There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Verizon: We Never Stop Working [for] You

In general, I don't have too many complaints with Verizon's wireless service. As it is I held out on getting a cell phone for pretty much as long as seemed possible and, if you've tried calling me or haven't received a call from me you'll note that, actually having the phone is not the upgrade you might have expected. My demands when it comes to wireless service are actually quite simple: the ability to contact other people through a landline or cellular device and vice versa; the hope to not totally pay through the ass for this service; and free daily home delivery of the New York Times. I was able to do without the last bit since I rarely actually follow the news and don't actually have a home, so I opted instead to have a battery that will maintain a roaming charge for longer than fifty-eight seconds, which equates to about one text message or a fourteen second phone conversation in much the same way that a twelve ounce beer, a four ounce glass of wine, and a shot of eighty proof liquor are meant to impair your judgement equally. For almost an entire year, my demands were met, so it's a good thing most contracts happen to be two. At that point, not only did my battery rarely hold a charge but it would tell me all sorts of filthy lies like it was fully charged and then, when my back was turned, be down to one bar. When it saw the surprised look on my face, it would often jump back up to three bars to comfort me, only to disappoint me with one bar again later.

It was like any classic abusive relationship: that first year is great and then I decide I don't want to use this analogy. So once my battery went to shit, I was in Hawaii and there really aren't all that many Verizon stores on the island and, by the time I'm back I realize that if I wait another couple of months I can get a new phone for free and all I have to do is renew my contract. So August rolls around and I'm thinking, shit, I just have to hold out until October when bam, I get a call from Verizon telling me I can upgrade now. They record them reading me the terms of the agreement over the phone which include the rights to all of my pubic hair, and to raise charges whenever they want without my consent. It sounded like a great deal so I told them sure, just let me leave a landing strip like that time I lost a bet and we were Taco Bell. The only thing I thought was strange was that they called my parents' house line, which is also Verizon but, why not call my actual cell phone? That isn't really that strange I suppose, but I have to tell you that I found it a little creepy that this deal was available to me only over the phone in much the way that I might have to call in the next twenty minutes to get the kevlar vest with my new set of knives. I'm pretty procrastinatory when it comes to most things like, for instance, this post, which I meant to write on Saturday, but this time I said to hell with it, it's a blessing to get a new phone, procrastination and nervous buyer's anticipation be damned. Imagine my surprise then, when I get a call from a different representative the next day offering me exactly the same thing. I told her that I'd actually been called the day prior and agreed to a renewal of contract except this lady tells me that I get an additional hundred minutes a month in addition to getting a free* new phone. The guy the day before said I could choose between the two. This was like buying a cake with a mail in rebate to make it free and then having them toss in a dozen donuts for the hell of it. So I said "cool" and this lady read me the same list of miranda rights and I said "have a nice day" and she said " you too" and then I hung up.

On a completely unrelated note, I was sitting in a bagel shop (whose name is actually Bagel, and has pretty good bagels) in New York City on Sunday when I saw Anthony Famiglietti. I realize this doesn't mean a damn thing to most people, but as a long-time track nerd, I can say that he is a pretty accomplished distance runner, especially by our crappy (but improving) standards. The thing is, it's entirely possible that he didn't walk by me, but it looked a hell of a lot like him, especially since he was wearing a cut-off shirt and at US Champs he was sporting this fresh tat. Also, while trying to verify the tattoo I found that he and I were once kindred hair spirits which, coupled with the fact that he lives on the upper east side (I swear I am not a stalker I just read a couple of interviews) makes it all the more likely that it was him walking past Bagel. Time to cook some dinner.

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