Niece was calling ‘cause her phone didn’t work. And, all sensitivities aside, everything she said was a super polite investigation into how the bill probably wasn’t paid (‘cause I pay her phone bill).
This hurt me. Not me personally, but rather, understanding where she was coming from. She comes from a world where her assumption about managing the feelings of the people who may have missed the bill is a strong and smart survival skill. But I am the one who answered her call. On the same Verizon account she’s worried about with the bill (e.g. if I hadn't paid, I couldn't answer). So I didn’t miss the bill. I autopay. On credit.
Explaining this to her was hard. Mainly because she didn’t believe me. She comes from a world where adults can’t be trusted when they say the bills are paid. And I get it, sort of, I know I come from a place close to where she comes from, but I've been away for a long time.
Eventually, she trusted me to do tech support about her phone via online chat. We did a bunch of back and forth. I did what I could. I chatted with Verizon tech support and sat on the phone (her other Auntie’s) for so long, coaching her through reboots, and SIM card removals, and finally (thankfully) network setting resets.
All of a sudden, after she followed the last set of ridiculous instructions I conveyed (copied from the online chat support) her phone worked again.
And she thanked me.
I confirmed that the thanks was warranted via text to her supposedly working phone.
When she replied, I told her to call her dad, who’s in the hospital. (Not that she needed my encouragement but more as a, "hey, I fixed your phone, use it for the best stuff" type message.)
And in response she sent me “I love you” emoji.
So, in short, I guess everything is wonderful.