, , , , , , , , ,

"Self-Portrait" slaving over a hot stove. . .

For a number of reasons, I haven’t been sleeping particularly well lately; however, starting the week  before A-Day, apparently my body decided it didn’t need to sleep. . .at all.  At the beginning of this particular period of insomnia, it was a bit inconvenient.  It became more so.  First of all, we had some surprise overnight guests stay with us for a couple of days.  Great seeing them – hadn’t in many years, so we had a good time catching up, and it did force me to make sure the house was especially spic-n-span.  That was accomplished, but my energies were waning.  No matter – I still had three days to get the work done and throw in  a little rest.  NO PROBLEM!!!  Everything was copacetic!

Whoops!  I left out one monkey wrench:  Since we moved into our home we have had a bundled TV Cable/Internet/land-line telephone service.  The unfortunate thing about living where we live, which is sort of remote from the rest of Waynesville, is that the only provider for these services is a local company called “Carolina Mountain Cablevision.  Comcast or Charter or AT&T did not deign to come out in our direction, so we signed up with the local CMC.  They are not bad, just not great.  Occasionally we would get in the mail an offer from AT&T to get their bundling service.  It is a “mass” mailing, and each time I have called to inquire if it is available to us, I have been told “No.”  (So why did they send it to me?  Can’t they filter out those for whom it is unavailable instead of tempting us?)  Anyway, the week before A-Day I got another mailing and decided to call them once again to ask if their services were available to us.  Guess what?  They are!!  Yay!  I was very excited.  Their bundle uses Direct TV (Satellite) as their television service, and though I was somewhat hesitant about satellite, having always used cable and been very satisfied, I decided to go for it.  The DSL internet service was supposed to be very fast, so that was certainly appealing, and the phone service would be a regular line as opposed to our current VOIP.  BUT, even better, the cost of this bundle, for the first year, will save us more than $50 per month!  Great!  Even after the first year, we will still be saving money, and on top of that our optional services are even better and more extensive.

The sales representative from AT&T was great.  he was very helpful and assured me that the satellite installation would be accomplished on that Friday (this was a Tuesday), and the phone service and the DSL would be installed on Saturday.  I was delighted!  Installation of the phone service included installing a phone jack as there was no longer a jack in our house.  This particular item was completely explained, specified, and understood.  Yeah.  Friday morning arrives and right on time, the fellow from Direct TV shows up, and very courteously sets up our satellite and spends time explaining how to operate the remote control, which includes a DVR – something we had not had before, and I love it! – and generally being an all-around good egg.  He said that he had tried to call me to notify us of what time he would arrive, but our phone was busy.  I asked what number he called, and gave me the number that had been assigned by AT&T.  As it was not yet installed, he of course could not reach us that way.  No problem – it was to be installed the next day.  I did not know that when AT&T set up our new number, they notified CMC and our present number was disconnected.  Since we each have a cell phone number, I wasn’t too worried about it – after all, it was only for about 18 hours that we would be without a land-line, and family members had our cell phone numbers if they needed to reach us. We also were without internet – part of why you didn’t hear from me for a while.  A break from e-mail would be good for us, we said.  No PROBLEM!  BTW, our guests left that Friday morning, so I immediately stripped their bed in anticipation of my brother’s and sister-in-law’s arrival on Tuesday, visiting us for about three days on their way back home to Massachusetts after an extended trip across country.  They couldn’t make it in time for our anniversary, but I was glad they were coming.  Still, no PROBLEM!  As their room and the rest of the house were in good shape, except for changing the bed linens, I put it all out of my mind.  Which means that I forgot to put the used linens in the washing machine.  Now, you must understand that my sister-in-law and brother need a King-size sheet on a Queen sized bed because my brother is a “roller” at night, and otherwise rolls the sheet completely off of his wife!  The only King sheet I had left was now not clean.  Hmmm. . . OK, a tiny problem. No matter.  That evening, on returning from a brief trip, my husband found a package, sitting outside our garage door, which contained our new modem.  We set it aside to await the installation service.

So, after the satellite installation, I took my shopping list and went to the grocery store.  About $250 later, I came home, declaring for all to hear, “Now, if I don’t have it, I don’t need it.”  Shouldn’t have said it, I know, but more later about that.  We got by with our cell phones and no internet (although we both knew that the number of e-mails we would have to delete or answer was piling up).  Saturday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m., AT&T was promised to arrive. While waiting, we opened the box with the modem, and discovered that it was complete with instructions for self-installation, and we were expected to do so.  After carefully going over the instructions, we set about doing the job – disconnecting all our old equipment, and getting the new stuff plugged in.  So far, so good, except the last instruction is to plug the entire thing into the PHONE JACK!  The non-existent phone jack. At about 2 p.m. when they had not yet arrived, I put in a call.  After being rerouted, over the next ten minutes or so, and pounding in numbers as answers to various recorded instructions and questions, or intoning “Yes,” or “No,” I finally got a real person on the line.  Very nice lady.  I told her that we were still waiting for the serviceman to arrive.  She said, I’ll check to see why they are delayed.  She came back on the line and said that no service call was scheduled.  I begged her pardon (ahem!) and said that yes indeed it was.  She asked why we would need a service call if the equipment had been delivered as I had told her.  I said, because we needed a phone jack, and could not plug anything in until we had one.  She answered that “You did not inform us that you needed a phone jack, and there is no such order on your ticket.”  I said that indeed I had informed them of this particular need, and after insisting that we had not, she finally was convinced to go back and check her records.  She came back on the line and said, “Yes, you did.  I apologize, because I see here that it was indeed requested.”  I said, “So what time is the installer expected to arrive today?”  She told me that they don’t work on Saturdays, but that they could be there on Monday.  I told her that we were having a party on Monday evening, and really needed our phone because there were people who needed to get in touch with us who did not have our cell phone number, and besides, being without the internet that long was going to create a huge backlog for us.  I also said that if they don’t work on Saturdays, why on earth would they have scheduled an appointment on a Saturday to install?  She said, “that was only to deliver the equipment.”  Problems started to be visible on the horizon.  While spending this 1-1/2 hours on the phone with a clueless customer service representative, the time to do prep work was rapidly slipping away.  After being assured that the installation would be done on Monday morning, but “no later than 12 p.m.,” I hung up, frustrated but appeased for the moment.

Lack of sleep over the last few days was definitely beginning to take its toll.  I was tired and crabby.  I put together a few ingredients for one or two of the recipes, and called it quits.  I had to lie down and give my aching back a break.  Besides, I told myself, I still had Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, right?  Except that I had noticed while getting those few items together that I had neglected to buy a few things – things that I hadn’t put on my list because they were so obvious, why should I write them down?  I should have written them down, because another $100+ dollars later, I pushed the cart out of the grocery store, loaded my car, and then faced the task of unloading them again and, worse yet, finding any space for the stuff, even temporarily, in our limited storage areas.

Now, as I notice that I have already exceeded 1500 words bringing you this far along in my saga, I will once again keep you anxiously waiting (sure!) and wait until next post to try and get you at least through Sunday.  Another interesting day. For now, this is surely enough. . .

Isn't she friendly and helpful looking?

The clock is ticking. . .