Disconnected: The Verizon Rant

October 21, 2008 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

A couple weeks ago I had lunch with a fellow Greenpointer. At one point we talked blog shop. Here was my take on New York Shitty:

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 opens— 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:

  1. If you are making reference to a “bar down the street” in Greenpoint be very specific because…
  2. 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:

It’s Verizon.

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.

Me: Yeah.
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):


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:


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”).

Miss Heather


11 Comments on Disconnected: The Verizon Rant

  1. rowan on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 1:35 pm
  2. RE: the IDT energy scam – some chick knocked on my door the other week while i was home sick. she ran the same spiel and repeatedly asked to step inside to see my bill or show me how to do this online. being in no mood for this 1) because she skeeved me out (and had the minute she asked to come in)
    2) i had a stuffed head, sore throat and aches all over, i told her i’d check out her website and get back to her. (which i never did)

    thanks for pointing this out. i thought it was very strange. hopefully nobody in my building was taken in.

  3. deda on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 3:28 pm
  4. Please give us the murder bar back story.

  5. missheather on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 3:42 pm
  6. Here’s a highly simplified version deda:

    Back in 2002 (or 2003— pretty sure it was 2002, tho) there was an altercation over a game of pool at this establishment. As I understand it one man was ridiculing another one about his lack of skill at the game. It escalated and shots were fired. Some hit their target and one of the parties (don’t know which) staggered out the front door, collapsed and died on the sidewalk.

    Lest you wondering this incident wasn’t really about a game of pool. It can best be called a “territorial dispute”. As I understand it the shooter is in prison now.

  7. bitchcakes on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 4:39 pm
  8. I feel your pain and frustration. There is so much blatant incompetancy with the entire customer process service: from the phone operators themselves to the processes of troubleshooting, waiting for the guy to show up and then having the issues resolved. I have no faith in anyone I speak to, nor in the system itself.

    I have had Time Warner for nearly 3 years now and can’t believe the amount of service calls I have had in that time period -for TV and internet outages. My most recent intermittent internet problem for 6 weeks this summer was excruciating, but I think finally resolved.

  9. missheather on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 4:59 pm
  10. Actually I could have handled the Internet outage, it was the all fucking bullshit that went with it. ESPECIALLY the sham Con Ed workers. I’m glad I read that post on the Gowanus Lounge about them trolling Greenwood Heights.

    That said, Mr. Diaz rocks. Give that man a pay raise! He went above and beyond the call of duty for me. More than once.

  11. Jay on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 5:01 pm
  12. Big corrections to that “murder bar” story: the shooting didn’t happen in Tommy’s Tavern. While the victim (I could tell you his name, but won’t post it here) was known and liked by many of the then-regulars there, he wasn’t even in the bar that night. He was shot on the sidewalk on Manhattan, and in fact closer to the Mark Bar’s location (there wasn’t a bar there yet) than to Tommy’s.

    The story as you were told it, though, is the more popular one among the hipster crowd, and the one you’ll likely hear if you ask someone at the Mark Bar… the newer bar where the “murder bar” nickname for the older one originated.

    In other words, only arrivistas would call it that. Among lifetime Greenpointers, you’ll more likely hear — if not Tommy’s — “the Freeman bar” or even “Al’s bar.” Al was Tommy’s father; the bar was renamed after his death. There’s still an “Al’s Bar” sign hanging inside.

  13. missheather on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 5:27 pm
  14. Very interesting, Jay. And I agree that there is no need to name names. It’s over. Has been for a long time.

    The next time I see George Diaz (of Latinolaughter.com) I’ll ask him for more deets. He’s the one I asked about this in the first place. I vaguely remember it; I lived down on Clay at the time and as a result am more of an expert in our lovely Hotel than the “Murder Bar Mystery”! Having a crackhead for a neighbor helped enormously in that respect.

    Remember when that guy jumped off the building at the corner of Eagle and Manhattan Avenue (you know, the one next to that shit pit of a “construction site” at 1059 Manhattan Avenue)? Methinks it was the same year as the “Murder Bar” shooting. Weird.

    As always, thanks for the 411 Jay . I should troll the newspapers regarding both these incidences and get their take. I imagine this will be easier said than done, tho.


    P.S.: Never been a big fan of the Mark Bar. Went there once right after they opened. Struck me as being a bit pricey. The service wasn’t so hot either. Maybe I should give them another shot? They’re having a pumpkin carving contest this year.

  15. missheather on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 5:52 pm
  16. Now you really have me picking ye olde brain, Jay! Wasn’t 1025 Manhattan Avenue a plumbing supply joint before it became the Mark Bar or was it located where the medical office is? I distinctly remember the Black Scorpion club, tho: the front door was always open but the gates on the windows locked shut. That was replaced by New Tulcingo. Not a bad diner— although Acapulco will always be my fave.

  17. woodendesigner on Tue, 21st Oct 2008 6:20 pm
  18. Your Verizon troubles are quite common. A good friend of mine lived in the heights a while back and every two years like clockwork he had to call them to fix the line. Finally one of the servicemen told him that there were not enough lines for that block so instead of extending the amount of service they would disconnect the next person in the box and the service interruption would work it’s way around the block until it was his turn to get it cut. Apparently it was cheaper to do that than to expand the amount of service for that block.

  19. rowan on Wed, 22nd Oct 2008 2:46 pm
  20. re: Mark Bar – i think you should give them another chance. i found the bartenders to be prompt with service even when crowded, friendly and they do have good drink deals. most beers are priced between $4-$6 with the average of $5. they do good mixed drinks with a cocktail of the week specialty ($5 for a serious cocktail). and the one time i went for bingo night, we had a LOT of fun. that’s every wednesday for anyone who’s interested – prizes include Bag of Porn grab bag, Mystery Prize grab bag or a free drink choice.

    come with me next time i go. 🙂

  21. suzyO on Wed, 22nd Oct 2008 4:15 pm
  22. DO.NOT.GET.ME.STARTED. Oh, GAWD, now I need a friggin’ klonapin. INSTANT RAGE!
    Who are the pigfuckers, anyway? IDT? Are they another energy company?

    Listen, I’ve been through it all in 15 years in this hood, and I gotta say – Time Warner is the way to go.

    I know, I know what you’ve heard, but I’ve tried them both. TWC can be a real bastard to get hooked up and running, but once it’s done, IT.IS.DONE.

    Oh, honey, I feel for you. GOD I HATE THESE PEOPLE.

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