A Sirius Conversation


My subscription ran out on Sirius XM. They’d been calling me to renew, to fix my credit card information. I was holding out to figure out a better deal.

I finally pick up the phone. I tell the guy who answers the phone that it’s just too expensive. It’s a luxury item, really, and I’m unemployed (a half truth). I’d like to keep using the service but I just don’t know if I can justify it.

“Your account actually has a free 3-month premium trial that was never activated because of the radio you bought.”

Well, sign me up then. That sounds great! [The sounds of his typing and clicking check boxes fill the silence.]

“I’ve been there myself, y’know. I’ve been unemployed 3 times in the last 3 years. Each time I find a new job, there’s more pay, more opportunity. I used to be a lawyer, actually. I studied and worked in law for years. But things change. Life has a funny way of making new plans for you. You just have to have faith in God, there are other things at work.”

Life does throw some curveballs. There are things that we think that our in our control, but they aren’t. We have to learn to let go of always being in control, it’s the only way to stay sane.

“Things have been very bad for the last 3 years here in Cairo. There were days where just going to work and coming home from work had to be carefully planned.”

I used to live in Jerusalem, for 6 months.

“Similar weather.”

[I’m not much for talking about weather] Yes, and similar histories. Deep timelines, historical landmines everywhere you step.

“Is your background Jewish? We used to have many Jews in Egypt,” he wasn’t referring to Moses’ time, “there are so many beautiful synagogues around Cairo.”

I love history and follow politics closely. We’ve all lived together forever, but these are scary times. The world can’t tell us apart, really.

“Yes, we’re cousins, as they say. Although we all look like Italians. There’s just a few more things I have to fill out before your plan is approved.”

I have a big beard.

“So do I.”

I wouldn’t mind a Ferrari.

“Not all Italians have Ferraris,” he laughs.

I’ll have to take your word for it.

“You should come to Cairo now. It is much safer. The exchange rate is great. You can buy 3 cokes for $1.”

I’d like that a lot. Do they have the Coke like in Europe with the espresso mixed in?

“I don’t know. I don’t drink that stuff. I’m an athlete of sorts, and drinking the sugar gives you a belly. I need to make sure that your account doesn’t get pestered for the 3 months while you’re on this plan, or that your credit card doesn’t get sent to collections.”

Thanks for looking out.

“I know that this period of unrest will end up well for you. Sometimes, even if you have a job, the people there are cruel and it’s not a good place to work. Maybe you’re not in the right city or major.”

[At this point, I might as well be unemployed, no point in wasting the humanity] I think the 3 months of music will help me get through some of it. What was your name again, brother?

“My name is Ahmed. Yes, you’ll be able to enjoy Premium service all summer. Plus you have a free trial to SiriusXM Internet Radio which you can listen to on your phone or tablet or computer. You really should check it out, it would be a waste not to.”

Well, thank you for all of that, Ahmed. And thank you for picking up the phone. It’s been unexpected. God bless.

“No, thank you for calling today. God speed.”

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