I’m calling my bank now. They left a voicemail for me at 5:15 yesterday afternoon. It sounded serious. So I called them back right away and got a message saying they were open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It’s now 8:01 Friday morning, and I’m calling them again.
I’m calling from the deck because mobile phone coverage here at our cottage is what spots are to a leopard. Always there, but never sure where.
Some days here, phone coverage is 4-bars. Others, it’s “No service.” So I turn my phone off, then on again and……voila, 4-bars! It seems that solving technology issues these days demands an advanced degree in Magical Thinking.
This is why I’m standing on our deck outside our cottage because on some days (but not all), the satellite in the sky (or is it the tower far down the road?) sees my phone and grants me access to make a call. Just one call. No guarantees beyond.
I look up to the sky just to check if I can even see the satellite, and in achieving eye contact with it, make it wink in recognition and send me to the front of the line.
But all that happens when I look up is that something starts to fall down from the sky.
Let me sum up: I’ve been reduced to standing outside in the snow in late April desperately calling my bank about something serious, though I don’t know what, when …..a voice comes on the phone.
It’s not a human voice, of course. That would be too magical to hope for.
No, it’s a taped voice that asks me to key in my username and password. I know these by heart because I do all my banking online. I also know that the taped voice will reply: “Your username or password do not match those in our records. Please try again.”
In Ancient Times, that is to say last month, I would boil into a towering rage at this point. I know my password. I know I’m right and the bank’s wrong!
But now, just for the fun of it, I punch in random usernames and passwords in order to get them to lock me out as quickly as possible.
I am calm.
I am hoping a human voice will then come on the line and ask: “How can I help you?”
Instead, a computer voice tells me that I can go online and change my username and password.
A single flake of snow lands on my neck, causing my serenity to melt instantly.
Jean calls out from inside our cottage: “Are you okay, dear?”
“Why are you standing in the snow?”
“Because…..” I don’t weep, because I am strong. And calm.
So I hang up and come inside where I grab a scarf and a toque and bundle up to go outside on the porch again, where I repeat everything I did before, only this time, after the computer voice tells me I can go online, it also says: “Thank you for your patience. We appreciate your business. The expected wait time for an agent’s response is………”
I wait. This number will make my day.
……“Thirty minutes to sixty minutes.”
I hang up and go inside where it is warm and not snowing.
I am calm.
I am strong. I will wait to try again.
Which is the day after today. At least it was.
I have to go now. Zoom is calling me to a meeting.
I am not calm.