Flash Fiction #131
I can’t say “I told you so” because that sounds a little cruel, especially at a moment like this. However I really want to say it since I told Ro several years ago not to go for this obscure phone company. There are plenty of big phone carriers to choose from. They cost a bit more, but they are reliable entities.
Of course Ro never listens to me. He runs a small business and whenever he has some complicated problems that require phone calls or negotiations in English, he would come to me. Over the years, I have witnessed him running his business and raising a family without managing more than twenty English words. If I were him, I would have started learning the language long ago, if not for knowledge at least for fear of not being able to understand others, but he thinks and acts in a completely different vein.
Ro went for a small phone company in New York City that offers a rate of $10 a month for unlimited calls, a killer rate that no other companies can match. I told Ro that it’s too good to be true, but Ro didn’t have the same kind of scruples as I had.
And then last week, Ro’s phone number and email are hijacked or stolen. I don’t know if hijacked or stolen are the right words to use here. Basically Ro woke up one morning to find that both his phone number and email belonged to somebody else. This was particularly vexing, considering the fact that most of Ro’s accounts, including his cable bill and everything else, are based on his phone number and his email address.
At first, Ro tried to get his phone number and email back. A business owner cannot lose his phone number, which connects him with all his business contacts. However the phone company couldn’t get his number back for him. Of course they couldn’t since the phone company is probably the perpetrator in the theft to start with. Then Ro tried to get his email back, but only to find that all the recovery methods (all three of them) are unusable–his phone number is useless since he lost it; and two recovery emails have been changed to something strange and unrecognizable. What worried Ro most was his bank accounts and he rushed to the two bank branches to talk with them about this new mishap. Fortunately, the thief hasn’t got to his bank accounts yet and Ro got to have everything under control.
And guess what? After all the troubles the small phone company has brought him, he is now searching for another small carrier with an economic rate. I just look at him in despair.
“Why can’t you go for T-Mobile or AT&T?” I asked.
He mumbled something, which when translated into English stood for Wiresafe. I had never heard of the company Wiresafe. And the very fact that they put “safe” into their name seems to be over-advertising their safety record.
After Ro was gone, I thought about him and his way of dealing with the world. I wondered if he has chrometophobia, which means even if he can afford it, he feels that it is difficult for him to spend the money. Then I wondered if I had been too critical of him. I mean he has his own way of doing things and I really shouldn’t impose my way on him, although I really cannot help myself. And Ro is very good at provoking other people’s instinct in helping him while maintaining his stubborn principle of never being influenced by his helpers.