Monday, November 30, 2009

I Hate That Auto-Bitch

My phone isn't working—not the iPhone, which we all know has had some issues recently as well—but my land line. It stopped working somewhere around last Tuesday or Wednesday. It would ring once and then nothing. I could still make calls, but no one could call me. Which, I'm going to be perfectly honest, has its benefits.

Then at some point it worked enough so that if you got to the phone right after it rang that first time, you could talk to whomever was calling.

"Well, just carry the phone around with you," was Alex's Mr. Fixit response when I asked if he could work on getting the thing fixed.

"Thanks a lot, asshole," might have been my response to that.

A couple of lazy days later, and Alex waited the phone into submission. It started working again. We could call, people could call us, everything was great. We don't know why, but who the hell really cares, right?

Until this morning when the phone reverted back to I-Hate-Stimey mode and stopped working. So *I* called the phone company (thanks for nothing, Alex) and ended up deep in conversation with the Autobot—you know, the computer voice that interprets your answers and tells you to fuck off and fix your own damn phone without ever having to let you talk to a human being? (Who would tell you the same thing anyway.)

And, yes, I know that the Autobots are from the Transformers and that the nice lady who recorded the messages is not from the planet Cybertron (or Hasbro-ville), but Autobot was a lot nicer than Auto-Bitch, which is what I almost went with.

I somehow managed to fuck up the first call which ended with the Autobot assuring me that I might have trouble ordering pay-per-view and that they were aware of the problem and then she hung up on me.

After I called back, stopped muttering, and very clearly started speaking, she seemed to get me a little bit better. As an aside, I wonder if they teach the speech recognition software to listen based on human speech tinged with barely concealed impatience and annoyance. Because that is the only way I have ever spoken to an Auto-Lady.

The fact that she started each of her sentences with "GREAT!" didn't help.

Basically, what she came up with was, "Your phone line is fine," "You should check your home equipment," and "Do you want me to walk you through checking your equipment step by step, dumbass?"

Naturally, being the dumbass I am, I asked for help. She told me there were four steps to check my equipment and that they were as follows:

1. "Make sure the battery unit has power." I know right where to check for this because it's the place where the incessant alarm beeping happens for seven hours when the power goes out for a long time. But I did learn that there is a "Silence Alarm" button on the thing. That would have been useful last time the power went out for a day and the dog spent several hours cringing at the beeping.

2. "You need to check your equipment. Pretend you have four phones. Unplug 1st phone, blah, blah, blah..." (Here's my question: how can I test the phone when it's unplugged? I guess I should pay more attention to Autobot.)

3. "Unplug the 2nd phone, blah, blah, blah..." (At this point I started questioning Autobot's four-point system. This seems way more like a 2.1 or a 2(b). Also, I didn't find the answer to my question after 2.0/2(a).)

4. Unplug the 3rd phone, blah, blah, blah...the problem is with the first phone."


I think I should have paid more attention to the blah blahs. Evidently it wasn't as simple as I thought.

But because I didn't want to seem dumb in front of Autobot, I nodded, told her I didn't need anything repeated, let her log my issue, and told her I would call her back if steps 1-4 didn't work for me.

And she said, "Thanks for calling Verizon! Goodbye."

And I said goodbye.

Because I am an idiot. And she'd hung up on me even before I managed to get the word out, so basically, I was saying goodbye to an automated voice after that voice was no longer even on the line. I'm pathetic.

And you still can't call me.

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