Yesterday, I had to deal with Vodafone - again. I avoid this like the plague. Vodafone is the company we have our mobile phone and internet service with. When we originally set up our account with them, we went to the store at the foot of the Rialto instead of the one closest to our apartment, because at Rialto there were a few employees who spoke English better. Every time we have a need to deal with our Vodafone account, the clerks who work at our local Vodafone shop refuse to help us. They always direct us back to Rialto, citing as a reason that we must go to where we set up the account. We have always thought this was nonsense, but not knowing any better, we do what we are told. We've learned the hard way you just don't argue with these people.
So- yesterday we discovered mid day that our phone service had been interrupted. Mid day. Great. Vodafone is closed for siesta and wouldn't be open until 3:30. Not wanting to go back to the Rialto area a second time that day (I had been there in the morning too), I went to our local Vodafone shop at 4pm, hoping they might be able to save me a trip to Rialto. I did this, but mind you, I was expecting the worst.
I knew that to get the phone service turned back on I was going to have to make a payment at the Post Office in cash, but I needed to know how much money was needed. All I wanted was for the woman at the local Vodafone store to look up the account and tell me the amount. I was already geared up for the long line I'd incur over at the Post Office. It was not going to be a good afternoon. On top of that, I already knew that she was just going to look at me and say "You need to go to the Rialto office". Still, I slapped a smile on my face (all the while gritting my teeth at the same time), and asked the woman to please help me.
Here it comes, I thought to myself. Why didn't I just go to Rialto to begin with?? Hope against hope, I'm always the optimist. Or maybe I am a masochist and I'm fooling myself!
After making my plea for help, this woman tells me she will find out how much I owe and I can make the payment by credit card right there. What? Say that again, per favore?? Did I understand you correctly?
This cannot be!!! The reason I say that is because I had already been told by Vodafone many many times that we could never pay our account by our US bank issued credit card. Our payment had to be from an Italian bank account, or on an Italian credit card. We'd gone round and round and lost this battle with Vodafone long ago.
Again, this woman says she will do it. I hand her my phone, she calls customer support, she gets the amount owed from them, and asks me to hand over my credit card and my documentation. In two minutes, everything is finished and my service is restored. It turns out I probably could have done all this myself if I could have understood the Vodafone customer service voice menu system. It's impossible- the Italian recordings speak at breakneck speed. I am completely at a loss if I have to deal with any menu system here. This woman, for whatever reason, decided she would help me out, and I am grateful beyond belief. I was doing a happy dance in the Vodafone store. I don't know what this woman ate for lunch, but it made her very cooperative. She never had been before.
I'm about to leave the store when she asks if I want to make future payments by credit card also? What, are you kidding me??? She is volunteering to do even more for me?? Sure, that would be fabulous. She gets back on the phone with customer service, and in two more minutes has updated my account so that now all payments will be on this credit card. I'm thinking to myself I need to go directly to the church around the corner to light candles, and do not pass Go.
After just about kissing this woman and multiple "Grazie mille's", I did immediately duck into San Pantalone, lit a candle, and said a quick prayer of thanks to God, and to the Vodafone God, and one last prayer for the health of my Vodafone woman.
Then, I made that phone call to Mike (yes, the phone was working!) and invited him to the mini-celebration I was about to have for myself in Campo Santa Margherita. This called for a prosecco!
BTW- I did not speak one word of English during my entire time in the Vodafone store. Perhaps this woman finally took pity on me because I have been trying so hard to speak the lingo???