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5 April 2003

Remember the good old days?

The days when you could find a clerk in a department store to check out your merchandise because every department had its own cash register?

The days when shoe salesmen actually helped you try on shoes, measured your foot, and seemed to know something about what was good for your feet?

The days when you pulled into a gas station and someone pumped your gas, checked your oil, checked the air in your tires, washed your windows and took your credit card (or cash) into the office to ring the sale up for you--and did it with a smile--and charged less than a dollar a gallon?

The days when your doctor would come to your house in the middle of the night if you got real sick?

Remember when you could dial "O" on the telephone and the operator actually helped? Remember when you could dial 611 and get a repair person who could help you with your phone. And didn't charge you anything?

I came home from work early today and I was all jazzed -- I'll save the reason for that for another entry (gotta keep you coming back). As usual, the computer had disconnected itself while I was gone (it misses me), so I went to reconnect and....nothing. It tried and tried but couldn't establish a connection.

The fax machine is also on the same line, so I tried the telephone part of the fax machine. Dead. Zippo. Nada. Not a sign of life.

OK. I'm from the old school. I picked up the other telephone and I called 611. Silly girl, I.

First you get a long lecture about how you can report your problem by the web or by e-mail (somehow it seems to forget that my problem is that I can't GET to the web or collect e-mail because there is no frigging dial tone). It also says that when you get to the web you can "leave the number where you are at." Cringe. Grammar has gone the way of all things at the telephone company. I'm sorry, but even well modulated tones do not forgive the use of "at " at the end of a sentence.

But I digress.

So I went through the forty bazillion voice mail messages and finally got to my choices. If the problem is on my personal phone, I should press 1. I press 1. What do I get?

Instructions on how to report the problem via the web or e-mail.

$#!#@%$#@!, I said, in well modulated tones.

I dialed "O" to get operator assistance. "What number did you dial?" she asked.

"611," I said.

"That's the only number I have for assistance," she said. I explained that my problem was that it wanted me to make an on-line report, but I couldn't get on line to make a report. "I'm sure there must be other options," she said. I hung up on her.

!#@%!@#$@$@@#, " said in less well modulated tones.

But I went back to 611, which appeared to be my only hope. I listened to the commercial. Both of them. I finally got another list of messages which said that it would check the line. Then I got a recording which said that the problem appeared to be "either on the line or in the phone" (I don't have a phone on that line) and that if I wanted them to come out -- for a fee -- I could call and make an appointment, or did I realize that I could report this problem via the Internet?

+_)(*&^%$#@*&^%$#$%^&*((*&$#@!~!@#$%^&*, I screamed in well modulated tones.

So here I sit with no Internet connection and no body connected to any phone at the phone company, and wondering what in the HELL I'm going to do about getting this problem fixed.

Of course I'm not exactly dead in the water. I do have a second line and it's possible to connect that to the computer, which I have done to post this entry (obviously).

But I long for the good old days when there would be a friendly voice offering me reassurance, assistance, and good grammar when I dialed 611.

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OK...there is some magic about screaming enough obscenities, apparently.   After I got the above written and went to switch telephone cords around, I discovered that the computer line was working again.  Go figure.  So I'm less frenzied at the moment--but I still miss the good old days!

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Also one final follow-up on T.  I had a lovely talk with the investigator at the State Department which follows such things and learned that our complaint against her was not the first to be lodged for the same thing. 

I take it all back...she's not a nice person.  She's an experienced con artist who really had me believing her.

Quote of the Day

Isn't your life extremely flat
With nothing whatever to grumble at?

~ William S. Gilbert

(yes, I realize the irony of choosing a quote where W.S.G. ended his rhyme with the word "at"!)

Yesterday's Photo

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Tom with Celso (left)
David with Eduardo (right)

Both guys were from Brasil

One Year Ago
Massacre of the English Language
(Ironically, on this day when I'm bemoaning the loss of English in telephone operators, I find I was harping on it a year ago too!)

Two Years Ago
Busy about Many things
(Just a real busy day)

Three Years Ago
Baubles, Bangles and Bigots
(Misc. -- another page where I slapped that picture of me and Steve and Carol Channing)

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Pounds Lost:  70
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

Blue Angel Total 853.6
2003 YTD Cumulative:  355.2

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