one of the skills we unemployed folk have…
…we know just how long certain bills can be pushed.
we know when they SAY they’re due, and when we can pay, and how little we can pay, and still have the services we need. it’s something i learned long ago just being kinda poor, and i’ve really honed in these last few months. like with my phone bill…
…the “sprint shuffle” as i call it.
typically i pay within the time limit and never lose service…but when the money’s simply NOT there at the right time, i get cut off, i call them and tell them i’ll pay within a week, and i get it turned back on. on occasions i just KNOW this is coming i do the “preemptive strike” and call them BEFORE they cut me off and tell them the date i’ll pay and they’re cool…the only problem is “normal” customer service folk can’t do this, they have to transfer you to the finance department.
that’s where the fun started yesterday.
i called customer service, did my usual song and dance, and got transferred to finance…sorta. i heard the guy pick up, say hold on a second, and then i was back on hold again for a minute or so, followed by him picking up the phone, and all i heard was…
“hey now”, i replied, “that’s no way to start a call”.
he sounded kinda nervous and said, “sir, can i get a number where i can call you back real quick?”
“what the hell?”, i replied, “did i catch you at a bad time? this IS your job, ya know, buddy”, and i asked, “why would you need to do that?”
i got an answer i was NEVER expecting…
“well, i just screwed up and transferred you to my cell phone, and i DON’T WANNA BURN THE MINUTES (i put that in all caps just to emphasize the humor, he didn’t shout it or anything…), plus i get kinda crappy reception in the office (keep in mind this is the SPRINT office we’re talking about) AND i can only stay offline on my work phone for two minutes and then they’ll send another call my way, so if i don’t call you back i can’t help you…”
giggling, i gave him my number, he called within fifteen seconds, and we got it all locked down…then, i guess the experience made him feel like we’d bonded, ’cause he went on to tell me it was his birthday (which he’d kinda indicated during the cell phone call ’cause i heard him say “what a way to kick off my birthday” as he was hanging up…), and that he was a cancer, and when i reflexively started giving him “cancer traits” i’d picked up from being around kramer all these years, he asked if i knew much about astrology, i said only what i knew from my friend that (mentioned ’cause it’s how most of the world might know him) was once on ‘wife swap’, he said he never watched it, but then proceeded to talk about shows he really liked, etc, etc…when i noticed the call was getting up there in length, i mentioned that i needed to go since he had called me back from some toll free, we were no longer on the *2 free customer care line, and i was concerned about MY minutes. he credited the account for fifteen minutes to compensate, thanked me for listening, i wished him a happy birthday, and we hung up.
shit, at least the phone still works.