Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Accidental Spelling Bee

*This story took place over a year ago, but I just found it!*

SETTING: as the curtain opens and the lights come up we see; me in my pajamas (read: yoga pants, big maternity top, messy hair and glasses) sitting on the couch in my living room. There is a smattering of loose papers around me as I sort through old 401k statements from previous employers. I can’t seem to remember if I ever rolled them over into my IRA.

Dials the phone…*ring, ring* “Hello this is Debra, how may I assist you today?”

Me: “I’m a former employee and can’t remember if I ever rolled over my funds into an IRA.”

Debra:” I’d be glad to help! What’s your social security number and date of birth?”

Me: * I gave the appropriate responses which I will not repeat in a public forum*

Debra: “Oh, yes, here it is. It looks like we did a rollover in 2006 but you do have a balance due to residual company matching, would you like to roll over that amount?”

Me: “That would be great, lets send it to the same account.”

Debra: “Okay, I’ll get that taken care of, here’s your confirmation number, is there anything else I can do for you?”

Me: “Nope, thanks again Debra!” *I always call folks by their name*

Okay, so that was the first phone call. Pretty quick, courteous and to the point. I keep on trucking through my papers and discover another account I’d better follow up on.

Dials phone…*ring, ring* “Hello this is blah blah woman's voice *words are muffled and drowned out by loud call center background noise*

Me: “Hello? I need to check on my account and see if I ever did a rollover??

Blah Blah: “Okay, do you have password? *more background noise*

Me: “I can’t really hear you that well.”

Blah Blah: *takes me off speaker phone I think* “There, is dat bettah?” *She is difficult to understand because she doesn’t speak clear English, and the background noise is still noticeable and distracting* “Can you tell me password?”

Me: “No, I haven’t worked there is awhile and I don’t remember the password.”

Blah Blah: “Do you want to answer security questions? Tell me your name and birthday.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll answer the security questions. *gave my name and birth date*

Blah Blah: “What was your grandfathah’s occupation?

Me: “He was an optometrist.”

Blah Blah: “Spell it”

Me: “You want me to spell optometrist?” *affirmative* “O-P-T-O-M-E-T-R-I-S-T”

Blah Blah: “What was the first school you went to?”

Me: “Danville North Elementary”

Blah Blah: “Spell it”

Me: * I’m starting to laugh now, amused that this is happening. I just had a very easy interaction with Debra regarding the same issue…and now I’m in a spelling bee with a call center operator* “D-A-N-V…..” *you get the picture*

Blah Blah: *she won’t quit* “Tell me the name of your first dog.”

Me: “Darla. D-A-R-L-A” *getting impatient now*

Blah Blah:” I’m sorry but one of your answers was incorrect, I cannot share any information with you without the password.”

Me: *fired up now* “What do you mean one of the answers was wrong? Did I spell it wrong? Those are the correct answers! Can’t we use my social security number?”

Blah Blah: * very passively keeps repeating that she can’t help me without the password*

Me: “ May I please speak to your supervisor?” * still repeating the password business*

“I’d like to speak to your manager” *I feel like I’ve just been on candid camera and now she won’t even let me speak to her manager, so firmly I insist* “Let me speak to your manager!”

Blah Blah: “ Hold please” *music for two minutes then Blah Blah returns* “Ma’am, I can send a new password to you in the mail but cannot help you without the password.”

Me: *fed up and not amused anymore* “Fine, send the password, goodbye and thanks for nothing.” I rudely hung up while she was still talking.

It doesn’t make any sense to me why some things have to be so difficult. God Bless Debra.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chocolate Shake

Can you remember your very first sip of a chocolate milkshake?

This is my Bird at the county fair Sunday evening enjoying her very first chocolate milkshake from the local dairy farmers tent.  Her daddy is holding the cup for her because she's not even big enough to do that on her own yet.  I think a milkshake is one of those things that can transcend barriers dividing folks; age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status.  It's a simple pleasure that brings humanity together for one frosty cold, delicious moment.
We shared a sweet summer evening with our daughter and some old friends in my hometown.  We drove an hour from where we live in the city to spend time showing Wren the 4-H animals, eating "elephant ears" and cheering on our favorite competitor in the kids pedal tractor pull!  I always enjoy the opportunity to savor a slower pace of life.  One of these days....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This blog is being redesigned at the moment, so hang on to your hats because it's going to get a little sprampier around here!