We have a deck. It is screened in to keep out the bugs. The last two winters we’ve put plastic and plywood over the screen to keep out the snow and rain. This year we didn’t. I didn’t feel like it.
Yesterday, I watched Sue sweep snow off the deck floor. I thought to myself, Sue loves sweeping. If there were no snow on the floor that would cut out her winter fun sport. Some people might think that’s a weird way of thinking.
I’m saying that what appears inefficient and archaic may not be.
I mean, for one thing, why don’t they hire more people for their call centres?
First off, I phoned the local bank and was told that the number didn’t exist. So, I swept through the internet and found another phone number.
The number was valid and after punching in a whack of numbers, I was sent to a call centre. The call centre told me there would be a wait of from twenty to forty minutes before I could talk to an actual human. I hung up.
I decided to order cheques online. I have a password which I used to sign in. I clicked on the ‘Help’ button and learned how to order cheques. I clicked on the order cheques icon and then signed out.
I lined up. I waited. I watched a teller work the line while others did other non-line related chores.
I finally got to the teller and told her I had ordered cheques online and they still hadn’t arrived. She cheerfully told me it can take a long time to get the cheques delivered. She comforted me with her professional smile.
I waited another week. No cheques.
I used my magic password and I once again used the help box and was given instructions. I tried to follow the instructions, but was suddenly told I had to sign in. But, but, hadn’t I already signed in?
I whipped out my magic password and was told, in so many words, that I had dallied too long in the other room in their website and my signing in wasn’t going to be accepted.
So, I grabbed a broom and helped Sue sweep and then I walked to the woodshed and split some wood, after removing a squirrel’s nest from one of my skates.
And then, suddenly, I heard the phone ring in the kind of way that would make a person think, “By gumbo, I think I’ve snagged a live one.”
No, just another computer woman informing me that the waiting time was between five and twenty minutes. Better than the last call.
I have to admit that I envied Sue who was outside brushing the snow off our old, unpainted wooden steps while the polite computer woman with a hint in her voice that she was fighting a bad cold told me I could select the kind of music I would like to hear while I waited. Wow! That’s service for you.
Every minute the computer woman would interrupt the music to introduce me to a new online feature that was sure to make my banking experiences heavenly. Special this and thats which would turn my world into a beautiful enclosed screen porch where the brooms would run themselves. Where the firewood would let itself in. Where the river would flood our flood plain, but would leave us in a bubble of peaceful and organized total efficiency. God love us.
She asked me how she could help me. I told her. She told me I had to answer some questions. I hadn’t studied.
My birth date question was a piece of cake. Then they got more difficult. She started asking me specific questions about my bank account. What day had I paid this and what did I pay another company. Those sorts of things.
had to excuse myself and get my computer and sign in and then we spent ten minutes while I bungled and bumbled around looking for my e-statement.
When this interrogation was finished and she wasn’t suspicious anymore, she asked how she could help me.
“Have my cheques been ordered?” I wearily asked.
“It doesn’t look like they have been ordered.” she replied. “Would you like me to order some for you?”
“You should get them in four to five days.”
That was last week. I walked to the mail box this morning to see if they were there. They weren’t, but I did notice that our mailbox had been ripped off the tree and was lying injured on the lane-way. So I grabbed the poor thing and carried it to the house while, with the other hand, I picked up some damp branches. I carried the branches into the trailer and gently laid them down by our wood stove where they will soon be cooked long enough to start a wee blaze in our little stove which heats our energy inefficient home.
Where have the days gone when you could phone a bank and hear a live person on the other end within two to five rings?
“How can I help you?”
“I’d like to order some cheques.”
“No problem. Just give me a minute while I pour some hot water on a tea bag and I’ll be right with you? I hate lukewarm tea.”