I hate moving.
I have been moving boxes of stuff out of my old apartment all day long, and yet it still looks like I live there.
In other news, Qwest is still a pain in the ass. I decided, since I was moving, I wanted to pare down my phone bill a bit. I thought it would be nice to just have the cell phone, but keep my landline number (got to preserve that 503 area code, plus that way I wouldn’t have to change as much stuff on my checks and business cards). I figured it would be complicated, but since both my cell and my landline are through Qwest I figured it was at least feasible.
Sometimes I’m so naive.
So tell me if this seems overly complicated: They had to split the landline and the cell phone into two separate accounts, generating two different bills. For some arcane reason, that put a 24-hour hold on my account, where they were unable to make changes (like, for instance, putting in a request for the landline number to be switched to the cell phone, or disconnecting the landline number). Of course, 24 hours isn’t really twenty-four consecutive periods of 360 seconds; it’s doled out as “business days”, which, due to the looming Memorial Day weekend on which I had the misfortune of attempting this technological feat, means that they can’t touch my account again until Tuesday.
The phone rep, Devin, said that when he got back in the office on Tuesday, he would personally make sure that the order went in to “port” my number from landline to wireless. He repeated this several times, almost as if he were trying to reassure me that it would actually happen. Instead it had almost the exact opposite effect.
Let me rewind that for you, in case you missed it: Qwest, one of the pre-eminent telecom companies in the entire Free World, a telecom whose market capitalization on the New York Stock Exchange is over six and a half billion-with-a-B freakin’ United States Economic SuperPower dollars, has to have a flesh-and-blood human being make sure that an order for a phone number to be switched from one account to another. Gee, I can’t wait until they start using actual computers to do this stuff. That makes me feel real good, that, in this day and age of computerized automation that my billing and orders for new service are dependent on the memory of a minimum-wage phone monkey after a three-day weekend. Can you spell “nifty”? ‘Cause I sure can’t.
At any rate, assuming that the CSR remembers to put in the order to “port” my number after imbibing brewed hops and barley and meat cooked in sauce while watching highly specialized cars drive in circles all weekend, then it only takes another three or four days before the number is actually switched.
And then, and only then, can they, the mortal men and women dutifully slaving away while holding off the future automation of telecom services, disconnect my landline completely, probably by having some strong-backed soot-covered ape in the bowels of the Qwest headquarters’ machinery at 1801 California Street in Denver, Colo-freakin’-rado turn a giant metal wheel, thereby closing the massive steam-driven valve that will eventually result in shutting off the dial tone twelve thousand fifty-eight point six miles away, in my apartment in rainy south east Portland, Oregon. Maybe, if I’m feeling generous, I’ll call up CEO Barry Allen (Holy shit! Isn’t he the Flash? You’d think he’d know a thing or twelve about speed!) and casually mention to him that there are these things called computers, see, and even the slowest of them can calculate millions of times faster than a human brain…