Moving West: Purgatory

September 16, 2015

Chapter 7
Still trying to get to the section of Pac Hell called Purgatory

35quot_button_i_am_hard_of_hearingAs I sorted and organized my cozy little office office, time flew by. It was already 4PM and I hadn’t seen any evidence of the tech who was supposed to get rid of Michelle’s line and install our own land line. I doubted he would show up. But hey, we had the cell phone.

I was paying GTE $100 for 1,000 minutes of cell time. Most of those would probably be spent on hold with Pac Hell, but it was a phone. I was in touch with the world again. I called up my friends, my father, I was even desperate enough to call my sister. Time passed.

At 5:10PM, up pulled the Pacific Hell truck. Bob and I went out to greet the driver. I was sorry we didn’t have flowers to throw at his feet.

“I hope you’re here for us,” I said.
“My name is Vu,” he said.
Bob stuck out his hand. “Hello, Boo.”  (Bob is very hard of hearing.)
“No,” Vu said. “It’s Vu.”
“Fu?” Bob asked.

I had to walk away to laugh in private. As I did, I heard Bob ask about phone books. Did Boo-Fu-Vu perhaps have any in the truck?

“Gee,” Vu said. “Usually when I get to a house, they’re here already. No, I don’t have any.”

Sure, I thought. That’s because by the time someone gets phone service, they’ve been here the 15 to 30 working days it took to get a fu king phone book.

When Vu left, we had a working phone. The phone number was 408 555 5555. Both my office manager and Bob would recognize this number as one they were told back in Tampa we would NOT be assigned. No matter. We had a dial tone and it was ours now. No one could take it away.

Souls in Purgatory. Recognize us?

Souls in Purgatory. Recognize us?

Well, we thought it was ours.
When we called for pizza, we were told the number came up with someone else’s name.
When we called for Pay Per View, we were told the number came up with someone else’s name.
When we called directory assistance…well, we were AFRAID to call directory assistance. So we didn’t.

Ignorance can be bliss.

You might remember the Roman Catholic concept of Purgatory.  If you weren’t bad enough to merit Hell, you marked time in Purgatory until you were deemed good enough for Heaven.  I’m pretty sure Pacific Bell had such a place. We were aiming for it, but not quite there yet.

Looking for the earlier chapters?

Preface: Moving on by moving

Chapter 1: Packing–how hard could it be?

Chapter 2: The adaptability of cats

Chapter 3: Exiled to Pacific Hell

Chapter 4: Hansel & Gretel’s cottage

Chapter 5: Creative solutions

Chapter 6: Remember party lines?



33 comments on “Moving West: Purgatory
  1. michelle says:

    You should have called directory assistance. You might have been connected to an alternate reality.

  2. Oh my goodness. I think I have been there – maybe not that PARTICULAR purgatory but it felt very similar!

  3. Theresa Wiza says:

    I think one of the reasons I hate moving so much (and sadly I’ve done it way too many times) is because I know I’m going to be visiting hell again with each move. Nothing ever runs smoothly, especially when it comes to utility companies.

  4. Oh dear! I remember the time our number was listed on someone else’s bank account and they kept calling us to repay the credit card. No amount of explaining did it. Finally, I agreed to meeting them at home and fixed a time! They must have turned up at that guy’s house at the agreed time – because the address they had was not ours! 😉 We got no calls after that!

  5. Yet another reason NOT to look forward to moving. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Purgatory? Um, we don’t have that in Judaism. But perhaps we have it here on Earth – the way station that you go through when moving!!! 🙂

  6. Thank God you didn’t have to call 911!

  7. Kay Lynn says:

    We didn’t get a land line the last time we moved but we had Time Warner Cable purgatory. Probably very much the same!

  8. There is no other more correct response where *I* come from than “Bless your heart.”

  9. Sheryl says:

    How can you maintain your composure and patience at a crazy time like that????

  10. Michele says:

    If it makes you feel any better Verizon has it’s own level of Purgatory. You will find me at the information desk, as I have been there the longest.

  11. Kim Tackett says:

    Last December we had our own version of hell with AT+T. At one point I asked one of the reps where “customer experience and service” fell in the list of company values. He admitted that it wasn’t even on the list. But I already knew that.

  12. Lisha Fink says:

    Why is that most of us who can identify with Purgatory are referencing our phone carriers? Coincidence?

  13. Okay the questions in my mind are endless right now. The top two being, why not get a real cell phone plan? And number two, why get a landline at all?

    The whole Bob/Vu exchange was insanely funny, especially the part where you had to walk away to laugh privately, I need to remember to do that…

  14. I dislike calling utility companies because of the long wait and the impersonal service. Your descriptions are clever, but is that really your number? I don’t dare call…

  15. Ha! I’m currently living the hell that is moving as well! EVERYTHING needs to be changed – from license to high speed providers. It’s annoying at best. Good luck with getting settled in!

  16. Mary says:

    If we ever move (there is no way in HELL I’m ever moving), I think we will pass on the land line!

  17. It’s this kind of experience that’s making folks let go of their land lines and choose cell service alone. But then again, even with that, there’s the customer service hell for those services—the particular hell I’ve found myself in far too many times.

    Perhaps we should go back to telegraph. Morse code? Smoke signals?

  18. Just saw your comment about this taking place in the year 2000, so the phone book reference makes more sense. LOL! Can’t say technology has necessarily made things much easier. Brenda

  19. Carolann says:

    lol funny about your hubby’s response. I find ineptness with so many companies these day. Customer service is sub-standard too.

  20. Unfortunately, yours is not an isolated incident! Why do utility companies all have to be this way?!

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