NONCMA (Neal’s Online Norton Convo with Mark Anthony)

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.

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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.”

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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.]

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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.]

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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 nsaye@georgiasouthern.edu, 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 nsaye@georgiasouthern.edu, 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!

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I suppose there’s no real moral to this blog story–maybe just this: customer service representatives are people too.

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