Thursday, August 04, 2005


Yesterday was hot, humid and smoggy, so at about 3 p.m. after checking my e-mails I went for a swim. It was a 'free transit' day since the local bus company is trying to promote using its services to save the environment. That was a bonus and when I returned home, I was cool and relaxed and I didn't use the computer or try to use the phone until after 10 p.m. That's when I discovered the phone line was dead.

I was unplugged. Unable to communicate by phone or by internet, and that upset me. What if I missed an urgent call - I wasn't expecting one, but what if? Or what if there was an urgent freelance work e-mail message - I wasn't expecting one, but what if? It took a while to shut off the worry machine, a long while.

This morning, I was out by 7 a.m. and used the closest pay phone to call Bell Canada. Their representative was minimally helpful - someone would come over by Monday at the latest. I think at this point I yelled - "what do you mean Monday? This is Thursday morning!" There had to be a better response because I was pretty sure this was Ma Bell's fault. At 8 a.m. I found our building superintendant and asked if a Bell technician had been in yesterday.

"Sure" she said. "He was hooking up unit 503."

Well since unit 503 is right across the hall from me my suspicions were well-founded. Another trip to the pay phone and another call to Ma Bell to give the technical people more information and to state that I was 99-and-a-half percent sure that this "service interruption" was their fault.

Service was "restored." That's how they refer to it, by 9.15 a.m. But if I hadn't followed-up I'd still be waiting and waiting.

I'm thinking about getting a cell phone, but I probably won't. I'll just hope that my neighbour doesn't move out in the near future.

I wonder if my dependence on technology is a good thing but I'm stuck on it and stuck with it too.

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