Recently my laptop somehow got a Most Terrible Virus which shut my e-world down for a while. My first thought: “Why me?! What have I done to deserve this?!” (FYI: When distressing things happen to me, the idea of a Happiness Blog completely escapes my consciousness. Happy?! Are you CRAZY? And I start to think about writing a Pity Blog or a Hate Blog.)
On a tangent, I wailed the exact same “Why Me?” refrain, only louder and with man tears, when they cancelled Cop Rock back in 1990. You don’t remember Cop Rock? Fine, here’s a clip from the show–which has been listed among the Five Worst Television Programs of All Time. That really hurts my feelings BECAUSE I LOVED IT! What’s not to love? Cops singing, Gleefully, the storyline! Hello.
Anyway, my computer got sick, and I sure didn’t feel like singing. I had to restart in Safe Mode and do all kinds of actions, such as holding one finger on F7 while I balanced on one foot. Nothing worked. I even asked Jesus for help. Finally, frustrated and lonely, I somehow made an online connection (Jesus’ help?) and started frantically downloading antivirus software right and left, kind of like Kathy Griffin making fun of Oprah and yelling in a frenzy, “Look under your seats! Tickets for everybody! You’re all going with Gail and me to Bali!”
An hour later, with my computer running smoothly, I regained my balance, on both feet. But it seems I had downloaded a few too many antivirus programs, including Avast!, McAfee, Trend Micro and Norton, most of which offered trial versions and then started to charge after a few weeks. So today I realized I needed to do some cancellation, or get another part-time job.
I contacted Norton, and here’s (finally!) where my story begins. Unable to get ahold of a literal person (is “literal” needed there?), I made a sort of appointment for an e-talk chat with a Norton customer service representative. Here’s what I initially saw on my screen:
“Thank you for contacting Norton Support. We are currently experiencing longer than expected wait times. You have been now been placed in a queue and our next available expert will be with you soon.”
A few minutes later:
“Thank you for your patience. One of our experts will be with you soon.”
[To be honest, I didn’t really have to have an “expert”–just anybody who knew a little bit about cancelling my trial version would be cool.]
And soon after:
“You are now chatting with Mark Anthony.”
[I felt like I used to feel when my time finally arrived to sit in Santa’s lap.]
Neal Saye: I am trying to cancel my Norton trial version.
Mark Anthony: Welcome to Norton Support! My name is Mark, I’d be glad to assist you with regards to canceling your trial.
Neal Saye: Thank you.
Mark Anthony: Neal, may I ask why are you canceling your trial? Are you no longer using the Norton product?
Neal Saye: I already had an antivirus package on my computer.
[I was too embarrassed to admit that I had a Bali trip worth of antivirus programs protecting my laptop.]
Neal Saye: So I do not need another.
Mark Anthony: I understand Neal, but under this account email@example.com, I don’t see any trialware on it.
[His use of “Neal” started to make me feel as if I was talking to, I don’t know, maybe an old college buddy I hadn’t seen in eons.]
Neal Saye: Well actually that’s what I saw when I looked too. But I got a Welcome to Norton email at this email address.
Mark Anthony: I see. Okay let’s see if the product key for your trial is still on your computer. Can you check on your My Documents folder if there’s a Symantec folder?
Neal Saye: [Panicking] One second.
[I had no clue what he was talking about. “Product key”? Huh?]
Mark Anthony: No problem, Neal.
[That’s easy for him to say. He’s a customer service representative.]
Neal Saye: I don’t see one there.
[Embarrassed. Afraid he would dislike me because I couldn’t find the damn key.]
Mark Anthony: Okay, if you are sure that there is no Norton trial program installed on your computer, and I don’t see any trialware on your Norton account firstname.lastname@example.org, there’s no need for a cancellation, the one you received on your email is probably a Norton account greeting that you have signed-up an account.
Neal Saye: Okay, but if I somehow get charged, may I get a reimbursement?
[Beet red. Made me sound SO cheap.]
Mark Anthony: You may at anytime contact us back. If in any case you get charged, we will be more than happy to process a full refund.
[So happy. He cares.]
Neal Saye: Thanks. Also aren’t you either a famous singer or a Shakespearean character? What are you doing working for Norton?!
[I don’t know why I say such things to perfect strangers, but it seemed right at the time.]
Mark Anthony: I get that a lot Neal, and you’re most welcome.
Mark Anthony: Anything else I could assist you with today?
[I would like to have engaged in more banter about my singer/character joke. People close to me tell me that I’m not really a very funny person. But that I think I am. And that’s what makes people laugh. I never know whether to take that as a compliment or insult.]
Neal Saye: Thanks again for helping me, Mark Anthony. That makes me happy. Speaking of happy, I write a happiness blog–check it out sometime at NealEnJoy.com. I’ll mention you!
[Rule of business: Never miss an opportunity to sell yourself.]
Mark Anthony: That’s great Neal. I’ll be taking note of your blog and will check it out.
[Great response. We will see if he does.]
Neal Saye: Have a great weekend!
Mark Anthony: Thank you for contacting Norton support, feel free to contact us anytime if you have further concerns. Have a great day!
I suppose there’s no real moral to this blog story–maybe just this: customer service representatives are people too.