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Native Writes: Computing information

Posted: Friday, Feb 1st, 2013

Someone said recently that he never works with computers.

During the past few weeks, I have learned that every one of us deals with computers, even if we don’t know about it.

Every facet of each of our lives is on a computer someplace.

Calling to inquire about an account that needed to be closed, I encountered a chirpy young thing who sounded about 12 years old and tried to pretend that she was on top of things.

I told her the account needed to be paid and closed. It had no balance and had been idle for at least six months.

She wanted the account number, which I provided.

I heard the clicking of computer keys.

“Ummm,” she said. “One moment, please.”

Why did I think she had hit a wrong key or two?

“Okay, can you give me the last four digits of your social security number, please?”

I provided them.

“Those don’t match the ones on the account.”

I asked her why she hadn’t asked for my late husband’s number, since it was his account.

“Oh. Well the computer didn’t ask specifically.”

I provided Jake’s last four.

Computers don’t have common sense.

I heard more clicking and a beep.

“Okay, can you give me the account number again?”

I provided it.

“Why does the account need to be changed?” she asked, the chirp was weakening.

I told her that he passed away.

“Oh. Okay.”

Not necessarily.

“So you want to be on the account?”

No, I need it to be closed. It won’t be used any longer.

More clicking and a bell.

“Are you sure he won’t be using it?”


I told her to send me a letter ensuring that the account was history.

“D’you have an address?”

“It should be in the file.”

“His or yours?”


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