In less than 2 weeks, I'll be going to London on a business trip so today, I stopped off at the AT&T store to inquire about temporary international calling & receiving of emails on my Blackberry. It was very frightening. Not the cost for getting the service, rather the person who attempted to help me. After patiently waiting for 15 minutes, a young lady, probably in her mid to late 20's called my name and said she would assist me. The following is a totally accurate and factual account of our conversation.

AT&T Rep: Hello. My name is Showanda. How can I help you today?

Me: I'll be traveling to London, England on a business trip and need to know how I can get international service on my Blackberry.

AT&T Rep: OK, I can help you with that. (she started typing into a computer screen for a few seconds) And what state is London in?

Me: What state? (smiling) I believe it's current state is cool and rainy.

AT&T Rep: No, I mean which state is it in?

Me: As in which United States state?

AT&T Rep: Right.

Me: It's not in the United States. If it was, I wouldn't need international service. It's in England.

AT&T Rep: England?

Me: (with eyebrows furrowed and head cocked to the side) You know, the English Channel, Winston Churchhill, God Save the Queen?

AT&T Rep: (blank stare)

Me: Across the ocean? Great Britain?

AT&T Rep: (types some more on her computer) I don't show any England or Great Britain. Is it Russian or something?

Me: (after about 5 seconds of stunned confusion during which my mouth was moving, but I was totally unable to speak) Perhaps I need someone else to help me.

AT&T Rep: I can help you. I just need to find it on my screen.

Me: Try United Kingdom.

AT&T Rep: No, no United Kingdom.

Me: UK?

AT&T Rep: Oh, you're right! Here it is. Wow, I've never heard of somewhere named UK before. London, UK?

Me: Really? Are you just messing with me?

AT&T Rep: No sir.

Me: Am I on Candid Camera or being punked or something?

AT&T Rep: What?

Me: Never mind. Just tell me, do I need a Sim card or is this just a service that can be turned on or what?

AT&T Rep: No, you don't need a Sim card. You can just turn on the service. It will be $59.95 for calls or $99.95 for a data plan so you can get your emails. Do you want me to do that now?

Me: That's for a month, right? I'll only need it for 10 days.

AT&T Rep: But you want to get your emails, don't you?

Me: Right. Um, thanks, but I believe I'll call and get it turned on just before I leave.

AT&T Rep: Here's my card. If you'll call me, then I can do that for you.

Me: OK. Thanks.

Here it is almost 8 hours later and I continue to be stunned, confused and unbelieving. I know I'm in Arkansas, but still...

No way will I be calling her to do anything. And if I see her on the sidewalk I'll cross the street due to fear of stupid somehow leaking  on me. I think you are supposed to have at least a high school diploma to work in an AT&T store. If so, then either she lied or a high school diploma isn't what it used to be or should be. For the sake of my youngest daughter who is still in school and the future of America, please God, let her be a liar.