Some time on a day or maybe night, between 8 am & Apocalypse

Elizabeth Taylor once said “It is strange that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.”. At some other point Andy Warhol also talked, and when he did he said “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”. Then I showed up and was all “I’m 25. I’ve been waiting for about 322 years. That math’s a little spotty, but whatever. The point remains: you kids were legends…. and patient little liars.”.

This could be true, unless you consider waiting for a colonoscopy, waiting in line at the DMV, or “Waiting To Exhale”.

        “It’ll be another day or two,” Cable Professional #3 explains. “So, Friday?,” I whine, trying to formulate an equation in which it should take three-and-a-half weeks, two companies, and a whole, scraggly gang of tech-savvy men in hats to plug in a television. “Yeah. Friday. Just call if you don’t see or hear from anybody by, like, Tuesday-ish,” he details, specifically. “We’ll make sure you get taken care of. Have a good day, ma’am,” he waves goodbye, and I hardly notice. I am too busy running through Comcast’s version of “Who’s on First?” to which I’d respond “Why are all ya’ll playin’ baseball instead of fixin’ these here television wires?”. All this while also fighting the urge to rent a rain machine and pull a Brando. All my whole body wanted to do was to fling myself onto my knees and let loose something fierce: “COMCASTTTTTT!!!! WHY YOU MAKE ME WAIT AGAINST MY WILLLLLLL!!!!!”. I’d probably also throw in a “STELLAAAAA!” for good measure because we are new to the neighborhood and I’d like my stranger neighbors to appreciate the theatrical allusion within my nervous breakdown.

    The worst part of waiting, my peers would say, is that it has given me ample time to think. Without a nightly slew of reality shows squashing my brain waves, there they are just waiting to formulate twisted, weird, weird thoughts that turn into words which then fly out of my silly mouth. Let this be a warning to cable guys across the globe: You gave me too much time to think. For all intents and purposes, you ruined the universe.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Here is a snippet of my weeks and weeks’ worth of thoughts while waiting for the cable man. I’m sorry.

- Something super threatening and scary has happened: a terrorist cell is plotting, Michelle Obama has run out of fashionable pencil skirts to wear to fashionable events, Charlie Sheen is awake. You know, something terrifying. Ever the concerned citizen, you attempt to alert the government to the impending doom of the nation. After a host of telephone loops, you are redirected to a random home phone number of some guy named Bert. He’s as confused as you are as he spends his days working as a gas station attendant in Kansas. The whole world ends somewhere between your fifth and twenty-third attempt to get in touch with an employee of the United States of America, and you’d feel awesome about totally calling the whole terrortastic thing except when stuff gets apocalyptic nobody wins.

- You arrive to the Labor & Delivery ward ready to get all up in some labor and finally, finally deliver your bundle of bowling ball. You tell the friendly nurse of your last name and that you are about one sneeze away from making an awful mess of the waiting room. “Great! That’s just great! I can help you with that! Great! We’ll get you taken care of! Great!,” you pray she is as helpful as she is chipper. You sneeze. Things just got serious. You think at least one head and an arm or so are now entering the world. “Great! So, looks like we can get to you sooner than later. Great. Great news! So, we will be available to offer you our services next Monday, let’s say sometime between 8 am and 9 pm. Great. Here’s an unattended hotline you can call if you’d like to wait for a few hours in a vaina attempt to complain about the lackluster customer service. Great! Have a great, great day!”.  You birth a mostly healthy kid in the back of an old Cadillac parked thirty feet outside the hospital. It is gross, and the car can go ahead and consider itself totalled, but you are paid $50 to appear in one of those freaky “I thought I had to poop and then I had a human person instead” reality shows. So, you know, that’s something.

- You excitedly usher your date through the door of a swanky-swank eatery. You feel pretty full of the swagger as you have finally secured a reservation at this over-priced hotspot. “Yes sir. Right this way sir,” the classy host instructs. Once seated you spend minutes enjoying the cultured and high-dollar atmosphere. You spend some more minutes admiring your dates hair, and smile, and cuticle, and… um, you are running out of things to distract from what seems to be a most eternal wait. A server finally approaches with a bill. You are confused as you don’t believe you’ve selected from the menu just yet. You wonder if this is just the rich folks’ way of life. You don’t want to look poor, so you pay the server and try to holler out your order (“Chicken Wings with fries! Chicken and fries, kind sir! Sir?”) as he snatches up your monies and sprints away from you. You are hungry and too poor to buy a snack all at once. Bummer.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

      Cable Professional #1 is a no-show for three consecutive appointments, somehow missing the “between 8 am and 9 pm” window of service he originally promised. A 1-800 number then prompts us through a variety of holds, transfers to a different department, and IQ tests the likes of which no Jeopardy champion would ever buzz. Cable Professional #1’s overseas counterpart puts this never-ending call to rest by finally admitting that despite those fancy appointment confirmations, they had none of our information on file or under file or even hugging a file . “Sorry. You literally, really, seriously don’t exist in my system,” he laments. So we literally, really, seriously flipped them a phone bird and took our imaginary selves to a competitor.

    Cable Professional #2 assured us that we were real people with real information that could really be saved in a computer. So we exist! And that was the end of the good news. “Your address is in a black-out zone,” the gentleman explains. “It’s like there’s no power source for us to tap into down there, for we can’t run the [insert lots of incredibly confusing terms for techy tech things needed to hook your other techy tech things to some tech power]“. So, there it was. Technically speaking, our house literally, really, seriously didn’t exist to the cable bundle powers that be.

    I waited. My brain melted a little when I tried to type a 1,000-word post into a cell phone. I missed my toddlers in their tiaras and other such television gems. I hit a particularly low-level of lowness when I began to leave sticky notes with status updates posted around the house. My toddler refused to do the old “give mommy’s note a thumbs up and say ‘I like! I like!'”.  things got even In the shiny glow of our new house, somehow the lack of blogging and channel surfing seemed to take on the feel of roughing it. It was Oregon Trail in a sea of stainless steel appliances and electronically programmable thermostats.

Just when I was perfecting my rugged beard and tree chopping skills, Cable Professional #2’s friend called. He said a lot of words that all sounded like “Hope. Hope!”.  Ironically, the same day we received a bill from Cable Professional #1’s place of professionalism. It was an invoice that pretty much said, “Hey, girl. Please pay us. No reason, girl. Also? I’m on First, girl.”. We literally, really, seriously existed enough to receive a faux bill in the mailbox of our literal, real, seriously existent house.

    So Cable Professional #3 decides his co-worker #2 was wrong about the black-out scenario. Then some supervisors show up, some holes are dug, cords buried, very flustered men in hats are huffing and puffing and having to go above and beyond in the name of TURNING ON MY MOTHER CHANNEL FLIPPIN’ T.V. ALREADY!

We married, packed, moved, and unpacked in seemingly swift fashion. The hardest believed to be bubble-wrapped and behind us, the family settled into new life in a new home. These would be sweet and leisurely first days: waiting to hang photos, waiting to cook and clean, and waiting to slip back into the day-to-day formality of life. Before the obligatory, we would relax and celebrate the giant tasks just completed. The work could wait. And in the spirit of that thought, waiting seemed (for a minute) to be a brilliant and blessed thing. Maybe this was the waiting Warhol and Taylor so enjoyed. Maybe this was the joyous kind of self-imposed pause that made them clap their artsy hands and get that Patience Party started right.

But maybe….

just maybe…

they never waited for Comcast.

When have you had a ridiculous wait?

Do you make people wait?
Do those people hate, like really, really hate you?

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37 thoughts on “Some time on a day or maybe night, between 8 am & Apocalypse

  1. Thank God you got the link to this post working. I tried to lieave the following message on your FB page:

    I hate to break it to you, my friend. But now WP has let you down, as well, as this post does not seem to exist anywhere but in my email, where I could indeed read it. Sorry. Can you repost it? Sorry about your cable hell. Hate to add to it.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • That is totally my fault! I went to save this post and accidentally posted it and then accidentally un-published it. Even more impressive? I think I managed to do all of this in two minutes :) Two many days without internet/ posting, and I’m a hot, technical mess!

  2. Oh. God. I feel your pain, Tori, although this was hilarious! (We’re with Comcast, too. And it’s amazing how many times they’ve been out here in just two years.) And Verizon is no better! I think they were put on this earth to test our patience. And we’re so not passing [that test].

    • I would like to second this. Out in my neck of the woods (we have lots of those in Long Beach), we switched from Verizon to Charter because it seemed like a really good idea at the time.

      HA!

      I try not to make people wait, but with rare exception, I’m OK with a few minutes of waiting. I’d say I’m more OK with it now than when I lived in a smaller town, mostly because very few people are on time here (by comparison). Also since having a child, because no matter WHAT buffer I put in there, something new always seems to come up.

      • The big city/ little town thing is a good point. I’ve been a little calmer when forced to wait for services in the few big cities I’ve lived in. Now we are surrounded by more cows and fields than actual, cable-seeking humans, so the weeks and weeks of waiting seems ridiculous. I did more horribly inaccurate math, and by my estimations, each cable professional could help one person a day here and still be totally on top of the demand :)

      • Oh, my comment was merely me thinking out loud about caveats! Not planned or intended (in that part) as responsive to your situation, which would drive me batty. :p I hate making absolute-sounding statements and not throwing in caveats, on account of “imagining disasters” being part of my job.

    • Passing is relative. I feel like I passed the patience test in that I didn’t actually follow through with any of the many, many sick murderous plots I was hatching against cable professionals of America. I wept. I maybe threatened a call center girl’s newborn puppy. I definitely got all shaky and mean like a crack addict suffering withdrawls from Toddlers & Tiaras. But I didn’t actually kill anyone. So, you know, that’s kind of like winning?

  3. We left Comcast! I hated their service although half the time our bill was free which would have been nice accept less than half the time our service wouldn’t actually work! It was a nightmare! So we left and got dish we might not have TV during a storm but all other weather situations is a go and for me that’s important. Glad you got it all settled!

    • Glad to be back near the Nashvegas, too! We’ll have to hang out soon. You can come over and watch TV. It took us such work to get cable that I feel like I owe my little flatscreen a few million hours of viewing :)

  4. This reminds me of all the times in my life I have worked myself into a stupor of waiting. I do have several favorites, though, like the companies that say “We’ll be there between 7AM and 7PM, and you absolutely know with 100% certainty that if you dare to run to the bathroom, they will arrive at that moment, knock on the door using only their pinky finger, and when you check the door at 7PM after assuming they never came, you will see a chipper sticky note on it that says, “We were here but you weren’t!”

    • Hahaha! I’ve decided I have a serious mistrust for any person or company who tells you to wait for give or take one million hours in order to maybe talk to them for one minute. On the other hand, maybe plugging in my one TV is an incredibly complicated art form. Maybe they really are spending 2 to 35 hours at each customer’s house?

  5. I think Comcast sucks everywhere on earth. When we moved, they gave us this HUGE window of opportunity smack in the middle of the day of my standing, cover-my-greys hair appointment with my stylist who can only see me if I make my next appointment when I leave the last one. MTM had to come home and wait. And wait. And wait. They called MY PHONE (not MTM’s as instructed) while my head was in the sink. I ran dripping all over the establishment five minutes later and called MTM screaming, “Run downstairs! Run!! RIGHT NOW!! They are leaving in five minutes if no one shows up to let them in!!”

    • Hahaha! Takes them twenty-two hours to get there, but they sure leave in a hurry if you’re not waiting by the front door with cookies to greet them. I mostly enjoyed when the first cable company (the one who kept setting appointments with us but then insisted we never existed in their computer records) showed up four and five days after the last of several missed appointments. I had a slew of confusing slips left on my front door. So, we set an appointment, you never came, we called, you don’t know who we are, we decide to try a different company, you show up with a “So glad you’re a new customer! Call us with any questions or comments!” knob decal? How are you liking your new, concrete pad, lady?

      • Typical. :) I am glad you finally got it sorted out.

        Love the concrete place. It is a joy to sweep the floor and not have 160 years worth of dust all over it four hours later…….

  6. We’ve managed to avoid waits by living in the middle of nowhere. DirecTV is too cheap to have actual staff, so they subcontract. You get a guy you like, slip him a little bribe, and voila – great service, AND a real person to answer the phone when you call!
    The only time I made people wait was when I helped run a trouble-reporting desk for a computer billing system at Ameritech. Only business types would call. The ruder you were, the longer you waited. What the heck – they already hated me, and nothing I was gonna do would make them happy! :D

    • Haha. So it pays to be nice? I’ll need to work that one! My sister just got a job in a call center for a major phone company. The pay is great, the place offers a free employee gym and flexible hours. But there is no getting around that her job every. single. day is to talk to supremely pissed off people. I think I’d last all of one minute.

  7. You speak truth, sista! We’ve had our share of waiting with our move, as well.

    But … thankfully the cable went without a hitch. Showed up one minute before the end of the window, of course. Only problem was that it took 5 HOURS to do all the connecting, etc. I am actually very pleased with the result, however. Thank you, universe!

    How was the move, overall?

    • That’s the funny part. The wedding, packing, moving, unpacking with baby and dog in tow was altogether easier than HOOKING UP ONE TV! You know, that infuriating kind of funny :) We are loving the new house with or without cable, though. How are you liking your new place?

  8. There’s something about the utility companies…just some little thing, that almost always means frustration is in your future. Congratulations on navigating the move with your sense of humor and writing skills, if not your sanity, intact!

  9. Pingback: How To Have A Baby « Ellie Ann

    • Oh, I loved your post. Reminds me that every pregnant woman gets the old waterfall of random wisdoms from even more random strangers. Here I was just thinking I was the only one surrounded by this wordy, advice-full group of idiots :)

  10. I’m almost a decade older than you… just imagine all the waiting I’ve done! It would take some kind of turbo-charged NASA computer to calculate that. And… more… waiting.

  11. Pingback: Festivus Ceremonious Maximus « the ramblings

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