All Together Now

All I wanted was a little lunch. Maybe a nice french-dipped lamb sandwich. There’s only one place in LA to go. Got in line at Phillippe. The guy in the line next to me leaned over and offered me a pamphlet about Jesus. I smiled politely and declined. Thought nothing of it–no doubt he hands those things out to everyone.

Except that the rest of the time we all stood in line, he chatted up everyone around him, showed off pictures of his kids, swapped menu tips. Nobody else got offered the Jesus tract. I THOUGHT I was in a good mood. I THOUGHT I was standing there quietly with a pleasant look on my face. Apparently I was the only one in the crowd in visible need of salvation, and didn’t even know it. And little did I know what crisis was looming at home.

Westec has been my security company of choice through three houses and 10 years or so. Always great service, very efficient. So OF COURSE they were recently bought by Edison. Who sent me a bill for six months’ service and one year’s service. With the same dates on each line. And different rates. Then totaled them. This makes less than no sense, so Paula started calling to get it straightened out.

She got three different numbers for billing questions. Number A just transfers you to Number B. Number B just rings and no one answers. Number C is for some Edison School (completely unrelated to the security company). Paula called our old Westec contact, who gave us another number. She’s now been on hold 2.5 hours and counting. This phone number, by the way, is the same number they give out for emergency situations. I guess those are the kind of emergencies that take place over 3 hours or so.

On the other hand, some company called Adelphi just bought Century Cable. Some people might be concerned about getting worse cable service, but not me. It is not POSSIBLE to have worse service that Century did. There’s nowhere to go but up here. And Orkin just sent me a $700 refund for the pest-control service I cancelled in 1996. You might think I’d be mad about this, but since they also sent me the same refund in ’96, I guess this one is a bonus. We thought about calling up and demanding interest, but Paula’s still on hold. This brings back fond memories–it was the Orkin guy who showed up one day to spray for ants, then rang my bell again four hours later. He was there to spray for ants. He didn’t remember doing it. Earlier that same day.

As I travel through life, I’m generally pretty brave. Not much scares me in most situations. But if I ever hear of an Edison/Century/Orkin merger, I’m outta here. Even the Jesus pamphlet won’t be able to save me from that one.

Copyright 2000 by Janine Smith. Not to be reproduced or distributed without permission