I am still super confused as to why I didn’t post these when I wrote them… oh well, posting now! This one was written while we were driving cross country after the AT.
Kyle is somewhat of a Southern gentleman. He was raised in the south and is very good about things like doing the dishes after dinner and calling parents Mrs. this and Mr. that (until I told him to cut that out). But there a few things that will crack his smiling polite demeanor and I know just what they are. My wolf sweatshirt, for example. Kyle has a massive aversion to my wolf sweatshirt. It is just a plain grey sweatshirt, kind of baggy and oversized, with a wolf’s face imposed over a dream catcher on the front. By Northwest standards it is pretty “hip”. Every time I go to “hip” coffee shops in Portland I get a thousand compliments on it (I am only putting hip in parenthesis because what do I know about being hip, everything I own has holes in it because it’s at least five years old). But every time I suggested to Kyle that my wolf sweatshirt is appreciated by people somewhere in this country he gets irate and forbids me from ever wearing it around his cool hip Chicago friends. It’s one of the few serious arguments we ever have… Is my wolf sweatshirt hip? It clearly differs from coast to coast. Or maybe it’s the six-year age difference…
But Kyle’s hatred of my wolf sweatshirt is practically puppies and rainbows compared to making a call to any customer service help line. I have the perfect example. Kyle banks with Chase and apparently forgot to mention to them that we would be undertaking a month-long road trip. So naturally, when his card started buying gas all over the country they assumed the worst and shut it off. We discovered this after leaving Canyonlands and were denied gas on the way to Flagstaff. So Kyle, blood clearly already boiling, calls the Chase customer service hotline.
“Welcome to Chase’s customer service line, please say your account number.”
“I don’t know my account number.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get that, please say your account number again.”
“I don’t know my account number you stupid machine, let me talk to a real person!”
“I’m sorry, I’m still not understanding, try using the key pad to enter your account number.”
“YOUR. A. DUMB. MACHINE” says Kyle holding the phone in front of his face and yelling into it.
“Please use the key pad to enter your account number or say it now.”
“You #%@^$& stupid #*@#%$ annoying dumb #&@%$@%”
At this point Kyle gives up and holds down the zero key until zeros fill the screen. It is a nifty trick though because it always gets you to a real person, but only after keeping you on hold for an absurdly long amount of time. The real person he reached concluded that yes, his card had been shut off, but that another one should have been sent to him. Kyle reiterated that we were on a road trip, constantly driving around, and wouldn’t be home to the address on file for another two weeks. The customer service representative seemed very baffled by this turn of events, as if no one has ever taken a road trip before, and had to transferred him to someone else. This person, too, seemed confused about what to do and Kyle was bounced around to different people until, finally, they sent him overseas and a nice Indian man managed to turn his card back on for two weeks; just enough time get us home and activate the new card that was waiting for us.
Under my reproachful gaze Kyle managed to maintain a polite, although sharper then normal tone, during all of these conversations, and although he had a bit of a swearing fest once hanging up the phone he held it together. I patted his leg and said, “See that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Little did I know the problem was only beginning.
Two weeks later in San Francisco, the night before driving home, we discovered at a bar that Kyle’s card was, once again, not working. Since we both have credit cards we thought nothing of it that night but the next morning we found ourselves, quite literally, trapped in San Francisco. In order to leave SF we needed four dollars in cash to pay the tolls. But Kyle’s debit card, our only means to withdraw money, had been turned off. We were aimlessly driving the streets of San Fran, extremely hung over, and with no hope of leaving. Soon Kyle was back on the phone with Chase, pushing an absurd amount of zeros. This time I didn’t put up a fight when he tersely explained his frustration to the woman on the other end, and only smirked when he insisted she stay on the line while he roamed the streets looking for an ATM. He came back some time later with twenty dollars cash and a satisfied look on his face. Until he remembered how queasy he was and reclined his seat once again so he could groan from a more relaxed position.
Things that make me really angry? When people zoom ahead of the slow moving traffic lane and then attempt to merge somewhere much further down the line. Don’t they understand that people like them are just making the situation worse??? Grrrrr.
Update: Wolf sweat shirts and customer service still make Kyle very angry. You can add my new fisherman pants that Abigail got me in Thailand to that list. When I wear the fisherman pants and the wolf sweatshirt at the same time I think the vein in Kyle’s temple is going to explode.