I went to Church yesterday. Yes, everyone is still alive. I’ve successfully proven the theory that spontaneous human combustion is indeed an urban legend. I was rather disappointed that I had overslept, and missed the 11:30 service because Father Noah usually is the Priest that conducts that mass. I enjoy his sermons tremendously. He also happened to be the person who answered the rectory phone at 5 pm on Christmas Eve, and was willing to meet with me. Much to my delight, he did in fact conduct mass yesterday at 5:30. Never overlook the signs of comfort given to you is my philosophy.

Previously, I’ve been successful at poor navigation, inappropriate online behavior, and bad decision making. Now, I’m not one of those people that will sit here and tell you that Church is the answer. I can only relate my experiences.  I was able to arrive at this solution by way of theoretical analysis and process of elimination. I did not chart my findings into a neatly color coded pie chart. One has to draw the line somewhere. I do believe though that honesty is always the best policy, and for me starts with being honest with myself.  

Brian and I arrived at Church early, and I sat in the pew near the front. Mass has changed so much that I’ve found it difficult to navigate what page to go to in the book. It’s easier to sit next to someone much wiser in years. He or she always knows what page the service will be focused on. I’ve got the cough, head turn, and casual glance routine down pat! If you get caught, just smile. Trust me, that works best.

Yesterday’s sermon partially addressed the mood of the Country, and the election. At the end of the mass, the Financier stood at the lectern to discuss Parish Finances. One would think that the mass itself, and the message would’ve been the utmost thing of importance in my mind. It was, don’t get me wrong. It was however, something that the Financier said that struck me. My Parish owes an extremely significant amount of construction debt for our new Church. The message of the reading was about people not eating the food of others, but rather laboring to eat food one has created. It suddenly occurred to me that spiritual debt is even more significant than the construction debt. I pondered over that thought all the way home.

This afternoon, I finally decided that I was going to upgrade my cell phone. I logged onto my carrier’s website, and discovered much to my dismay that somehow I didn’t have the account permissions to make changes to my equipment. That made absolutely no sense to me because I am the only user on the account. I clicked a button to “request permission” and waited for the response. In the meantime, I sat and yelled at my computer “I give myself permission! HELLO!” Admittedly, patience simply is not one of my virtues.

That yielded no results, so I clicked on the “live chat” icon, and explained my dilemma to the on-line agent. The answer I received was to access account preferences, and change the on-line ID from user to owner. That answer seemed simple enough, or so I thought. When I clicked on the browser link to do so, I was asked for an account number. Who remembers those things offhand? Not me. PIN number? Nope sorry. I finally decided just to call and get the information. I pressed *2 and navigated through a series of prompts; none of which simply stated “press X to reach an Operator”.

Suddenly, my cell phone disconnected, and a mysterious menu appeared onscreen showing a series of options; none of which included the very thing that I needed. Frustrated, I called again. I finally reached a live person, explained my dilemma, and was put on hold. Somehow during that time I ended up back in que, where 37 minutes later I was once again connected to an agent. I will freely admit that during that time I reached over, grabbed a pillow off Brian’s bed and screamed into it “You’ve GOT to me kidding me!” It did nothing to solve my problem, but it certainly made me feel better.

The agent gave me the account information that I needed, and informed me that she would email me the link to reset my PIN. I thanked her and hung up. I checked my email, finally satisfied that I was indeed moving forward. I checked my e-mail, and sure enough, there was the link. Yay! I smiled. I clicked on it, and my little digital hourglass stood still for a moment. There on my screen was a message that read “We apologize for the inconvenience, but this service is temporarily unavailable. Click here to access your account online”.

I just sat there blinking at my screen in utter frustration and disbelief, thinking “This is a joke right? This can’t possibly be happening”. I half expected Ashton Kutcher or Allen Funt to jump out into the hallway. Undeterred, I closed out my browser and tried again. This time, I received the following message “You’ve exceeded your number of log in attempts due to inaccurate information. For security purposes, your web account is temporarily suspended. Please try again later”. Needless to say, the amount of spiritual debt that I accumulated during that time will have to be discussed with Father on Wednesday. No one is perfect.

I still don’t have access to purchase a phone. I can’t watch via my mobile device my favorite television shows because of another issue with another carrier. My mental “ridiculousness” filing cabinet is nearly full, but rest assured I will not be purchasing a replacement for it online. My lesson was, If you take a step back and look at the situation for what it is, you will understand the true lesson of importance. Sometimes, you just have to laugh!



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