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.

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