Friday, January 28, 2005

"We interrupt your regular programming to bring you this special message..."

Let me explain my absence from this site for the last week. Sometime last Friday morning, our phone line went dead. We know it was working early that morning, because I remember the boyfriend phoning me and asking, “Have you left yet?” I laughed and said, “Evidently not, because you called me on the land line.” (We both have cells.) But by the time he arrived home from work at noon, the line was dead. When he let me know, I immediately called the phone company and put in a service order. The technician told me the earliest they’d be out to fix it would be the 1st. I thought: yeah, yeah, you guys always say that, but then usually show up in the first 24 hours. But this time I guess they really meant it.

I called the phone company’s business office first thing Monday morning to make sure there was nothing amiss in our payment records. It hadn’t occurred to me until last Friday night to think that that might be a possibility. The last time this happened, they’d mistakenly disconnected us for non-payment. (I purposely pay the bill well before the due date at a bank to avoid those kinds of mistakes.)

We have a rather uncomfortable history with this phone company. They took six months (let me repeat: SIX MONTHS) to install our phone in the first place. I’d call them periodically and ask why it was taking so long, and they’d explain to me once again that there were only so many connections (or something) in our neighborhood--that basically we’d have to wait for someone to move before we’d get a phone. I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell kind of ‘tin can and string’ place I’d found myself.

Finally one day a phone company guy arrived to install our phone at our previous residence…one week before we moved. As soon as we moved, I called in a move order. (And we were, of course, charged a move fee, even though we’d only had the phone a week after waiting SIX MONTHS.) A week went by at our new place (where we still live) and still no service. Maybe I should have thought something was up before a week had transpired, but, hey, after waiting six weeks? Pssh, a week was nothing. But after a week I called to check on the status of the move order and was told there was no record of it. So I went to the phone company and sat with a representative and placed another one.

When we first got our phone in our current place, the line used to be really static-y. It grew worse and worse, so we finally called for service. It turned out that one of the connections in the house was really funky and needed to be replaced. Then there was the time that some nimrod doing construction in the neighborhood severed a line and knocked out our service. And then of course the “We disconnected you because you didn’t pay your bill” (even though we did) episode. So I don’t have a lot of faith in this phone company. Let’s just say I don’t think they’re aptly named: Innovative.

And since we have dial-up internet service at home, we’ve been WITHOUT THE INTERNET FOR A WHOLE WEEK! The agony! The panic! Until I reminded myself that until two years ago, we didn’t even own a frigging computer. Hmm. How the hell did I used to entertain myself? Oh yeah…reading…walking on the beach…watching movies…listening to music…doing other stuff on the computer (which lately for us has meant fiddling around with the boyfriend’s new architectural software)…browsing in the bookstore…writing ‘real’ letters (the kind you put a stamp on)…

Truthfully, I think we’ve both welcomed this break from the internet. We spend a lot of time online…because there’s not a helluva lot to do here. I get a social connection fix; boyfriend can tap into all kinds of music and golf stuff that’s out there. I’ve only stopped in at cybercafes twice in the last week to do a quick check of email. The first time, boyfriend was breathing down my neck because he was anxious to make his tee time. And the second time, at the cool cybercafe downtown on my lunch break, the connections were so godawful slow that it was almost too aggravating. But today I’m going to walk with our laptop. (It’s a West Indian custom to say “walk with” rather than that you’re going to take, bring or carry something with you.) Our office uses the same ISP we do at home, but the set-up is out of the dark ages. The computers aren’t networked (in any way), so for any of us to access the internet, we have to first pick up line 4 on the phone and make sure no one else is connected, and then connect. And since my employer uses his laptop only for email and internet surfing (and he spends a lot of time surfing), it’s hard for me to get internet access for work use, let alone to check my personal email. And I like to keep it that way, because he uses my PC regularly (he’s on it every morning when I arrive and kicks me off routinely to check the office email which he insists be stored on my hard drive instead of his, even though 99.9% of the mail is for him.) Remember, I’m incognito here. No one in the entire territory knows that I blog, so I never blog or read anyone else’s blogs from my computer at work. But my employer flies out today; he and his wife are heading overseas and will be gone for almost four weeks. So I’m going to walk with the laptop and plug in when I get to the office. Then I can see what all of you have been up to for the last week. I’ve missed you guys…

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Quote of the Day

I took a random peek at Shakti Gawain’s “Creative Visualization” this morning and saw this:

We need to realize that after our basic needs are met, the experience of abundance has more to do with expressing our creative gifts in satisfying ways, and learning to give and receive in a balanced way, than it does with extravagant consumerism.

6 Comments:

Blogger Katherine said...

oy - I'm running out to my stats class and can't leave a longie - but hi and glad you're here! BP sent me an email yesterday asking - where is M? is she okay? Call me this weekend - I'll be in after 8 my time Sat night or 6 on Sunday. Smooch! :) K

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, you should see how I fall apart if my connection goes out for a couple hours, I don't think I could handle a whole week without the internet. Sad, isn't it?

11:58 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Oh my gosh, Marilyn! What a nightmare!

And "innovative?" I think it best they get a new name! LOL

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you hadn't emailed me the other day, I would have sent out the dogs. Hope you can kick some sense into that worthless phone company. You've been missed! ~lizardek

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you're back - be careful with the whole work thing, but you are a woman of wisdom -

12:48 PM  
Blogger lynn said...

ah. you've been missed, marilyn, and i'm glad you're back...
no internet? i shiver. but the wise closing quote made me shiver too. :-)

5:56 PM  

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