Sunday, December 03, 2006

Waste of a day

Yesterday was not exactly what I would call a productive day.

I still needed to cut the ornamental grass before it spent the winter blowing all over the yard, under the pool cover and into the water and to do this task I needed twine. It's string. I needed string.

A house full of crap and I can't find string.

I know I had some in the house and spend an hour searching through junk draws, shed and garage before I gave up and decided to run to the store. I ran over to the local Stop and Shop that used to be a Super G because I knew they had what I was after.

After searching the store-I-am-learning-to-hate for 30 minutes I gave up. Apparently one of the differences between Super G and Stop and Shop is twine. Some genius at Stop and Shop thought "If we only get rid of the twine, people will flock to our store". No twine.

So hustle off to the drug store and then a larger drug store. I became an expert at searching through those pseudo hardware sections that the supermarkets and drug stores have, you know, the one with the tiny hammers and tools that no one ever buys because it isn't really a hardware store - it's a food store.

Anyway after an hour and half of that frustration, I gave up and went home. I had wanted to give the boys a task before heading out to food shop but it wasn't going to be to bundle up the grass.

I food shopped at my Shoprite and stumbled upon, of all things, twine. I was never so excited to see twine. It was like finding the Ark of the Covenant in aisle 34.

I finished shopping (did you ever notice that the people enter the food store with you with seem to be like your shopping buddies? You see them in every aisle. Some times going the same direction up the aisle, sometimes the opposite. This is really awkward if you know them and you finish the small talk in "produce" and end up seeing in every aisle "frozen foods". It's like you have nothing to say so you nod awkwardly every time you see them.)

So I sent the boys out to wrap grass with twine while I unpacked.

After putting all the food away I went out to cut the grasses with the hedge trimmers.

For years I have been giving my Dad a hard time because whenever he uses the hedge trimmers he ends up cutting the extension cord. I usually end up repairing it and shortening it so that a 50 foot cord ends up being 13.2 feet long.


It was getting dark because I had frittered the day away looking for twine. I had one last grass to cut down and was hustling to get it done.

I reached the trimmer around the back of the last stand of grass and started whacking away and when the last stand of grass was done I noticed that I had cut a wire leading into the house that came out of the ground and into the garage.

I cut the phone line into the house with the hedge trimmer.

It could have been worse. The Cable TV was right next to it.

So now we have no phone. So I call the phone company except I have no idea who "the phone company" is anymore. I search through bills for a phone bill that may have a clue as to who "the phone company" is.

It's MCI. I call MCI.

I am convinced that there is only one actual person that works at MCI. We'll get to him later. All of the other people have been overtaken by machines like in those Terminator movies. On July 27th 2004 MCI became self aware.

MCI is now only voice response units via telephone.

Not only are they voice response units, they want you to talk your response. None of this "press one of English" stuff, they want you to say "English".

Great plan - unless you have two barking schnauzers in the background. Then it's a series of "I'm sorry I didn't get that, could you repeat it" responses from the robots that have overtaken MCI.

You didn't get that because you don't understand schnauzer!

We have a plan with MCI called the neighborhood. I found out that the neighborhood has the only human at MCI, the repairman. The repairman is busy because we had storms on Friday.

I spend the next 20 minutes with a pleasant woman with a thick Hispanic accent explaining I have no phone.

She is going through her script "I want you to unplug all the phones in the house and have them change rooms - put the bedroom phone in the kitchen" etc etc.

I fess up to cut to the chase to keep from playing silly games with my phones like "OK plug in all the red ones". I explain that I cut the wire coming into the house and need a repairman (OK, the repairman) to fix it.

We spend the next 10 minutes explaining where the cut is. I find myself saying "the wire comes out of the ground and into the house and before it goes into the house it was cut". This seems simple enough to me but she is not understanding she wants to if the wire was cut "coming off the pole". All of our cabling is underground and there is no pole!

She is not getting it and I am convinced I am talking to a machine. A machine ingenuously designed with a thick Hispanic accent.

"The wire comes out of the ground and into the house and it was cut before coming into the house" I keep repeating this, over and over with schnauzers yapping in the background.

She/it finally understands and we decide the best time for the repairman to come is Sunday afternoon. Maybe. Since things are busy, they may not be able to come until Tuesday.

Until then, please call me in my cell phone.

1 comment:

suburbanstories said...

Phone was magically fixed today.