Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Am I truly done?

The cable guy got the Internet hooked up, but my ancient router has to be configured at a price of more than half of what it would cost for a new router.  So, no Internet for my laptop outside cafes until tomorrow (hopefully).

When I called Verizon to cancel, the representative had the gall to tell me that there would be a $700 early termination fee because one of the myriad technicians who worked on my service actually changed the service.  Two hours and fifty-five minutes and four supervisors later, I got a confirmation code for cancelation of service without a fee.  I also was given the direct phone number of a supervisor to call back if my final bill is not correct. 

So embattled has this become, I went ahead and changed phone service too.  As of Friday, I hope never to have to speak to another Verizon person again. 

Seven months of arguing, calling, begging, pleading, and alternating between being patient, constrained, irritated, and overwhelmed by frustration.  The cable guy was in disbelief that I waited so long to make the switch.  Later on, he called me back to say he worked on my "deal" a bit more and got it down to having crazy fast Internet, phone, and the same cable for just $17 a month more and locked that rate in for two years, with the understanding that if I move out of their service area before the end of that period, I will not be penalized. 

I asked several people for help.  Four times I had another person call for me.  Nothing really mattered.  It was always something in the "Central Office."  Supervisor after supervisor on the "Escalation Team" promised to resolve it, but no one ever did.

So, I am sitting here, exhausted, after the battle to get the $700 fee waived.  I am sitting here thinking that so very much of my life over the past seven months has been this battle with Verizon.  So much of my energy and time.  So much of the limitations on being productive from home and staying in touch via Skype.  So much frustration.  Shouldn't a person be able to have service that worked fine for over six years restored in a seven month period in the year 2010?

I apologized and asked forgiveness from all of the supervisors as they passed me on to the next person because it was near impossible to remain calm.  I just couldn't believe that anyone would think it logical for a person calling tech support since the third week of February to be making a long-term committment to such poor service.  Each one repeated the same "script" about his/her hands being tied until the last one. 

He was patient, listened carefully, and offered his home phone number just to let me give him an opportunity to restore my service.  Feeling rather broken, I told him I just needed to be done with Verizon.  I need less battles, not more.  I need for service, while not perfect, to be reliable.  I need not to have to think about or worry about that service.  And I need to know that if I am given leave to work from home I have the service that will afford me to do so with integrity and a solid connection to my work server.

For months, I have not liked who I am with Verizon.  Each call, I start out patient, even when it drags on into a second hour.  But some time around the tenth "I'm sorry for your inconvenience, but we are going to have to have antoher person look into this and troubleshoot with you," I start to lose it.  Yes, I have turned off and then back on the modem and the router and the computer.  Yes, I have plugged and unplugged all the cables.  Yes, the filters are on all the jacks in the house.  No, the speed test only shows about .55 mb of the 3 mb of service.  No, I cannot open websites with graphics.  No, I cannot watch You Tube without a hour or more of buffering.  No, I cannot download attachments.  No, I cannot Skype.   Tech person to tech person, no matter the escalation level, has the same script, asks the same bloody questions (name, phone number, address, operating system, model model number, call back number, power cycle, plug and unplug, reboot, etc.).  My patience wans with each successive tech person and well into the second hour, I just want to hang up and give up.  But I kept trying, even when I end up crying and terse, biting my tongue to keep from saying the ugly things running through my head.

Three times, I ended up yelling.  I was ashamed and apologized, but if you know me, you know that I do not yell.  Not since I was a little girl and fighting was the only language in our family.  Lately, I when I get very, very frustrated, my throat tightens up, tears flow, and I end up raising my voice.  I am not angry.  I am actually near despair.  And I am very, very weary.

So, am I done?  Am I really and truly done? 

Hopefullly, tomorrow the new router will arrive and tech support shall walk me through its configuration.
Hopefully, Friday another service man will come to connect the new phone service to the alarm system. 
Hopefully, next week a final bill will arrive. 

When we ask God to save us, I always think that is from the devil and his machinations.  However, these days, I also want Him to save me from myself.  From my weaknesses and frailties and foibles.  From the things that have changed in my brain that make it difficult for me to process information, problem solve, and contain my emotions. 

But...maybe...saving me doesn't mean changing any of that.  Maybe...saving me means giving me the strength to endure all that.  And...maybe...saving me means giving me the peace of knowing, fully and completely knowing, that...somehow...I am actually forgiven, daily and richly, for not merely the sin of Adam's choice in that garden of long ago, but also the sins of my flesh that bind me from and blind me to the breadth and depth of the riches gained and remembered in "I am baptized."

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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