bunt sign

Friday, September 20, 2002

A few days ago I finally cancelled the MSN dial-up account I've had since 1996. Overall I've been happy with the service most of the time, but I've moved on to DSL, and I got a better deal from another provider. I'd been putting off this move, but the time finally came. I'd have done it online if that option had been available, but they make you call them on the phone so they can try to talk you out of it.

They didn't talk me out of it because I preempted the lovely Amber by telling her I'd signed on for a year with the phone company and I'd keep MSN in mind when my contract was up. Not much left for her to say, was there? It was actually a pretty painless process, and as much as I hate making phone calls of any kind, I rather enjoyed my little chat with Amber. We were on a first-name basis the whole time we talked, which might put some people off but thrilled me no end.

Skip forward to last night, at an hour when I thought I'd no longer have to answer the phone to a stranger. The phone rang and I had to say hello three times at increasing volume levels before I could get it through to this woman that I couldn't hear what she was saying. "Okay, is this better?" Well, not really, because now I can hear you.

Even after all this, she still faded in and out, as if she were walking around the room and leaving the microphone in the potted plant. I was yelling into the phone, and she was still whispering. When I could hear her, I couldn't understand what she was asking. She mumbled, and she read her spiel so fast that the words ran together. It's a bad combination for someone trying to communicate. It sure wasn't Amber-like.

It was MSN again, however, or someone calling on their behalf, conducting a survey about how the cancellation call had gone. Much better than this one, is what I wanted to say. Instead of telling her I didn't have the time (or the interest) to complete the survey, I just plowed through the answers. When I couldn't understand a question the second time I had to have it repeated, I just said "very satisfied," because I wanted them to know how great Amber is. Especially compared to Ms. Mumble.

My call was recorded for quality purposes, she told me. I certainly hope so.

Last night at midnight I was thinking about going to bed. I wasn't doing anything about it yet, but I was thinking about it when I remembered it was trash night. I guess it was such a busy night (yawn!) that I forgot all about the critical task of hauling the containers out to the curb.

It was just something I hadn't planned on at that hour, finding my shoes and turning on outside lights and opening the garage door and wheeling the trash to the street. At least I didn't have to pull on my gloves, overcoat and galoshes. It's a good thing, because I own none of those items.

That was the end of going to bed at midnight, though. It took a while for me to come down from all that excitement.

At four this afternoon my landlord knocked on the door. He wants to come by tomorrow morning and take care of some of the items on the list I gave him six months ago (a list he lost, by the way). As much as I don't want to be disturbed on a Saturday morning, I agreed to be ready for him by nine.

I tried to reconstruct the list of grievances, but I could only come up with four things for him to do. I want him to replace the missing fence posts in my garden, fix the wonky light switch in the bedroom, plug the hot water leak under the kitchen sink, and take care of the hole in sliding screen door that's been there since I moved in two years ago.

There are other deficiencies, I'm sure. I'll probably stay awake half the night thinking of them, so I'll be nice and fresh tomorrow morning when he gets here.



As soon as the landlord left here today, I began to panic. At least I waited until he was gone before going into full frenzy mode. I cleaned the shower, even though I don't expect him to do anything in the bathroom at all. I broke down a bunch of empty cardboard boxes and put them in the (now empty) recycle container. I put some spot cleaner on the white carpet.

That was enough for me. I'm a single guy living alone, and if I make it too clean and tidy in here, he'll suspect something. If I didn't think this way, I could stay up half the night thinking about things to clean along with things I want the landlord to do. One obsession at a time is probably enough.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendations:

Kevin, Change Over Time, September 19, Islands

Ellen, Under the Microscope, September 18, Life Among the Liliputians

Happy birthday, Deb!

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: What's the Use?
"Somewhere in one of those buildings or on one of those planes could have been the one person who had the answer."

Two years ago: Chill in the Air
"When we got to the Bay Bridge, we could see the fog layer hovering over the hills of the city. It was beautiful."

Subscribe to the notify list to be advised when this site is updated.

Wipe off that full of doubt look and slap on a happy grin.