It's not as though the topic of today's blog post is news to anyone. Crabby Old Lady doubts there is anyone reading this who hasn't been there but that doesn't make it less irritating, even enraging.
All Crabby needed to do a few days ago was update a payee's bill payment information on her bank's website. It should have been a 30-second operation. But no. When she clicked the “enter” button onscreen, a pop-up told her the operation could not be completed and to call an 800 number for help.
Of course you know what happened next. Crabby went through four – count them, FOUR customer service representatives who, the various on-hold recordings told her, are apparently called “bankers” nowadays: “A banker will be with you shortly.”
It's anyone's guess, as far as Crabby can tell, why a “banker” would know anything about a webpage malfunction but that's how things go these days.
With various amounts of time on hold, the dreaded “I'll transfer you”, one broken connection during a transfer with each one requiring Crabby to navigate the phone tree yet again, Crabby Old Lady spent more than 45 minutes before finding a person who even understood the problem, simple as it was.
And get this: Crabby told each of the four people that she probably knew the cause of the problem: that the new name of the payee was nine words long and would not fit in the character-limited box on the screen.
After another five or ten minutes on hold, the fourth person told Crabby that she was correct, the name was longer than the character limitation allows but she had fixed the problem and it would now work.
Does a happy ending make you feel any better for having slogged through eight paragraphs of a story you know all too well?
Probably not but Crabby wanted to give you a flavor of her hour and 15 minutes on a phone call that should have taken two or three minutes.
In her old age, Crabby Old Lady finds that everything takes longer and that's not her imagination. Undoubtedly, that's true for some of you.
Crabby wears out so easily nowadays that she has no more than about six, maybe seven hours of productive time a day. All her life, Crabby was a jump-out-of-bed kind of person, eager to get going on a brand new day.
Now she lies in bed each morning, so comfy, cozy and warm, free of any kind of pain and thinks seriously about staying there. She hasn't done it yet but you never know.
With her new-ish COPD diagnosis, simple walking becomes problematic. Crabby Old Lady forgetfully starts out toward the trash bins or mailbox as if she's still in New York City at rush hour. It takes only a few steps before she is heaving for breath.
Changing the bed takes at least twice as long as all her previous life because she needs to sit down for a short rest two or three times before she's finished.
And then there are the mystery time losses such as this one: Crabby decides to wash up the few dishes in her sink and when she's done, she sees that 30 minutes (!) have gone by.
Really? It's only Crabby eating here and the dishes are few – those from lunch and maybe left over from breakfast too so it should take five minutes or so of mild effort.
What happened to those other 25 minutes?
Sometimes it happens when she is getting dressed or folding laundry or sorting the papers on her desk. Large swathes of time disappear and Crabby doesn't know where they went. Did she black out for awhile and not know it?
Crabby Old Lady was blessed with 76 healthy years of life before being diagnosed with cancer and don't think she doesn't appreciate it. But it has been so hard to adjust to living with the time demands of ongoing disease – and that's on top of the normal slowdown due to age alone..
So it time is already short in old age. When poorly trained or incompetent people can't deliver what they are paid to do so that hours go by, that is theft of Crabby Old Lady's time.
And it's not like stolen money - no one can pay back time.