Verizon – Grrr….

I hate Verizon.  Really hate Verizon.

For one thing, I don’t like the idea of a little crowd of nerdy-looking polo-shirted people trailing after me.

For another, they don’t have the iPhone.

Most importantly, I simply hate the name:  Verizon.  Even before I had the service, I hated it.  The only time I liked it was years and years ago when it was something sensible like Bell Atlantic, the name of a real person and a real place.

Verizon is a hybrid nothing word that sounds to me like a synthetic material used for making countertops.  Something that looks like plastic but at least is not supposed to stain.

I suppose it’s meant to raise the specters of Horizon and Truth.  Truth on the Horizon with Verizon.   (I’m not quite sure what that has to do with phone calls.)

But to me, it raises the specter of plastic.  Plastic that probably does stain.

Speaking of plastic, it has become nearly impossible to pay Verizon with same.

I used to do this quite frequently.   (I’d just as soon pay by check but I’m always out of stamps.)  But I tried last night, and it turns out that paying for your phone by phone now requires a password;  even just holding on the phone requires a password.  Online payments require it, of course, and online chat agents need one as well.   If you try to trick the chat agents by telling them you don’t have a password, they will insist, chattily, that you do.

Strangely, every person I talked to, or chatted with, had a three syllable name ending in “cha”.   (At first, I wondered if I was talking and “chatting” to the same person again and again, but each was different.)    Each was also extremely polite but clearly under strict orders not to speak with persons like me, suffering from password memory lapse.  I finally got frustrated enough to write out for the chat agent a list of the passwords I frequently use, some of which I have disclosed to no one else in the world.  (I don’t know what got into me.  Maybe it was the notion of Truth on the Horizon.)

I kept insisting that all I wanted to do was pay my bill.   But “money” it turns out is not a universal password.  Finally, on my third call, the agent took down my credit card number, all the while telling me all the wonderful passwordy things I could do if I just made my way to a Verizon store.

Note to self:  buy stamps.

Check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson on Amazon at link above.   (Warning, you may need a password to buy, but not to read.)

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