Misery Loves Bureaucracy, Part Two

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[This was intended to be three parts, but the third target is not answering the phone. Huzzah!!]

The first cable call didn’t go well, but I was cranky, remembering the last time I tried to penalize me for leaving because I agreed to buy a cell phone from them and other such horse product. I do not have a landline. I mean, they say I have a landline, but there is no jack in the house that provides a dial tone to Grammy’s red phone. And even if I had a dial tone, nothing can happen. The rotary signals no longer connect with a system that recognizes them. You may as well plug the phone into a chicken.

So, this started off badly, also because they put me on hold long enough for me to find the competitor’s offer. It’s good: fifty bucks per month for exactly what I want. The competition waives the modem fee. The competition wants my fifty bucks.

I bet the competition understands what it means to realize that cable television is now a luxury on par with a trip to the grocery store. We can’t eat Shark Week. I’ll have cable when I can’t walk, or something. The cable and phone service includes a host of fees and taxes which I’m not even including for this discussion, except to say they make the dropping of services totally worthwhile.

She said she could give me internet only for eighty odd dollars per month plus a modem rental fee. I’m a little foggy, but that seems like more than fifty dollars. Still, I would get away from paying for totally useless junk and associated useless fees. Maybe this is the way to untangle the cable as a first step. Done!

As a bonus, on my second call I got a lovely lady from New Jersey who understood all my COVID-choked jokes and managed to slip enough sales talk into the call to satisfy her metrics while still being a human. I may have agreed to stick with this plan for a year, but by then I will be ready to move down the Luddite road a little bit further, I’m sure.

My other sticky issue was with the IRS. It went nowhere.

It’s not exactly an urgent problem, but it’s the kind of thing I thought I might solve with some time and a telephone. You see, the IRS flung me into the Identity Protection Bucket about twelve years ago. I was trying to establish my identity with them in order to work out financial aid for my eldest college student. When I failed to correctly name the entity who held my car loan ten years prior to that, I was definitely and forever a scammer trying to impersonate a poor person. This one incident has cost me hours of my life and made every single routine interaction with them complicated and protracted.

When you call the IRS Identity Protection Unit, regardless of menu selection, you end up at the same long-winded recording. The last time I called during a lunch hour, I gave up when it said that I must have my returns and all the supporting documents handy for my call. I did not have them, so I hung up. Had I stayed on the line, I might have heard what I heard today: “Due to extremely high call volume on the topic you selected (note: this happens for every topic) we cannot handle your call at this time.” The IRS hangs up on you even if you claim to be a victim of identity theft trying to report the theft to them.

I mean, that’s really horrifying. Can you imagine being a working person being cleaned out by thieves and having no one able to take your call? The call you are urged to make promptly to avoid further losses? Maybe they should put the cable company in charge of their customer service. Maybe they’d have better luck with a rotary phone and a chicken.

Anyhoo, I’m healing and I won’t have much more time to make use of my geezer wheeze on the phone lines. Wandas everywhere should feel relieved.


If you enjoy watching 19th century nonsense, you will probably enjoy reading it at least that much. My first book’s birthday is this week, so you could celebrate it together!!


Helpline for Your Helpline, Inc.

Ever wonder what your customers experience when they contact you? You should!! Are you alienating the people you want to attract with the way your operators are not standing by? Unstoppable Secret Shopper and Karen Extraordinaire are available to test your concept of the mostly adequate customer experience. You cannot call us, either, but you may email mom@askyermom.com for further instructions!! Your call should matter and your matter shouldn’t require dozens of calls!!


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