The word Whoa on a stop sign
Humor,  Life Experiences

TCA – A New Self Help Group

I bless the day that the remarkable Bill Wilson, together with Dr. Bob, counseled a third drunk and Alcoholics Anonymous was born.  It is hard to believe there was a time when there was no AA.

The word Whoa on a stop signNow there are many offshoots of this incredible worldwide program, all of which are very necessary. So, in due deference to Mr. Wilson, I decided to create yet another self-help group. It is called…………. TCA.  Technologically Challenged Anonymous. Did I mention, (Oh yes Yvonne, numerous times) that I am computer phobic?

Whenever I try to contact the support system for my chosen carrier, I sing whilst waiting to be heard, “HELP, I NEED SOMEONE, NOT JUST ANYONE, I NEED SOMEONE- HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELPPPP! “

We are probably the most misunderstood section of the human race, other than those who think sex is overrated.  There are two services that make me feel I am alone in the wilderness – the computer/internet support (hah!) department and the telephone company.  So I will take them individually and you can decide which branch of TCA you prefer to join – and I hope you will, as I am feeling terribly alone!

The Computer

First of all, they tell you to go on line to get the technical help you need with a strange and mysterious letter system called FAQ. Well, first of all I did not want my grandchildren to see such a suggestion as FAQ until I discovered it is meant Frequently Asked Questions.  However, when there is only one telephone line servicing the computer and the home, it is a challenge.   Of course when the problem is that one cannot go online, which is why one is calling in the first place, there is little hope or help to resolve the situation. I then absent myself from the computer and turn to the telephone to get help verbally from a TECHICIAN.

Tech RepresenativeI dial. “Welcome to ##### Computer Company, the finest, fastest system in the world.  If you know your party’s extension…” I do not have intimate relationships with people at the computer company……….I do not even know them, let alone have their personal telephone number. The voice continues.

“If you do not have this extension number, punch in your service agreement number which is located at the back, side or underneath of the machine – we will give you thirty seconds to find the number, but first……………..press star if you want 30 seconds”. 

I punch in a request for one and a half hours.

Then I crawl under the desk to find the inlet/outlet, only to discover this ain’t it!! So I turn the machine upside down, backwards, and sideways to find this wretched number.  It is so long it would take the required one and a half hours to type it in. Having stood on my head for five minutes I get somewhat lightheaded, so I need to take a break.

The computer company kindly plays entertaining music to keep me occupied – I loathe the music they select. Why can’t they play Ricky Martin at least, so I can exercise at the same time? My detective work is not successful; I suddenly perceive another number, shorter and more acceptable.  I punch it in only to hear…………”If you are calling about a ####ME, press 1.  If you are calling about a global @@@@@press 2.  If you are calling about Windows 45883 or 39986-fortune500 press3. If you would like to speak with a customer service representative or technical adviser, press 9.”

I press 9.

“Thank you for calling ######computer company. Due to the excessive response to our special offer all our advisers are helping other customers. The waiting time is no longer than Tuesday.’ I would wait, but the music is getting to me.  Try again later. Okay.

The Telephone

Waiting for later, I decide to challenge the telephone company with my wireless cell phone bill.  It increases every month, but I get less for the money.  So I dial the number, determined to pay a lesser fee and get what I want. Again the menu of options is presented to me.  Again the customer service people are busy with other…..blah blah blah. Yeah yeah yeah, heard it all before but this time I AM GOING TO GET SOME SATISFACTION. Oh that music.  Where are the angels when we need them ? They can do music.  Actually they could probably run the telephone company.

Woman waiting by phoneFinally, I get a real live human being person on the telephone. I relate my awful challenges only to be interrupted with “You are through to the business office ma’am, you need residential.  I will connect you and if we are disconnected the number you want is 234 980-8888yweuuiwhd. Thank you for calling &&&&&&telephone”.  The line rings. Then it is quiet. Then it is the music from hell.  Five minutes later (Hey! I’m a survivor), I hear another living soul. “How can I help you today”. I heave a sigh of relief….someone who has probably suffered at the hands of the industry before joining it. “What new service are you interested in ma’am?”

I swallow before agonizingly whispering into the mouthpiece “I don’t want any new services – I cannot cope with the old ones.”

“What is the nature of your request ma’am?”

At this point I am ready to return to being called Reverend Dr to see if it would help, but I know she will call me Ms whatever I say. I tell her plaintively that I want to discuss my bill with a representative.  She tells me to hold while she connects me to the right department and if she should lose me the number is 435 998 39003774867929 extension? She couldn’t remember.  Within a brief 15 minutes I am talking to the right person in the right department who listens with great empathy at the amount of money I am paying before I even make a call and that I have to do every month, as I do not know what I am paying for.

As happens each month, I end up taking another system, which costs about $10.00 more than the previous months.  I tell him I am not happy with this and he says “I cannot believe they did not suggest the get it all system for just an extra $15 a month – you get voice box, message service, call waiting, call forwarding, tea, biscuits, massage and a warm bath”.  I take it.  What do I know? They are the experts. After all they like talking with us every month about the same things over and over and over again which makes us suitable for the group onandonandonandon .

Relate to any of this? Come join me – there is a whole new world out there!

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