A Phone on Each Ear


It is 2018. EVERYTHING is managed online. My mother does not have internet, or a smart phone or even know what WiFi or Bluetooth are. She doesn’t care to know. She is very good at having other people handle it. She practically made a career out of it. So when an issue like when the cable/satellite goes out, she is completely ill equipped to handle it.

Kathleen (not her real name) from the satellite company was so patient with me as I tried to explain that I was 275 miles away from the situation but trying to fix my mom’s TV. I had to go through a few security hurdles which were easily answered because my mom, like virtually everyone from her generation, has exactly one password. I guessed it the first time and I have been correct every single time since then.

After a few minutes of trying to find my mom’s account (registered under a LONG since turned off phone number) we are in. I try to retell what I was described to me by the caregiver – black screen, “no network.” Unfortunately, nothing is working. Finally, I pick up a second phone, dial my mom, and LITERALLY play the game telephone.

It is not lost on me that I could have conferenced the calls together. You’re welcome.

A phone on each ear I am repeating two sides of a conversation – “Did she reset the box?” “Did you reset the box?” “Yes.” “Yes.” “Is the red light flashing?” “Is the red light flashing?” “Which red light? “Which red light?” “The one above the logo.” “The one above he logo.” “The DISH logo?” “The DISH logo?” “Yes” “Yes” “Yes” “Yes it’s flashing?” “No” “No it’s not flashing?” “No, there is no logo.”

At this point Kathleen (still not her real name) offered a solution. A super secret special way that my mom’s caregiver could call back and be connected with Kathleen so they could resolve the issue quickly. I wept with joy.

I nominate Kathleen (or whatever her name is) for sainthood.