How to earn a few bucks while reading a book …

Originally written on Aug. 19, 2017 (Sat.):

People often give a lot of different meanings to (probably meaningless) life … but I very often think life is about how to waste ( — people use “spend”, “make use of” etc. but “waste” is closer to my appetite / taste / sentiment / philosophy … ) one’s lifetime.

Having been living in USA for over 20 years, it’s my common knowledge that if you care, you can often make a phone call to ask your utility (and other) companies to reduce their service charges etc.; or if you don’t care, your utility costs will just quietly increase šŸ™‚ Verizon has made a $5 increase in my “phone+internet” bill. I’ve thought a bit and concluded that I care šŸ™‚ Today (Sat.), I finally called.

In terms of getting to talk to a person in Verizon on phone, weekend is worse than weekday as there aren’t many staff available etc. and there is longer wait.Ā  Even worse, a couple years ago somehow (without my explicit consent) Verizon started to route my phone call to their Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin) speaking staff in their customer service dept. (after their computer system could identify me by phone no. etc., I guess).Ā  And these Chinese speaking staff don’t work in the weekend (like today) and so when I followed their regular phone instructions, I ended up with a message telling me to call them back in the weekday. Moreover, due to my (limited) statistics, I somehow feel that I’d gain more benefits if I talk to English-speaking staff in the customer service šŸ˜¦ šŸ™‚

Just like for any other animal, “evolution” drive manifests itself šŸ™‚ Very soon after the above phenomenon, I found an almost scientific (scientific — as it’s repeatable and should work for everybody …) method to bypass those Chinese-speaking staff or get to talk to Verizon customer service dept. in the weekend. One just needs to call “technical support” and then they would route you to the English-speaking customer dept. staff who work even on Sat.

Today, “technical support” (of Verizon) has just kept me waiting for maybe 10 minutes or so. After a little explanation, they transferred me to the customer service/billing personnel. I knew it’d be long but today it’s really long, like >2 hours !Ā  Leaving the phone in “speaker mode”, I was reading Haruki Murakami’s book and wondering whether he’s again been nominated for the Nobel Prize this year and would this year be finally his ?!Ā  The Verizon phone-waiting music and advertisement has got a few different styles that cycled repetitively … After ~1.5 hour, I began to lose hope. I decided to leave the phone on and drive out to the nearby Home Depot to pick up the toilet seat that I’d ordered, which just arrived this morning. I think I came back home probably ~25 minutes or so later.Ā  And interestingly, the phone music was still playing !!!

I kind of almost gave up and told myself to maybe call them during the week … and was about to go out for lunch.Ā  But soon after 1 pm, the phone music suddenly stopped and a lady finally spoke out.Ā  My mood was cheerful and I didn’t need to argue or plead (though one minute into the conversation, I did humor her with their guilt of keeping me wait for >2 hours), that lady checked for promotion + discount and came back a couple minutes later with a result of $6.01 deduction šŸ˜ Even more saving if taxes/fees are included … As I said, you have to care enough to call to get those stupid promotion/discount; otherwise, they wouldn’t do this automatically.

Though I have to wait a bit to see all the nos. materialized in the actual Verizon bill, I felt like winning a battle … even though it’s not against certain dictatorship or white supremacy, hehe šŸ™‚ I don’t remember I’ve ever waited for so long and ended up with something fruitful.

In any case, what a “good” waste of time ! … ( Well at least, many pages of Murakami’s book has been read. )



About kinyip

An experimental particle physicist ...
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