Living on the road for an extended time requires a decent place to stay. Corporate apartments are fine if you don’t have time to make other arrangements or the stretch your serving on the road is short. If you’re doing at least six months you want your digs to be nice. Nice is not covered by corporate housing. Corporate housing covers convenience.
I had found the place, not perfect but close. It was nice. Because it was nice I had to rent furniture and arrange connections to the real world. Getting a TV hookup turned out to be easy. The internet was another story. It was in high demand and the way I was being treated as a customer you would have thought it was a controlled substance.
“The soonest we can install is the 9th sir”
“January 9th, ok that works.”
“No sir, February 9th.”
“Are you serious?” Stupid me, stupid question. Yes they were, serious that is.
“Sorry, all of our appointments are booked up until then.”
“Well maybe you need to hire some more people”. They weren’t taking my business advice, go figure.
“Sorry sir. That is the soonest we can get to you”.
“Well ok.” They seemed to be the only internet provider* for my new building so what else could I do . Well, one thing I could do was not use the same company for television. Being a sports junky and avid , ok rabid, follower of my alma mater basketball program I would not be able to wait a month for TV.
Turns out that wouldn’t be a problem. The cable TV division of the same company was prompt and efficient and I had my basketball fix toot-sweet. My internet fix was another story and my addiction to that substance was revealing itself to be much more serious than I thought. I was like a junkie with an out-of-town dealer.**
I went online in the business center of my complex to see if I could do the deal quicker. The providers website said they could do it almost three weeks sooner. That was a good thing considering the guard that shuts down the business center in the evening was fast becoming a friend.
Missed meetings with the internet provider began to drive suspicions and undercurrents of doubt. The day of another scheduled appointment I called the provider for conformation and to tell them to call the leasing office to be let in. The internet provider was insisting that someone who lives at my residence needed to be there during the 8 hour window for the appointment. I was still waiting for them to ask If I was a cop.
“Sorry folks, I know it may come as a surprise but I work for a living. Something has to pay your fee.” The folks at my leasing office were more than welcome to let them in and be there during the entire time of the installation which much to no one’s surprise would not take more than an hour.
“Sorry sir, you or someone who lives there has to let us in”.
“So the people who provide the housing, the leasing office , are not good enough?”
“No sir”. Clever bastards, they must smell a shake down.
“Ok, then I will have to reschedule todays appointment for another time because , and I hope you’re sitting down, It will be inconvenient during my work day to not be at work that entire day”.
“Are you sure sir?”.
“Yes, I am pretty sure work is expecting me to show up at some point during the day. I have to reschedule”. Fortunately they had a four-hour window available the following Monday , just a few days later. Perhaps If I keep running this grift I can actually get them to show up first thing in the morning and get it done in an hour. Ok , who was on drugs now?
Ten hours later I am walking out of work on what was a shorter than usual work day to find umpteen messages on my voicemail. Several of which were whispering communiques from an employee of the internet provider and several were messages from the leasing company.
“..static ..static…Sir this is , garbled voice, from , garbled voice, to install your internet. I am on the way to your address”…
…“ Sir, this is so and so from the leasing office and we have your internet provider here. Is it ok to let them in?” …
“…static …garble garble, sir this is static garble garble from the internet provider. I am at the leasing office waiting to be let in.”
Strange, only the calls from the provider seem to be unintelligible. More importantly, why were they showing up for an appointment that was cancelled?
I had learned two things at this point. The first was that the installer knew the leasing office could let him in and the second was that the internet/communications company had a problem with communications. Ironic or moronic? You choose.
I got home to find out that I was still sans internet. I called the leasing office to let them know that I really meant it when I signed the access permission form and they didn’t have to call me. I then called the provider and promptly entered the mind numbing world of Kenny G as they put me on hold. Shortly afterwords I succumbed to a Kenny G induced coma, an altered state I recommend to no one. I woke up at the breakfast bar at 2 AM, thought it was a shame it was too early for breakfast and dragged myself to bed.
Monday morning arrived and the urge confirm the days appointment with the internet provider was met by the memories of an alto sax seeping from my brain and I thought better of it. I had heard more Kenny G in one lifetime than should be allowed by compassionate human beings.
Returning that evening from a long work day I was greeted by a service order confirming that I now had access to the internet. I fired up my computer and navigated my browser to Google for my first search “Overdose Therapy Kenny G” which returned the following results after dropping duplicates: “Lots of Heavy Metal, Three Power Chords, cranked up to 11.” With a promise to apologize to the neighbors, I walked over to the stereo and began the recovery process.