So, I finished moving into the new digs, and I called the various utilities to get them switched over to the new place. All went well, even the cable company no longer pretends it takes 4-7 business days to turn cable on. The guy transfers the account, then gives me a number to call to activate the modem, the phone, and the TV.
Later on, though, things went horribly wrong. First, every time you have to navigate their phone robot tree thingie, it's about 25 minutes, and they're playing some fucking music that sounds like Gershwin wrote the background music for a Japanese video game, and then some bastard dubstepped it. Occasionally, the song cuts off mid-repeat, and you think "AHA! A PERSON is going to pick up!" Then the music starts again. Once in a while, a robot asks for you account information. Then the announcements start; you will not talk to a person until you've heard them. The first one is about power-cycling your router. If I need new service and have told them so, why would they bother saying that shit?
Then there are 3 techs in a row. They are named, in order, "Susan","Barbara", and "Leo". All of them have (Asia) Indian accents you could use to drive rail spikes. All of them begin by asking for all of my account information.
Susan and I go through the rigamarole on the internet service. When we are done, I have a connection but no service. She tries to tell me that we are finished, and that she needs to transfer me to someone about the TV.
"But we're not. Your system isn't recognizing my account."
"But you have a connection."
"But I don't have your service."
This goes on for a while, and then she announces that she'll just have to send a technician out in a week or so. Unacceptable. I tell her to put her supervisor on. She puts me on hold, where I wait for ten minutes listening to that fucking music, and then the phone disconnects.
Fume a bit, call back in. Get Barbara, who says "You don't have service because there is an open work order that someone forgot to close. This requires one of the cable phone guys." She puts me on hold, and the horrible music begins. After 8 minutes, the phone hangs up.
Call back, ask for phone service. Give the account infor 6 times again. Listen to crappy dubstep Gershwin. At this point, I am convinced that I am in hell. Leo eventually comes on the line again. He needs my account info. FINE. He gets the work order closed. He turns on the modem and the television. Being the phone guy, of course he is unable to activate my phone. He will send a technician out to do that, at some random point and can we have someone in the house between Tuesday morning and Friday at 7 PM?
Finally, I am done for the moment, having drained 2 cell phone and 2 vaporizer batteries to death, frayed my nerves, and burned up FIVE HOURS of my life that I will never, ever get back.
And this is all an illustration of my point: We have, as a society, reached a complexity level that means we can no longer run things that worked in 1985. We are - no shit - 16 years from being able to go back to the moon, if we started right now, and we did it in HALF that time in the 1960s, from a presidential speech to Astronauts hitting golf balls in Mare Imbrium. We are a society of idea men (stuffed full of ideas and enthusiasm, not so much on getting shit done), and nobody holding a wrench. I've heard this joke before, something about Rome.
And next week, New Flunky and I go to Los Angeles, to the heart of the monster & the place where all this complexity thrives, to attempt to recruit a horrible person to do genius shit for us. We are driving because we don't feel any desire to deal with LAX. I will of course write down all the brain damaged shit that entails.
Okay for now,