Last weekend I found myself in the Money Town Verizon store attempting to acquire two new phones. There's nothing I dread more than having to stop into our local Verizon store. There's almost always a long wait just to be seen and a zillion headaches in dealing with whatever cell phone issue needs dealing with. This time, however, I walked in and was immediately waited on by Mr. Imbecile. Of course, initially, I didn't know Mr. Imbecile was an imbecile and I was overjoyed not to have a wait.
Let me back up just a little bit.
TR had arrived home from college on a train just shortly before. She was coming home for about 30 hours and one of the primary reasons she came home was because she desperately needed a new phone. Her phone was held together with a combination of scotch and duct tape and the charger was no longer working. Our cell contract allowed her to get a new phone this month. At the same time, I wanted to upgrade to a "smart" phone for myself. Quite honestly, I haven't been able to keep up with my emails since I began Twenty Four At Heart. I figured if I could answer emails from my phone I'd have a better chance of making a dent in them. (??)
Within minutes of our arrival the store was overflowing with customers. We (foolishly) congratulated ourselves on having arrived before the crowd. As it turned out all those customers came and went and we were still there with Mr. Imbecile. Yes, it took us over three and a half hours (with no initial wait) to be taken care of.
We explained to Mr. Imbecile what phones we wanted and blah, blah, blah. He started the process of making the changes. A few minutes later he informed us TR could not get a new phone for four more days based on our contract. FOUR DAYS. I explained to Mr. Imbecile that she was only home from college for one day, and asked if he could possibly get the manager to approve a FOUR DAY exception.
He said that would be impossible.
I asked if she could purchase a new phone in FOUR DAYS in her college town. He explained that would also be impossible. According to Mr. Imbecile she needed me with her, because the account is in my name.
He then went on a tirade about the importance of this rule in the event of a "bad divorce." (Because there are so many GOOD divorces?) And what the hell does any of that have to do with my daughter? She and I have no intention of divorcing anytime soon.
Frustrated, I told Mr. Imbecile to just upgrade my phone. As he started this process we took note of the Money Town crowd surrounding us. There was a woman with large fake breasts and a tight cleavage-exposing top, dressed head to toe in hot pink. She even wore hot pink converse sneakers and a "reverse french manicure" with matching bright pink nail polish. Next to her was a Money Town man demanding a free upgrade of the expensive phone he'd used for five months because he recently decided he doesn't like "the sound of it." I looked on as his eight year old daughter chatted on her own phone while she waited.
All these people, and many more like them, came and went as Mr. Imbecile slowly punched numbers into his computer, frowned, deleted them, and began the process again. Over, and over, and over again.
I don't have a lot of patience for stupid people, and Mr. Imbecile was an idiot.
As he attempted (unsuccessfully) to input my blog email address he smirked and said, "So you think of yourself as 24, do ya?"
Before I could respond he said, "That must make me 16."
He was in his mid-sixties, staring me down through his overgrown, pure gray, comb-over and I was not the least bit charmed by the comparison. I used every ounce of willpower to stifle a smart ass response.
If you know me in person, you understand what an extreme effort it was on my part. I'm not a stifler of smart ass comments by nature.
A few minutes later he attempted (again unsuccessfully) to enter my personal email address which, coincidentally, also has the number 24 in it.
"You're really hung up on trying to be a 24 year old, aren't you?" he remarked.
This time I clenched my teeth together to will myself into silence.
Somewhere along the way, a few snarky comments started escaping.
"Hmmm," I said, "I understand now why so many people have left Verizon and gone to AT&T."
(AT&T doesn't work in my canyon so it's not an option for me, but that's beside the point.)
"Would you like to go next door and have lunch TR? I'll still be here in a few hours when you're done."
When Briefcase called to ask when we'd be home I commented, "Well, at this rate I'd say we'll be at least another five hours."
Mr. Imbecile punched in more keys, frowned again, deleted everything and began again.
I'd think he did this just to spite me for my snarky comments, but he wasn't intelligent enough for that.
One of the store managers came over about five times to help Mr. Imbecile, but unfortunately he never stayed very long. At one point I explained to him TR's situation and she showed him her duct taped phone. He approved her for the "impossible" upgrade on the spot.
Mr. Imbecile frowned at this news, deleted everything he'd done over the last hour and a half, and began again.
I contemplated beating my head against the wall repeatedly, but the store was too crowded to find wall space.
At the three hour point (not exaggerating) a new store manager came on duty. He came over to answer one of Mr. Imbecile's questions. I looked him in the eye and said, "I'm a little frustrated, we've been here five hours and I'm ready to lose it."
Of course, it had only been three hours, but three hours in a Verizon store is totally, really, five hours. At least. Probably ten.
He took over for Mr. Imbecile.
Right then Briefcase called again to see why we still weren't home.
Mr. Manager laughed and said, "Tell him you'll be another five hours."
I decided I liked him. Of course, I would have liked anyone after spending three hours with Mr. Imbecile.
We were out of there thirty minutes later. Amazingly enough, he was able to load both of my email addresses and never once questioned the fact that of course I'm 24 (asshole).
On our way out I overheard a Money Town woman explaining to her husband why their kindergartner needs a cell phone.
"It's going to be really comforting for me to know I can reach her anytime," she remarked.
I choked back the vomit which threatened to come up in my throat.
Now I just need to learn how to use my smart phone. It's smarter than I am and I know it.