Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Phoning For The Truth

"The Wanderer"- 11x14" coloured pencil on Pastelbord, Work In Progress

No, no, I didn’t drop off the face of the earth. It seems that many folks in my area were without phone service for about 3 days which prompted the Other Half to utter this little truism: “Sometimes, country living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Folks that currently or have lived in the country, you know what I mean. For those of you that may have just recently moved to the country-side, and were previously city or suburban dwellers, consider yourself warned.

Loss of our phone service has happened before. Ironically, it usually goes out immediately after we’ve had power restored after a power outage. So once the power is back on you can watch movies on your television, you just can’t call up someone and invite them over to watch the movie with you. These blips in service usually only last about half an hour to an hour which is irritating but at the same time tolerable. I should’ve known we were in for trouble when the phones went dead but the power hadn’t been out prior to that...a sure sign of the apocalypse.

On Sunday afternoon after the phones had been out for about 24 hours I took the Other Half’s cell phone and decided to call Bell (oh, that’s right Bell, we’re making this public) and find out what was going on. A customer service rep was kind enough to let me know that he knew nothing. I bit my tongue because, having worked in customer service before, I know how nasty people can get. I always remind myself that whatever the incident is, it’s not the customer service reps fault that it’s happening, no matter how much of a diddle-head they come across as. I asked if a technician could be sent out because the whole street was without phone service and also, since I’m self-employed and work from home, having a phone for people to contact me is kinda important to the whole running a business thing. He said that a technician would be dispatched tomorrow. I was fine up to this point when he then proceeded to tell me that he noticed that I don’t have the service protection program so in the event that repairs need to be done, blah, blah, blah. I politely but curtly told him that I wasn’t interested because I currently don’t have service and would appreciate it if that could be remedied...and then I hung up.

So then on Monday I spent the day checking the phones periodically because I wanted to make sure that the good people at Bell were going to keep their word. That and I could only fathom the amount of messages I had piling up in my personal and business e-mail in-boxes. Some of which I’m sure included attachments and, only having access to dial-up in the country, I knew it would take the better part of a day just to receive those messages.
At about 3:00 I decided that I’d better call Bell again to find out what was going on, if anything. I was again greeted by another customer service rep who I was polite with...for about 2 minutes. After I asked if there was anything being done about the problem or if he knew how long it would take to get the situation resolved he responded with what was an outright lie. I’ll spare you the details but it was at this point that I went into Exorcist mode because if there’s one thing I can’t stand (other than telemarketers and people who are perpetually late) it’s being told that a job was done when it clearly wasn’t. After he told me what had, or rather hadn’t been done, I believe my head spun around, I spewed out pea soup and then verbally tore this guy a new one.
I was asked if I could be put on hold.
Within 30 seconds he came back and told me another tale and that the power should be restored sometime before 10 pm on Tuesday.


I chewed him out some more, only because he essentially confirmed that he was lying before, and then I hung up. I’d been doing that a lot. Then, wouldn’t you know it, at about 6:30 Monday night the phones came back to life. At best I can only assume that my temper tantrum helped speed up the process of getting a repair person off their duff and outside to actually fix the problem.

So that’s my tale of country living, phone-loss woe. I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again, but I’m not holding my breath. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, with another gardening update on Thursday, and thanks for lending a cyber ear to my ranting dear reader. Toodles!


Lisa B. said...

I didn't mind losing phone service- it was losing the well water provided by an electric pump that caused me the most grief.

I'm in the suburbs for now, and I can't wait to get back to country living. I really miss it- more than I ever missed having no water!

Rita said...

We've had our pumps go out as well, but that was usually only temporary since when the power came back on so did the pumps. Ah, the joys of country living...

Country calamities aside, I'm with you. I lived most of my life in the suburbs and you couldn't pay me to move back there. I'll take muddy boots and sump pumps over sidewalks and covenience stores anyday! :D

Rita said...

oops, posted twice