Writing Adventure Group Theme #21 – Message in a Bottle

Over the past several weeks I have been participating in a weekly challenge entitled Fiction Friday. It is pretty simple, each week a prompt is assigned and anyone participating is asked to write a piece of fiction based on that prompt. Some weeks are more challenging than others, but it is always a fun thing to do.

Because I seem to get more feedback on the days where I post Fiction Friday, and I enjoy doing it, I thought I would look into more writing assignments/challenges to work on. While looking around on Twitter I came across India Drummond and her Writing Adventure Group.

When I began looking into the group and its participants I began to get confused. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to write fiction or non-fiction. The rules were very loose which made it very easy for anyone to stumble onto the group and join in the fun. Not having a defined prompt with clear guidelines was difficult for me, but I decided to give it a try and simply wing-it.


Writing Adventure Group theme #21

“Message in a Bottle”

Inner dialog is a blessing and a curse all rolled up into one. On one hand it is was keeps us on our toes and allows us to comfortably navigate an uncomfortable situation. On the other hand, its like having a lunatic run wild in your head, speaking aloud the most vile and vulgar responses to everyday questions.

I can remember one phone conversation where it felt as though I had an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.

“Customer Service, how can I be of assistance”

“I seem to have a problem with my latest statement and was hoping you could help me resolve it”

“No problem Sir, can I please have your account number, your name, address, and the last four digits of your social security number for verification purposes?”

“Sure….”
I wonder how useful this information really is

“Okay Sir, I have your information pulled up in front of me. What is it that you have concerns with”

“In one month’s time my monthly bill has gone up by roughly thirty-dollars. In addition, there seems to be a service or two on this statement that I’m being charged for, that I do not have”

“Well Sir, the extra services are for your DVR and it appears that your contract pricing has expired”

“That contract seems to have expired awfully fast. In regards to the DVR, I don’t have one nor have I ever”

“I’m sorry sir, you must be mistaken. We have you down as having a DVR device and it appears that your pricing has only gone up sixteen-dollars since expiration.”

The sound of laughter echoes through my mind as I ask myself the question. “Did this bitch just tell me I must be mistaken and that I have a DVR?”

“Ma’am, I assure you, I do not have a DVR nor have I ever. As far as the statement goes, I have last months right here in my hand. There is most definitely an increase of roughly thirty-dollars.”

”Be cool, she has an arrogant tone to her voice but you have all the paperwork you need to dispute this. Its just a matter of killing her with kindness”

“I’m sorry sir, your statement has not increased by that much”

”Are you an idiot or what? I have the damn paperwork right here!” The words roared through my mind, begging to be released at the cocky voice on the other end of the phone.

“I’m sorry but you are incorrect. I am looking at last months statement and the amount charged does not match the number you just read off to me. The billing date is from one month ago, are you sure you are looking at the correct statement?”

”Thats how you do it. Be polite and stand your ground. We are not paying this kind of money for cable, it is outrageous for what we get in return”

“Sir, are you saying that your statement does not match what I have on the computer?”

“I thought I made that pretty fucking clear!”

“Easy does it.”

“Yes, it would seem our statements do not match.”

There was an audible sigh before the words found there way through the phone. “Sir, please hold while I discuss this with my supervisor. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

The conversation was followed by a click before the loud obnoxious hold music began blaring through the phone. The music sounded as if the phone was placed next to an old record player as it skipped and popped to the tune.

“This should all be resolved shortly, might as well put the waiting music on speaker and multi-task while I wait.”

“It has been ten minutes! This cocky little bitch must think I’m going to hang up if she lets me stay on hold long enough. We will just wait and see about that….”

“Its been too long to have been something simple, they must be correcting the issue now. Why hasn’t she gotten back on the line to give me a status of the problem?”

“Twenty minutes now, this cocky little shit is going to get a piece of my mind”

“Wait a minute, thats not right.”

“You dumbass!”

“No wonder the statements don’t match, this belongs to the neighbors.”

“I knew all that security information was bullshit, she didn’t verify any of it before letting me into someone elses account.”

“I’ve been on the phone far too long and it isn’t the problem that I thought it was. I’ll just write a letter explaining my disappointment with lack of security and rude customer service agents.”

“Customer Service, how can I be of assistance”

I scrunched my brow in confusion while I spoke the words to the phone setting on the table top. “Um, I’m not sure to be honest with you. I was speaking to someone else when I was placed on hold. It’s been about twenty minutes since that happened and I think the problem has just resolved itself.”

“I’m so sorry sir, the call must have been transferred back to the queue after being left dormant for so many minutes. I’m very sorry sir. Are you sure there is nothing I can help you with”

“Thats right, kiss my ass”

“There is no need for you to apologize, you didn’t put me on hold and forget about me. The problem has resolved itself . Thank you and goodbye”

“Again, sorry for the delay sir. Have a good day and goodbye”

“Thanks, you too”


This week’s Writing Adventure Group theme #21: “Message in a Bottle It’s part of human nature that we sometimes wish we could communicate with our younger selves, our unreasonable selves, our subconscious selves, our self-destructive selves, our more innocent selves, or any number of other us-es that we all seem to have within. In this week’s WAG, consider the way we talk to ourselves, the tapes we play inside our heads, and write a piece: fiction or non-fiction, about yourself, a character, or someone else. As usual no limits and no rules. One-two-three Write! All writers and bloggers are welcome to join the Writing Aventure Group.



10 comments On Writing Adventure Group Theme #21 – Message in a Bottle

  • I love this! Unfortunately I’ve done something very much like this recently! Of course, I took the cowards way out and just hung up. Heh.

    Well written, and I’m glad you’ve joined the group! New topic up today! I do hope you’ll continue with us.

    ND

    • India,
      The topic was a little tough but I had fun with it when I finally sat down and gave it a try. I’m looking forward to this weeks topic and hoping something springs to mind much sooner than the day before the new one goes up.

      Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.

  • Oh, Walt, you’re such a bad influence — I became thoroughly pissed as you/we waited, cussed, and listened to the effing Muzak — my blood pressure shot up.

    Welcome to the WAG. Make the hop and see what odd lots each of us has written in response to the same topic. Fun.

    • I’m glad i was able to draw you in to my frustrating phone call. By the time I was finished writing, the piece opened up old wounds and I was becoming frustrated all over again.

      I’ve been hopping around to the other blogs and commenting, I’m thoroughly enjoying WAG and look forward to participating in the next theme.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Oh whoopsie! I have opened the wrong mail before and had a cow, but this was really a step beyond! I loved the talk, especially since I spent a few hours yesterday in three separate calls with AT&T and the last helpful person told me to call their specialty help line which was the same number that was previously disconnected in one of their earlier “upgrade” maneuvers. You can imagine what my mental conversation sounded like.

    • Mickey,
      After I hung up the phone I had another dilemma. How was I going to explain to my neighbors why I opened their mail and written notes all over it. In the end it wasn’t so bad and the neighbors didn’t seem upset by it.

  • OMG, I have so been there before. It drives me crazy when you have to punch in the numbers to your account then give it to them again…it makes no sense to me. Like they’re trying to weed people out.
    Well written. Got right into your emotions!

    • Eileen,
      Some companies are easier to deal with that others. My cable company has the worst hold music and it is extraordinarily. Often time I can set the phone down, while on hold, not even having to put it on speaker.

      Thanks for the comment

  • For your first participation, you hit the mark. Nice job here, Walt! Welcome to WAG!

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