Thanks to Kerrie for her post on technological advances. I think I'm going to piggyback on that topic.
Note: Today's a grumble day, so if you want writing, come back tomorrow.
After a productive weekend, I was looking forward to yet another day of relative quiet. Only one of the workers was scheduled, and he was going to be doing electrical and touch-up painting, which meant another day free from floorboard pounding.
When he called early Monday morning, saying his daughter had an ear infection and he couldn't make it, I wasn't the least bit bothered. Another full day to myself (Hubster left Friday for a meeting in Laramie, and won't be back until tomorrow afternoon.)
I followed my morning routine, checking blogs and email, and then worked on the scene I'd written the night before. It needed some tweaks, and didn't end in the right place, but I felt pretty good when I'd fixed it. I like knowing I have a good long stretch of time to write when I start on new stuff, so I decided to plan my day. I prefer to get the little things out of the way, then settle in with the WIP.
I'd had problems with my cell phone, and after much (90 minutes) of hair-pulling time last Friday trying to resolve it, they said I needed a new phone (my second replacement). Since I had to be home to sign for it, Monday, I called Verizon to get a tracking number. It took about 10 minutes on a phone tree before I got to a human being. Granted, she was very helpful, but the questions you have to answer to get to a human never seem to have numbers that match my problems. And it took her about 1 minute to answer my question (the phone will be delivered Tuesday). That's 11 minutes of MY time for a 1 minute issue.
Used to be you could enter zero at all the prompts and get to a live person, but the companies have wised up, I think.
Later that day, my land line goes dead. I get the number for repair and try to call from my cell phone which doesn't get much of a connection. There are NO human options in that system. The phone should be fixed no later than 8 PM the following day. But the only contact number I could give was my cell phone, which may or may not pick up a signal. Which, if you'll continue reading, isn't a viable option at the moment.
I mean, but it's bad enough that robots MAKE calls. Now they're taking over answering all the questions—but they're not programmed to do it effectively.
But – I could still write, right? Yeah, right. Remember what I said about liking nice stretches of time where I wouldn't get sidetracked. … there were a few little things to get out of the way first. I figured, half an hour, tops.
The mail brought a notice from the insurance company saying I owed them $33. I ALWAYS pay in full, and heaven only knew which of the myriad paper piles their invoice was in, so I had to see what that was about. At least my insurance agent's office employs humans, so that was resolved without any difficulty beyond lousy cell reception.
Then I needed to find out if our new medical insurance has a mail-order prescription option. Their recording lady couldn't understand any of my answers (lousy cell connection) and we spent far too much time not communicating. I did hear a prompt about mail order, so I went to the website and got what I needed. Following web links is only a tiny bit easier than phone trees. Of course, my printer ran out of paper, and I had to open a new ream, which was sealed tighter than (insert metaphor here, because I'm so NOT going there right now).
Then my computer alerted me that my keyboard batteries were critical. I found the new ones, inserted them, and … my keyboard batteries are still critical. I took them out, tested them, and they're all fine. This time I went straight to the web for an answer. Which was, open the .xml file change this line of code to that line, and it should work. Well, it got rid of the pop-up alert, but if I check the readout on their "settings" program, it still says critical. Another email sent.
By now, it's almost 5 pm on Monday, and what have I done? Punched numbers on phone trees.
So, yesterday, I finally get my new phone. I swap out the battery and s/d card and get a "no service, your phone cannot be activated, please call customer service." Call them? On what! Now I have No Friggin' Phone at all. Or, you can visit our website. Yeah, right. After entering a 14 digit serial number it tells me, "Congratulations! Your phone is eligible for activation. Please choose a service plan." WTF? I HAVE a service plan. And after I filled out the "Send us an email" contact option, they're probably going to decide I'm not worthy of one of their phones anyway.
The other piece of mail was from AmEx saying that they'd tried to send my statement via email, but it hadn't gone through. More time digging through their website (no phone to call them). Since the website confirmed I'd already paid the bill, and my 'punishment' if emails continued to bounce would be back to paper statements, I figured I was OK, although there was more time spent NOT writing.
I'm writing this at 2:30 pm on Tuesday. I've decided there's nothing more that can distract me. No phone calls, I've dealt with the mail. All I have to do is lay off the email and social networks. And get back to the WIP. I'll let you know tomorrow how it went. And I hope it goes well, because as you're reading this, the workers should be back to installing floors.