I was actually working with diligence on my book proposal today when my mobile rings; caller is unidentified. No problem, there are many students who call me who I don’t have plugged into my phone, so I answer it. Hungarian spiel not taking a breath, not letting me get a word in. Finally, I decide rudeness in breaking in will save them from dehydrating. What? “English? Wait please.”
The new person comes on the line, it is my mobile phone carrier telling me the plan I have had since January 2002 is being discontinued so I have to choose a new plan. Okay fine, let’s do it. First I need to give them all of my personal details, but then comes the hard part. What is my security pin number? Sorry, don’t know it. I choose it over 9 years ago. Well then what is the &(@(*$^(# number on your original contract? Excuse me? That was over 9 years ago also; do you think have it in my back pocket awaiting your call? Sorry, but I will have to look for it. This persistent Miss, told me to go ahead and look. In the back of my mind, I knew where it was, but the conveyor belt from the back of my mind to the front of my mind was out of service, so it never appeared.
I took random guesses at the pin number, but none of them worked, because she said it was 4 digits long. We finally agreed that I would have to go into their store to work this out. This is a fate worse than taking a trip to hell and back. When I asked if I could do this over the weekend, she said “Good luck and be prepared to use both your arms and legs to act out what you need, but try to tell them we called you first.” I have had experiences with Vodafone going alone; it has never been an experience that has made me what to send flowers of thanks afterwards. I decided to bite the bullet, go this evening and get it over with.
According to my number 414, I obtained it at 5:14pm on July 1, 2011 using English > small business > change in services. The numbers flashing on the electronic board were all in the 900s. Not a good sign. I had no where to go and nothing to rush off to, so I sat it out. By 6:02, my number appeared and I rushed over to speak to Tamas. Tamas is wearing a mandatory Vodafone uniform shirt, but his has a British flag under his name. My spirits soar as I share with him why I am there. He is staring at me as I speak with intent interest, until I finish when he shares his dirty little secret. He doesn’t speak English. I wanted to rip that little Union Jack from his chest. Thinking back to the advice of having to incorporate hand and leg movements, I went into my routine.
Success! Tamas was able to show me new plans which were approximately equal to the current costs. I agreed, signed, and asked about why my voice mail has not worked for the last 2 phones I have had. Stupid me, asking someone who clearly is an English fraudulent speaker, but I lost my head. He did point me to the corner where they answer questions such as mine and I did not have to get a new ticket either.
Not being one to have a service that is included in my contract and not being able to use it, I went to the corner like a bad pupil waiting for the principal to come scold me. A young man came to my aid immediately, spoke good English and started in on the problem. The problem was he could not fix the problem. After pulling numerous others into this band of brothers to solve this issue, they could not. I kept saying we should just forget about it; I have done without this long, it really doesn’t matter that much. They would have none of that talk. They were determined. Then the thought came to them that the SIM card was too old. Tamas number 2 had to take over from here. Tamas #2 did speak English well. He replaced the SIM card without changing my phone number.
Now the voice mail supposedly works, though I am reluctant to try it, but either way our SIM cards were outdated and in need of replacement. Now I have to find Ron’s phone, charge it and bring it back on Sunday to catch Tamas #2 before he goes on vacation.