I’m madder than Alexander Graham Bell the first time he heard one of those annoying custom ring tones instead of the soothing sound of a Bell Telephone ring over the fact that I didn’t have telephone service for more than 10 days — and had no way to tell anyone about it!
Look, you all know the ol’Screecher calls the Phone Company to complain so often, they answer the phone over there by saying “What is it now, Carmine?” but that doesn’t mean I get all the quality service I deserve, losing service at the worst possible times — which is to me anytime I lose service.
It all started the other day when I went to send a very important facts to someone that desperately needed to receive it. But when I rolled over to the facts machine in my home office and hit the “hook” key, I didn’t get a dial tone! In fact, I couldn’t hear a thing!
So I called my pal Cookie on my cellphone, and ordered him to immediately call me on my home phone to see if I could receive calls (I had already noticed that the Phone Company phone wasn’t ringing as early and often as it had in the past, and was concerned even before I went to facts the facts). When he called me and the phone rang, I thought the problem fixed itself — but it turned out he called my other phone — the one that comes from the Cable Company!
Now, I know exactly what you are thinking: “Carmine, I thought you didn’t even have cable, knowing full-well that you would never pay for something you can get for free over the government-protected airwaves.”
And you’re right! But I will happily pay for all the many ways to get my message out there, and based on the Phone Company’s past performance, the second I was given the opportunity to back things up with a service provided by the Cable Company (not to mention those six Cellphone Companies!) — I jumped at it.
But that doesn’t mean that when one of my many ways of communicating with the world outside Harway Terrace goes down, I don’t go crazy, and that’s just what I did when I found out Cookie was getting a busy signal every time he called me, and I was quite certain the phone wasn’t off the hook!
So I immediately put in a call to the Phone Company to find out what was going on, but its crack tech support team was stymied, and determined it would have to send a troop of staffers to my house to figure out what was going on, exactly.
When they got here and put in a call, they would hear my phone chirp, then go merrily on its way to Never-Never Land.
And that’s where they would go, too! They would say to me, “Give me a minute and let me check something in the truck” — only to never be heard from again. It was as if they were terrified of the chirping ghost that was haunting my main line!
Now, don’t get me wrong. These men were gentlemen, all spoke well, all recognized me from my column, and all were earnest in their desire to fix the problem. Alas, none were able to.
So I continued to call up and complain of the persistent problem, only to receive assurances that someone would show up Friday, only to find out that it was a lie, they couldn’t send anyone until after the weekend — the time I make my most important calls!
So I played the disabled and sick card, explaining that I was handicapped and my wife was sick and it was a medical emergency. Too bad!
I explained that the last technician said that the copper wires that have served us for centuries outside and above my door needed to be upgraded, and that that upgrade would clear up the problem!
But I don’t see how replacing wires that have worked for years will solve anything! I think they want to melt those wires down and turn them into pennies!
Of course, nothing solved the problem, and I was just getting used to being Phone Company free when, 10 days after this hardship began, I received an anonymous messsage on my cellphone telling me to disconnect the advance call forwarding on my phone that was sending the calls to wherever!
That’s when I just started turning the dial over and over again and hitting the phone with the back end of a screwdriver until things started working again!
And they finally did!
Screech at you next week!