Lucky for me, I have a few 20th Century survival skills. I’m not talking about canning my own food, writing with pen and paper or playing solitaire with actual cards…I’m talking about being proficient with the telephone.
Take for instance the saga of our credit cards. We have an old account that we’ve used since the company offered us a secure computer-use card that it later upgraded to an everywhere card, along with a cash-back program. Recently the same company came out with a card with an even better rewards program, and my husband, computer savvy since the mid-eighties, opened the new account on-line. Our cards never arrived, though on Saturday our pin number was in the mailbox.
Tell them we haven’t received our cards, he told me, interrupting me while I was engaged in serious computer pursuits, either exploring the wild blogosphere or racing through the 3,000s in Free Cell.
I’ll call, I said. I reached for the phone.
You just don’t want to admit you’re computer inept, he said, relieving me of my computer and the burden of business.
He sent them a note explaining the situation with the new card.
On Monday he discovered our old faithful credit card had been canceled ‘for security reasons,’ which makes life somewhat problematic since we’ve gone all computer and credit card to transact financial exchanges.
I called. I talked to Heather. She told me our card had been canceled for security reasons, and new ones would be issued soon. She didn’t know anything about a new account. I called again. I talked to Rachel. She told me what Heather told me. She did say I could have new cards expressed mailed. I called again. I talked to John. He explained the bank wasn’t changing our accounts, just the numbers, and he also changed the numbers on the new, missing cards, and said all of the newly numbered cards would be here in seven to ten days. He could indeed express mail my card from the old account with the new number, but Mr. K would have to request express mail for his card. Fat chance. Mr. K’s telephonically inept.
On Thursday, Mr. K discovered that charges on the closed account (or closed number) showed up after the account was closed, and that we were double charged for those items. Now I had the opportunity to make friends in India, who were very polite and called me m’am. If they had lived nearer to us, I might have invited them to supper, since I’ve also retained the 20th century skill of cooking at home.
With several strokes of the keyboard on Saturday, Mr. K had created chaos in our calm little household, and given me the opportunity to make new friends at our credit card bank through-out the next week. You might ask if Mr. K and the bank created this problem, why wouldn’t Mr. K be the one to fix it? How 21st century of you. If Mr. K learned to talk on the phone, he might expect me hone my computer skills, and I’m so busy preserving the past, frankly, my dear, I just don’t have time. Do you know they have a million games of Free Cell now? This just might be my century after all.