For years when there has been good, ground-soaking rain, my phone line develops static and an annoying squiggly sound which prevents conversation and access to the Internet.
Although I would rather eat a green snake than to make such a call, on Wednesday, 14 October, I called the toll-free number for “AT&T Home Repair.” There was no need to explain the problem as the representative could hear it quite well for herself. I was adamant that the problem is not inside my home, that I am not going to pay for repair and that the problem only occurs after much rain.
“We will send a tech out by the 21st,” she said .
The static problem finally clearen up around noon yesterday. At 3 p.m. a very nice lady from AT&T called. Briefly, here’s how the conversation went:
AT&T: Good afternoon, Ms. Trotter. I’ve just checked your phone line, and it is clear. The tech has a ticket to come out and check your phone line, but he cannot do so if the line is now clear.
Me: Well, if he had come any time in the last week, he could have check my line. The static has just cleared up.
AT&T: He has an instrument which can pinpoint the area on the cable where the problem exists, but it has to be causing the static when he does it. I’ll have to pull his work ticket for today.
Me: So, you are saying I will have to wait until another good rain, call then and hope the repairman pulls the work ticket before the problem clears up?
AT&T: Why don’t you do this: keep up with the weather report, and if rain is predicted, go ahead and call and set up a work ticket. You can always cancel it if you have to.
Me: I’m not playing that game of caling, then calling again to cancel.
AT&T: I’m sorry. I guess it’s a “Catch-22” situation.
Me. I guess it is.
At 5 p.m., I was typing a rather long email to friend Frodo – a discussion about immigrants who settled in the Mississippi Delta – and got kicked offline.