What You Get Talked Into
Yesterday I decided to have my home phone canceled. So I called the service company (Cox) and went through all the rigamarole. (I’ll have to check to see if that’s in the dictionary).
I got a gentlemen that thankfully I could understand, and we set it all up. Then he says he’s transferring me over to another department to complete this call.
Then the call gets dropped.
So I call again and go through all the rigamarole and got a nice lady who talks me into keeping the home phone (at a reduced rate). She also talks me into trying their cell phone service that’s been around about a year.
I am a little antsy about trying things that don’t have a longer history. But Cox bought Verizon, and that company has been around a while.
SIM Cards & Such:
She explains to me that they’re sending a new SIM card, which I’ve never had to deal with. And that I will have to sign for it.
I explain that it takes me time to get out of my chair and walk to the door. (It’s roughly 25 feet.) She says she’ll put a note on the ticket about it.
So by that time I can’t recall what all I just did and I ask her to reiterate what I’ve just ordered and agreed to. Heavens, you could sign your life away without remembering you did it.
I’m a little anxious because I can’t recall all the details of long phone calls any more. That short term memory thing is what I’m referring to. And I don’t write things down because, with my arthritis, I can’t even read my own writing.
All of this makes me feel like the world is spinning. It’s too much information. Maybe they need to create entire areas of customer service around seniors who need a little more time to process things.
What Are Those People Called?
It makes me wonder what it’s like to be one of those people (oh, what are they called?) Who turn away from all this craziness and go live on the land or something.
You know, those people who build bunkers and gather food for the long term and whatever else they might need. I don’t know what the bunkers are built for actually because I don’t know why they’d need to go live down there.
Is it due to natural disasters or something about the government? Are these the people who hoard guns?
So then my mind speeds forward and I’m thinking about that. If I became one of those bunker people, how would I get my walker down into it? I assume there would be steps. Maybe I’d have progressed out of the walker by then.
Then I mentally switch my mind back over to living in the type of world I currently live in. To the world of technology that is swiftly passing me by.
I just can’t keep up with it all. When did this happen? Once I was a young woman who dealt with a household and two children.
And suddenly I’m an old woman who needs a walker. For now, anyway. And I have to tell people it takes time for me to answer the door. When did this happen?
It’s like you need to jump on a train, but it’s moving so fast you don’t know when to make a move.
If you’re still with me, I was told about something to do with wifi and how blah-blah-blah would lower my bill. But I don’t really understand the whole wifi thing to begin with.
I think I once knew all about that but my brain must have tossed it out.
Raise your hand if you’re in my camp, or maybe just halfway there.
There’s so much to remember these days. Like two-step verification and changing to a stronger password and all that.
Thankfully I have a password book that you all encouraged me to buy so I can put my passwords down in it. But much of the time I can’t read what I’ve written because my handwriting is now chicken scratch material.
Oh, and then you forget you had to change a password at some point but you forgot to change it in the book. There are lines drawn through password after password in it because you’re trying to keep up.
And now I’m just very, very tired.
What I Did & Agreed To (I Think):
So, to confirm to myself: I am keeping the home phone and the $10 thing that means you don’t have to pay for them to come out to fix something with my internet. And I have just changed from T-Mobile to Cox, which I had not planned to do.
My head is swimming with it all. I’ll have to Google how to take that SIM card out and change it. (What does SIM actually stand for?)
Okay, moving right along: My bill at Cox will go up because I’ve just added cell phone service to my plan. And I get to keep my cell phone number that I’ve only recently been able to memorize.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve had the number and this mobile phone for four years.
I declined the insurance on my cell phone.
When I move about the apartment, I put the phone on the seat of the walker. I figure if I manage to break it, then it will be time for a new phone anyway.
Don’t you wish that technology could rewire your brain? Take it back to a time when you could actually walk and chew gum at the same time. So, maybe about 40 years ago.
And now I’ll have to figure out how to turn the volume down on my home phone. Since that’s what caused me to call them in the first place, and now I’ve been talked into keeping it.
I doubt this will be considered “quality content” by Google. But I want you to know it took all of my brain power to write it.
Brenda, I laughed ( not at you, but with you) reading about your wondering thoughts. I do that all the time! You are definately not alone. In fact, it’s nice to know I’m not alone, lol! It’s funny (not really) how you set out to do one thing, and you end up doing something completely different than what you’d originally intended. I’d love to wind the clock back to when I could multitask more easily, lol! I think this content is very relatable, to most people, at least the older generations, so Google shouldn’t have a problem at all with it!
Brenda, is the name you might be thinking of a Prepper?
Yes, that’s it! I know next to nothing about them. So I don’t have an opinion one way or the other.
Raising my hand here, Brenda!! I wish it was as it used to be…cause these very imperfect computers and cell phones are always messed up one way or another…well, the providers keep changing things once you are used to a certain way…argh!! I changed my cell phone company…then had to call up and cancel cause I no way want 5G…my phone currently has 3G and its just fine. I don’t want to change what ain’t broke. (was trying to save some pesos…) Hope your situation works out ok.
I think they keep changing things to make us buy new phones.
Yes! I agree and I’ve told my husband this for years. It’s a conspiracy to make more money off us all.
Elizabeth, I hate to tell you, but if you want to keep your phone, you will be forced to comply with the upgrades. I know… it’s not fair, and it sucks. ALL of the cell phone companies are not going to be supporting the 3G networks anymore. They currently still support the 4G networks, even though they are moving into the 5G ones, and I’m sure it will be a while before they stop supporting the 4G’s, but the 3G phones will stop functioning properly. You won’t be able to access websites, and without all the current updates, your phone will start acting wonky. Also, with the newer phones, you can’t access the batteries to change them when one starts to go bad. It’s all super frustrating, especially for those of us who are older and finally get used to one way, and then they change it all up on us. It’s frustrating, I know! And unfortunately, at least for me, I’m addicted to my phone, so I don’t know if I can just say the heck with it and stop using one. I can say with certainty though, I don’t like being strong armed into change. I’d prefer to keep things going the way I’m comfortable. it’s just not going to happen… sadly.
Brenda, I agree with you, and every other person that has made a comment. Age does not really go well with the new tech computer way. Not for me, for sure. Just when you think you know something (a little bit) you find out you know nothing, and are right back where you started. Short term memory, a lot of that going on in my house…
Very interesting post today. Hugs from WI
Age I guess might not make it quite as difficult to learn but then you have to remember it!
What a great post about real life today! I am a retired senior w fairly decent computer/tech skills (for most basic things anyway); but it is such a fast changing world and changing daily it seems. I agree 100% that customer service is challenging at best on multiple levels and I dread making those calls. I agree 1,000% w wider reaching senior assistance – the population is aging and there are more seniors than ever living in a whirlwind, tech driven world. If you use an iPhone you probably have a Voice Memo app (in your Utilities app). You can record a memo and listen to it later, keep it, delete it etc. I use it to remember something and don’t want to or can’t write it down. For ex, you could record a quick summary of your phone convo w Cox right afterwards etc. Just as an FYI, since 2015, the financial services industry regulator (FINRA) has offered a FINRA Securities Helpline For Seniors – to assist Seniors who have questions or concerns about their securities brokerage accounts, don’t understand something about their securities statement, etc. The number is 844-574-3577 and I put the link below w info about it. It is a good resource (I worked in Financial Services for 30+ years). I wish other industries would follow suit w more services for us seniors!
Oh, your SIM card might be easier than you think – look online for your specific model – it’s usually a little button on the side and when you push it in it pops out a tiny tray w a tiny little chip-like thing which is the SIM – replace w new SIM and push tray back in.That changes your carrier, but there may be more instructions too! Just take your time w it, that’s what I tell myself when I do anything like that! In 6 months, if you are not using your landline on a regular basis, I say cancel – I cancelled mine in 2006 and cannot recall ever missing it. Some do like to have the landline as a back up for security so that is something to consider.
Well now I’ll have to figure out where that Voice Memo app is. My kids do everything on their phones. I don’t even know how to work with apps really. I’m a stubborn old goat. Kasi is always trying to get me to learn “easier” ways of doing things. Sure doesn’t seem easier to me.
Oh Brenda you’re so right technology is everything. I will be 70 this coming August and although I tinker on my computer, tablet and love my phone I despise when my dr says that results for any kind of test will be on the portal. My writing is also atrocious as I have essential tremors. Hate when I have to sign my name on one of those square devices at the stores or drs offices. But we must try to go with the flow that’s what I tell hubby what choice do we have.
Going to the portal is one thing I can do. Just bookmark the portal link on your laptop or phone. I like to have things on my laptop because it’s easier to read. Then click on it, sign in, and you’re in your portal. Wow, that was sure nice. Telling someone else how to do something, because it is a rarity. And when it comes to signing my name on those square devices, I just scrawl a few curves and lines and call it good. Who’s going to say: Granny, we can’t read that? No one.
Brenda, I can totally relate to you. I get so nervous when something goes wrong with the phone or the internet. You always get someone you can’t understand. I wear hearing aids but I sometimes cannot understand the person on the other end of the phone. Then, like you said, by the time you get off of the phone you are so confused and pray you did the right thing. I say rigamarole all the time! I’m with you that they should have customer service for seniors, and as someone else mentioned, check-out lines for seniors.
Like I wrote, you could sign your life away and not realize it.
I am 100% in your camp!
I’m firmly planted in your camp, too, Brenda!! All of that is completely over my head!!
I am with you. I had just been thinking of something as simple as just plugging the tv into the wall, and a show came on! And this AI is scaring the crap out of me. My small county seems to have great senior services in place. They are great advertising their services on Facebook. Have a good day.
This AI thing wasn’t on my radar till about 6 months ago.
Oh, Brenda, like others I am in the same boat. I get very frustrated because I do consider myself an intelligent woman. The world of technology is quickly passing me by – big sigh!
I’m going to admit something that bothers me very much – I’m still paying Direct TV because I just don’t seem to understand the whole “streaming” thing. I want/need to cancel DirectTV, but I don’t call for the first reason I mentioned and because I don’t want to be talked into staying with them. In other words, I don’t want to step out of my comfort zone although my budget would be happier.
I hope you’re enjoying your Fri-YAY.
I was confused by the whole streaming thing too. But I pay for streaming TV and no other kind. No Direct TV or any other cable type TV. I get Prime Video because it’s with Amazon. I pay for Britbox and Masterpiece through Amazon. Which is I think $7.99 and $5.99 a month. So my TV shows are $14 a month. Everything is easier on Amazon. You just scroll down their page of TV shows and click which one you want. And they have lots. You probably don’t have to call to cancel. You could probably pull your account up online and do it there.
Brenda, I have to admit I was chuckling all the way through your post today. It’s so, so familiar–the rigamarole–and, yes, that is a real word that I have heard used in my family my whole life! If your accounting of your attempts to cancel your land line were on one of the old sit-coms it would have viewers laughing their heads off. I agree with you that everything is so much more complicated with all this new technology and it frustrates me to death to have to deal with it. Especially trying to deal with a person who has a foreign accent. I don’t hear well, anyway, and sometimes I just have to find an excuse to hang up and call back later with the hopes it will be someone I can understand. Anyway, frustrating and infuriating as all this is, I did get a chuckle out of your description of your experience. Thanks for sharing it! I don’t feel so alone in my constant confusion, now!
It’s like there are gaps in the brain waves or something.
I agree with the frustration and technology. I don’t understand why wifi stops sometimes and my computer and tv are useless. I use Comcast for everything except cell and use Verizon for that.
I learned the easiest way to deal with Comcast problems is to pull the plug on the router and wait a few minutes, then plug it in again and let it all reset. If you call them it is a torturous process.
Yeah, that’s what I do. But my laptop is constantly switching to something instead of Wifi and I don’t have internet. I have to go back into those bottom settings and click something to bring it back on. I just don’t understand why or what.
You have internet, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to create your blog and put it online. Typically in a single family home or an unwired apartment building, you need a modem and a router. Today’s modems and routers no longer need to be plugged into your computer like I had to do when I got my first computer in 1999. The WiFi is in the equipment and once it is turned on, it sends a signal to your computer so you can move your computer about and work “wirelessly.”
I have made decisions to Not use certain apps. Enough is enough. I have apple and love it!! You can talk to a REAL person!!!!!! Whenever. The Best!!!
Oh Brenda, I am raising both hands! Spreadsheets? Excel? Haaahaaa! Lovely for those so much more clever than I am these days. I have it on paper next to the laptop.
And love the idea of customer service for seniors! That is brilliant – someone could develop that and be Person of the Year!
I so agree with the image of one day we ran a household, worked full time, kept up with our children and helping our own aging parents, and now? A friend and I often talk about how complicated everything is. My son tries to be patient, and usually is, but I can see him thinking – come on, mom. I remind him that someday his little daughter will be trying to teach him things. All that goes around, comes around.
Thanks for the bonding post – there’s a lot in your tribe.
If someone devised special senior customer service, as well as add special lines for the disabled in stores, they’d probably make a ton of money. Seems pretty simple to me. I’ve been in stores where I just couldn’t stand up anymore, before I had surgery, and they’re not real patient with you. And then there’s people behind you in line. If they had a special line and register just for the disabled, the people who can stand in line wouldn’t get so impatient with the ones who are having problems.
I agree. After I had knee surgery 6 years ago and I could finally go grocery shopping, I still carried my cane with me and hooked it on the handle of my cart so that people could perhaps get a clue as to why I was walking so slow. I thought it would make them more patient. It did work, for the most part.
They would probably charge us for it.
I think this is one of the most relatable posts you’ve ever written. A day seldom goes by without my losing my cool over technology. I am a ‘Luddite’ and don’t fit into this tech-crazy world. Microsoft seems to be created just to hassle me. Latest issue is my WORD click-and-drag doesn’t work on the new version. I think MS employs 14 year olds who produce “updates” just to justify their existance. Regarding phones, I use the Lively Jitterbug that does everything I need with no hassles (just ignore the snickers when you take out a flip-phone). It is menu driven which I really like.
Microsoft is a nightmare. I don’t want it or use it. But every time I accidentally click something that is unbeknowst to me, up come these boxes where you have to buy it. The only way I can get out of it is to turn the computer off and turn it on again. I had to Google Luddite to see what it was.
Brenda, Microsoft is the company that owns software and browswers. Do you perhaps mean you don’t want Word? (The word processing software.)
I love the word rigmarole, I will be using it in the future!
I decided I wanted to sell stuff on E Bay and filled out the necessary details they wanted, then came the hard part they wanted to send me a text to confirm I was who I said I was. Well I don’t own a cell phone so I got onto customer service and said so but they didn’t have an answer for me so I went straight to the top and e mailed the owner/president or whom ever and told him I thought it was discrimination. A week or two went by and I got a call from a very nice man who said the president had asked him to call me. He apologized and said they really had not come across this problem before, anyhow they were going to make sure that those without cell phones could list on E bay, and they have, you can opt for a text or a phone call. I was pleasantly surprised.
Well Wendy, that’s wonderful! A surprise that a company was as accommodating these days. I don’t think that’s common.
Kudos to the Pres of eBay who was notified of your email, took action and had someone call you on his behalf:-) that’s good to hear!
I loved this post because just this week I was reading a book where the protagonist did not “succumb” to owning a cell phone. What a life to have back! No technology trail! Such freedom with no dead zone restraints. Would it complicate or ease my years left? And the humor you embedded was so perfect, Brenda!
You may recall that my daughters had to move their dad who lived 90 miles away here to Tulsa and an assisted living facility. Kasi bought a cell phone for him and tried to teach him how to use it. But he grew frustrated (he has something wrong with his memory as well as cancer) and told her to take it back. He told her that he wanted a simple phone that plugged into the wall.
No matter what you do today is harder than it use to be. No more simpler times and I don’t know how young families keep up with all they need with school computers, etc. Maybe people don’t talk to one another anymore so technology is better for everyone to text and get their lives in order that way . I don’t know anymore the answers, so I do the best I can. I don’t write well at all with my crippled hands and fingers but I do find printing the letters is legible for me and easier to do than cursive writing. Good post though on aging in place without people around you to help you understand things.
I was afraid in telling all this you all would wonder how I manage to write posts! I can actually do that with no problem at all.
Hi, I agree technology can be frustrating I do love your idea of customer service for seniors, it would be helpful….as to the password book, I keep all my passwords on an excel spreadsheet on my laptop. So easy to pull it up and make changes. I have them categorized by function (ie shopping, computer, credit cards, health etc) , account, passcode, and then a column to show prior passcodes with a note as to when & why the passcode changed. It takes a a few minutes to set up but easy to maintain..just a suggestion….
good luck…….I just started reading your posts and enjoy your perspective quite a bit…
Have a great weekend
My younger daughter Kasi, who got a Master’s degree in business, has tried to teach me the whole spreadsheet thing. So has my accountant. I take my receipts to him in a shoe box! Somehow it just confuses me. Maybe I’ll try it again.
Passwords in a Word document also work. We don’t even alphabetize them, as it’s easy to search for them. 🤓 And rigamarole is definitely a real word. I just checked an online dictionary!
✋🏼Raising my hand! Gets confusing and don’t get me started on the passwords. Good grief. For a world that is so up on technology, it seems to be way more confusing than years ago.
Hope your day is blessed Brenda.
And for a world that is all technological, there’s pretty much no customer service. If you have to do or change anything, you have to do it on the computer/phone. That is very frustrating to me. And if you do get an actual person, something usually happens to the call. It gets dropped or they tell you the wrong thing because they’re new, etc. I called Medicare one time and they told me the wrong thing and it frightened me. I called the guy here in Tulsa (works in conjunction with my health/medical network) who lines up my Medicare and supplemental plans each year. He told me they were wrong and wrong often and just to call him.
Comments are closed.