Friday, March 16, 2012

With a Little Help from My Friends

This is a piece I should not be writing. It has the potential to embarrass a child and exacerbate an already tense situation. I'm just so freaked out by the service of *wait for it* ... a cell phone company of all creatures, that I am going to write it anyway.  In the interest of preserving family harmony and respecting the privacy of a teenager I'm just going to pretend it happened to someone else.

So my friend has teenagers, my friend also has grey hair, frazzled nerves, a zest for life and a positive outlook on her current situation and the future. As I understand it teenagers can sometimes test your patience. It is not their fault they really don't have much control over their developing brains or hormones. The poor creatures are continually trying to navigate that delicate balance between stability and instability while trying desperately to separate themselves from the apron strings in preparation for adulthood. I really do have to commend them for the difficulties they face on a daily basis while they navigate through this storm. I remember being there, it was not an easy place to be.

On occasion however teenagers get caught up in themselves. They think themselves braver than they believe and wiser than they think. They test the limits too thoroughly and need to be reeled back in. Right around this same time they also believe they are more cleaver than their parents.

My friend's daughter was riding one of these big for her britches highs recently. Mistakenly deciding that she had attained an age where the rules of family life and respect no long were applicable to one so mature and capable. Oh, my poor friend her children really are capable. The daughter began breaking curfew, ditching responsibilities, balking at simple house chores like pick up your dishes and hang up your coat. She was adopting an air of belligerence and sass. All intolerable behaviours in civilized circles. Routinely such behaviour would result in loss of privilege, most namely the confiscation of cellular devise.

My friend's clever daughter being ever so capable and bright could see this coming in the headlights and ditched the phone. "lost" it. On the premise that you cannot extract blood from a stone, you cannot take what is not there. No phone, nothing to loose.

There is more than one way to skin a cat however and my friend as a parent of teenagers has developed some skills of her own through out this adolescent storm.

I did say this was a story about a cell phone company didn't I? That cell phone company is Virgin Mobile. The phone company with the funky auto-attendants and super customer service staff. Virgin Mobile who earned my friends unwavering loyalty recently when she called to inquire about suspending service to a cellular devise.

Yes, Virgin Mobile clearly organized and staffed by the parents of teens. Service suspended... no additional charge for the suspension or the reinstatement (should that day arrive) Virgin mobile and the very kind customer service attendant who inquired if the suspension was due to the phone being lost? The dear who knocked the monthly bill down to a minimal $15 while on suspension when she was told the need for suspension was disciplinary.

Gratitude today from my  friend for some assistance from an unlikely source. Parenting is hard work she says we need all the help we can get.

I have a feeling that Virgin Mobile understands where the money comes from to pay those phone bills and that like in my friend's case, service suspension is not likely to last very long. It's surprising how a little disconnection can put things back on track.

Happy Friday - It seems like a day for grand adventure - go find one!