I was actually talking to a real person at this time, especially when they ended the chat session with, “I know it has been a rough day for you but try to at least end your day with a smile.  Tomorrow is another day.”

Isn’t that how it goes?  We let ourselves get led into these emotional situations pretty easily.  I should have figured out (just from my support experience) that there was a problem with the wireless carrier’s app that afternoon and left it alone until later.  Oh no, I had to go and get myself all worked up and crazed!

I think I find the same thing happens in our Christian lives.  We allow those situations that are not valid to throw us into a tizzy; and before we know it, we are in the middle of a war that has no good resolution and we end up discouraged and without hope.  Instead of turning to our Father and practicing the “WAIT,” we dive head first into a mess and allow our emotions to become boiling pots of contention and strife.  When, if we would take a step back, think things over and truly seek guidance, we could assess the situation with a different attitude and possibly end up with a different, well maybe at least a less painful, resolution.

Jesus Christ came into this crazy, emotional world for a purpose.  That purpose was so that each and every person who so desires may have an intimate, personal relationship with Him. There is no forcing here.  It is completely voluntary.  It doesn’t work any other way.  This relationship places a peace inside that allows us, even through the insane days, to have a peace inside that the world cannot understand.  It is that peace that essentially, finally, gets you to smile even though it has been a crazy day!

Blessings!

~~~

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12)

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

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