The TV screen was a mass of grey and white letters.
I called an 800 number.
After listening to Muzak for some time, a fellow answered. He had me unplugging this and switching off that and cruising down channels and on my hands and knees reading to him the lists of codes and numbers on the various electrical boxes. While we were waiting for something to upload, we chatted.
I asked him where he was located.
He said, “Belize.”
I said, “You mean you live at an island resort town in the [Caribbean]?”
He said,” Yes.” I told him that I was calling from Squamish, British Columbia.
I said he should look us up on the computer.
With amazement, he said, “Wow, I can see mountains and snow. We don’t have snow here.”
Miraculously, a picture and sound came back on the TV, and there was jubilation on both sides of the line.
I’ve been paying a life insurance policy for years.
It dawned on me that I couldn’t remember receiving a statement, even though I’d paid the post office to redirect my mail. From my experience, it’s good to keep on top of finances, or expenses can snowball.
So, I called the company’s 888 number; I got a woman on the line with an accent. I asked her where she was located. She said, “we work from home now.”
She asked for my password.
“I’ve been paying monthly for over 10 years. When I set it up, I didn’t need one.” She said,” I can’t give you any information without a pin or password.”
“But it’s my account,” I protested.
“I can switch you to the line where you can create one and call me back. Do you want me to switch you?”
“No, I don’t want to be switched. I want to know the status of my account.”
I eventually slammed down the phone.
The next day, when I called, a fellow at his home office in Oshawa, Ontario, straightened things out.
We have such a global economy these days.
There are advantages to that, I am sure.
But I miss the old days when the person on the other end of the line was right up the street.
Those were the days.
Oh, no! I’ve become Archie Bunker.
Melody Wales is a Squamish resident and veteran columnist.
**We corrected the column after it was first posted to replace Mediterranean with Caribbean for Belize.