I Gots a Qwestion

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So the phone company came out to hook up my new phone line, but ‘cept after they did it, it didn’t actually work. Evidently, one needs to specify that one would like a WORKING phone line, as opposed to just a telephone number and a bill.

So they came out again a couple days later and went around to each phone jack individually to re-wire them. They fixed them all, except for the one in the master bedroom, which they only pretended to fix, perhaps as a fraternity initiation.

So they came out a third time. Since I hadn’t known that the phone jack in my bedroom still didn’t work, I had shoved a desk up against the wall where it was located. You could still get to the phone jack, except you had to lie on the floor and reach behind the desk. The surly phone guy said I would need to move the desk. I thought, “If you don’t do any actual work, like lying down on the carpet to fix a phone line, then why are you dressed like an auto mechanic? You could wear a suit and tie for this job, apparently.” However, being passive-aggressive, I said nothing.

So I moved the desk, and His Majesty crouched down on his dainty knees and fixed the phone jack. Then, without so much as a “goodbye” or a “thanks for using Qwest,” much less an offer to help me push the desk back against the wall, he left.

So I tried pushing the desk back myself, and in so doing broke off a piece of the hutch that sits atop the desk. Granted, it was no antique; it was just a $130 desk from Wal-Mart. But I expected it to last more than two days, especially after I had worked so hard on it, staying up until 3 a.m. watching my friend Jared put it together.

So I called Qwest. I pointed out that their guys had already been to my house twice and failed to hook up the phone properly. I had put the desk against the wall because I assumed they’d succeeded in making the phone work. Their last guy, Prince Surly, could have done his job without moving the desk at all — but at the very least, he could have offered to help me move it back again. Qwest’s reply was, more or less, “Yeah, so?”

So I hung up and realized I was foolish to have ever thought they might make reparations. After all, this is a company that makes you buy “Line-Backer(TM)” at $4.50 a month so that if something goes wrong with your phone line, they’ll come out and fix it for free. Otherwise, they’ll charge you for it, even if the problem was their fault. What they’re saying is, “You know that service you’re paying for, i.e., the phone line and the phone number? Yeah, well, if we fail to provide you with adequate service, we’re going to charge you for fixing it unless you’ve paid your monthly ‘protection.'” I’m not saying Qwest hires goons to sabotage the phone lines of people who don’t buy “Line-Backer(TM)” just so they can charge them later for fixing it, but I am saying the phone company reminds me of the Mafia, except less compassionate.

So now I have a working phone jack, but a broken desk. Too bad I didn’t pay for “Desk-Backer(TM)” from Wal-Mart. And what’s with Qwest, anyway? Don’t they know a “q” should always be followed by a “u”? How qweer.

Every paragraph begins with "so," which is how most anecdotes I tell in real life begin. It's a speech pattern I picked up from my friends.

"But 'cept" is another example of that -- and you may be interested to know that some Daily Herald copy editor decided that since I used the "'cept" structure in the first paragraph, I probably wanted it on each subsequent incident of "except," too, so he or she changed them. You'd think having been a copy editor at one point would give me more insight into how their minds work, but it didn't.

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