Camelot

Camelot

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Technology Will Kill Me Someday

We are so dependent on technology that one day if a major worldwide catastrophic event were to occur we would perish, well most of us like me for instance.  Case in point, last night I came home from work to find that PG&E had shut my electricity off.  (So now I’m going to try to explain the series of events as orderly as possible).  I groaned to myself, “I must have forgotten to pay my bill”.  PG&E is the only account I don’t pay through my bank because the amount differs every month (I don’t receive paper statements, I’m trying to be as green as I possibly can) so I have to physically go to their website to make the payments.  Unlike my other accounts I just go to my bank’s website and choose the accounts I want to pay and I’m a mouse click away from paying all my bills for the month.  So simple, so easy, love it.  Well, there I was standing in the dark and I thought, “Oh I’ll just pay them online”.  I go to grab my laptop and I realize my internet is not on because the laptop, modem and the wireless router runs on ELECTRICITY!!!  (Note to self:  Pick up extra battery for laptop from my brother ASAP!)  After that realization I decided, “Oh well, I’m sure I can call PG&E and make a payment over the phone”.  I rummaged around in my boat of a purse to find my phone, grabbed it and readied my fingers to dial, my cell phone was dead.  (My boyfriend pays for my cell phone every month and every month he’s late with the payment.  I’m sure all of you have your own opinions about this little tidbit but you know what, you can shut it because I don’t care.  So what if he buys me a car for Christmas and pays my cell phone bill, albeit a little late.  Whatever.)  Anyways back to my story, so I grabbed my car keys and drove to the nearest phone booth.  Yes, you heard right, PHONE BOOTH.  Boy let me tell you, those are hard to come by nowadays.  In my youth they were everywhere.  Those phone booths were me and my friends' lifeline to the outside world and we knew how to use them.  I called my boyfriend at work,  gave him the rundown and twenty minutes later he and I met at a check cashing place that accepts payments for PG&E.  When I stepped up to the window the woman on the other side of the glass told me that if I make a payment through them, PG&E would not receive the money for 4 – 5 days.  Well, that wouldn’t work for me.  I need electricity NOW so she gave me an address to another pay center or so I thought.  My boyfriend and I drove to the address and it was an actual PG&E office and of course they were already closed.  I felt like I was on a wild goose chase with no goose to catch.  Frustrated, my boyfriend and I drove back towards my apartment when I spotted another phone booth.  Yes, a phone booth.  I pulled over next to it and dialed the 800 number that the woman from the check cashing place gave me along with the PG&E address.  I dialed the number and of course it was the office number that was closed but referred me to another 800 number.  I called that number and finally got hold of a human being that knew something of my dilemma.  She helped me with the process of making the payment (Did you know that when you make a payment over the phone it’s like a two to three part process if your electricity has been shut off?  First you talk to the initial representative, then she transfers you to an automated number where you give your credit card information and get a confirmation number and then you are transferred to the Smart Meter department where they press a button and your electricity is turned back on remotely).  That one phone call took about a ½ hour to 45 minutes with my boyfriend standing patiently beside to me.  He’s the best.  My evening was definitely interesting, kind of nice to break from the typical.  Well, in summary technology makes our life so much easier, without it I think I would die, really.   What the hell did I do before computers and cell phones existed?  I can’t even remember.