Sunday, April 1, 2012

You know what I hate?

I hate Tracfone.

No, I really do. They keep changing the rules.

Okay, I admit some of this is my fault. 3/31 is not the optimal time to notice you're due to lose service on 3/31. It's been telling me that for three months, after all. But who the hell pays attention to orders issued by a telephone? It's my phone and I'll ignore it if I want to.

Unfortunately I'll also take the consequences for doing so. Reality suits me, even when it bites.

Going to town to buy more phone time was not my first choice. Tracfone has a perfectly good website (Okay, the website sucks, but it's there) and it is theoretically possible to buy time on it. It's been a long time, but I've done it before.

The site is slow. The checkout procedure is niggling and complicated and they want all these frickin' numbers. I don't recall that it ever demanded that I "register an account" before, though. Give them name and address? Hell, I don't even HAVE an address, and what on earth would they do with it anyway?

I made something up.

Apparently they can check that. They were not amused.

By this time I was getting ... well ...

I turned off the computer, which I had been shouting at for quite some time.

This was a tactical error.

The boys - especially LB - have this Pavlovian thing, which has annoyed me for years. When the computer is turned off, it emits a distinctive BEEP which sounds like nothing else in their lives. It means "Daddy is about to stop facing away from me and staring at the box. Maybe we're going to do something more fun now."

The boys - especially LB - respond to this with excitement. I was in no mood to be exciting to dogs.

I did something bad. The boys found it exciting, but not in a fun way.

They started dancing and skipping and "Harooo"-ing. I leaped out of my chair and roared at them. "It is not my job to keep you little bastards entertained! Lay down and shut the **** up!" I'm afraid I said this rather loudly.

Daddy/Uncle Joel NEVER yells at the dogs. They did not know how to cope with this. Ghost cringed. LB cringed and wet himself right on the spot. They were both clearly convinced they were about to become greasy patches on the cabin floor, and that somehow they had done something to deserve this. I'm sure they couldn't imagine what, not that it mattered. What mattered was that greasy patch, and how to avoid becoming it.

What you've got to understand is that I have a terrible temper. I have had a terrible temper since I was a boy. Since I was a scrawny boy, it used to get me beaten up a lot. It was real easy to start a fight with me and I always lost. I didn't start trying to control it until I got my growth, because the one fight I got into and won, I put the guy in a hospital. Cops were involved. Winning fights wasn't as much fun as I'd imagined. Then when I became a dad and my daughter was a toddler, she had an uncanny ability to get under my skin. She won't believe this because sometimes I was a real bastard of a dad, but I really worked on my temper. I was a dealership mechanic. I didn't look it, but I was very strong when I was younger and an uncontrolled temper was just not a good thing. For much of my life, things tended to get broken in my vicinity.

In the last several years, I've mellowed out a lot. I rarely lose my temper, I rarely yell, I never hit. Or grasp, or tear, or gouge, or squeeze, or bite.

So of course I felt terrible about having lost it this time, which did not improve my mood. There was now only one thing left to do, other than just let the damned phone expire and become useless. I've got reasons for never doing that. I had to sneak into town, but my superstitious bit was now convinced that karmic balance demanded the evening end with me arrested and Landlady's Jeep impounded. I told my superstitious bit to shut the hell up.

So I got into the Jeep and drove to town. All the useful stores are on the other side of this town, but I wasn't willing to push karma that far if I didn't have to. Turns out the convenience store on my side of town sold Tracfone minutes. Did that and got my ass back out of town.

LB licked my face when I got back to the Lair. He never licks. I'd scared my baby boy.

I hate Tracfone. It's easier than hating myself.


MamaLiberty said...

I hate tracphone too. Seriously. I wish I'd spent the extra money to buy the Net10 phone when I got this stupid pos
- but it was $10. more. Big hairy deal... now.

If you ever decide to get a different phone, get Net10. I most certainly will.


And hugs to the boys. That was sad. But I have a temper too... so I understand.

Judy said...

From experience Net10 isn't any better than Tracfone.

Jeffersonian said...

The last time I set up a TracFone, which admittedly was a year or more ago, when it asked for identification, I said "NO" and the automated thingy skipped to the next step.

I've had the same TracFone for three years without problems.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you don't have to give personal information. TracFone just acts as though you do, both on the website and if you ever have to call their Mumbai hotline. Just say no & you should be okay.

Anonymous said...

TracFone, Net10, SafeLink, & Straight Talk are all subsidiaries of América Móvil. So much of a muchness. I've had both Net10 and Trakfone, and can see no difference between them.

JJ Luna's "Invisible Privacy" website Q&A section has many tips on keeping a mobile phone without revealing lots of sensitive information.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like me and my wife/children. I stay away from them because the PC police would have my ass if I really told them what I think. What a fucked up world we live in today where common sense is not only dead but "illegal" as well...