The Bright Side

Joe Bushue is a travel agent and lifelong Gresham resident who has been tolerating multiple sclerosis for 30-plus years. His column recounts some of the humorous sides of his disability and his slants on life in general. Reach him by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It should've been easy. After all, I've done it before. Even being severely 'computer challenged,' I was able to buy something on eBay before without any problems. Therefore I thought this would also be hassle free.

I was looking for a portable ramp for my scooter. I easily went to the eBay site and quickly found the portable ramps. I found the one I was looking for, and the price was right. Then the fun began.

With my debit card in hand, I put my mouse on the 'buy now' arrow. After being reminded that I was entering a legal contract, I fearlessly went on and entered my debit card number as form of payment. Then I was asked for my password.

Apparently when I bought that $9 car poster about two or three years ago, I had a special password, something I either didn't realize or had forgotten. After trying all the possible passwords I have used for other things, I found out that none of these was right. I finally entered the button that asked 'forgot password?' I was then informed that the information would be sent to my e-mail. That seemed easy enough.

Sure enough, the next day I received a message from eBay. All my problems would be solved. I finally would be able to complete my purchase on the computer, which even a child seems able to do easily. According to the email, all I had to do to access all of my account information was to enter my password!

I called the 1-800 number that was on the site. A person answered after a few rings. They were more than happy to take my order immediately, and even gave me a tracking number. All of this in about three minutes!

I soon got another message from eBay. Because of the time that had elapsed from my order and a show of no payment, I had been put on 'the list.' I guess that meant those companies didn't want my business. That's all right. EBay wouldn't allow me to give it to them anyway. Must be a powerful password.

In the meantime, I'm searching for a class where I can become even more 1-800 literate.

I got a final message from eBay reminding me about the contract I had entered into. To review the consequences and all the ramifications of it, all I have to do is - enter my password.

All in about three minutes.

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