I be Free! Free At LAST!


Got the last bill from Verizon today.

Which is funny because they claim they bill a month in advance. When I cancelled the service the lady I was speaking with said sh thought I’d be getting a refund.

The young man I spoke to this morning said “We bill a month in advance, but because you cancelled service mid month you owe us.”

The way I understand those terms, I take it to mean that since I was on a fixed rate plan, my payment in Late Feb, would pay for March, and my Payment made in late March would pay for April.

When I mentioned to the young, obviously black man on the phone that I don’t think the terms they’re using mean what they think they do. He got just a little annoyed and told me I don’t understand English.


It took all the power I could summon to not respond to that line with;

At least I speak the language without an accent that obviously identifies me as a minority, thereby inciting racist behavior

or I’m sorry my translator is broken what did you say?

or No, I don’t know what you’re sayin

or any of the 1000 other things I could have said that would have been construed as racist. Some of which would truly have been racist and meant as such.


Instead, rather than Verizon calling me a racist again, I cut this guy off with, “So what I owe you is $60 and we’re freakin done is that correct? ”

It suddenly occurred to me that I was probably talking to Verizon in Missouri. Which is the place I was talking to when I was accused of being a racist. Since then I’ve given up trying not to be labeled a racist.

My speech patterns identify me as a white male as surely as the predominant African American speech patterns identify a black person.

Regardless of my intentions, or what is in my heart,  I will always be judged on the phone through whatever lens the person on the other end of the phone chooses to see the world through. Since I sound white, the black person assumes that I’m a racist and thus I am. There is no way that can be undone.


Rather than continuing a losing conversation it was easier for me to write a check and be done with Verizon. After all it’s not my freakin job to educate people who aren’t remotely interested in what I have to say.

Time to cut my losses and get on with life.


Sorry man, I didn’t understand what you were saying, I’d already turned off the translation matrix.

You were talking to THE HAND!