Disconnected, or, Under the Dome

Monday morning, I was ready to start a productive week, of looking for a job, but also other opportunities, perhaps even part time supplemental work. I have also been thinking about using some of this free time to volunteer, and wanted to add that to my daily research. I found an article online with the 50 Best Places to Work in America, and was dutifully looking each one up, checking their career opportunities and making notes. Daisy started barking at something, and I saw there was a repairman way up on a pole in a neighbor’s yard that had garnered her attention. Glancing out front, I noticed 3 trucks from AT&T parked on the street. I was in the middle of sending a cover letter and resume to an HR Director, and wondering vaguely what all the trucks were for, when my computer crashed. Boom.
I immediately assumed this was the result of something the workers’ were doing and went out front to see if I could flag anyone down. Couldn’t find a soul, so I went back inside and picked up my phone to call AT&T. It was then I remembered, I have everything at the house bundled with AT&T, which means I suddenly had no (landline) phone, internet, wireless service, or, gasp, TV.
I was irrationally angry. This is very much a first world problem, but it took me a while to remember that. I called AT&T (on my cell, of course) and became quickly frustrated with the techie who wouldn’t acknowledge even the possibility that the service workers may have caused my outage. I am usually a very polite person, but I was borderline rude to this person, after we spent 30 minutes wrangling about it. She eventually told me she would have to call service out for me (of course the people already on my street could be of no help), but when she told me she was putting me on hold to get the appointment I was disconnected. I can only suspect it wasn’t an accident.
When I finally reconnected with tech service, we went through the whole set of diagnostics again, even while I was insisting that the problem had to be connected to the work that was being done. The end result was that I was told service had to come out, and was a given a wide window for the following day, through to 8:00 p.m.
I have to confess, the idea of being without internet or TV for more than a day was daunting. The internet has become my lifeline these days, not only my primary source for job hunting but also communicating and staying in touch with people. No Facebook for a day! Quelle horreurs! No TV to get me through the night? What to do? I know there are many people who live happily without TV, and I’m not proud of this, but I have always been a television junkie, and now the solace and entertainment it provides to me is like a comforting friend, keeping me company in times of stress and insecurity.
Again, all the while I was lamenting, I was very aware that these are minor problems, and one that so many people on this earth would not understand. Food, shelter, water, these are essentials. My Monday “must see” viewing of Under the Dome, not so much. But, the time did stretch more slowly with these distractions removed. I went for a long walk, and then read until my head hurt. Then I remembered I could still watch movies via my DVD player. So, Monday night I happily watched an interesting and entertaining film called The Sapphires, about an aboriginal girls’ singing group that went to Vietnam in the 60s. I recommend it, it was quite charming. I followed that up with my go to comfort food, Pride and Prejudice.
When the service folks finally showed up late Tuesday, they were able to quickly confirm that the problem had been caused by the work done at the pole. And, they also confirmed that they would be unable to fix it! Apparently, there is a specialized group that climbs the poles to fix what they have broken. So, another night without any services, with the promise that they would arrive early Wed. morning. Tuesday night’s dvds were Star Trek into Darkness, followed by another comfort favorite, Blue Crush.
I will admit, the relative silence, the inability to check my email, my Facebook, get calls on my landline (the number I primarily use for personal calls) actually became a restful respite. I wouldn’t want to give up those things permanently, but the break may have been a good thing, in a way, to give my brain a little enforced break. Of course I say this as I am listening to the ABC news in the background, about to post this online, and looking forward to catching Under the Dome on demand this evening.
So what’s the take away? If you see a man on a pole and your communications services suddenly crash, it’s likely there’s a connection. And, if you are forced to operate without internet services, a landline, or TV, relax, it will all be fine. Just go for a walk, read a book, and then turn on some Jane Austen, or a surfer chick flick, and enjoy the ride.
The end, for now


One response

  1. Love it! And I so agree…that’s why we love going to Tahoe. Disconnect and be present.

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