Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I have hung onto my smarter-than-me phone for a few years.  When I stopped being without any resources, getting that phone was one of the second layer of things I brought into my life.

It was inexpensive when I got the phone, but I soon found out that the phone company agent lied to me about contracts and fees and options, particularly those that would have been a better choice for someone like me.  I am not a gamer, nor do I watch videos/fillums on my phone.  I just needed a simple phone with some data options so that I could look up information for my clients when I was working with them outside of my office/batcave.

Thus began the courting dance of promotions that the phone company offered every time they raised my fees to a point where I could no longer afford to have the phone.

I was wooed each year when the most current promotion ended.  Each new promotion was a few dollars more than the previous one, and I kept on using that phone and company because it was easier to just pay five dollars more each time.  Even thinking about finding a new provider was more work and stress than I could handle.  Still cannot handle.

So, anyway, yesterday I received a letter that the promotion I had was ending in a few days...yikes...and I should call to talk to them.  I did that, and, as usual, the monthly fees were going up and the amount of data was decreasing.  Factor in that the woman on the phone was no all that nice, and true to past experiences I was soon reduced to tears.  I know that she and all of the rest of their agents are simply doing their jobs, and it certainly is not a great process or result to bully their customers into feeling stupid and disloyal by not immediately jumping for joy and saying, "Oh, goody, thank you so much for pricing this phone out of my budget."

This afternoon I just lost it, control and any chance to not fall apart.  I asked to just leave everything as it was and asked if I could call back.  I managed myself back into calmness and tear-free moments and went to my computer to look for a new phone provider.  There was not any way that I could afford the new promotion fees without cutting something from my budget, but the maze of companies and plans is mind-numbingly complicated.

I opened several tabs so that I could try to compare companies and plans.  All that fine print makes the process more difficult than it seems it should be, but I guess the companies have their reasons for that.  I nearly gave up and called my provider back to just cancel the phone immediately and pay their termination fee, which came as a surprise because I did not realize a year ago that I contracted for two years with their company. 

Shows what an incompetent consumer I am.  Hell, I try my best, but there you are.  There I was.

I finally called them back and the new person with whom I spoke offered to waive part of the termination fee if I took a pre-paid plan.  Well, the monthly cost is fifteen dollars less than going with the new promotion, has exactly the same plan benefits as the other plan and I have some breathing space to really research and find a cell phone provider and plan that costs even less.

I am not particularly dumb, at least about things like this, technology and stuff, but if one is already feeling vulnerable and at risk, trying to make the best decision under that kind of personal duress is just plain, too difficult.  I am sure that I am not the only person who struggles with these sorts of choices.  Yay and good for all of us who wrestle with making the best financial choices we can.

Making any kind of choices can be challenging for folk like me.  I have come so far in healing and recovery from that other life, but I still stumble over stuff like this once in a while.  Now that it is over, for the time being, I am feeling better and maybe a bit stronger or something.

Every day is a new beginning for me.  A new day when I never know what might pop up to move me away from stability and peace of mind.  Whatever.

New information about how to handle things like this and a phone that I can continue to use.  Not bad for a crappy day.


  1. J, I usually fall to pieces when I ring a call centre as they are all manned by people overseas and I can't understand their English ;-)

  2. I have had that experience, too. What I do is ask the person to speak slowly and allow me to interrupt as I need to understand her/him. Most of the call center people know that their accents can be a problem and are willing to go slowly. And, if need be, I can always ask for a supervisor.

    The cell provider I use has their agents here in the USA and the various accents are not a huge problem. Same thing for my insurance company.