Smite of the Day: RBC Insurance. Your call amuses us.

The other day I opened my mail to find that my car insurance has gone up, fairly significantly. This was rather a jolt, as I have a flawless driving record (I’m serious) and my current car, the Pontiac Excrement, is worth slightly less than some of the shoes I own.

Steam pouring from my ears, I phoned RBC to find out what in the name of Saint Smiter was going on.

After wading through the obligatory “being thanked by mechanical voice for calling RBC,”  being assured that my call was important to them, pressing 4 to speak to a representative, and typing in my 10-digit phone number with area code for god alone knows what purposes since they ask you your phone number again anyway….

Your call is important to us… sir, was that a gunshot just now?

Anyway, after all that foofurrah, I eventually ended up with a live hominid and enquired what RBC Insurance had done lately to entitle them to another hefty dip into my pocketbook.

There followed about 10 minutes of “verification questions,” which required me to remember my mother’s maiden name, first pet’s name, ex’s date of birth, own date of birth, recite the first 75 digits of Pi, sing the chorus of “Edelweiss” in German while accompanying myself on the harmonica, and estimate the annual rainfall in the Amazon Basin.

After this performance, the nice hominid had forgotten the original reason for my call (and so, for that matter, had I until I glanced at the papers by my elbow) and we nearly had to go through it all again.

I had, foolish thing, hoped for a quick “oh, sorry, our mistake! Your car is worth less than a Starbuck’s premium coffee, so let us reverse that error post-haste!” but no. Instead, I heard the discreet press of a button and the hominid began to recite, off her computer screen, a carefully worded explanation of why more of my hard-earned Smiter Dollars were required: it’s an Ontario government something-or-other to help cover the expenses incurred by insurance companies having to pay out when an insured party (such as yours truly) is smashed by an UN-insured party (such as that little shit in the white Acura who was tailgating me down a hill in the freezing rain the other day, but I digress).

“Terrific,” I said glumly, but my words were lost on the hominid, who was still doggedly reading her script. (God, what a wretched job. Seriously.)

“Hello…” I said experimentally, and then said it again more loudly. No dice. The phone nattered on: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation blah blah blah….”

Writerly and editor-ly folks amongst you will recognize the above as what we in the biz call “filler text” and that’s basically what the nice RBC rep was reading to me. The people who write it know the caller doesn’t give a crap. The rep doesn’t give a crap (or even understand it) but still, they must pacify themselves with the illusion of having said something to an irate caller, so Lorem ipsum it is.

I put the phone on “speaker”, set it on my desk and played a few rounds of solitaire while the droning continued. Updated my Facebook page. Emailed my friend The Elf, made a sandwich.

No, please go on. This is riveting.

The phone gabbled tinnily on, Muzak for the tone-deaf:”…ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor…”

Finally, my tasks completed, I decided to put the hominid out of her misery and, picking up the phone, shouted HELLO!!!! as loudly as I could.

The droning stopped. “Yes?” she said, in the tones of one waking from a dream.

“You can stop reading now,” I said pleasantly. “I haven’t been listening anyway.”

There was a moment’s silence — and then she burst out laughing. “Well, at least you’re honest,” she said, almost audibly wiping her spectacles.

I bid her a pleasant day and was about to hang up when she began to read from her “goodbye” script, wishing me a good day and assuring me that if I had any further questions, I should please feel free to call RBC Insurance and a representative would be —

“Hello,” I said once more. “You’re reading to me again!” There was a wubba-wubba sound as she shook her poor head.

She laughed, I laughed, we parted friends.

Just as well; they know where I live.

–Smiter out

PS. It’s clear “The Oatmeal” feels my pain. Have a look at this & try not to laugh your major internal organs out your nose. 

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