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Monday, July 1, 2013

E.T....No Pal of Mine!

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for the days of Ma Bell

If you watch NatGeo or the Science channel, you know all about the theories of past alien invasions.  I am here to tell you that the aliens are back.  They have used their far advanced technology to infiltrate the internet, our phone systems, and Pay Pal.

Now I know many of you have had to deal with tech support from those who have English as their fourth or fifth language and that is trying, especially if you have older ears trying to  listen to English  spoken with an accent thicker than mud on a hog in August.  But since my recent experience with the alien infiltrated Pay Pal, I would take Mud Hog spoken with any accent.

I shall explain.  After complaining for years about no longer having my wonderful Salad Master Machine that I used twice a year to make potato salad, I found one on E-Bay.  Hooray! And just in time, as it turns out, for the 4th…of Never!

I checked the pictures of the Salad Master Machine on E-Bay.  It was just like my old one. I compared new prices from the factory.  I looked at the ratings for the seller.  I even had a Pay Pal account to secure my payment so all was good…or so I thought.

Time to make my purchase. When I got to the “How Do You Want to Pay?” I clicked Pay Pal . Long pause as I search through three hundred manila folders for my Pay Pal log in name.   You can see my level of computer competency right?  I found I had failed to write it and my password down.  Not to worry. It’s Pay PAL.  When I couldn’t log in, Pay Pal conveniently asked me to click the following boxes:  “Forgot Log In name? click  Forgot password?…click.  Can’t remember either?  Click and double click.”

 After clicking enough times to secure my position on “Dancing with the Stars, Flamenco Night”, I submitted my telephone number to verify I had an account.  Yep.  There it was…under the yahoo e-mail account that hasn’t let me in since some one…or some THING changed my password years ago and didn’t tell me what it was.

Appearing on the not-yet-blue-scream-of-death computer monitor was my old e-mail account name and “You have been sent instructions for changing your password to the above e-mail.”  AAAAARGGG.  Just before I manhandled the monitor I read the second line. 

“For further assistance click here and leave your phone number.  You will be called immediately to verify that this is your account.”  Good. I can explain my problem.

I clicked…again…and within 60 seconds the phone rang.  A computer (?) generated voice (a.k.a. E.T.?) asked me to punch in the security code I had been given on the blue-scream-of-frustration.  I did. Then E.T. told me how to change my password.  After repeatedly tapping the new password into the phone, E.T. told me a confirmation would be sent….wait for it…wait for it…to the  e-mail account I could not access.

Back to the blue-scream-of-rising-blood-pressure monitor.  “Need help?  E-mail us your problem.” Ooook….

“I need to change my e-mail address on my Pay Pal Account.”

“Instructions will be sent within 24 hours to (you guessed it) the e-mail on your account.” 

Back to the black-and-blue-stream-of-explicatives.  On the monitor was “Call us”. I did.   E.T.’s mother answered.

 “Please say in a few words the nature of your problem.”

“I need to edit the e-mail address on my Pay Pal Account.”

“I can help you with that.  Access your account now and I will lead you step by step through the process.”

“That’s the problem.  I can’t get into my e-mail account.”

“I’m sorry.  I did not get that.  Say AGAIN or say MORE INFORMATION.”


“Please say in a few words the nature of your problem.”


“Please say in a lot more words and with as many details as possible, what we can do to help you with this very important and frustrating problem you are currently experiencing.”

“I want to speak to an earthling!   A being…  or an illegal alien  with an accent…”

“Oh, I can help you with that request.  Push #1 for Klingon …Push 2 for  Mork, Push 3 for  Alph….”


I wonder if they take cash on E-Bay …. or the Mother Ship???


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Oh yes, I have been down that long road to Internet Hell, where I can't remember the password for that account that I seldom use. My frustration level comes quickly and I draw the line at begging a computer voice to help me. What I have done in the past is to just ask my husband to open up an account and start anew. Unfortunately, we usually forget the details of that account also. In the end it saves us money as we spend less and less on line.

Janie Emaus said...

Cash? What's that?

Wanda said...

All you needed was Omar. He can fix anything and is even willing to spend the night with you if necessary.
I laughed the coke right on to my monitor only because I have been there, done that, and am no permanently lost in the land of confusion.

Joanne Noragon said...

At work I have a rolodex of account names and passwords. I hope an auditor notices it some day, so I can him him or her an earful. And then another earful. At home I have a list on the wall.

Marti Lawrence said...

Ah yes, been there done that. Great post, Jody! I laughed out loud and sympathize.

Editors At Work said...

Lol! Fun post, but true! I have a notebook full of usernames, pin numbers and passwords. I just hope it never gets in the wrong hands.


Cathy Turney said...

Anyone who can't identify with your story is not being honest with herself! Been there. Live there. Great story!

Sharon said...

Aaaargh, it's the password pirates, matey. Of course, most of the pirates are aliens. This is why I shudder each time some one says, just buy it on-line. I respond by saying, "I'll pay more at the store, thank you."

Strayer said...

I so get your post, made me laugh, but I also felt exactly your frustration. I have been locked out of my net10 phone account online forever, due to the fact I forgot my password. Then I clicked reset password link, checked and checked my e-mail on account, and never got the reset link. I try to call net10, who tell me what my password is, in heavy English as 3rd language barely understandable accent. Yet when I use that password, on their site, the site says the username and password don't match. In the end, I gave up, and buy prepay cards and get e-mails from net10 asking what happened, that they miss me. yeah, right.