Terrible, rotten, very bad day (with a twist)
Sounds like a good drink, huh? I wish I’d had one today!
So, this morning started off normal enough. It was 8:30a, and Bill and I were just heading to bed. About an hour later than normal, but I had to stay awake long enough to call the school about Matthew and his contacts.
At 1p, I was woken up by voices in the kitchen. Being groggy and all, I almost made the hugely embarrassing mistake of opening the bedroom door while still butt ass naked. I would have been mortified! Luckily, I realized that there was someone else in the apartment … someone that wasn’t my Husband, and I threw on some clothes!
I was hoping it was the phone company, who was supposed to come today to hook up our land-line. But no, it was the apartment maintenance man (the brother-in-law of the owner). He was there to fix a few things we’ve noticed since we moved in last week.
One of our kitchen GFCI outlets wasn’t working. Not a huge deal, since we have plenty of them now, but still annoying nonetheless. Because Bill had also been woken up too early, he was just as bleary eyed as I was. He was the first one to have a “short bus” moment. Our sleep deprived conversation went like so:
Maintenance Guy: “The outlet is working.”
Me: “How’d you get it to work? I tried everything!”
MG: “I just hit the reset button.”
Me: “I tried that a dozen times, and it still wouldn’t work!”
MG: “Well, it’s working now.”
Bill: “I plugged in the can opener, and it worked.”
Me: shrugging, “OK” … my brain was slowly waking up.
We discussed other problems we’d been having, which are all very minor. The conversation lasted maybe 5 more minutes. At which point, my brain started functioning on it’s own, and then started nagging me about the outlet again. Suddenly, it hit me, and I interrupted the conversation:
Me: “Hun, you plugged in the can opener to prove that the outlet works?”
Me: “You do realize that the can opener is a rechargeable, detachable unit, and doesn’t require the electricity for anything other than charging it? As long as it’s charged, it will work without being plugged in.”
Bill: … blank look … brain absorbing new data
Me: “Let’s plug in the microwave, and see if it works. That needs electricity!”
MG: “Well, I’ll be … I guess it doesn’t work. Maybe a fuse is blown?”
Me: thinking – “For just one outlet?”
MG and Bill go downstairs into the garage to have a look-see at the fuse box.
MG comes back with a new GFCI outlet, which he installs hot! (For those non-electricians out there, that means he didn’t turn off the electricity before he started messing with the wires!)
I plug in the microwave, and it works. And just for good measure, I detach the can opener from it’s base and make sure it still works. 😉
MG leaves, and I decide it’s time to call the Old Phone Company (OPC) to find out what’s going on with our phone line installation. This is when my day goes from bad to worse. And me on 4 and a half hours of sleep. Not a good combination, just to let you know.
After spending 10 minutes fighting with the automated system, which didn’t give me the choice to push a number, but made me speak everything. If you didn’t know this already, you need to be in a very remote and quiet place for this to work, otherwise their system picks up every random noise and responds with, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your request. Please say your choice again”. I was coming very close to yelling “FUCK YOU! Do you understand THAT?!”. But I kept my cool. Finally a customer service rep gets on the line. We go through the usual stuff: what’s your account number, verify your name, address, social security number, date of birth, the number of dogs you’ve owned, how many times you’ve had sex, and what time of day is it in a tiny village in Atlantis. You know the drill. After that’s all squared away, actual conversation ensues:
Me: “I called you guys last week, on the 1st, to have my phone service transferred from my old apartment to my new one. I was told it would be done today, but no time was given. It’s 2p now, and I still haven’t heard anything, and my phone is not turned on.”
OPC: “Let me check your account. Please verify your old address.”
Me: after verifying, “I was told that I could keep my old phone number. Is that still the case?”
OPC: “Well, it appears that you couldn’t keep your old number, and because of that, we canceled the order.”
Me: “You did WHAT?!” … that familiar twitching feeling in my brain starts … “WHY?!”
OPC: “Um, I’m not really sure ma’am. Your old address and new address are both in Paradise, correct?”
Me: “Yes, we moved 3 miles down the road. But when I called last week, they insisted that my number would stay the same, even though I told them over and over that the pizza place next door has a different exchange. They assured me that was ok.”
OPC: “Well, apparently you were correct. But I don’t know why they canceled the order. That doesn’t make sense.”
Me: “No, it doesn’t. And why didn’t they call me to tell me they were going to cancel it, and to make other arrangements.”
OPC: “Um, I don’t know ma’am, but let me put you on hold and find out.”
5 minutes later …
OPC: “I don’t really know what happened. Let me transfer you to someone who can help you better.”
New OPC person comes on the line. I explain everything that had happened thus far. They’re appalled at the lack of communication, but vow to help me get everything straightened out.
OPC: “Ok, let’s get you back on track. This is for your business, correct?”
Me: “No. This is for my home.”
OPC: “I’m sorry, they transferred you to the business services. Let me transfer you to someone who can help you with residential.”
Steam starts coming out of my ears. … 5 minutes later …. OPC #3 comes on the line, and I again explain the situation. This kid sounds like a pimply teenager with zero people skills. I’m about to explode, but I keep my temper in check. The Bitch is pounding me from inside my head, absolutely begging to be let out. I ignore her for the time being.
OPC: “I don’t know what’s going on, but let me see if I can find out.”
5 minutes later …
OPC: “Ma’am, it appears that the reason you couldn’t keep your old number is because our phone company doesn’t service your area.”
Me: stunned into a momentary silence, “Well then, who does?! And why didn’t anyone call me to notify me of this little snafu?”
OPC: “I don’t know the answer to either of those questions. I’m sorry.”
Me: voice cracking, bordering on screaming at the punk, “Well then, if you can’t help me any further, then I want to make sure my old account is turned off. And in addition, I expect a credit on my account for your mistake!”
OPC: “I understand. Let me take care of that for you.”
5 minutes later …
OPC: “Ok ma’am, we’ve put a $15 dollar credit on your account, and terminated service, and closed your account. What is your new address, so we can send you a final bill?”
He was kidding … right?
I gave my new address to him for the 19th time (duh!). Then he told me that Verizon services my new address. Apparently he was good for something. *sigh* The short bus will be there for you when you’re done work, to take you back to the funny farm, kid.
I decide to call my cable company (CC), to see what kind of package deal I could get, since I already have cable and internet through them. Adding phone should be fairly cheap. Right? At least this time, I can actually push buttons to get through to who I need, instead of fighting the automated voice non-recognition service.
Me: “I just had my service transferred last week, and I’d like to add phone service to that. What kinds of good deals can you offer me?”
CC: “We have an everything included plan for $34 more than you’re paying now. It includes unlimited everything on your phone, and your internet speed will be increased as well. You only need a rental modem for the phone, and a $79 one time fee for adding this service.”
Me: “I just paid an $81 service charge for the transfer of my service last week!” I then explained the situation, and why I didn’t get the phone service last week (Because where I lived before, OPC wouldn’t allow CC or Verizon access to their lines. Monopoly much?).
CC: “I’m sorry ma’am, that’s the best I can do for you. If you want, you can do an “a la carte” selection for phone services, but that will end up costing you only $5 less per month. Your better deal is the one I originally offered you.”
Me: “Nevermind. I’ll call Verizon. I’ll bet they’ll give me a better deal.”
Click. I hung up on her. By this time, The Bitch is screaming for me to let her out. She has her fists ready to go, and is looking for a fight. I keep her caged. Better to let her get really fired up and use her when I absolutely need her, than to let her out too early, and burn all my bridges.
I call the number listed for Verizon in the phone book. I get a recording that says, “The number you called is a non-working number. Please call Verizon at 800-Verizon.”
I realize that I’m working under Murphy’s Law today. 😀
I call that number, explain the situation … again … and have a bunch of different types of plans ranging from $17 to $38 a month rattled at me. As much as I was pissed off at OPC, I have to say that I had amazing prices for what I had: $19.26 per month for unlimited local, 200 minutes of long distance with roll-over (yes, for a landline!), caller ID and call waiting. I asked if Verizon had anything similar. Imagine my shock when I find out that, no, they have nothing like that, and that minutes can’t be “rolled-over” on a land-line. If I want anything close to what I had with OPC, I’ll be paying the highest rate available. I say thanks, but no thanks. I hang up. Again.
Maybe you can get a seat on the short bus next to the OPC punk and the CC bitch.
And this is where my day starts to see a glimmer of hope. I call CC back, and get a man who has the sweetest demeanor and I can tell he’ll be helpful right away.
Me: “I want to warn you right from the start, that I’m in a very foul mood. I’m not intentionally directing it at you, and I’d like to keep it that way. This is how my day has been so far …”, and I explain, once again, the situation.
CC: “Wow, you really are having a bad day. I’m here to help! In fact, I will credit your account the original $81 you were charged last week, and you will only be charged the $79. I know that none of this is your fault, and you shouldn’t be punished for it. I’m sure you would have had the phone service installed last week, had you know what a bunch of incompetent morons are working at OPC.”
5 minutes later …
CC: “Ok, everything is done! The service technician will be out on Wednesday between 2 and 4:30p. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
Me: speechless and near tears, “Um, yes. I’m having technical issues with my internet.” … even The Bitch has stopped her squirming around in my head, and is sitting there wide-eyed and stunned.
CC: “Let me get you to the right person. I’ll stay on the line with you, until I make sure you’re ok.”
CC Tech Dude: “Everything has been explained to me, and I’ll make sure you have everything in tip top working order before you know it!”
Me: “You guys are wonderful! Thank you so much!”
After explaining my problems, and being given the solution to them:
CCTD: “Do you want to log in to your account now, so we can make sure everything is working properly?”
I start walking towards my computer. At that exact moment, our electric goes out! I start laughing. Bill and Matthew (who has since come home from school, and recognizes that he’d better not talk to mom, or risk getting his head bitten off) run to the window to see if the rest of the neighborhood is out as well. It is.
By this time, I’m howling. The CCTD on the phone with me is wondering what’s so funny. I explain to him that I’ve been operating under Murphy’s Law all day, and that our electric just went out. He starts laughing too, but sympathizes with me. I’m convinced that if not for the laughter, I’d be in a fetal position in the corner, sucking my thumb and crying.
Bill goes out to the road, to see if he can find out why the power was out. He discovers that a tractor trailer has wiped out a telephone pole. The driver apparently had a coughing fit, and lost control of the rig. I think he got within the radius of my Murphy’s Law. ‘Cause you know it’s contagious! Poor guy.
CCTD: “Well, I guess you won’t be logging into your account right now. But that’s ok, I fixed everything, and it should be working perfectly now. If not, please call me back. Oh, and since you have so many computers in your house, did you know we’re running a special on a top-of-the-line N router. You pay $9.99 shipping & handling, no monthly fees, and you return it to us if you should ever discontinue our service.”
I didn’t even tell him that we were having problems with our crappy old router! I think he was psychic! He gave me the URL, for when the electric came back on.
And then it happened – the thing that finally had me in full blown hysterical laughter and obliterated The Bitch once and for all today.
As I was walking to my desk to write down the URL, our window shade (the old fashioned, spring loaded kind on a roll … you know what I mean) decided to roll itself up on it’s own. Whoosh … flap, flap, flap … silence.
My Son and I were at least 10 feet away from the window when it happened. We both started laughing hysterically. I told CCTD what happened, and he was laughing pretty hard as well.
I wrote down the URL, thanked the man profusely and told him that he’d absolutely made my day!
CCTD: “You’re very welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with today … besides getting your electric back on?”