1999-07-16 The Farm: current news (from the archives)

Part of a series of posts from my old website archives. Enjoy!

Ongoing Goings-On: current news

The move is over, the phones are connected, and I’m online all the time.

Sounds like things can start happening again.

I’m setting myself to the task of getting a job again. After the last few weeks of putting it off so I could pack up the house, then move, then wait on the bastards from GTE to get their stuff straight, come over, and connect my modem line, I can finally get out of the house during daylight business hours and get a job.

In the past few weeks, I have had to wait, during business hours, on the techs from GTE to arrive at my house so they could install my new phone line. This house was originally wired for one phone line, and I wanted to have my own line installed so I could use my modem without tying up my main line. Due to GTE policy, which makes sense, someone needs to be at the residence when the tech shows up to install. Just before I moved in, I called GTE to arrange for a service transfer to the new residence. I gave them the address, and we set a date for installation of the new line. That date was June 29th. That day rolled around and no one showed up. I was furious. I checked my records, and sure enough, they were to have been here. Then something caught my attention: I gave them the address of the house exactly one block up the street. Ah, the finger turned to point at me.

I called GTE, explained the problem, and we re-scheduled the installation date. Meanwhile, I was still having to use my voice line for my modem, which meant call-waiting (which I can’t turn off – that’s an extra cost) kept kicking me off. So, a few days later, I receive a message on my machine stating they’d be here thursday, but no later than friday afternoon. “Oh, well, they’ll be here a week earlier,” I thought. So, I stay home, away from job-hunting, on thursday. No sign of the installer anywhere. I’m angry. Friday afternoon, another day away from job-searching, no one shows up. I’m furious. I then call GTE to question them. That message was in reference to the thursday and friday of the next week. I’m sick.

So, I get another phantom message on monday stating they’ll be there much earlier than scheduled. Hmmm. Did I trust this message? Yes. Tuesday wasted. Finally, later, on friday afternoon, after two more days wasted, the installer shows up. Great, good. I finally got my line.

Never look a gift-horse in the ass.

The new line had so much noise and distortion my modem refused to connect at any speed greater than 19.6 kbps, and refused to stay connected for longer than 15 minutes. I checked wires, I checked phones, I called my main line from my modem line and just listened to the static: I heard a loud AC hum, with harmonics, that popped in and out, and I also heard loud clicking which sounded like interference from my neighbors’ ringing phones. Completely unacceptable. Monday morning, I called GTE and explained the problem, and they dutifully scheduled another tech for tuesday. Tuesday comes, it’s a no-show, and I get a call from GTE, just fifteen minutes before the guaranteed time of repair, asking if a wednesday service call was acceptable. “Sure,” I said. I just wanted my line. It’s not like I have any other phone carrier I could take my business to. So, with six days wasted so far, I wait for them wednesday. Finally, they show up, replace my demarc, test the lines one more time, and now I’m set.


I keep having this vision where I’m standing in front of a tall tree with low branches. I’m reaching up to climb the branches, trying to get up into a higher position in my life, but below me are thousands of little tiny hands clammoring at my feet grabbing onto me and trying to keep me pulled down.

This is one of those hands.

Do you have a utility horror story? Has a major service let you down? Send me your story at [dead@email].

So, I continue trying to pull myself up into the tree. Things around the house are getting squared away, stuff is getting put-up and hung in the right places, and my duties as handyman-O-the-house are leveling off. I’m wrestling with myself in small ways, and I think I’m winning. I’m keeping myself busy in my off-hours with my projects and hobbies, which, thankfully, don’t cost that much.

Things can only get better, I hope.


Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?