Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

September 06, 2001 - 4:03 p.m.


This is gonna be a collection of stuff:

I spent a splendid evening with the Intended at a hotel downtown last night. You people donít need details. Suffice it to say that I almost forgot how beautiful she is.

I like where this guy is going. Go read his stuff. Itís okay, Iíll wait here for you. His writing reminds me of where I was at in December of 1996. Having The Wife move out is quite an experience. Thereís a bunch of furniture missing and dust piled up where it used to be. And no, itís okay if you help move the washer and dryer over to her place and hook it up. Youíre doing it for your girls, not for her. Hang in there dirtguy. You can replace all you had with better stuff. ALLthat you had.

Hey Newt, Iím drinking that holier than thou water you gave me for my birthday. Is it supposed to make me feel different? When do the right-wing conservative hallucinations start?

I had an experience with The Gas Company today that restored my faith in government sponsored monopolies. I was trying to sign up for the budget plan. I really dislike people that come up with fun little acronyms for their phone numbers. I donít like trying to translate the number on the keypad, just give it to me straight, people.

Have you ever enjoyed listening to the hold music? Sometimes itís good. Usually itís some vague contemporary type music with vibraphones in it. I think vibraphones are supposed to be soothing. I certainly hope that my call today was monitored for quality assurance purposes. I couldnít sign up for the budget plan because they said my gas service was disconnected. Well it was disconnected, on the day I lost my job, in fact. Now thereís a feel-good, coming home to see a fluorescent green tag wired to your front door after being given your walking papers.

But I paid my penance and they hooked me back up the next day. All is forgiven right? Well sir, the computer says that youíre still disconnected. And of course the computer is always right. Especially that one that prints my gas bill, the one with my $313.85 payment on it. Well sir, let me transfer you to customer service so we can get that straightened out, and then we can put you on the plan.

Now Iím in a different holding pattern, but this one must be for less desirable customers because thereís no contemporary sounding vibraphone based hold music. All I hear is the barely audible hissing of the phone line and a female voice occasionally congratulating my on my infinite patience, and reminding me how important I am to them. Gosh I feel better.

And then [click] and nothing. Not just a click, though. Itís that hard click you get when the connectionís been cut. I felt betrayed. What happened? A quick dial to their cute little acronym-laden number yields a busy signal. Shit.

I call again and get Renee this time. I recite my story to Renee, I almost have my account number memorized. Renee tries that call transfer trick again, but has the presence of mind to give me the 800 number of who sheís about to call, in case they lose me again. Geez, they plan on losing me?

They lost me again. But I have my trump card, Reneeís planning, that 800 number. Which is not available for use in my area. Shit.

Pitch number three. Now I know the numbers to push, fast-forwarding through their little process, and I get Scott this time. I tell Scott that Iíve been through this process unsuccessfully too many times, and Iím getting a bit annoyed. He switches into Helpful Customer Service Guy gear five, and tells me to hang on. But he doesnít put me on hold. He leaves the line open. Good Scott. He comes back after a few minutes, and tells me the things I already know, but this time he tells me he wonít release my line until he hears the transfer go through and ringing. They donít pay Scott enough. It rings; Iím in a holding pattern again. They're so proud of how patient I am. My call is very important to them.

Now Iím speaking to Mrs. Gianesha. You know youíre in collections when youíre no longer on a first-name basis. Sheís apparently been prepped for me. She speaks in slow, deliberate and measured tones. People must be half out of their wits with frustration by the time they get to Mrs. Gianesha. She sees that yes indeed I paid my dues. She has no record of anyone turning the gas on; did I turn it on myself? I wish! She digs deeper, after announcing that sheíll do so. She must be practiced in giving depositions, Iím thinking. Aha, here it is. There is proof that my gas is on, hot showers and a working stove notwithstanding. She makes the appropriate changes to my account. But apparently she cannot sign me up on the budget plan just yet. Apparently my change has to slowly seep into their computer system, until everyone there knows that JohnnieV is no longer A Bad Deadbeat Person.

Heres the sequence, if you get trapped in The Gas Companyís voice mail: 1-2-2-2-1.

the last one -*- the next one

Current Terr Alert Level
Terror Alert Level
OMG, She's agonna blow!

blah blah:

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