Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Old Laura Is Old

A few weeks ago, I noticed something terrifying, and that was a missing cover for my favorite earbuds. I found this out at the gym, to my horror. I would be unable to listen to anything while I ran! I would be forced to stare at the muted televisions, all set to Fox News. 

Even worse--not really broken, but the left earbud would not stay in my ear. TRAGEDY.
Let me explain. This is not your normal foam or rubber cushion, but something much nicer. It is so fancy, it has a fancy name: ENHANCER. Because it magically enhances your listening experience. If it were just a cushion, I could have swiped one from another pair of earbuds I have languishing in a drawer somewhere, but no. These are SPECIAL.

I looked everywhere, finally realizing it was really and truly gone from my life. So I contacted the company.
Dear Earbud Designer, 
Please help. I am without an enhancer. I need it to listen to The Raven Cycle books by Maggie Stiefvater when I run, or walk, or ride my bicycle. I just got my silver repeat listener badge from Audible because I've listened to the whole series ten times all the way through. Basically I need it to survive. Can I order a replacement?  
Love, 
Laura

I got a reply quickly, with a link to a place where I could buy replacement enhancers. This was the best day ever. I instantly went on to order a new set of enhancers. I'd almost talked myself into ordering two sets, just in case.

I made this because Maggie Stiefvater.
That was when something happened to me that has never happened before.

I could not work the website.

I work on websites all day. Different ones. One I even add content to! One I EDIT. You'd think I could click "add to cart" and it would work! But no. It would add nothing to my cart. All I could make that webpage do was refresh, again and again. "Size four" I would select. "Add to cart," and then BAM, the page would refresh, losing my selected size and color of enhancer.

In desperation, I contacted the company again.
Dear Earbud Designer, 
Please help me because I am stupid. I cannot make your website work, because I am an idiot. I just keep refreshing the page. Can you please help me give you money?  
Love, 
Laura
I got a reply back the next day.
Dear Laura, 
We would be happy to send you a complimentary pair of enhancers. Please provide an address for shipping purposes. 
Thank you, 
Earbud Customer Support.
Now, this was the sweetest thing ever. But I could not help but put myself into the position of the customer support people, and this is what I think they think about me:
Laura is a 60-something semi-retired school lunch lady. She learned how to use a computer so that she can see pictures of her grandbabies (her term for grandchildren). She has a Facebook account and posts only in all caps. She uses e-mail to sign up for free coupon services and sign petitions about Social Security. She likes to spend Saturdays power-walking around her neighborhood with her elderly cat. She keeps the cat in a backpack with its little legs sticking out of holes in the sides, because it gets tired easily. She watched that clip of Obama and his anger translator, but she didn't laugh.
I was horrified.

When did I become so OLD, so INCAPABLE, that I could not work a simple webpage? I mean, I order stuff online all the time, it is part of my JOB, and I can't order enhancers? And instead of teaching me, the earbud people are sending me free stuff because they feel sorry for me?

For a moment, I thought about going on the website again and trying to figure it out. I mean, someone must be able to use it, right? I thought about e-mailing the nice customer service person and telling them no, really, I want to give you MONEY. Please let me pay you money. But I didn't. Because I need those enhancers, and I really can't figure out how to buy them.

Maybe I am that 60-something lady. Maybe that's me, now.

I quietly typed out a response to the last e-mail.
Dear Customer Support,
Here is my home address. Thank you very much for your help. 
Laura

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