Friday, December 01, 2006

"This call may be recorded for quality control"

Font has disappeared from my "compose" mode, so this may be in Times New Roman font size 8. I can't help it.

December 1st. I spend a productive day learning how to paste a simple tag into blogger from Photobucket. See the idiot post below. I reduce someone's bill for a lost book from $420.00 to $59.60, thereby becoming, for a nice change, his hero. Nevermind that much of the charge was a conversion error from the old system to the new. I have not looked down my Librarian spectacles and declared him bankrupt and banned from borrowing. It's the end of term. I am God herself.

The man in (and out of) my life phones in busy for the weekend. He's rushing off to do a talk on violence. Christmas decorations are happening over the weekend in his home. And yesterday or the day before, it was the meeting with the Neo-Nazi father and son. I leave him voice mail as he's trying one more time to reach me. He leaves me voice mail as I am returning the call. Finally, by some miracle, we connect and I offer hugs and kisses have a good weekend and relax. We'll see each other next week. I hang up and feel blue for 10 seconds and then consider that I have an ENTIRE weekend to do my own work and watch movies. This cheers me considerably. Which is the really huge benefit of being my age, I think. It reduces moping to a short interval. Hell, I could drop dead anytime. I don't have time to mope.

I come home and find a letter addressed to me - and to my former married self. Both names, neatly typed on a letter. In the letter are three calling cards from my phone company. The nice lady who offered to correct the endlessly looping mistake in my name information (the one I PAID THEM to correct to my maiden name), had offered new calling cards. What the hell, I thought. And today they arrived. Three of them. All bearing both names.

I endure the phone menu. I press 1 for English and 2 for Residential service and 3 for "any other inquiries" and finally, Steve answers. I explain, not without considerable theatrics, that Bell Aliant is an ass and that I would really, really like calling cards in my one and only legal name. Steve says, "You know, we live in a pretty great country. And when you think about the wars and all the awful stuff that's going on, if our only problem is two names on a calling card is..."

And yes, I cut him off.

"Steve," I say,"The problem IS that we have to go through 18 friggin phone menus and recorded announcements to get a human being and in spite of the fact that we have done this for roughly five years, only to find the same mistake popping up over and over, only to find that years after we are divorced and move and inform our phone company that our bill is still under our husband's name...and even though we have PAID for a name change, our married name is STILL in the phone book...the problem IS that it's all such a huge stupid bureacracy out there that nothing ever works, nothing is ever corrected..." I take a breath. "And you're right about the other thing."

"I spent my lunch hour with student loans," Steve says.

"Oh you poor guy."

"Yeah. And then I have to come back here and listen to people being mad. And what does it really matter if you have two names on the card. It's just the PIN that counts."



"Steve, have you ever crossed the border with ID bearing two different names?"

"No. But I doubt they'll ask for your Aliant card."



"Have you ever been hassled at the border?"

"No. I don't want to cross the border."

"Uh-huh. So you'll fix that, huh?"

"Yes. And you'll probably get your new cards in 2010."

Good boy. Let's hope for your sake they weren't recording this one.