Some days I think it would be better for everyone if I just stayed in bed.
Here at Chateau Squatlo things operate on the thinnest of margins. Even on good days, we're usually only about one hiccup away from dead in the water... and there are always hiccups. Yesterday's adventures in customer service are a great example.
We employ a company called T-Mobile for our phone service. My cell, my wife's cell, and our niece's cell phone all function through one service provider, and that's T-Mobile. When we were signing up for their cell phone service they talked us into bundling our home phones through the same contract, which meant our home phones would be wired through the same wi-fi router used to internet-ify the laptops. Seemed like a more economical way to pay for the phones.
The problem with having your home phone wired through a router is pretty basic: when the internet goes down, for whatever reason, your home phones are inoperable, too. But since we had working cell phones, we figured we could live with the occasional loss of service to our home phones.
For about the past three months we've had almost daily interruptions in our home phone service. The phones will have a dial tone, but won't connect if you dial a number to place a call. If someone calls here during one of these outages, their call goes directly to voice mail and we never know a call has even been made... until someone calls us on a cell to tell us our home phones aren't working again. Fixing this problem has required a reboot of the router, since it serves as our phone jack.
Yesterday, the router wouldn't reboot to connect the home phones, despite at least twenty restarts. So I called T-Mobile from my cell, got a customer service representative in New Mexico, and discussed the recent hail storm my buddy Mooner had written about from Santa Fe. The guy on the phone said hail was common in New Mexico, and he blew off my friend Mooner's observation that it never hails there. I started to dare him to call my good friend a fucking liar, but figured we should probably talk about the router issues instead. The weather in The Land of Enchantment didn't seem as pressing. He told me the router we had purchased was an obsolete piece of shit, and that his company no longer serviced or even carried such relics anymore. In fact, if he agreed to send us a new router, free of charge, it would have no phone jacks on the back for our home phones, meaning we would have to get another phone service carrier for our home phones. That's when he told me this:
"If you want to switch your home phone service to another carrier, you can do so at no further cost to you from T-Mobile."
No shit? If I hire another company to provide phone service for our house, T-Mobile won't bill me for their service? How kind of you folks!
So they're sending us another, much improved router. One that doesn't have phone jacks for our home phone system. What that means, among other things, is that the phone number my lovely (and very dangerous at this moment) wife has had for the past twenty-seven years is no longer functional... and those two thousand business cards we just bought have the wrong number on them. Heavy sigh... I've asked T-Mobile to forward all of our calls made to the home number to my cell, which means I'll start getting lots of telemarketer calls on a phone I already despise. I foresee a terrible accident in this phone's future... because I have a history of destroying cell phones that annoy me.
The dead router also means that Cindy's computer and Sarah's computer are off-line until a new one arrives. Not only that, but (and here's the real crisis) the Roku television's internet capabilities are inoperable, too. That means Sarah can't sit in front of the wide screen and watch endless youtube videos of other people playing Minecraft. Trust me when I tell you, this is a Def Com 4 crisis in her little world, and therefore, in ours as well.
In the meantime, it's a new day, and it's already been rare.
I got out of bed this morning, and after feeding the Krakens (my name for the cats in the morning), I decided to clean and refill their water fountain. After refilling the fountain in the kitchen sink, I turned to carry it back to the office, not knowing that the power cord had wrapped itself firmly around the handle of the cabinet under the kitchen sink. I proceeded to spill a gallon of cold water down my leg and onto the kitchen tile. The cats thought it was hilarious...
I'd go back to bed, but my cell phone keeps ringing...