Sunday, March 09, 2008

The fantastic are in league against me

This is how it went.

"Optus Customer Service, Kelly speaking."

"Hi. I have a problem with my mobile phone. I was wondering if you could help me."

"Could I have your name please?"




"Date of birth?"


"Okay, what is the nature of the problem?"

[Longwinded explanation involving the phone being as old as the hills, and having in the last couple of weeks consistently said "No network" when switching on.]

Brief pause.

"I'm sorry, I'm not going to help you."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm not going to help you."

"Why not?"

"Because you're not Stan."

"Excuse me?"

"You're not Stan."

"Excuse - Are you asking me or telling me?"

"I'm telling you. You're not Stan."

"How - how can you possibly know that? Or rather how can you think you know that?"

"I'm sorry, I can't say any more."

"It's because I talk like a girl." (This came out with an audible sneer, which is regrettable, as is the choice of words, although they were intended to be wrapped in ironic inverted commas.)

"Yes, it is."

"Well, what can I do? I've answered the security questions. I've been an Optus customer for some years, my phone isn't working, how can I get someone to help me?"

"You will have to go to an Optus shop."

"No. Can I put my wife on? Only that won't make any difference, will it?"

"No it won't, but you can put her on if you like."

[Enter Adrienne, who pointed out that I had fathered two children and was indeed a man. At that point I think that Kelly had realised she had made a horrible mistake, made up some story about my being a business customer (I don't see how that could be the case) and transferring Adrienne to someone in a different department, who eventually transferred me to someone in tech support who at least was able to help with the problem - the phone, a dinosaur in phone terms, had finally died.]

Naturally, this has raised some serious existential questions. If I'm not Stan, well, who am I? And who have I been all my life? This could explain a lot of things; like, I've never really felt like I fit in, it's always been like I'm a square peg in a round hole. Of course! It's all starting to make sense now. To reference Morrissey, I'm not the man I think I am. I can be someone. Someone new. I'm Alive! Alive, I tell you! Aaaaaahahahahaha ...

So, if you're listening, Kelly from Customer Service, thank you. Thank you so much. You have changed my life. And all for the cost of a free telephone call.