October 7, Blog #6

I found myself in a transcendental conversation (with myself) in my Bridget Jones voice yesterday while I was stuck in Comcast hell for nearly five hours. Really you should try it some time. It makes five hours of being stuck in your office chair trying to “make nice” with people whose expertise you desperately need (and who surely are not as incompetent as they seem) go by much faster. Seriously. It only felt like 299 minutes when using an English accent.

If you don’t know who Bridget Jones is – she’s an adorable but rather bungling English gal who seems to bumble her way through life with the cutest British accent.  Henceforth, and to keep myself from rending every piece of paper on my desk into bits, I proceeded to take on “the Bridget persona” for the remainder of the day.

Hence my typed conversations with the four different “Very Efficient Customer Service Representatives” from Comcast took on a completely different angle.

Very Efficient Customer Service Representative, “How may we help you today Barb?”

Me, “Bloody Hell. This effing email is not working.”

VECSR, “I am sorry to hear that today Barb. What can we here at Comcast do to help you?”

Me, “Oh I’d love a cup of tea and a biscuit, please.”

VECSR, “Thank you Barb. We are happy to help you in any way we can.”

Me, “Then after you get my tea, please explain why following my directed visit to your website to order the upgraded modem thingy my email has gone tits up?” “And by the way, even though I am typing to you in a British accent I prefer herbal tea over Earl Grey.”

VECSR, “Thank you Barb. I also like tea. Please tell us what your problem is today.”

Me, “My bloody email. It’s going neither in nor out. I can see them on my phone but not my computer”

VECSR, “Thank you Barb.”

Me, “For what? Why are you thanking me?”

VECSR, “Let me summarize why we should help you today. Your email on your computer is currently not responding. Are you receiving an error code?”

Me, “I am getting numerous error codes. With lots of numbers in them. And obviously you are not going to get my tea for me so I am going to just pop round to the kitchen and get myself a cuppa and a digestive biscuit as it appears this is going to be an interminable conversation.”

VECSR, “Thank you Barb. I am going to give you a new code for your outgoing POP.”

Me, through mouthful of shortbread. “WUH? I am drinking tea, not soda.”

VESCR, “Please put the number 25 in your outgoing POP under advanced actions in your toolbox.”

GAH! Dread filled my soul. They expected me to know what they were talking about. I thought the point was for them to be the expert and just fix this problem.   Waves of anxiety coursed through my body. Drat! My incompetence was about to be outed.

VECSR, “Thank you Barb. Have you proceeded with this change?”

Me, “Um. Yes. So where exactly would one find the POP thingy? Is that near the Escape key?”

VECSR, “Thank you Barb. You are using the latest version of Outlook correct?”

Drat and Double Drat.

Me, “Why, blimey, I’m not. I am forced to admit that I am using Outlook 2007 which I realize given the current state of technology is equivalent to owning a corded telephone.”

VESCR, “Thank you Barb. Please excuse me while I find the information necessary to work with this program.”

I was mortified. Not only was I being identified as a “techno-ungeek”, I was hopelessly wretched in my technology components. What can I say? I’ve been spending all my money on select sports and university costs.

Plus I needed to use the loo. I had sipped an ungodly amount of tea.

Needless to say – she returned some time later from the museum with the Outlook 2007 manual and after two hours of her luring me into dark and unknown places within my computer, I was thrilled to see important new email (read deals from Groupon) pouring into my Inbox. Whew.   It was time to celebrate with another cuppa.

VESCR, “Thank you Barb. And is there anything else I can assist you with today?”

Me, “Why yes, I have a great deal of laundry that is waiting assistance!”

Long, long pause

VESCR,“Thank you Barb. I am glad you can now return to your laundry.”

Me, (typing with air of aggrieved injury) “Well, you did ask.”

VESCR, “Thank you Barb. I am concluding our business to be completed.”

Needless to say, I figured my problems were solved. BUT NO! By the Queen of England’s truth, within 60 seconds the whole thing blew up again.

After another two hours on the computer text/chatting with my fourth Very Efficient Customer Service Representative – I was guided through the “simple steps” of reconfiguring the program and suddenly 4500 email from the last nine months were swelling my inbox faster than an injection of botox on Dick Clark’s forehead.

“GAH!” I typed swiftly to my online help BFF/VECSR whose name (I kid you not) was Jam.

I swear I could hear the guy laughing across the world in his little cubicle as he pictured me deleting and scrambling, tea cup pushed aside and shortbread crumbs flying.

I hastily composed myself, we Brits for a day need to maintain haughty poise after all, and thanked him sincerely for his assistance. I felt it was the least I could do.

One hour later, email returned to a semi normal state of affairs and my imaginary tiara perched jauntily on my head; Offspring #2 reminded me he needed to eat dinner in the next 30 minutes. I rushed around being the perfect Mother and making sure he receives the necessary nutrition before he departs and as I stir the pasta water I sneak a quick peek at the email on my phone. GAH! The email is completely out of whack – unread emails are disappearing from view into to a black hole somewhere over JAM’s desk I am fairly sure.

I may very well have pulled out my scepter and whacked someone in the head at that point but I had peed so many times from all the tea that I was over the Bridget Jones thing and had moved into desperate middle aged woman mode.   I needed wine.

Needless to say – today after an hour at Tmobile, another hour with Comcast, an hour waiting for new software to download on my phone and still no fix on my phone email system, I’ve nearly decided to give up technology, move to England and just walk the streets hoping for glimpses of Prince Harry. But alas, reality strikes and my own three princes here at home need someone to find all their lost socks.   So I shall bravely venture forward and valiantly try to not throw all electrical components across the room. And when I need to work with the evil Comcast, why blimey, I will simply bring out Bridget and amuse my own self just for the sake of sanity. Try it sometime! I guarantee it will add a whole new festive element to any situation and perhaps alleviate the need to smite someone with your scepter.