Sunday, I made my way today to my local Verizon store, as they were having a School Backpack Giveaway, that I have participated in for him since 2018. My youngest is still school age, so as a single parent, this helps out greatly!

I used to have Verizon as my provider, but could no longer pay $330 a month for 4 mobile phones, so I reluctantly switched to T-Mobile and was able to have 5 phones for $162 a month…half price for half the service…anyway, that is another rant for another day…I have always liked Verizon’s service, as it was always reliable. I also liked them because a time previous to my final violent incident, a police officer had brought me a Verizon flip phone from their DV program, which I greatly appreciated and admired!

So, back to today…I got to the location a half hour early. Last year’s event started 10 minutes early, so they ran out of backpacks before they got to me. I had to spend $30 I didn’t really have for a backpack, but he needed it. I stood in line and chatted with the people and kids around me. My teen didn’t want to come with me this time (I mean what teenager wants to go somewhere with their parents?), so I didn’t press the issue — I’ve always been able to get him a backpack.

The line wrapped around the building, but started promptly at 1 PM. Three minutes into the giveaway, a preteen girl fell while having a seizure! The staff looked stunned but the crowd of parents jumped into action! The ambulance and fire truck arrived, but only after the poor child had a few more episodes of seizures. I was thankful they were prompt and that the staff sent a backpack with her!

After the emergency vehicles left, the Backpack Giveaway was restarted and the line moved quickly. The lady with three small children, who was in the party ahead of me, all received their backpacks, but she asked if she could get two more for her sister’s children. The manager said no, that they had to be present to receive one. Then, she turned her attention to me. I asked for one backpack for a high schooler, please.

“Where’s your kid?” She asked.

“He didn’t want to come,” I said, smiling, “He’s a teen who doesn’t want to be seen with his, Mom.”

“Doesn’t matter. The child has to be present to get one.” She started looking annoyed.

“I understand that if I’d asked for more than one, that’d be reasonable. I just need one. I never had this issue before,” I pleaded.

“Sorr-y, ma’am! Who’s next?” She was already looking past me. I saw on her name tag she was the store manager. Dammit. Seriously?

I was asked by the other staff to get out of line and behind me, it was twice as long as it was when I got there! I didn’t have time to go get my teen, they’d be out! I looked at the event notice to see if I had missed anything saying children needed to be present. There was no statement like that anywhere and I’d NEVER had that problem before! WTH!?!

So, I am no longer a fan of Verizon. AT. ALL. I will send others there with the caveat that they have to take their children present, but Verizon is not the champion of the single parent who is trying to provide for their kiddo…you know, the single parent your company vowed to help get out of DV? Yeah, that one…here’s a valuable suggestion: add the Children need to be present to receive their backpack. Simple, right? I wouldn’t have wasted my time or that of your employees had I known OR I would’ve forced the issue with my teen. We, the public, have to have ‘rules of engagement.’ I realize there are always a few that ruin things for the many, but please show some tact for those of us that do follow the rules and read the requirements, mm-kay? Some of us have to take care of EVERYTHING and this meager backpack would’ve helped! I am beyond thankful and blessed by a local corporation, SuperATV, paying for the children’s school fees in our area. All I will need to buy him before the first day of school is the first day outfit, new tennis shoes and a monthly/weekly planner. We save school clothes shopping for when the weather becomes cooler and more fall-like. Plus, he has a birthday in there and I find all sorts of coupons and deals.

So, to add insult to [ego] injury, I texted my Ex…you know the one that abused me and my children, and who pretends we don’t exist? Yeah, that one. I texted him and asked if he could PLEASE buy our teenager a backpack for school. And I figured on the standard “Sorry, no-can-do. I’m broke.” However, I received this text back:

“Send me an Amazon link to the one you want. Np.”

Um, sorry…wait, WHAT??? I was dumbfounded. I’m rarely speechless, but all I could do is send him the Amazon link. I had lost all ability to speak, right then and there. He ordered it in less than five minutes texting back that it was ordered. I very obviously texted the wrong person. For a moment I was relieved, but then panic took over: What is he plotting now??? Hell just froze over, didn’t it???

So, again, not a fan of Verizon. I’ll stick with my less mobile carrier for now because at least their customer service is nice and they believe me and keep crediting my bill when their service lacks. Thanks, Verizon for re-triggering my anxiety by forcing me to re-contact my Ex. Thanks for making me feel like an utter failure as a parent and an embarrassment in front of others at your “goodwill” event. And thanks for giving my child, who also had faced as much trauma and turmoil as I did when his father was in the home, a backpack with school supplies — oh, wait…you denied him that…

That was VERY uncool of you! Negative two stars…would NOT recommend!

NOTE: the comment I made to my son’s Dad about the “style” is not me being insensitive or weird…he has a military rucksack and the school has outlined NO backpacks that aren’t standard and could hold a few textbooks and a Chromebook. I put it into wording his father could understand so he did not purchase another one from the military supply store near him. Thank you for your understanding!