And now the conclusion…
Change was needed. Yes, I can do this! I finally picked up the phone, punched in the number from the small white card, and waited. When it went straight to voicemail, I hung up – my nerves shot.
When there’s one thing worse than phone calls, it’s got to be voicemails. Talking into a machine is one thing, but talking to a machine? I still remember my first voicemail message.
The location is a birthday party, I don’t remember when it happened, but it was somewhere around the elevation from elementary to high school. I was supposed to be picked up by my parents at the end of the day. The hosting parents, however, had other plans.
The task was simple: Pick up the phone, dial the six-digit phone number, and tell them they wouldn’t need to come pick me up. Well, easy in theory at least. I heard my heart beating faster. Come one, you’re calling home. What’s wrong?
The answering machine went off. Ugh. Well, the sentence I should have said could read like this: “Hey there, the party lasts a little longer, but you don’t need to worry because I’ll get a ride home.”
What I said instead was something like this: “I will be picked up. See ya…” I’m still wondering what the birthday boy’s mom, who was standing next to me during the call, was thinking… I don’t recall leaving another voicemail message ever again.
The ringing of the phone brought me back to the here and now. Great, the miracle worker called right back. What started with this first call at 3:29 p.m., ended three calls later at 8:10 p.m. – still no word on when (or better if) I would get Internet.
Throughout the conversations, I had a feeling that it wasn’t all too sure if he would find that magic potion that would enable him to dupe their fancy computer system. It came always back to the problem of not having a social security number, which was exactly what the system was requesting before the deal could be finalized.
“What I need you to do,” is the gist of the message he transmitted towards the end of our final phone conversation, “is to call our service number. Tell ‘em that you want to order Internet, but that I wasn’t able to get a confirmation for the order cause you don’t have a social security. They should be able to take it from there and complete your order.”
Great, I thought, more calls; guess that helps getting more comfortable with it, right?
Feb. 7 began with that phone call. It took a solid twenty minutes – and repetitive playback of the sleep-inducing on-hold music – before I finally heard a sentence that went something like this: “I can confirm that you’re scheduled for Internet installation on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. The technician will arrive between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.”
Great, story finished, you might think. Not so fast, I’m afraid. Winter felt the urge to step in and veto.
I was sitting comfortably on the couch, had just finished breakfast, and watched how the misfortune unfolded. All I could see when observing the street down below was white. The parking spaces were gone, covered under a thick layer of snow. The plows didn’t stand a chance against the full force of the 2014 Connecticut winter, yet their drivers felt the urge to keep us entertained by trying.
It was under the influence of those continuous engine roars that I began to feel that I wouldn’t get Internet today. That feeling should be proven right a few hours later.
A mix consisting of me waiting on any reaction from the service provider (shouldn’t they reach out?) and a busy schedule over the next couple of days was responsible for the seven days of freeze-up in the matter of Florian v Internet.
The next episode occurred on Feb. 21, a week after the snow had denied to close the matter. Seven minutes after the call had begun, I had a result, a disappointing one. March 6 was the day I could secure for the second attempt. Another two weeks – are you guys serious?
Well, the special day approached eventually. Unfortunately, March Madness had struck by then (I’m not talking about the huge college basketball tournament, just to clarify that). I knew I had to go to Stamford, Conn., for one of my classes on that day. Another round of rescheduling resulted in March 12 as newest iteration of my installation appointments.
We’ve come full-circle. By the time spring break had arrived, over two months after arriving here, and over a month after starting the process, I had finally arrived. I wish I would have known that there could be so many obstacles on the way to get Internet at home.