Wall of shame

Oh, Scott. Things were going so well. So well indeed.

You see, Scott, I am a major control freak … but, unfortunately, I am neither qualified nor equipped to install Verizon FiOS. Thus, I begrudgingly had to relinquish control and allow you to have free reign around the inside and outside of my house today.

Don’t take it personally, Scott; I get twitchy and anxious when anyone is doing any work of any kind on my home. I always worry that the person performing the work is going to accidentally fuck something up and leave me with a new problem that didn’t exist until they dicked around with whatever it was they had to dick around with.

So, when you started drilling that big, fat hole in the side of my house in order to run your fiber-optic line into my basement—well, let’s just say that my anxiety rose to threat-level orange. Were you drilling through the cement along the outside foundation? And, if so, was that cement cracking and/or breaking off in big chunks as a result of your drilling? And just who is going to fix that, Scott? Hmmm??

Or maybe you were drilling through the asbestos shingles that form the siding on the house, in which case: were any of those shingles cracking?? Because then I’m really going to stress out, since a.) I’m told it’s nigh impossible to repair those, and b.) ASBESTOS DUST! AGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! (Yes, I’m fairly certain a cracked asbestos shingle wouldn’t actually pose any health threats, grave or otherwise, but what if I’m wrong about that and WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE BECAUSE YOU COULDN’T HANDLE DRILLING A HOLE WITHOUT FUCKING UP MY HOUSE, SCOTT? HUH? WHAT ABOUT THAT?)

And what is the deal with that FiOS box and backup power supply you have to install in my basement, Scott? You’re mounting it where? On the wall? And you have to run a plug into the outlet shared by the washer and dryer? Well, surely, I should brace myself for an outright catastrophe of monumental proportions … one that likely will result in the wall being destroyed and Wonder Woman and/or I electrocuting ourselves while washing clothes.

And let’s not forget the fact that your installation almost surely is going to cause me to have no Internet access for, like, a week … which is unacceptable, Scott. The Internet is my livelihood, and my security blanket, and my friend, and I—why are you looking at me like that? OK, so maybe I love the Internet a little too much … but that’s none of your business, Scott. No, the thing that is your business is setting up my Internet service, and I just know you’re going to fuck it up.

Then, of course, there’s the whole FiOS-television situation. That’s really what prompted me to take Verizon’s bait to begin with: we’ve had Comcast cable for four-and-a-half years, and the picture quality, Scott … you’d weep. Weep openly. You wouldn’t? Well, I’ll do the weeping for you, since I’m the neurotic one here.

But now you’re telling me that, instead of installing a new FiOS jack near the television, you’re just going to use the existing coaxial cable—the very same cable that snakes its way through the basement and comes up through the floor and wraps its way around the room and has been delivering to us lo these past four-and-a-half years the aforementioned shitty picture. Well, that’s just great. All is lost. I’ve allowed you to fuck with my home for no reason, because clearly, I’m just going to end up with the same shitty picture.

So you see, Scott, I had concerns about your visit today. But you, sir, did a phenomenal job. Seriously. Everything went like clockwork. I was without Internet access for less than an hour, and when I established my new FiOS connection, I was more than pleased with the speed at which I was cruising the Internets.

And there was nary a hiccup with the phone service; my old phone number was transfered over without incident, and the phone works just fine, so no worries there.

And I’m not exaggerating when I tell you, Scott, that the FiOS television experience has positively exceeded even my wildest dreams about how much better the reception would be once Comcast was in my rearview mirror. I swear to Christ, everyone in the house feels like we just got a brand-new, kick-ass television. I can’t believe the same television we’ve had all these years is capable of producing a picture so crisp and clear and vibrant … and just in time for baseball season! I could kiss you, Scott. (No, don’t worry; I’m not really going to kiss you.)

Although, on second thought, I might have to kiss you, Scott, because you actually took the time, without my asking, to properly configure my new Verizon FiOS remote control so that I can control the television, the FiOS DVR, the DVD player and the surround-sound receiver with a single device. Did you happen to see the FOUR separate remote controls on the coffee table, Scott? Did you? We’ve been using all four of them ever since that fateful Valentine’s Day when Wonder Woman shared a little too much love with our universal remote. (And I’ll let you in on a little secret, Scott: even when we had that fancy-shmancy, expensive, universal remote, I still wasn’t able to get it to properly handle the whole simultaneously-turn-on/off-all-of-the-entertainment-center-components-with-a-single-click thing. But you made it happen. I don’t know what to say, Scott. Frankly, I’m a little verklempt.)

So, not only did you show me that all my anxieties about the FiOS installation were unnecessary, and not only did you do one hell of a job upgrading the technological infrastructure of my home, but you also bonded with me a bit about the Red Sox and U2, and my goodness, sir, it was a delight having you here today.

And then you left, and I marveled at the television picture some more, and then sat back down at my desk to do some work using my ultra-fast Internet connection, and man, was I relieved.

And then I heard a noise unlike any other that has ever graced my ears. I had not the foggiest idea what it was, but I was quite sure that whatever act had produced that sound was one of a wholly destructive nature. Was it a tree falling on a neighbor’s house? A nearby construction project collapsing? A giant ogre bowling a strike using a boulder and 10 cars?

Intrigued, I made my way to the front room and cast my gaze out the window, whereupon I discovered the source of that oh-so-unnatural sound.

And the source was you, Scott. You and your big, bulky, Verizon-FiOS-installer-guy truck, which you all-too-sharply turned to the right before clearing the end of my driveway, thus crashing the right side of said truck into the corner of the stone-and-cement retaining wall that runs around my front yard. And the truck won, Scott. Handily.

I know you can’t believe it, Scott. Neither can I. I mean, seriously, dude: after clearing every imaginary hurdle I had placed for you in my mind—with room to spare, no less!—you then caused a structural calamity when you were just inches from being in the clear (literally!).

You handled it well, though, Scott. You called your manager, and you sent to him a picture of the wall that you had taken with your phone, and you informed me that I can contact that manager and send him the repair bill, and he’ll see to it that Verizon picks up the tab, no problemo.

And for all of my neurotic anxiety, Scott, I was surprisingly undisturbed by the incident. In fact, if there was a predominant emotion that I was having in that moment, it was pity for you, because I knew you felt awful and embarrassed and silly about what had happened, and because I feared that you’d end up having to deal with some unpleasant repercussions at work due to your feaux pas.

But, truth be told, Scott, if you were going to fuck something up today, I’m actually glad it was the wall … because smashing the wall didn’t affect my ability to connect to the Internet, nor did it change the fact that I now have a startlingly gorgeous picture on my television.

Now, had it affected either of those things … well, that would have been unforgivable.

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  1. Posted April 9, 2009 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Okay, DS..

    This must be said:

    Your blog is one of my top five favorites.

    Even when all hell is breaking loose in my house, both of my teenagers have inforrmed me that yes, they did try weed but no, they didn’t inhale.. when my hubby decides to actually write on the calendar that company see’s – ‘No sex, again today’, when I forget to pay every bill BUT the cable bill and the electric guy is outside, prepared to cut my lights and explains (lies) that he doesn’t have a credit card machine in his truck..

    Yes! even through all of that, I give the glare to everyone, effectively shutting them up until I’ve had the chance to read your blog!

  2. Posted April 9, 2009 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Yea – Kudos! So happy for you that you have LIFE back! ;o)

  3. Posted April 9, 2009 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Yay! You are living the life of the fast, clear and quick ! Poor Scott I hope he doesn’t lose his job…nah Verizon is a better company than Comcast. Enjoy your new toy.

  4. Posted April 9, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Lengthy but worth it. Great story. Seems like life always throws us screwballs even on the good days.

  5. Lee
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Delurking here to tell you I love your blog! But my gosh you must be tired at night dealing with all those issues on a daily basis. I was having an anxiety attack by the time you got to the washer! Hopefully blogging works as therapy for you. I am going to have to go find a therapy blog now. Have a great day!

  6. Posted April 9, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I laughed so hard at this entry…the tension killed me. I too feel that excruiating panic when the Internet connection is at risk!!

  7. Posted April 9, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    This is one of my favorite posts. Glad you survived your ordeal with nothing but the stone wall sideswiped.

  8. Posted April 9, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    LOL! Wow, you sure can tell a story. I loved it.
    Poor Scott.

  9. reen
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Yeah, poor Scott and the ribbing he’s surely going to get from his fellow big-Verizon-installation-truck-driving coworkers. Glad everything else went well.

  10. Posted April 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I can imagine the blog entry that Scott would write on the flip side of this….

  11. Posted April 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    classic. poor scott.

    who you get for cable installation is such a make or break. great story, glad it all worked out. Verizon already owns us (internet, Directv, phone, cell) but FIOS is not in our area yet. dare to dream!


  12. Posted April 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    i had to take a xanax before i could finish reading your post. i’m so glad scott didn’t eff-up the fios with his crazy macho truck; that would have been a travesty.

  13. Posted April 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    This is definitely one of my fave posts too! I L O V E Verizon Fios and they have come to my rescue more than once. Thanks for the laugh…I really needed it!

  14. Cindy
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Awesome story. Well told!

  15. Posted April 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I think when Scott drilled a hole into the side of your house, he ran a Valium Infusion Pipe. You handled it all rather well.

    Congrats on a clearer view of the Red Sox on your telly.

  16. Posted April 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Scratchy Daddy, this is off subject but I was not allowed to comment at the butterfly picture site. Check out this link to Switched at Birth, written by my friend Beth. Not as beautiful as your wife’s butterfly, but music from nature nonetheless.


  17. Posted April 10, 2009 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Woah..ok..for a woman getting an Indian guy to come and instal an air conditioner today, this could create some nervousness :)))

    I’ll let you know how it goes…

    And thank you a thousand million times for your amazing messages and comments and missiles of loving support….i’m indebted…

  18. TheOtherJennifer
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Honestly, you should print that out on some real paper and send it to Scott’s boss. Too many complain and not enough compliment these guys – it would go a long way (don’t mention the whole wall thing, tho.)

  19. Posted April 11, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Great story!

  20. Tracy C
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I have not had a chance to visit your blog in a few days so I was catching up and, I have to say, this entry was my favorite. It really made my day!

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