And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.
From 3:30 yesterday afternoon to about noon today, I was pretty much nonstop humming, “Oh, what a circus, oh, what a show,” from Evita. I wasn’t dealing with Argentina, though. I was dealing with AT&T.
We thought we’d shave a few dollars from our budget by getting rid of our home phone landline, which also carried our wifi, and instead add wifi onto my studio’s phone (AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop). So I braced myself for a phone marathon and called AT&T to arrange it. It only took an hour, which isn’t bad by their standards. The day to add the internet was yesterday, somewhere between 11:00 and 1:00. I taught a class at one, so of course, that’s when they showed up. I had my son here as a back-up plan.
I came up after class and no one was home. I looked in my office and, sure enough, there was a router. All systems were go, until my son called. “Mom,” he said, “why did you have them disconnect your phone?”
I looked at my phone, which blinked the message, NO LINE. The wifi was running. The phone was not. The AllWriters’ phone was dead. My business depends on the phone.
In a panic, I called the technician – I had his number from when he called to tell me he was on the way. I got his voicemail, and I know I left a pretty hysterical message. “This is a business! I need my phone! I have a client calling in an hour! Why did you disconnect my phone! I’ve had it for 14 years!”
Then I went into the quagmire that is AT&T. I bounced from operator to operator, trying to explain what happened. No one understood. One operator said, “I called that number and it rang through to voicemail.”
“It didn’t ring HERE,” I said. “The phone says there’s no line. There’s no line!”
Eventually, they told me they could have another technician out to fix the problem…on December 26th. 21 days away. I don’t usually yell on the phone. But it was round about then that I lost it. I stood up, raised my fist in the air and roared, “That is UNACCEPTABLE! This is a BUSINESS!”
They said they’d expedite it.
In the meantime, I didn’t notice that the original technician left me a message to call him. His name was Jason. When I got to him, he apologized profusely, said he thought it was odd that I was disconnecting my phone, but that was in his orders. “I’ve called my manager,” he said. “We’re going to fix this. His name is Matt. We’ll call you tonight and have someone out tomorrow. Hold on a sec…I’m making fettuccini alfredo and I have to stir it.”
Say what? He was talking to me from his home – from his kitchen.
I told him that my husband made home-made baked macaroni and cheese the night before. We chatted about food and family. By the time we hung up, my heart rate was back down to normal. I no longer had a fist.
AT&T called and said they’d expedited me all the way to the 11th. “I’ve already been told someone will be here tomorrow,” I said. “The 11th is unacceptable.” They said they had no record of that and that they’d call me the next afternoon, “to see if someone actually shows up.”
At 9:00 that night, my best friend Jason called me back. “I just talked to Matt,” he said. “I’m off tomorrow, so he’s sending Dustin. Dustin is the best. He’ll be there by ten.”
I slept the sleep of the well-cared for.
At ten this morning, Dustin showed up. In 20 minutes, he’d fixed the problem. He smiled while he did so.
At noon, I had a phone call. “This is Dave,” a nice male voice said. “I’m a technician from AT&T. I have a service ticket on your phone line…I’m on my way to fix it now.”
“Oh,” I said. “Someone was already here.”
We straightened it out. We chatted about his day. We chatted about mine. He thanked me for saving him a trip. I thanked him for being one of four men, Jason, Dustin, unseen Matt, nice voice Dave, who went out of their way to make sure my business was safe and sound, and by (phone) extension, so was I.
AT&T just sent me another email, telling me I’m set for my service appointment on the 11th. I’m not going to cancel it. Maybe it will be one of my new best friends. We can have coffee.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.