The FedEx man just rang my
doorbell the instant I opened this file to start an
entry. He brought me a cellphone antenna from Verizon,
which made my day.
The story on that antenna begins
with the weather. I dropped my cellphone during one or
another of the recent snow/ice/weather events. Actually
what happened was I had it clipped to my belt when I
slipped on the ice and banged into someone's car in the
parking lot at Gray Cubicle World. It landed under the
car. Somehow the fall dislodged the antenna, which
disappeared into the snow. I looked for it but a light
gray antenna in a pile of dirty grayish snow is a lot
like a needle in a haystack in the visibility department.
The phone still worked as long as I was outdoors and in a
good spot and didn't move while talking. However, I use
the phone indoors and do move around while talking so I
really needed to replace the antenna.
Coworkers at Gray Cubicle World,
unaware of my extreme phobia of shopping malls (even more
extreme at holiday time), brightly pointed out that
there's a Verizon store in the Burlington Mall (Gray
Cubicle World is in Bedford wicked close to Burlington).
I worked up the courage to face the mall, found the
Verizon store, and stood patiently in the technical
service line for 45 minutes sweating so profusely that I
had stripped down to my t-shirt by the time the technical
service rep waited on me. "Sure, no problem, $10.98" he
says as he disappears into the back room with my phone
only to return with an antenna that I can tell at a
glance will not fit. He tries to insert the obviously
wrong antenna into the phone nonetheless. Light dawns,
and it's back to the back room still clutching my phone.
The news from the back room is "We don't stock the
antenna for that model."
So the Verizon store wants a couple
of weeks to obtain an antenna for my Verizon phone. I do
not want to leave my phone with them for 2 weeks, nor do
I want to return to the mall, nor do I want to wait 2
weeks for an antenna. How can there be an antenna
shortage? Did everybody with this model of
Verizon/Audiovox phone lose their antenna all at once? I
take back the phone and grunt that I'll call them in a
week or so.
On the way out of the Verizon
store, I run into two coworkers from Gray Cubicle World
who ask if I've gotten my antenna (the whole freakin'
company knows about this antenna thing I guess). I tell
them the story so far. They sympathize and suggest I try
eBay. Good idea but since I'm in the mall I figure I'll
try Radio Shack. Alas, the Radio Shack guy looks at the
phone, looks at their stock of antennas and asks "So when
are you due for an upgrade?" "But I just got this
one!?!?! I'm not due for like a year and a half!" Back to
the cubicle in a mood to tear the "Can you hear me now?"
guy limb from limb.
I call Verizon customer service to
yell at them for selling me an obsolete phone and not
having replacement antennas and in general just for being
Verizon. Before I get a chance to vent, the customer
service rep answers with the most beautiful southern
accent and charms me into politely explaining what
happened. She gets a telesales dude on the phone and
verifies that I can in fact buy an antenna from them over
the phone for $5. I thank her profusely as she transfers
me to Mr. Telesales who confirms the particulars and
assures me they will Fed Ex the antenna to me and I'll
have it Friday (that would be today). Wow! And I wasn't
even on hold for a nanosecond. One thing I do want to
know though is how they train their call center people in
India to sound exactly like the most comforting African
American woman in Mississippi?