It has been a week of technological pain. It has been a month of wait-for-the-installer madness. I’m thinking of becoming Amish.
Although I can’t say just why, I was inspired over the past few weeks, to arrange all sorts of repairs, estimates and installations. It was rather like having a gang of last-minute guests dropping in on you. I knew all the jokes about “sometime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.” but most businesses are a bit more amenable these days. And yet I still couldn’t find a time window that actually worked. Instead I ended up telling them little white lies like “Yes, I’ll be home between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.” or “Yes, between 8 and 10 a.m. will be fine.” I said these things knowing full well that I could not hang around the house until 10 a.m. nor could I be home by 2:30 p.m. What I actually meant was “I will almost, probably, be home within some part of that time frame and if I’m not I will teach my dogs to talk, so they can take care of it.”
Actually, I didn’t involve my dogs, as they are likely to bark any visitor into semi-deafness. Instead, I had to remember to lock them in my bedroom, so the estimator or repair person had the run of the inside and outside free of slobbery tongues and hair storms.
Instead I drafted every available member of my family near and far to drop by in shifts and somehow it all got done. I had one TV-Internet installer here for the balance of a Thursday, piggybacked with the termite inspector. I said goodbye to one, hello to the other and headed out for work, leaving my dad to point them in all the right directions.
Then — and this is the really painful part — after switching TV and Internet over to a new provider (which required canceling two others), we found that it was the wrong decision. They weren’t horrible. It just didn’t suit us. However, this screaming bit of misjudgment on my part meant another day on the phone to at least three providers, trying to disconnect this and reconnect that and research this to see if we wanted TV with cable or back to satellite. I nearly broke out in hives.
Let us pause here to remind everyone that I live my life as a lesson to others on what not to do. OK. Knowing that, I will confess that I was so nervous about getting the new service cancelled without any fuss that I had them shut it all off a full two days before the even newer service would be around to reinstall. As a result, I am on my daughter’s laptop computer, for the first time, trying to keep my staggering muse alive long enough to manage a strange keyboard and a screen I can’t figure out how to make bright enough to really see. Again, I feel the threat of hives just under my skin.
Tomorrow my daughter will take the first shift of our 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. window, while I get my hair cut at 3 p.m., race home as she leaves for class at 4, and hope to shower and change, yet be on hand to greet the installer before I leave for an event that starts at 6 p.m. Overscheduled? Yes, but I had already condemned myself and my family to 48 harrowing hours of sketchy Internet and — horror of horrors — no television. I’m certain that’s on the list of unacceptable tortures used at Guantanamo Bay.
The capper will be figuring out the least horrible time to pack up and vacate my house for at least two days for the termite fumigation. Anybody have a motor home they don’t need?
Filed Under: Small Talk