Today there was a phone message in a cheery robotic voice on my answering machine (remember those?) that said (paraphrased), "Hi, Ms. Dayinthelife! It's Your Phone Company! We just wanted to let you know that you have a bill due in a few days. You can pay online, pay by mail, or pay by phone. Just don't pay it late!"
I was almost happy when I thought, "Thanks, Phone Company! Let me find that bill I owe right here in the pile of 1,000 other bills I owe!"
I checked my pile of bills and found a bill from said phone company for $.10 (no, that's not a typo - I owed ten cents). (I won't even address how ridiculous a ten cent bill is in this post because there is already enough rage here.)
Now, I usually pay my bills by mail (yes, probably my 97 year old father and I are the last people in the free world that still do that), but I think stamps are now like $1.47 each so I decided I would hop online while my ground beef was browning and take care of it online.
Here's how that went.
Me: Hopped online.
Phone company's website: What do you want to do online today? Change your service? Add a line? Disconnect your cable? Schedule a service? Cancel a service? Postpone a service? Order a pizza?
Me: Searched for Pay My Bill.
Me: Typed in the Search Box - Pay My Bill.
Phone company's website: I'm sorry nothing matches your request.
Me: Great! I won't pay my bill.
Me: Searched again for how to pay my g*d d*mn bill. Clicked on Billing and Payments. Ah. Thought, "Finally and good because my ground beef is almost browned."
Phone company's website: Please enter your Phone Company login and password.
Me: Cheesus Christ. Login? Password? Where is my login book? In the flippin' car. Where someone could steal it and know all my passwords. Note to self: Take password book out of car. Clicked - Help with login and password.
Phone company's website: Type in your email and we will send help to your email within five minutes. Just check your email.
Me: Perfect! I'll have this wrapped up soon.
Phone company's email: Your login is your email.
Me: OHMYGOD. Why didn't they just say that? The meat is done and I need to put the pasta on now for the love of all that is human. Okay. Login done. Password? Clicked on - password help.
Phone company's website: Help with your password will be sent to your email within five minutes.
Phone company's email: Type in your login and click reset your password.
Spent the next two minutes logging in and resetting my password.
Clicked on PAY BILL (and felt quite smug).
Phone company's website: Type in your account number.
Me: (Smugly) typed in my account number.
Phone company's website: It appears your account number does not match your login and password information. Please click here.
Me: JESUSF8C97CHR*ST. ISTHISFORREAL??? I ONLY OWE TEN FREAKING CENTS!!!
Me: Okay. Clicking here.
Phone company's website: Hello, Mr. Dayinthelife. Please answer your two preset security questions.
Me: WHAT??? MR. DAYINTHELIFE??? NO WONDER THIS IS SO MESSED UP! HE NEVER PAYS BILLS WHY DOES HE HAVE SECURITY QUESTIONS??? It's a mother loving PHONE for God's sake. NOT NATIONAL SECURITY.
Phone company's website: Question #1: What size shoe did you wear in second grade? Question #2: When your first pet fish died, how did you dispose of the body?
Me: I'll take dead body for TEN CENTS.
Spent next two minutes successfully hacking into hubby's security questions for his secure PHONE COMPANY FREAKING LOGIN.
Phone company's website: You will need to set a password for your secondary phone company login. This password cannot be the same as your main phone company login and can only contain letters, numbers, hyphens and underscores.
Me: Perfect. I know just what my password will be.
For the next 10 minutes I typed every conceivable password I could beginning with IhatePhoneCompany_- and ending with YOUSUCKLIKEAHOOVER.
Every single flippin' one ended with this error message: There has been an error in your password. Please read the terms and conditions of passwords and try again.
Me: IS THERE SOMEONE ON THE OTHER END WHO HATES ME???
After 10 minutes of being utterly and completely defeated by the password administrator I clicked "cancel" and "log out." After loudly cursing the phone company with every word I know, I picked up the phone. I called the number on the bill, talked to a robotic female (I think the very same one who left a message on my machine saying that I better pay my 10 cents) and paid my ten cent bill in about five minutes.
I was filled with rage, my dinner was burned, but I can rest assured that I was not late in paying my (ten cent) bill.
Thanks, Phone Company for the friendly heads up!