It's not about the house.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Okay so here’s what happened:

I’m on the phone the other night with Charlie (aka Sammie), and we’re talking and we’re talking, and then all of a sudden the phone goes BOOP

She’s still talking like nothing happened, so I go “Oh my god, what was that?”

“What was what?” she says.

“You didn’t hear that? There was a boop. It sounded like, you know, like when your call waiting—wait, hang on a second.”

I don’t have call waiting. It comes free with my phone service but I have them take it off because I hate it. (I won’t go into a whole rant here about it or anything, but if you want you can read this)

(And PS I’ve just gained a whole new measure of respect for the Google Books project.)

Anyway, I don’t have call waiting but I have had call waiting, so I do know what it sounds like – and it sounds just like this: BOOP. So I told Charlie to hang on and – just to test – I hung up the phone and picked it up again.

“Hello?” I said.

“Hi!” says Charlie.

Okay good then. Except hey wait a second. It’s been so long since I’ve had call waiting, maybe that’s not how you do it anymore…?

Charlie explained about the flash button, so I tried that – and sure enough there was Johnny, calling from the pub, telling me he’d be home in twenty minutes (I get this phone call often; I’ve learned to ignore it).

I had a hard time explaining to Johnny that I couldn’t chat because I had Charlie on the other line – since, of course, we don’t have another line – but I eventually got him off the phone (he was at the pub, after all). Charlie and I finished our conversation, and then I called Comcast.

Now, there is another problem I’ve been having with the phone service ever since we got it. I won't go into all that here, except to say that I chose to talk to the nice lady about that one first. She couldn't figure it out, and kept putting me on hold for minutes at a stretch (I'd've hung up early on if it weren't for the bebop they've got going on for hold music). She'd come back and ask me a simple question (“Has this been going on since you got the service?” be de be be de bop “What kind of phone do you have?” be de be be de bop, etc.), then put me on hold again.

Finally, the verdict on that problem was that their system is not compatible with certain brands of phones (which is nice that they didn’t bother to mention that a little sooner), and then I told her about my newly and spontaneously acquired call waiting.

“No,” she said, “I don’t see call waiting here on your account.”

“Yes, that’s right, because I don’t have call waiting. Except, as of today, I have call waiting.”

“Can you hold for a moment please?”

be de be be de bop, be de be be de bop, be de be be de bop—BOOP

I hit the flash button.

“Did you just beep me,” I said, “because you don’t believe me when I say I have call waiting?”

She laughed, lord, she thought that was just a hoot. Thank god it wasn’t, like, the President or anything.

(He calls me. Sure he calls me. He says he likes the cut of my jib. He doesn’t know what it means, but he likes saying it. "Jib," he says. "Heh-heh. Like Jeb only with an i.")

Anyway, she said she’d put in an order to have it removed, but she didn’t know if it would help, since I didn’t actually officially have it or anything.

We hung up on good terms.

But it wasn't fixed.

So this morning, since I didn’t feel like being on hold for a half an hour no matter how good the be de be be de bop, I went on line to do live chat (or, should it be “came” on line? since I am on line now and all? well, anyway).

The man on live chat wasn’t quite so chatty. He said I didn't have call waiting on my account. I said yes, but what’s on second? He said he’d put an order in for me.

(Third base.)

He gave me a confirmation number and told me they’d be in touch when it was taken care of or if they needed anything else from me (if they needed anything from me?). I asked when I could expect it would be fixed and he said he could not give me an estimation.

I said “Jeez.”

We did not hang up on good terms.

So for now, I guess, I have call waiting. I won’t acknowledge it, however, so if you call me and get no answer, at least now you know the reason why.

1 comment:

Georgetown House said...

OMG I HATE HATE HATE call waiting, and I hate being put on hold by someone who has call waiting - I frequently just hang up if I'm on hold more than 10 seconds.

In our last house I went through a similar song & dance with our phone company.
Please don't give me call waiting.
Ok you don't have call waiting.
But I'm still getting the beeps.
OK we'll take care of it.
Uh, ok now I don't have anything - no voice mail, no caller ID, nothing.
OK, we'll take care of it.
OK now I have everything back including call waiting.


I finally agreed to call waiting here since we had a preemie grandbaby (28 weeks) new born and in the NICU for the long haul at the time we moved, then we went through a big health scare with my dad, and we have yet to take it off. But no one ever calls me anyway so it's not an issue I guess. Plus it's different when you have call waiting with caller ID. I can ignore whoever's calling with no qualms.