Friday, February 1, 2008

Is Nothing Sacred?

One more thing to add to the files of “stuff I never had to worry about until I was a mom”…

I am often amazed at the crooked entrepreneurship of people running businesses that you and I may deem less than savory. Right before Christmas this year I had ordered a hat for Coco from Babies R Us that they didn’t carry in the store (it matched her Bundle Me, ok? it’s all about accessorization and I’m teaching her that lesson early). The first time I had ever ordered online from BRU was for the shower of one of my best friends who lives in California. Well apparently that address was saved as my default shipping address and before I caught it I had completed the sale and sent Coco’s hat off to Glendale.

I quickly looked through the web order to see if there was a way to change or cancel my order. There was not. So I found the toll free number for BRU and called in quickly to see what could be done. The toll free number is pretty easy: 1-888-BabyRUs. But I was in a hurry since I was doing all this from work and I was a little torked they were making me spell for my supper (just give me the number to dial – do not make me hunt and peck) so instead of dialing 1-888 I, without thinking, dialed 1-800. Big mistake.

The phone didn’t even ring – it just was silent for a minute and then went into some music. I remember thinking “this is odd holiday music” but I was looking over my day’s ‘to do’ list and not paying attention waiting for the 5 minutes I’d have to spend climbing through automated prompts. I did get a recording, but not the one I was expecting… a woman’s voice said something that made even me blush (referring to her kitty cat apparently). Once my brain caught up about 2 seconds later I slammed down the phone and froze. I immediately went in and told my boss “I have something you need to know in case you get a phone audit today…” I then was forced to explain the whole thing. Luckily I have a very cool boss who just thought the whole thing was damn funny.

Once I did get through to the CORRECT number and got my order straightened out, I told the customer service rep that about the close encounter. She said they knew about it and that the "other" line had done that on purpose. She said as a mother of a 13-year old she has to be constantly vigilant and can’t even keep up. For instance when trying to do a Government class paper, her son found out that gets you to a totally different Bush (the real site is She herself found out that if you leave the “s” off you get a whole different kind of solicitations. Obviously these site and phone line owners count on the masses to slip and end up in their lair.

How am I ever going to be able to protect Cora from all of this? Kids are internet savvy by the time they are in grade school. I can’t block sites I don’t even know exist! This is an example of just one of many times I know I’ll be forced to walk a line between protection, trust, faith and confidence in my child. There will be so many others – like the time my 5 year old wants to be independent enough to go to the bathroom in the grocery store by herself, or the time that my 8 year old wants to ride her bike to school, or the time my 13 year old wants to go to a co-ed party. For now I’m just going to enjoy being the omniscient dictator of Cora’s life and dread the day that the Independence Faction overthrows my rule in a bloodless coup. Hopefully I’ll at least be kept on by the new regime as an advisor…

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