We’ve officially started winding down our mom’s estate. In addition to just trying to get a grasp of what accounts she has where, there have been small tactical things like cancelling her in-home medical checks and permanently stopping the newspaper.
Stopping the newspaper. The Herald Times Reporter, a paper for which I was once a delivery boy and an extremely intermittent stringer. They weren’t open when I called on Saturday, so I called again this morning. I got an automated message.
“Thank you for calling the Herald Times Reporter Media. Your number one source for local information. We record our calls for quality assurance. Which of these can I help you with? A subscription start, a delivery issue, a temporary delivery hold, your account, discontinue delivery, get help with our digital products, or something else?”
“You can say ‘Subscription start,’ ‘delivery issue,’ ‘temporary delivery hold…'”
“Delivery issues. Did you receive your paper this morning?”
“You can say ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”
“Was your paper wet, late, or missing?”
I hung up and dialed back in.
“Which of these can I help you with? A subscription start, a delivery issue…”
“Discontinue delivery. We’re sorry, to cancel your delivery you must speak to a customer representative. Current wait time is 12-15 minutes…”
15 minutes later.
“Thank you for calling the Herald Times Reporter. How may I help you?”
“I’d like to cancel a subscription.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. We…” blah blah blah blah blah. “What’s your reason for canceling?”
“Well, this is my mom’s subscription, and she just passed away.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. My condolences to you and her. I mean your family.”
“I know what you mean, thank you.”
Two minutes of account and address info ensued.
“OK, you final day of delivery will be Friday. Do you know what your mom enjoyed best about receiving the Herald Times Reporter?”
“Uh, local news?”
“OK, thank you. Again, sorry for your loss.”
The intersection between commerce and death is a bit awkward.