Wednesday, December 2, 2009

imagination v reality

a lady came in my store today to pay her bill.
just as most customers do - while processing their payment for them - she began to make conversation with me.

her - "your necklace is beautiful."
me - "oh, thank you. it was a gift."
her - "yeah...christmas is coming up. after this bill i won't have any money to buy gifts! Lord knows, i won't be getting any."

i continue with my process. counting money. pulling up screens. closing out screens. counting more money.
i attempt to pull up her account just as i always do in any interaction with a customer so as to discover a possible sale.

me - "ma'am...is the account under your name?"
her - "no. well. yes, it should be."
me - "last four digits of the social so i can access the account please?"
her - "0725"
me - "hmm...that doesn't seem to be working. 0...7...2...5 ... yeah, its not working."
her - "okay. well try his. 5560."
me - "ah. okay...that worked. can i have the password on the account please?"
her - "password? what password?"
me - "well, its saying here that there is a password attached to the account. i cannot discuss the account with you without the password"
her - "well, first of all, my social should be attached to the account as of april of last year...we keep having this problem. second, i don't know about any password."
me - "that's fine. we'll call your husband and get this all straightened out."
her - "he's not my husband..."
me - "oh...okay. my apologies. we'll call mr. . . and get this all straightened out."
- i pick up the receiver. i dial his number. -

* ring ring*

her- "yeah. he never wanted to marry me."

* ring ring *

her - "we bought a house together. we had a business together. we had a child together. we sign contracts together. but he never wanted to marry me. *sigh* but, i love him. and i know he loves me. he just doesn't show it very often. good luck getting him, by the way. i haven't had much luck lately."

* ring ring*

- how awful, i think. -
- suddenly, i'm awaken from my thoughts as he answers...

him - "HELLO?"
me - "hi mr...This is Julia from verizon wireless."
him - "i'm not interested."
me - "oh, no sir, i have ... in the store here and she explained to me that she is authorized on the account. i just want to verify that."
him - ".... is there?"
me - "yes sir."
him - "what is she doing there?"
me - "well can i first get your name and your full social as well as the password on the account"
- he gives me the information & i enter it in. it all checks out -
me - well, .... is here in the store paying the bill and she explained to me the complications the two of you have been having whenever you guys try to access the account. i'm just attempting to straighten it all out for you guys.
him - "so she paid the bill?"
me - "yes sir. for the exact past due amount. would you like to add ms..... as an authorized user on the account?"
him - "....."
me - "sir? are you still there?"
him - "no. i don't know her. i'm not authorizing anything, and i never will. tell that bitch to leave me alone." * click *

- i look at the woman.

her- "can i speak with him?"

-she's hopeful. i put down the receiver. -

her - "so did you work it out?"
me - "ma'am..."
- inside i'm scrambling. i feel awful. i don't want to break this woman's heart anymore than it already is. -
me - "uh...the...the line dropped. he must have lost the call?"
her - "oh..well...let me try calling him."
- i begin to sweat -
her - "weird. it went straight to voicemail."
- i feel a nervous expression form on my face -
her - "*sigh* don't worry about it, dear. I'll talk to him tonight about it. we'll just have to come in together."
- she pauses in her thoughts. hand over her mouth. her eyebrows are pressed in confusion.
me - "what the HELL is happening right now?" i think. i'm speechless. i want to comfort her but know it isn't in my place.
- the woman is restless. she paces the store. she tries calling again -
her - " shit." she says under her breath. "he answered and hung up."
- she tries again -
her - "that bastard!"
- she tries again as she wipes away the tears forming in her eyes -
her - "thank you for your help"
- as she walks out, i see her try again. and again. -

In this business i've seen grown men calculate their affairs, i've seen secret messages, i've seen pictures of other women, bribes, "they can take my house, as long as i got my phone"s, starvation in place of missed communication, and hearts broken. you may not believe this - but in this industry - things get way too personal. you hear peoples stories, whether you like it or not.

its kind of driving me nuts. i need to find a new job.