The attorney checked in to see if I had completed some assignments. I hadn’t and got to work. Did the paperwork to transfer the title of Garnet, the RAV4, into my name. Arranged for appraisal of the Barthiana: check. Communicated with Vanguard on various tasks: check.

Verizon. Apparently, ownership of both the Fios account and the wireless account needed to become mine. Now. Did I know just how painful Verizon would make that process? I did not.

Wednesday with the Boys

After lunch I got to work on Verizon and started with the website. The cell app is supposed to be “easier” but the screen is so small I can’t read the text, let alone accurately enter data. Okay, the Chat function. The bot was annoying but soon switched me to a human. I think he was human. Tim. Tim tried to change the mobile account into my name. He worked for quite a while then handed me over to someone he claimed was better equipped to manage the transfer. That was Dash, I think. Dash struggled and then disappeared, only to be replaced by some guy whose name I forget. He gave up and another nameless guy, or maybe it was Rob, came on. I think Rob was the last agent.


Meanwhile, the hands traveled round and round the clockface. Once…twice…thrice…four times. I also realized that Rob was MIA. No good-byes. Just abandonment.

To amuse myself I added a string of comments, snarky and inappropriate, to the chat. Then I wept. I bawled like a baby until I could breathe again.

I also found a general phone number for Verizon and called that.

Girl Talk

surplus cable boxes

Gladys answered the phone. She seemed shocked both that I had spent most of five hours already with Verizon, that a series of chat agents had simply dropped the conversation when they got tired of it. And me. She checked out my options. She believed, she said, I needed to provide a copy of Dan’s death certificate. Okay, where was the Verizon business office that could take care of the transfer? She determined it was the office at 2 Bel Air South Parkway. Not a problem.

I also had a couple of cable boxes to turn in. Two televisions in the house are plenty; four seemed like two too many. And too expensive.

The Verizon office in Bel Air, however, is not the office that can accept equipment let alone deal with the business end of things. Pretty much all they do is sell cell phones. One lad gave me a scrap on which was printed Verizon telephone numbers relevant to wireless services. A lovely young woman sparkling with face jewelry helped me with my Fios questions. I needed to call Verizon and she gave me a similar but not identical scrap with telephone numbers on it. She also said boxes could be returned at UPS or left at a different store. A pink slip provided that information.

In My Hometown

Well whaddya know? That’s the address of the Verizon store around the corner from my house in Aberdeen. One would think they might post this stuff on the website.

I stopped at UPS to leave off the boxes and they couldn’t accept them because I had not already arranged with Verizon to return them. I continued on to the Beards Hill Store. After a few minutes, another beauty—so many really attractive young women seem to work for Verizon—asked how she could help.

She willingly took the boxes off my hand but not the cords or the remotes. Did they have a trash bin? Yes. I made use of it. And went home.

Thursday’s Child Has Far to Go

all the Verizon telephone numbers

I went home and dialed the number for Fios. Having worked my way through the automated system, I was informed that they were as is normal unusually busy and I had the option of receiving a return call in about an hour. I moved on to wireless.

Anna took my call. Verizon’s computers dawdled and threw up roadblocks. She had to take my information again when the system erased it the first time. Then everything seemed to freeze. Just as victory was in our grasp, our phones were disconnected. In a minute or two, Anna rang back and completed the transfer. It took about an hour, but she was steadfast and stalwart. And kind.

I thanked Anna profusely and waited Fios to call.

When Sondra from Brooklyn’s voice rang out, I knew that I no longer had anything to fear. What a champion! A powerhouse from a potent purlieu. She explained why I should listen to the disclaimers, accept them and ignore them. She made sure that I understood to call the next day, when the account would have fully changed over, to review the costs and arrange the billing. She told me which number to use and enunciated the confirmation number. Sondra from Brooklyn got it all done then called for God’s blessing on me. For once I found it comforting.

I Know Who Has My Back

Every step down this twisting, boggy path that is supposed to lead me to my new normal, I have been supported, rescued and uplifted by women. Friends. Classmates. Colleagues. Clerks at the vegetable stand.

And now the ladies of Verizon.

The boys manning—and I use the term advisedly—the chat lines? I’d fire them if I could.