Husband, aka Mr. B, said something the other day about us downsizing to something smaller. Before he got the question out, I was already shaking my head. It’s not that I don’t want to downsize. It’s the move and all it entails. No, thank you! I do not ever want to move, or pack or clean out the two storage sheds or horror of horrors face off with his shop.
More than thirty years ago, Husband and I, along with three kids, two dogs and a few tropical fish moved into the house on
Sixth Street in . I simply phoned the electric company, talked to
someone named Anna about deposits and such and we were able to turn on lights. Davis,
Nothing to it!
I guess I expected such simplicity when we rented an apartment in north Texas about fifteen years ago when Husband got a teaching job on the south side of the Red River (FYI, we did not move anything but bought a skeleton housekeeping set to use while we were there). I was dead wrong. New and improved technology had replaced that slightly nasal voice asking how she could help me. Anna was not there when I called the electric company.
“Thank you for calling this electric company,” an automated voice said. It didn’t have any sign of a
drawl or even of an Okie brogue. Matter of fact, it
sounded like it might have come from a cross between a robot and a broken down
vacuum cleaner. “If you are calling
about your account press one. If you are calling concerning the nature of your
latest bill, press two. If you are calling about new service, have your social
security number ready and press three.” Texas
I pressed three and waited. I vacuumed the whole apartment, loaded the dishwasher, unpacked two more boxes and read three chapters in the romance novel I’d started. Finally, I got the same flat voice, “All of our representatives are busy right now. Your call will be answered in the order in which it was received. Please do not hang up. We appreciate your business.”
Hang up? I wasn’t about to hang up. I balanced the cordless phone on my shoulder and kept right on working. I wiped out the ‘fridge and loaded it up with groceries. Scrubbed the bathroom, and hung up a roll of toilet paper. All the while some kind of elevator music was piped into my ear via the cordless phone.
It got dark outside and the music along with pure old tiredness made me sleepy. My eyes got heavy and I started to yawn. The phone slipped off my shoulder. No doubt about it, I was going to need a visit to a chiropractor by morning if the next representative didn’t finish that eight course meal they were having somewhere in
. If only they’d find Anna ... wherever she had
retired to. She knew all about this kind of business. Houston
Finally, a real person answered the phone. “This is Anna. What can I do for you?”
I was in shock. Anna! A real, honest-to-goodness woman with a nasal twang.
“I need the electricity for this apartment fixed up in Husband’s name. Is the same Anna who took care of this kind of business more than thirty years ago?” I asked.
“This is her granddaughter. She’s retired to the
but I have to call her every so often for pointers.
Give me your Husband’s social security number,” she said. Azore Islands
I did and in seconds the job was finished. I made a note to write the company a note and suggest they give Anna, the granddaughter a substantial raise, and put Anna, the grandmother, on the payroll as a consultant.
Next item on the list was a toll free number to call about Internet services. I pushed all the buttons and the automated voice came on, “If you are calling about new service, press one. If you are calling about your bill, press two. If you are ...”
I pressed every button there at least twice and put the phone on my shoulder. Might as well get two calls out of the chiropractic visit the next day. In mere seconds another voice came on the line, “You are important to us. Please do not hang up. Please press one ...”
I didn’t give he/she/it time to go any further. I pressed all the buttons clockwise, and then counter clockwise. When I hit the last one a familiar voice came on the line, “Hello this is Anna. How may I help you?”
“I need Internet, a newspaper delivered in the mornings, pizza coupons, a card for the local Kroger store, the name of a good dry cleaning business, directions to the nearest Wal-Mart, a recipe for shoo-fly pie and to be put on the list for weekly discount coupons for area stores,” I said.
“I’ll take care of all of it. Has your husband changed his social security number in the last five minutes?”
“No, ma’am,” I smiled. “And tell your grandmother we all miss her terribly.”
So no, ma’am, I do not want to move again. Husband finally retired. We’ve been back in
eight years and Anna’s granddaughter might have moved
on to another job. I’ll stay right here! Oklahoma