Disconnected: The Verizon Rant
I started it because I needed to blow off steam. Then people started reading it. I never knew there were so many people who would find my fucked up fascinations so interesting. Go figure.
In the clarity of hindsight I realize I do not exclusively chronicle my magnificent obsessions on this blog. It serves also as a diary of sorts. On that note earlier today I wrote:
Have you ever been told that your Internet service cannot be restored until a fucking bar opensâ€” and then was assured that this kind of thing is “pretty common in Greenpoint”? I have. On October 28, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. to be exact. When this iron-curtain-customer-service-meets-Preston-Sturges-comedy-of-errors morality tale is over you can be good and damned sure I am going to write about it. And oh, what I story I have to tell!
That time has come, kids. Before I proceed I’d like to state there are a number of morals to this story. Here are a couple:
- If you are making reference to a “bar down the street” in Greenpoint be very specific because…
- the Garden Spot has a shitload of bars. Too many, if you ask me —but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
As I awoke Saturday morning Mr. Heather quietly whispered to me:
Our Internet is down. I have contacted Verizon.
I suspect the Mister broke the news in this manner because he feared if told me such a thing when I was in a total state of consciousness I would flip out— and he was probably correct. You see, Verizon has this nasty habit of disconnecting our service (be it telephone and/or Internet) when they endeavor to hook up someone else’s phone line. This has happened four or five times. This phenomenon is one (of the many reasons) I dread the occupation of the Viridian by fresh-faced condo-goers. One man’s 130 unit luxury complex replete with concierge, gazing pool and virtual golf is another woman’s 130 potential disconnections by Verizon. But I digress.
Once I came to and grabbed a cup of coffee I shuffled into the living and asked:
So when is it supposed to be back up?
Mr. Heather: Monday.
Me (hardly surprised but nonetheless irked): Great.
Over the weekend I managed to rattle off a few posts via the Mister’s Blackberry in preparation for Monday: the day our service was ostensibly going to be restored. I thought I was well-rested and ready. I wasn’t.
Monday, October 20, 2008 at 11:15 a.m. the phone rings:
Miss Heather: Cool, I’ll be right down.
I let the repairman into our apartment and show him our set-up. He asks:
Is your phone working?
Mind you, this gentleman just dialed our land line less than a minute ago — and I answered said call. I thought to myself:
This is not a good sign.
Me: Yes, our phone line is working. We have no Internet. See the dsl router? It hooks up to this thing over here. The line is dead.
He went out to the pole and poked around. After about 15 minutes he returned.:
I have to wait until the bar down the street opens. The box I need to access is located behind it.
He said and assured me this was not at all unusual in Greenpoint. Puzzled but finding this entirely plausible (because the neighborhood I call home sports quite a number of drinking establishments) I asked for some clarification:
Which bar, (bar #1) or (bar #2)?
After some discussion we established it was bar #2. Then we both concluded there was no way he could access this property until it opened. The nice thing about living in a neighborhood riven with alcoholism is the bars tend to open early. I smugly thought to myself:
This should be resolved by 4:00 p.m. or so.
and went about doing some much-needed housecleaning to while away the time.
ASIDE: My husband always promises to help with the tidying up the house. He does not do this out of the kindness of his own heart. Rather, he knows if I do it I will get very, very angry. At him. Yesterday was no exception. After finding a dirty spoon tucked away under some books (why God, why?) and slamming my foot against a skillet he somehow saw fit to place on the kitchen floor I encountered the straw that broke the my camel’s back: a cache of mustard packets buried under a pile of papers in the living room.
Just last week— standing right in front of this hitherto unknown cache of condiment goodness— the Mister threw a tantrum about the local Chinese restaurant trying to charge him 25 cents for mustard. This was his rationale for refusing to buy his dinner from said establishment. Thinking this was one of the stupidest things I have ever heard in my life (because it is) I said:
Why didn’t just buy the fucking meal? We have, like, at least twenty of those fucking packets lying around here.
Obviously I was correct. And now I was getting pissed.
At 3:30 p.m. the Mister called:
Mr. Heather: How are you doing?
Me: You don’t want to ask that question right now.
Mr. Heather: Speakeasy says the Internet should be restored by 4:00 o’clock.
Me: Cool. I’m going to run.
4:00 p.m. comes and goes. The Mister calls again.
Mr. Heather: Is the Internet back up yet?
I replied “Of course not” and hung up. I was growing tired of housework. I was also growing tired of waiting for this bar to open so I decided that “happy hour” at Chez Shitty was going to kick off a tad early. You know what they say:
It’s always 5:00 o’clock somewhere.
So I hit the local wine store. AS I was returning home I had an epiphany:
I bet it was the OTHER fucking bar. SHIT.
I run home only two encounter two chaps claiming to be from Con Edison wanting access to our building. Knowing full well who they really are, I refuse. I make a beeline to my apartment and grab my cell phone so I can call my husband and tell him about my hunch. In the meantime the Con Ed con artists are hitting all the buzzers repeatedly in the hopes someone will let them in. I am getting rattled. After three tries I finally dialed the Mister’s number correctly.
Then there was a knock at my door. Hoping it was Verizon I hung up and opened it. Only to discover someone let these miscreants in our building:
What did I say to you a few minutes ago?!? NO THANKS!
I shit you not this pig fucker laughed as he walked away. Now I was getting super-pissed… and my cell phone rang.
Mr. Heather: I noticed you called. What’s going on?
Me: That IMBECILE got his information wrong. He meant bar #1. I could have given him access to that fucking pole via the back of our fucking apartment building and our fucking Internet would have been restored HOURS AGO…
Mr. Heather: I don’t understand.
Losing patience, I took a deep breath and started to explain the curious case of transposed bars. Then there was another knock at the door. I open it. It was ANOTHER fucking dude from IDT claiming to be a Con Ed employee.
Me (in a low, even tone to Mr. Heather): hold on a minute.
Me (shouting at IDT employee):
NO! THANK YOU!
Mr. Heather: What was that about?
Me: (sputtering very loud, VERY ANGRY profanity-laden incoherent gibberish).
Mr. Heather: I’m in the middle of a meeting right now. Can we talk about this later?
Long story made short my Internet access was not restored yesterday despite both bars in question being open as of 5:00 p.m. The Mister (very wisely I will add) decided to work late because he wanted to give me time to “cool off”. Eventually I did. Today at 9:00 a.m. a different Verizon employee arrived. He hit our buzzer and I let him in. In a much-needed instance of dumb luck it happened to the man who installed our Internet line. He knew exactly what to do, did it and profusely apologized for the bullshit I experienced yesterday.
Thank you Mr. Diaz. You are a fucking hero. And oh yeah:
DRINK UP GREENPOINT!
Those of us who live between Green and Freeman Street and get our telephone/Internet service from Verizon need those bars open as early as possible! Preferably at 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.— chop, chop! And for future reference to anyone who happens to live in the above-mentioned area: that fucking relay box is located behind the Mark Bar, not “The Murder Bar” (better known to arrivistes as “Tommy’s Tavern”).