I called to cancel my cellular plan with AT&T today. Liberation! Liberace!
AT&T is awful. Everybody knows this. Everybody says this. They are run by an evil robot with no feelings and a calculator heart. We all know this.
So I called to emancipate myself from one horrible robot corporation and ally myself with another slightly (very slightly) less expensive horrible robot corporation: Sprint. They of the 80/80/80 plan.
80 dicks in 80 butts for 80 dollars.
I call. I talk to a man. I tell him my plan.
“Are you sure?” he asks.
“Yes I am.” I say.
He transfers me to Diane. Diane has a plan. And a deal! And Diane rattles off this deal and I’m thinking “Man, oh man, this can’t be real! They’ve really rolled out the red carpet for old Tony Finucane! Everything’s coming up ME!” Diane and I laughed about the deal. “What a deal!” She laughed. And I laughed. Look what the world was doing for sorry old Tony Finucane!
“Yes, Diane. That sounds great. Thank you very much.”
There I went. A lifelong AT&T customer. That shiny old robot has some feelings in that microwave he calls a heart.
Then I leave work. I’m in my car, driving to a stop light as that’s what we all do ALL THE TIME and I’m there trying to load a podcast, perhaps peruse an email, perhaps whatever the fuck one does at a stop light and nothing’s happening. I press and hold the home button (as one does) and summon Siri.
“Siri is not available.” She says.
The fuck you say.
I summon her again.
“Siri is not available.”
I am horrified. I am…internetless. I am 13 years old. I jerk off to magazines. I am all arms and legs and 6’0 tall and 130 pounds.
I make the long drive home, thinking “What if this is life now? What if no internet forever? But data…DA-TA!”
I type in the number I called earlier for AT&T customer support and get another employee. A representative for the robot. He speaks for the robot but only what the robot wants you to hear. He is the robot’s superego. He does nothing but keep things quiet so as not to disturb the robot giant’s restful slumber in his giant pile of coins.
“Hey, man. I don’t have internet. I had unlimited internet this morning and now I have no internet. What gives?”
I start scratching my arms. Are there bugs under there? Man there’s got to be bugs in there. Did I mention bugs? What’s happening in Hollywood?
“Sir, I’m really sorry about this but getting your unlimited data back is going to require me putting in a help ticket.”
“That’s cool. How long does that take?”
“It says here November 5th.”
(It’s October 27th. That’s like NINE DAYS!)
“Let me transfer you to someone who can get you on a cellular plan in the meantime while we resolve this issue.”
Yes. Let’s resolve this, friend.
A new man is on the phone. His name is Xavier and he’s not black. Call me racist, but I really think the only people who should be named Xavier are black.
“I can get you on a pay as you go data plan to hold you over until we get your unlimited data back and then we’ll reimburse you for whatever you use.”
“On the bright side I get to use all the data I want to so that your company has to reimburse me. I’m going to use SO MUCH DATA.”
Xavier is not amused, because Xavier is but an arm or a butt of the giant robot, designed to protect the robot and all of its coins. Do not anger the robot!
“While I have you on the line can I just say that the 19.99 for 200 anytime minutes plan you now have will really not cover much.”
He’s upselling me. After I wanted to cancel my service!
“Oh yeah?” I ask.
“Yeah, it’s just a flat 200 minutes.”
“No free calls to AT&T customers?”
“Nights and weekends?”
“No. Just 200 minutes.”
“So this is all messed up then now, huh? You know I called to cancel my service and go to Sprint and now I have no internet and a terrible phone plan. How does this work? I’ve been on the phone for an hour today and when I started I had all the internet and now I have no internet, how is this a good thing? You know what? Forget it, just give me the authorization code so I can switch carriers.”
(I was told by someone at Sprint I’d need an “authorization code”. It’s robot speak for “number thingies”.)
He gets snippy. He knows all about authorization codes. And if I wasn’t such a DUMMY I would know that the authorization code is just the last four of social security number. HAD I BOTHERED TO SET UP MY ACCOUNT INFORMATION WITH AT&T I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT, YOU BIG DUMB IDIOT!
I have what I need. Thank you, X-Man.
An hour passes. I walk to Starbucks. There is no internet! I am on a walk on a beautiful autumn night in New England with the moon shining and the leaves falling off the trees and THERE IS NO INTERNET!
Oh fuck no, Xavier! You done me dirty, my friend. I’m getting on the computer and tapping directly into the giant robot’s motherboard brain. I am going to LIVE CHAT!
I’m in. I’m on the line with “Tyler Peterson”. Seriously, his name was in quotes.
Okay “Tyler Peterson”, what’s going on?
“Tyler” wants to know how he can help me. “Tyler” tells me how the pay as you go data plan doesn’t work with smartphones. “Tyler” doesn’t understand why Xavier would give me that plan.
“So the data plan he signed me up for to fix the problem doesn’t work on my phone?”
Cool. Well done, X-Man.
I tell “Tyler” I’m leaving his giant robot. I give him a chance to persuade me to stay.
He is just “Tyler Peterson”. One of the other robot representatives will have to try to dissuade me. Okay, “Tyler”.
I leave him with praise and some immortal words from David Bowie.
The smile lingered there for a second. Then “The Agent is typing” appeared on the screen.
Get it?! HAVE A GREAT TWO?!
And that, my friends, is the longest shit joke in the world. AT&T.