Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who’s On the Line?

The other day, a friend stopped by and wondered why I hadn’t answered the three voice mail messages she had left over the past four weeks.

I had been wondering if we had offended family members and all of our friends, since we hadn’t found even one message on our answering machine for quite a while.

I decided to dial our land line from my cell phone, and the response came from a sedate, older woman’s voice instructing the caller to leave a message. As I left one, I looked at the answering machine, but there was no blinking light indicating that I had called. Somehow, AT&T had eliminated my own voice mail message, and the default went to them.

When I punched the button to see who had called, there was nothing at all, so I called the tech support line at AT&T to see what was wrong.

I was connected to a pleasant, accented operator in the Philippines, whose name was Javin. After I carefully explained my frustrating situation, she reassured me that she could easily resolve my problem. If I would give her permission to enter my AT&T site, she would work “side-by-side” with me.

One hour later, she admitted that she was having difficulty with my particular situation, and said that she would consult with her supervisor and call me back within an hour. I kept my phone line open for more than an hour, and six days later, I still hadn’t heard from her.

I called the tech support line again today, and was connected to India. After explaining my problem to a woman in support, I was adamant in telling the tech person to transfer me to someone “on shore,” a term you should use to get back to an American operator. I said if the problem wasn’t resolved now, I would close my AT&T account forever and move my local, national and international phone service to Comcast, along with my Internet.

Within minutes, Saumik was on the line, and introduced himself as a supervisor who was now aware of my problems, and said, “We will take care of it quickly.”

He kept thanking me for my patience and had me go to the land line, disconnect it, and then he called me on my cell phone. He kept reassuring me that it would all work out.

It turns out that the problem had been caused when AT&T switched me to their new U-Verse program against my will. Apparently this had happened to many other customers (or possibly former customers) who didn’t get help from Saumik.

It took him only twenty-minutes to resolve my problem, and to ensure me that any future problems would be quickly and efficiently resolved, he gave me his ID number and told me to ask for him.

I won’t tell you that ID number, however I will tell you that since Saumik comes from Eastern India, his name is pronounced Shaumik. It turns out that his office is only ten minutes away from where a former San Jose State University student of mine lives at 55 Palace Road in Bangalore, zip code 560052. If you run into Swaroop Balakrishna when you are in the neighborhood, please say hello.

If you manage to get hold of Saumik or any other competent AT&T supervisor in India, and they easily resolve your problem, thank them afterwards by saying “Bahnyabad.”

Don’t forget to get their ID number for the next time you may need it, but be sure to keep it to yourself.

How you react to any negative situation is important to your well being, and you can learn to mentally deflect unwanted occurrences.  Start to bring in good vibrations by doing the “Kum Aher” exercise, and then do the “Gay Avek” to send away the unwanted. Both are found here, and they are from my book The Oy Way — Following the path of most resistance.”

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