My phone line wasn't working the entire weekend, and yesterday I went to my phone service provider's homepage to look up their number so that I could call them with my cell phone. I saw this online customer service option and thought that it would be a good idea to try it instead of phoning in and talking to a representative with my 12 year old sounding voice. But somehow even without my "ums" and "ers", it was a more awkward experience than it would have been on the phone. The conversation went a little like this:
dave #5776: Thank you for choosing -----, I will try to help you with your technical issue.
[30 seconds pass, I'm thinking that I should type something to let him know that I'm here]
Elisa: Oh, thank you
dave #5776: I just want to verify your address to make sure I'm looking at the right account here.
Elisa: Sure, its 5555 blah blah street
dave #5776: Thank you
[2 minutes later, he still hadn't typed anything new, has he fallen asleep? Did he get up to grab a coffee? Should I say "you're welcome"?]
dave #5776: Ok, can you take a look at your phone modem and tell me how many lights are on?
Elisa: What exactly does my phone modem look like?
[after 1 minute, I can never be sure but I think he sounded a little terse with his reply]
dave #5776: It's a black box with lights
[that sounds like a lot of things in my house, but I got up from my computer to search, this took 2 minutes and I was getting increasingly worried that Dave #5776 would think that I'd given up on his help]
Elisa: I found it!
dave #5776: Great, how many lights are on?
Elisa: Oh right, five lights and two that are blinking.
dave #5776: That sounds alright to me. Can you try plugging the phone in directly to the modem?
Elisa: Ok, I did it.
dave #5776: Did you hear the phone ring?
Elisa: No, I didn't. And there is still no dial tone.
dave #5776: Did you plug in a cordless, or a corded phone?
Elisa: A cordless, is that OK?
dave #5776: Yes, just make sure the battery is charged.
Elisa: Yes it is...should I try plugging in a corded phone anyways?
dave #5776: No, it should work if the battery is charged.
[I just wanted to be helpful, but three minutes after this last message I began to wonder if I'd pissed him off with my presumption]
Then the phone rings and it's not Dave calling, it's Rob who is helping Dave with my technical issue. I muttered a "oh, yeah, thanks, bye." And hung up.
dave #5776: Looks like that went well.
[too wierd, too wierd! how does he know? why did he have to ask Rob to phone? Where the heck is he? Maybe he's not even a tech person at all, just a super fast typer with good instant messaging manners - he's got another window open for writing to Rob, the actual tech person, and he's got Judge Judy on the TV, he writes his messages to me during commercial breaks.]
Elisa: Yeah, thanks for your help!
[2 minutes pass, unsure about what to do, I closed the window.]