Wednesday 07 Dec 2016

What Kids Say
Matt Seinberg

My kids each said something interesting to me this week. That’s not to say that they don’t’ say interesting stuff on a regular basis. These two things stand out.

My teenage daughter, Michelle, said, unexpectedly, “Dad, you’re my best friend!” My reply was, “What do you want?” She said nothing. I asked why she said it. She said because it’s true. I wondered, was that because I’ve been working the last two weeks to have her cell phone fixed or replaced?

Back in September 2010, I wrote a column about how I got Michelle a new LG cell phone, with a Virgin Mobile plan. Somehow, she recently “damaged” the phone, so it wouldn’t charge the battery. I contacted LG, which told me to return it. I did. Ten days after returning it, they sent it back unrepaired, with no explanation, only a note saying it was not repairable.

I also stated in that column that Virgin Mobile’s customer service (CSR) left a lot to desire. Well, I am happy to report that it has drastically improved. While I was waiting to get the phone back from LG, I called Virgin and asked them to suspend the account, as it wasn’t in use.

The customer service rep gave me a full month’s credit and informed me that if LG did not repair or replace the phone, call Virgin back and they would replace it. What, I said, aloud.

Just to make sure I heard right, I stated that I did not buy the phone from them. Tony, the CSR at Virgin, said, yes, Virgin would replace it at no charge. I was stunned to say the least and quite pleased to hear I wasn’t stuck with a broken phone.

After I got the original phone back, I called back Virgin and explained the situation. Becky, the CSR at Virgin, said she would process the order for the new phone and we would have it within 3-5 days. I told Michelle this and while she was happy about getting a new phone, she didn’t want to wait.

The next day she calls me when she got home from school. She tells me a box arrived. I’m sure it was the phone, but told her not to open it. Michelle has a habit of destroying any package she opens.

When I got home from work, I opened the box and, indeed, it was the new phone. Michelle went nuts and I told her we would activate after dinner.

We got on the phone, with Virgin, had the phone activated and talked to another CSR to make sure the plan was the same. It was, and Michelle was able to use the phone right away. Talk about a very happy teenager!

The second set of interesting words spoken to me this week came from my 10 year old, Melissa. She tells me she wants me to do a scavenger hunt on April Fool’s Day. I ask why. She just gives me a sly smile. I explain that I have a lot to do, and won’t be able to participate until later that night.

She relents and says we’ll do it together. Again, I ask why and she just says, “Dad, its April Fool’s Day,” as if that explains the whole thing. Sorry, but I just don’t get it.

Marcy, my wife, asks if I’d like to go out for dinner, tonight. As Michelle won’t be home, I say okay. That puts a bit of a crimp in Melissa’s Scavenger Hunt, but we can do it when we get home.

Have you ever tried to reason with a 10-year old? It’s not easy, whether it’s a boy or a girl. I think a girl is more stubborn, as they get that from their mothers. Yes, I really did say that because it is true! Woman can be very stubborn; please don’t debate that with me.

At work, I’ll hear parents ask little six-year old Johnny or Susie would you like this for your room. Are you kidding me? Asking a little kid to decide how to spend your money is a no-no. Give me a break! The can barely make up their minds about what to eat, much less how to pick something out like a mattress, furniture, comforter or other furnishings.

I cringe when they tell their parents an emphatic no and start to have a tantrum. The parents try apologizing, but the kid is screaming so loud it’s embarrassing at that point, and they just leave.

A friend of mine told me to have Michelle put her comment in writing and have it notarized for all time, as I may never hear it again without having to ask. I did ask her the next day to repeat it, and she did without hesitation and with a big smile. I guess she was just happy to have her phone back.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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