A simple woman’s dream of paying her cell phone bill in Greece.
Kat (K): Hello, can you tell me where I can pay my bill? I live in ____ , and I’d like to find somewhere open past 18:00.
Service provider (SP): You can go to ______ .
K: No, that’s only open until 17:00.
SP: It says in our database that it’s open until 20:00.
K: Well, it’s not. I went there.
SP: How about ____ ?
K: No, they’re closed for vacation.
SP: You can pay at the post office.
K: The three post offices in my area close at 14:30.
SP: Why can’t your husband pay it for you?
K: Because I don’t have one, and my boyfriend works longer hours than I do.
SP: Your mother can pay it for you.
K: No she can’t because she’s dead. And when she was alive, she lived in a different country.
SP: What about your father?
K: My father is dead too. I haven’t lived with my parents since I was 17.
SP: What about a brother or sister? Or a friend?
K: For the record, my friends work and so does my brother. I appreciate what you’re doing, but let’s just say I’m responsible for myself, so please don’t give me options that involve other people.
SP: You can pay it at a bank, get a bank check or have it set up to automatically pay it monthly.
K: I work longer hours than the banks in my area, which close at 13:30, and I do not have a car to drive to a bank that is open late.
SP: You can pay at an ATM.
K: Actually, I can’t because you do not cooperate with the bank I use. Listen, I’m not an idiot. I already went to your website and looked at your ‘How to Pay Your Bill’ options, and they do not fit me, so if you could just get back to my original question and tell me a place open past 18:00, that’d be great.
SP: Why can you use our pay online service?
K: Because your online system does not recognize my phone number! Can you just give me the answer to my original question, please?
SP: Why doesn’t it recognize it?
K: You’re asking me? How would I know? I’m calling you from that number right now, so obviously it exists.
SP: I don’t understand.
K: I don’t either, I just accept that it doesn’t work and I move on since I’ve already asked you to fix it twice, and you’ve done nothing. Now can you give me the answer to my original question?
SP: Just that store I told you already.
K: Yes, but I told you it’s not open past 17:00.
SP: Well then, I don’t have any information for you.
K: There are no other stores?
SP: No. By the way, your bill is overdue by 2 days.
K: Yes, I know that. I’ve been trying to pay it for the past week!
SP: If you don’t pay it, we’ll disconnect your service.
K: Oh, how nice. (*sigh*)
At the store
I got permission from my boss to leave 2 hours early to pay my phone bill. He laughed at me and thought I was lying.
K: Hello, I’d like to pay my bill.
SP: You must go to the other counter.
K: Thank you. (Stand in line at the other counter)
…10 minutes later
K: Hello, I’d like to pay my bill.
SP: You need to go to the other counter.
K: I was at the other counter, and he told me to come here, so I waited 10 minutes and now I have to go back?
K: I don’t accept that because if I leave this counter and go back to the other, he’s going to tell me to come back here. If neither of you want to help me, just say so instead of passing me back and forth.
SP: Fine, I’ll help you. Wait here.
…5 minutes later
SP: Here’s your receipt. Is there something else?
K: Yes, I’d like to change my address.
SP: Sure, can I see your identification?
K: Here you go.
SP: Wait, while I make a call to verify.
SP: This is not the same passport on file.
K: Yes, I know. The one you have on file is my passport from 10 years ago when I first signed up with you. Of course that one is expired, and this is my new one.
SP: Well, the new one is not on file.
K: I’m obviously the same person. It’s the same AFM, and I can provide other proof as well. Here’s my driver’s license, my ATM card, my bus pass.
SP: Show me your expired passport.
K: What? Why?
SP: You don’t have it?
K: No, it expired 7 years ago. It’s at home in storage.
SP: So you don’t have it with you?
K: Why would I carry around a passport that expired 7 years ago? It’s not even a valid form of ID.
SP: Do you know the number?
K: Do you even understand what you’re asking me?
SP: So you don’t know the number?
K: Do you know the number of your tautotita in your wallet right now or your AFM by heart? Notice that I didn’t ask you something from 7 years ago; I’m asking you something you’ve had almost all your life.
SP: Point taken.
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