Monday, May 12, 2008

New Jersey - We Have a Problem

I missed saying Happy Mother's Day to a bunch of my friends, missed Wordzzle, missed Camera Critters. And I'm not even going to mention the number of client e-mails I need to respond to.

You see - when it rains in New Jersey the world often comes to a stop, at least on my little street in my little town.

Oh so you're rural? Well no, no we're not.
Oh so there was flooding? Well no, no there wasn't.
High winds perhaps? No, not really.

So what's the problem?

I'd love to get through the explanation without cussing but it ain't gonna happen.

At the end of my driveway is a pole. Now I can't dance on it and I can't decorate it with peace symbols and 'Got Hope" posters. NO - cause it belongs to the phone company and it serves a purpose.

Its purpose it to bring wires in and out and all about. At its tippy-top the pole holds a silver box. A rusted, corroded, bent and battered silver box. And in that silver box are all the connections from the outside world into the lovely house that morons built. Considering the importance of the silver box one would imagine it is cared for and secured. Wouldn't one!? Well hell, fuck no!!!

The box creaks and moves in the wind caused by a toddler passing on his tricycle. A squirrel spitting (do they spit?) will create so much moisture that the poor box must wait for hours of sunlight to dry its precious innards. But heaven fucking forbid it get too dry!! Well then it must wait for technical assistance, some sort of SPF for conduit skin I imagine.

I am a reasonable person. I understand the problems associated with above ground wires, I respect that bees and birds and squirrels can create havoc when they decide to throw a frat party at the silver box. I'd rather read by candlelight and dry my hair in the wind then hurt an animal so I get it, and I would never complain if service was interrupted in the interest of having some respect for Mother Nature.

BUT ...

When a polite and lovely woman calls you at least once a month for five fucking years to tell you:

the box is open
the box is about to fall off the pole
the box DID fall off the pole
wires are hanging out of the box

Well - ya know what! That ain't Mother Nature, that's just plain stupid and lazy.

Oh - I shouldn't worry says the voice on my cell phone. What number can we call you back on? Gee - I don't fucking know what number you should call me back on! I guess the cell since no other number is working cause well you see - there's this silver box ...

But wait - they are nothing if not professional and the silver box has a back-up. A back-up!? My Oh My!! How wonderfully efficient. And where would this back-up be? Wait - wait - let me guess. It's that big-ass box around the bend. Ya know, right where you can't see it until you crash into it.

The back-up box is tethered to yet another pole and is bolted into the earth. How do you bolt into mud? Good question. I'd go take a closer look but I don't want to end up flattened like a pancake by an oncoming SUV. I really should carry orange cones with me and one of those lovely signs ...

Really Pissed Off Customer Wondering Why Men Aren't At Work

Yeah - that's what it would say.

Out of respect for passing children and people with delicate language sensibilities it wouldn't say ...

I am going to fix my own fucking phone you assholes! I have duct tape left over from the last terror alert, I'm sure that will work.

I think the back-up box might be lonely. Its friend from the electric company moved. To a safer neighborhood - to a neighborhood where it could be seen by hurtling cars going twice the speed limit. For awhile we all knew when it was closing time at TGIF - the power would go out. At a township meeting a woman who shall remain nameless, for legal reasons, suggested the boxes be moved. Electric company jumped on the opportunity to be heroes. Phone company - they couldn't hear me (her) now.

So why the resistance to fixing silver boxes. Stupidity? Laziness? Bureaucratic mumbo jumbo? Oh No, of course not! They don't operate that way. They are direct descendants of Ma Bell herself and they care. They're just waiting for the right moment.

And apparently the moment is here ...

FIOS is coming, FIOS is coming.

Ahhhh - the spectrum of light shall be blinding, the speed shall be awe inspiring. Woodland creatures will come forth and speak of the wonder. Birds will sing. Poles will dance.

Except - there still needs to be wires. What!? Wires!? But I thought FIOS came from the breath of Gods. When Athena sprung from Zeus' head wasn't she carrying a movie package?

It's raining here right now. And there are wind gusts of 40+ MPH. I would go out and check the silver box but I need to hang on to my last ounce of sanity and somehow preserve my will to live.

Besides ...

FIOS is coming. FIOS is coming.

Anytime between now and when my virginity grows back.

And it will all be good.

Those of us about to lose our connection salute you.


Matt-Man said...

Oh go ahead and lose your last ounce of sanity. Sanity is soooo overrated. Cheers Dianne!!

Richard said...

Laughing with you not at you. You'll be happy to know that underground utilities have problems as well.

Our power went our last summmer, during that time of year when A/C is imperative.

My poor wife spent 8 hours that day trying in vain to stay less warm if not comfortably cool.

In the end, after more months, they had to redo buried cables. It was lovely.

Dream with me if you will of a home that is totally off the grid. This home produces it's own power, uses well and rain water, has a high tech septic system and communicates wirelessly with the entire globe.

Right when we get to that point some idiot will start knocking down the satellites!


CG said...

OMG...I feel your pain!!

Dianne said...

It IS over rated Matt-Man isn't it!? I'm not sure I'm even left with an ounce. I'll have to pull out my old weed scale and starting bagging up my sanity for use later. Cheers to you too Matt-Man ;)

richard - a home off the grid - that is a wonderful dream. right now the FIOS folks are here and there's lots of head shaking going on. I just splashed a bit of rum in my coffee and told them to talk to my son.

thanks CG :)
I swear they could probably pull a freakin' cable from my house to yours - pond and all - faster than I can get that stupid silver box replaced.

Sleepypete said...

Lol - I guess I should be glad I live in a reasonably good neighbourhood ... My internet comes in from underground but the weak point is the box somewhere down the road where the cables all meet up.

That's the one that the vandals tend to favour with a good seeing to. I'm not in such a bad area here but I understand it can be bad in other parts of Bristol (the ones you enter armed and leave if you're lucky)

Even with the cable being buried, I actually went Dark on Friday - the thunderstorm we had was that spectacular that I turned off most of the electronic gubbins, getting some reading in.

PS I dread to think what the response would be from my ISP if I started complaining of terrible latency from my internet line ...

Raven said...

It's a testament to your strength of spirit and will that you are still sane. That kind of thing pushes me over the edge almost instantly. Hancock is pretty good so far in terms of these kinds of things. When I lived in Narrowsburg, the power went out at least once a month. Crazy. During my 2 years in Callicoon, we had 3 major power outages. Here in Hancock, my lights only flickered during the big floods last year. But I ramble.

I was worrying about you, so although I'm sorry you've been through this crazy stress, I'm glad you are back among us cyber souls. Belated Happy Mother's Day.

OneDaisy said...

Sounds like you've had an intersting run with the phone company. And I love it when they say "dont' get upset ma'am." Right. Fuck that.

mrsnesbitt said...

LOL at this one. Ella did well at the vets and was rewarded with some raw liver! Spoilt or what!
Check out my ABC Wednesday...we are up to Q this week! A difficult one.
I have mine sorted!

magnetbabe said...

Sorry Di, but you're hilarious even (and especially) when you're pissed off. Keeping my fingers crossed that your box will get fixed soon. I just picture it laying there in a heap of wires with vultures picking at it.

tt said...

Strong minded...that's you. With a generous dose of sunny-side-up and a wicked funny bone.
I hope the 'box' doesn't meet with some freak accident in the future. :)

Dianne said...

sleepypete - we don't really have any vandalism, just motoring insanity - mostly one too many beers and then a sharp turn. The only thing to break the crash is the phone box LOL - masterful planning.

raven - I had your phone number but it was on the computer that wouldn't boot up! there's a flaw in my record keeping LOL
our power used to go out almost every weekend, now it's rare - mostly if there's lightening. but the phone equipment is so old and strained and now they're just adding FIOS on top of the rusted, coroded foundation.

onedaisy - the field techs are the only people I want to talk to - they're actually here and they know what they're doing. the phone support folks are robots and management are a pack of snakeoil salespeople.

mrsnesbitt - Yay! for Ella, good girl! I'll be over later, thanks :)

thanks magnetbabe - I try for funny, it's my only salvation. plus it really is so absurd that you gotta laugh.

tt - I know! wouldn't it be just awful if some form of tragedy destoyed the box and it had to replaced from scratch. Oh the humanity!!
love ya tt ;)

Jay Simser said...

Move to Ames. We never have problems like that. (Yeah Right!) Just one of the joys of modern (?) civilization. Just think if you had to scratch everything out on the back of a leaf with charcoal and then toss them in the wind for people to read. Loved your post. You made my day. j

Odat said...

Sounds like a Seinfeld episode....sorry for your frustrations.....but just yell hello every now and then...i may hear you!!!! ;-)


Jay said...

"I'd love to get through the explanation without cussing but it ain't gonna happen."

LOL .. Oh there are so many stories that that line is true for.

When we lived in San Antonio my sister's neighborhood had all underground utilities and their lights went out all the time. I lived in the ghetto (well not really, but her friends all said I did) and mine almost never went out. I had fun teasing my brother in law about that. ;-)

"Oh - I shouldn't worry says the voice on my cell phone. What number can we call you back on?"

*snort* There is NO WAY I would let that go at all. I have very little self-control and I would have had to make her day sooooo miserable after such a stupid question. haha

kenju said...

I am sure it isn't funny to you, but it is - the way you wrote about it. Hope all is fixed soon.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

Don't worry, I'll be doing a whole post on New Jersey soon as part of my Totally Incensed Tuesday series. I can't wait for that day. BWAHAHAHA

bobbie said...

Don't even get me started on the phone company! And I used to work for them - for 3 months, right out of high school. I thought it was awful having to be the Voice With the Smile but now they don't bother smiling, do they? They're downright nasty. But you sound more cheerful about it than I'm able to be. After a call to them, I'm a basket case for a while.

bobbie said...

Don't even get me started on the phone company! And I used to work for them - for 3 months, right out of high school. I thought it was awful having to be the Voice With the Smile but now they don't bother smiling, do they? They're downright nasty. But you sound more cheerful about it than I'm able to be. After a call to them, I'm a basket case for a while.

Ivanhoe said...

That sucks! I think it has to do a lot with bureaucracy. We don't have a home phone anymore (to save money and omit tellemerketing calls) We use our cells.

Leighann said...

I don't know if I should laugh or cry with you!!

Doc said...

Oh good lord that is crazy !!

Dianne said...

I ALWAYS respond to all my lovely comments one-on-one BUT not tonight. I must use my precious connection time to well - reconnect. I'm going to post an update on the past 48 hours of hilarity.

And for all of you who feel bad for laughing and enjoying the expolits - DON'T!!

I'm loving the fact that at least I can entertain with this crap.

I may try my hand at stand-up again LOL

Jo said...

I wish there was someone who's ass I could kick to get you back up & running! Maybe if you just rip out the silver box & drive over it a few times in your car & leave it in the street, they'll replace it. I did that with my cable box & they came within 2 hours!

Minnesotablue said...

Duck tape is the wonder fix all. Seems we all have had trouble with either the phone or electric company. We have poor squirrels who manage to get in the generator box and it zonks the power out all around us. If it's not the power it's the cable. Don't ya just want to kick the crap outa them?

Dianne said...

jo - I bet you look all hot and sexy when destroying public property. I just look insane.

minnesota - I do want to kick the crap out of them! thanks for making me laugh.