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April 27, 2000

Here's a tip: Just because someone in Pacific Bell's order department repeats back to you exactly what you want done doesn't mean that they'll write up the order correctly. It doesn't mean that the installer will be able to do the job. And it doesn't mean you won't have to call back again and again (if you ever get a phone) to complain and plead for relief.

I spent most of the morning pacing and peering out the window, waiting for the phone guy. He showed up at 9:30 and went right to work. The dogs next door were in the house, so he could get to the telephone box in the neighbor's yard unbitten and unbarked at. He was on the roof, and back and forth to his truck a few times before he ever came into the house to check the line. That's when I told him that I needed a new jack for my second line.

He showed me the printout of the order. No second line. He couldn't install a line without an order. He couldn't call in to verify that I'd ordered two lines moved from my old address. All he could do was try to muster some sympathy for my situation, commiserate with me over the incompetence of the ordering department, and install one line. Which is, after all, better than the "no lines" installed by the fellow who was here Monday.

So now if you want to send me a fax, you have to call me first and tell me not to pick up the phone when it rings. But you probably won't be able to get me because I'll be online. Multitasking: out the window. I can do one thing at a time, just like the old days, back in the eighties. How primitive.

I could make this all work more efficiently, if I wanted to take the time to reprogram the fax. I probably should do that, since Pacific Bell won't come out to connect my second line until next Wednesday. As it is now, the answering machine is useless unless I disconnect the fax, because the fax answers on the second ring and the answering machine on the fourth.

Do you ever get the feeling I like being a martyr? That I'm the world's most willing victim? I could mitigate these problems with a few minor manipulations of the machinery. I don't bother, because (a) I shouldn't have to, none of this is my fault; and (b) I'd just have to reverse any changes I make when the phone company finally gets it right.

Here's how a lazy man unpacks: If I need only one plate, one mug and one wine glass, why should I take any more out of the boxes? If I ever have company, I'll have to do some fast digging. The way it looks, though, my kitchen will be piled high with half-empty (or half-full, depending) boxes forever.

My camera was in the trunk yesterday when I had to slam on the brakes on my street to let a peacock cross the road. That's something that almost never happened when I lived in town. I never used to wake up to a rooster crowing every morning, either, but I do now. These are some of the things I like about Green Acres. The stinky well water is one of the things I don't like so much.

It takes getting back online to recognize how cut off I've been from what matters to me. And now that I'm connected again, I don't even have time to catch up on reading journals and checking out the other sites I read regularly. A crazy little thing called "work" seems to be interfering with other pursuits. And I'll spend most of my weekend cleaning at the old house and unpacking at the new one, so it might be a while before I feel truly connected again.

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