On July 13th I purchased my iPhone. Because I’d recently had a house foreclosed upon and autos and other “sparkley things” repossessed, activating it was a frustrating experience. AT&T wanted a $1,000 deposit, which I felt was a bit excessive, especially after spending $600 bucks on the phone itself. One thing I’ve learned is that there are few things in life which are completely set in stone, so after speaking to several different employees and a manager or two on the telephone, the deposit was reduced to $500. That deposit is returned 6 months later if all payments have been made on time. “Six months later”, dear constant reader, is January 13th, 2008… just a handful of days from today.
Earlier this afternoon I was in Red Bluff, California at Walmart looking for a large candy cane for Caden’s stocking… you know, those really big ones that are two or three inches thick and a foot long? My search for the candy cane was unsuccessful, but I did find a few presents he’d asked Santa to bring his cat.
Next on my agenda was a present for my brother: getting his AT&T prepaid cell number transferred to my account as a second line so that he no longer has to worry about refilling his minutes. I don’t use all my own minutes now that I’m using the same network as the people I call the most. I’m building up quite the collection of “rollover minutes” and I have no doubts that Daniel can help me take care of those. I figured a quick call to customer service would take care of it, but I quickly learned that I’d have to go to an AT&T store. Despite the fact that his prepaid phone is through AT&T, a new simm card is needed. My favorite AT&T store was 45 minutes away, so off I headed.
My preconceived notion was that this whole process was going to be a hassle, and I allowed my attitude to sour as I headed to the door. Cort, the lucky employee who greeted me as I walked in, was friendly enough. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all. Cort handed me a list of family plans, I selected one, and he started typing away into the computer. Just a few minutes later and something on the screen made him pick up the phone to call customer service.
AT&T wanted another $500 deposit for that second line. I was (ahem) a very happy man at this point.
Those who know me best can verify I have a sharp tongue from time to time. As a teenager, I remember telling my parents in cutting language just how much smarter I was than them. When I really want to make myself feel good, words are chosen to demonstrate my intellectual superiority to the person on the receiving end of my verbal barrage. I am working on this part of me. Today I lost that battle.
As Cort hung up the phone I put on my best condescending attitude and let him know that it would be nice if SOMEONE around here was able to do a little critical thinking, notice that I already had a $500 deposit on file that would soon be returned, and ask the customer service rep (or supervisor) on the other end of the phone if they’d simply apply that deposit toward the new line instead of crediting it to my account as scheduled on January 13th. A few more sharp words with a dose of “extra attitude” escaped my lips, and Cort was back on the phone, this time handing it to me so that I could speak with the representative myself.
As I left the store I felt less than proud of the hypocrite I’d been, completely forgetting to show the love for others I’d like to believe I possess. There was no way to take back my words, and a simple “I’m sorry” didn’t seem to be enough. Instead I walked to the nearby Target and picked up a $15 gift card. On the back I wrote, “Nobody deserves to be treated like that. I apologize.”
God’s definitely got a lot of work left to do on this creature, dear constant reader.
Oh, guess what? I still didn’t get my way! I must either pony up another $500 or wait until the 13th to apply that existing deposit toward the second line.