Not Officially Here

True story – happened to my husband some years ago.

The company my husband worked for was building a new plant across the lot from the old one.

My husband called the company’s main office and told Office Worker #1 (OW1 for short from now on) that she needed to call the phone company (PC for short) to make arrangements for the new phone line (he didn’t have the authorization – had to come from the main office).

OW1 said, “I’m on it!”

A month later, he found out she didn’t call, and after being reminded, finally did. A week later the PC guy came out and asked where’s the service that needs fixing. My husband said we don’t need it fixed, we need new service.

Guys said not my department and left.

My husband called OW1. She said not my department, you need Office Worker #2 (OW2 from now on, and also sitting at desk next to OW1.).

He talked to OW2, who called the PC.

A week later, two guys from the PC arrived in a fancy car and wearing suits. They’re engineers.

My husband asked them how long till the line is run. They said they couldn’t tell him because they’re not officially there. They can’t be there officially until the order for service has gone through, and it hasn’t gone through yet. So they’re not really there. But once the order goes through, then they can put in the details for work, so they can’t tell him when anyone will be there, because they’re not officially there.

The two suits wanted to know if he wanted the service run inside the plant. He said, “Well, most people do, don’t they? I don’t think it would do my computer much good to be outside, do you?”

So they asked if he wanted one line or two, and did he want the T1 line. He said, “I just told you I needed it for the computer. What do you think?”

They kept asking stupid questions and not listening to my husband’s answers, so finally he said, “I’m not officially here,” and walked away.

(The electricians heard all this and were trying not to laugh out loud—they said they wouldn’t have believed this if they hadn’t heard it themselves.)

So finally (not sure of the time frame here), OW2 from the main office called to set up the actual service order.

The woman from the PC asked if OW2 wanted it run inside the building. OW2 said yes—to the office on the second floor.

OW2 was then told that the PC doesn’t run lines to the second floor. They only do first floors. Did they want the line in the building? If so, they’ll run the line downstairs, but can put phone jacks upstairs.

OW2 said, “Wait, you’ll put phone jacks upstairs but won’t run the lines upstairs?”

“Yes, because we don’t do second floors. We can subcontract someone to do that if you want though.”

So OW2 asked when could they be there to install the service.

They didn’t know because their men haven’t officially been there yet to give a report. But when their men have officially been there and given a report then they can say.

So OW2 asked, “When will they be here?”

“Well, maybe this week, but if we’re not there by 4:30 Friday then it won’t be this week, it could be next week, but if you don’t see us next week then we won’t be there next week, it might be the week after that.”

And then OW2 found out, that’s just to run the line!

Once the line is installed in the ground, OW2 will have to call and place another order for a different crew to come out and install it inside the building. To the first floor only.

“When will they be out?” OW2 asked.

“Well, we won’t know till the line is installed, but probably a week or two after that, but if you don’t see them that week, then the week after.”

Fast forward…

The day came when the new plant was supposed to become “operational” and the owner came over to see the grand, modern structure.

He was talking on his cell phone to the main office, and they said they couldn’t get a hold of my husband. His phone was busy.

My husband was standing right there. He pulled his cell off the clip on his belt and said, “It’s right here, I’ve been outside working, and this thing hasn’t rung all day!” (They’d had to use his cell for a month or more to conduct all business at his plant because the phone lines weren’t installed yet.)

So my husband called the main office to ask OW1 what the ticket # is for the first order they’ll sending out tomorrow so he can load trucks. (He has to coordinate the ticket #’s with the orders.)

OW1 said, “Hook up your computer and you can see what the number is.”

My husband replied, “How can I? I don’t have a phone line.”

“Yes you do—it’s all hooked up.”

My husband said, “I don’t think so. There’s no jacks, and I’m looking out the window at the pole in the middle of the yard. There are two lines dangling from it. They’re the phone lines.”

“No, you have phone lines all hooked up. Just hook your computer up to them.”

“No. They aren’t installed yet. I have no phone lines.”

So OW1 said, “Well you’d better talk to OW2, this is her department.”

(transferred call to other desk) OW2 said, “You have a phone line.”

My husband said, “No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do.”

“Look, I just need the ticket number to start tomorrow.”

“Well, that’s OW1’s dept, I’ll give you to her.”

(transferred call to other desk) “OW1, what’s the ticket number?”

OW1 gave it to him, then said, “I think that’s right, but if you just hook up your computer, you can get the right number.”

“No, I can’t hook up my computer—I don’t have a phone line.”

“Yes, you do! We’ve been calling you on it all day and it’s been busy! You’ve been on the phone all day!”

“Okay, fine, have it your way. I have a phone line. I’ll leave my cell phone home tomorrow then. Bye!”

= = =

No, I don’t have the rest of the story. I do apologize. Did he leave his cell home? Did his boss see the dangling wires on the pole and do something about the lack of phone lines hooked up? I don’t know. My husband probably told me, but I cannot remember. I only know the events above because as he started to tell me the story, I said, “Wait, I have to write this down—it’s too good!”

(At least my books have endings though, enh?)



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