I went to the Verizon store the other day.
I look forward to dealing with Verizon the way I look forward to getting a root-canal or doing my income taxes.
After reaching the front of the line, the young man whose badge identified him as "Mason, Customer Service" asked me why I was at the store.
I told them I wanted to activate a phone.
He beckoned me over to a table in the corner.
"If you have a minute" I said as I looked at the line waiting to be served "I want to tell you the backstory."
"Don't worry about them." Mason said. "It is your turn. Tell me your story."
I laid out my tale of woe. The son looking for a job. Mrs ERJ traveling. The need for a phone to bridge the gap before my replacement phone showed up. My unhappiness at having to pay $40 to have the cheap flip-phone activated for three days service and my displeasure at having to pay another $40 activation fee for the new one.
I also told him I was unhappy about having to drive into Lansing (40 mile round trip) to have my phone activated. For some reason the Verizon site coughed up a hair-ball when I tried to activated it on-line. It said I needed to have my plan examined by a service expert.
"No problem." Mason said. "I am here to take care of you. Don't worry about paying for activation of this phone."
Looking through the notes in my file he told me he thought the reason the web-site required that I come in was that two of the numbers on my plan were eligible for "free" phones.
Fifteen minutes later, Mason had the phone running. He called it. He texted it. He sent a text. He made a phone call. He did a upload/download data test to WIFI. He handed it over, said "Sign here" and wished me a good day, no cost.
I asked him if there was anyway I could put in a good word for him. He said that I might get an email survey in the next few days.
I did not get a survey but still want to put in a good word for Mason Shapiro. So, if you need to deal with the Verizon store by the Lansing Mall, and they give you a choice...ask for Mason Shapiro.
PS: Mason, I hope your daughter had a happy birthday.