I’m all about respecting our elders. They had to get up to change channels on the TV. They had to open a phone book to find where the fuck they were going. They had to live through two different George Bush presidencies. That’s all some pretty wild shit, so old people get some love. I just don’t like when old people feel like they are entitled. Have you ever been in a grocery store midday? Get the fuck out of the way because Grandpa Joe is driving the Little Rascal through the prune aisle. If you try to get by them they give you the look that says, “I’m old, go fuck yourself.” I would highly recommend giving them the look back that says, “Well I’m young, so enjoy those prunes, asshole.”
An agent transfers a call over to me because some asswhipe is threatening to sue. No one ever sues Telescreen, they just think that if they threaten to sue they’ll get someone who cares. Unfortunately for them, I get on the line, and if you haven’t guessed already, I don’t give two shits about anyone calling in.
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You know when shitty parents shove their kids in front of a TV and call it parenting? Like they always say, “TV is the best babysitter.” Apparently, this rule isn’t just for kids. Once a parent hits the 80 year mark, the kids are going to topsy turvy that shit and plop them in front of the fucking TV. This is how I encountered Grandma Mabel.
This poor old lady calls me and can’t figure out a god damn thing on her TV. Well of course she can’t figure out a fucking thing, she’s clueless and elderly. All old people, I mean all old people, succumb to helplessness before they even call me. I know they can’t fucking see, which is why they probably shouldn’t drive. I know they can’t fucking walk, which is why they probably shouldn’t travel. I know they can’t fucking think, which is why they probably shouldn’t gamble. Yet when they’re at home, the TV is no excuse for cluelessness. All they have to do is press the power button, change some channels, then turn it off. Congratulations, now go take that afternoon nap.
I can immediately sense Grandma Mabel’s loneliness over the phone. My company with her was so welcomed that I began to actually think she was having a great fucking time. Every step we completed in our troubleshooting was greeted by shouts of glee. Every space of dead air was filled with chit chat about her overtly Republican beliefs and her love of The View. No, I didn’t make that up. It was Grandma Mabel’s activity of the week, like when the old folks home makes the big trip to Applebees.
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For three months at Telescreen, I had successfully avoided one terrible type of call. Yet I knew it was coming and that I would eventually meet my fate. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I experienced my first crier. We’re not talking about someone getting a bit choked up, we’re talking about tears running faster than fucking Niagara Falls. I would have felt bad, but the customer was an asshole. I never feel bad for assholes, that’s one of my golden rules.
Before Waterworks was crying, she was yelling, obviously. Bitching is a favorite pastime of my friendly customers. She was complaining about a cancellation fee. I hate to break it to you lady, but when you sign a contract, I can’t magically waive a cancellation fee. You probably shouldn’t have signed the contract in the first place, but unfortunately, I wasn’t there to tell you that Telescreen was a piece of shit company.
Customer: “You take my money, you are bad, bad man!”
Winston: “Ma’am, as I explained before, the cancellation fee is implemented when you break your contract.”
Customer: “What do you mean? I sign nothing.”
I should have probably refrained from using words like “cancellation” and “implemented.” In the future, I’ll stick with simple words repeated over and over, such as, “Money, pay, now, dipshit.”
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Fucking old people. They are so befuddled by anything more complicated than opening a book, and that confusion always turns into anger towards me. I didn’t tell you to get a computer, I told you to knit, sleep, and yell at the neighborhood kids.
In comes a call, and there’s an immediate air of desperation.
Customer: “I’m an old lady and I need help!”
No, I will not help you cross the street. Now go back to the retirement home before you hurt yourself.
Customer: “Why isn’t my TV working! I pay for this damn TV and I should get the Terrible Movie Channel!”
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