Saturday, June 24, 2006

Fun With Utilities

On a good day, only so many of my social transactions work. One always fails. So today, while I did get my car washed -- you're supposed to do that in LA or the grime gets baked in, no waiting for some rain like in Boston -- and I did get all my laundry dropped off -- but I only get it back Monday after 4, so Tuesday morning, and lord knows what I will wear to work -- I did not get cable. Sure, he was in my appartment, and with his Pust-To-Talk phone and supervisor on the other end found everything, but there was this one electrical closet down the hall that he didn't know the combination to the lockbox to. The supervisor could tell him where junction was in the unit -- above the false ceiling of my bathroom -- but not what the code was.

The emergency building number person didn't even know there was a lockbox for the key, but was able to tell me I should have scheduled all maintenace people with them first. When I did get a callback from a supervisor, he as well told me what I should have done, which was involve them first. It seems I need to coordinate 3 people -- me, the building people, and whomever comes to do work -- before I can get anything done here. I let everyone know I was not amused.

It is because one of these interactions always fails that I do not like to ask anyone anything in a commercial transaction. I do not like to ask shopkeepers or retail workers where things are or how they work or what I have to do to get it; it is never there, they always act as if you should have known already and you need to be talked down to, and it always takes jumping through hoops like coming back on a Wednesday afternoon between 1 and 3. I don't like calling maintenance or service people; I do not know the words for physical issues, they always end up using terms like lay-away and 'drainage lock remover' or crap like that like everyone knows what it means, and it takes me forever to basically find out what I want can't actually be done or is something they have never heard of and can't imagine why someone would want that. You read for a week and then you never want to talk to anyone in any commercial capacity again because you realize that unless you are handing over hundreds of dollars and make yourself their bitch, you are basically imposing by having a need to be commercially filled. It has made me phobic by now.

I did find the combination, this afternoon, and actually had someone else open it for me, because somehow I can't work this particular combination knob. I had a copy made of the key to that closet, to remain in my control. I obviously cannot rely on anyone being anywhere or doing anything to solve my problems, I need to have full control myself. Comcast offered to come by at all kinds of times when I should be at work, the dears, but certainly not back today, no matter how I pleaded to just do this 5 minute job. The people in the sales office who show these units called to see if everything was ok, and when I said what had happened, they could of course tell me that Comcast had been shown ten times where the box was, how it worked, and who had the combination. Point, point, point, everyone so pleasant but stuck in their systems, but the end result is that obviously I will remain connected only through my cell phone until next Saturday.