“Sir, you must have known that when you moved it wouldn’t just follow you, even if you did transfer the phone number, it’s not like it’s a dog!” said the somewhat irritatingly unconcerned voice on the other end of the phone.

Ok, so like maybe I’m not the most tech savvy of individuals and maybe I expect way too much from these giants of Industry like the phone company, my DSL carrier and the US Government. But because of a slight oversight on my part I’d been cast adrift in a sea of ignorance and now I was seemingly drowning without my high-speed internet connection. I had thought that I might up my quality of life a tad and move out of my present apartment that too closely overlooked the massive construction project of retrofitting the Bay Bridge and relocate across and down the hall to the back of the building into another cramped space whose superb vista is that of the overly expensive parking lot that I can’t afford to use. Now instead of being awoken around six in the morning by insensitive steelworkers screaming obscenities at each other while mercilessly pounding I-Beams I’ll be choking peaceably on my neighbors exhaust fumes as I lay in bed contemplating another day of my sordid existence.

“No, I just thought that when I moved my telephone to my new apartment that my phone number and my DSL service would move together! I know, I know, stupid me! But I still don’t understand why it’s gonna take two to four weeks to reinstall my DSL. When as I already said I only moved twenty feet away from where I used to live?”

That’s the really amazing part! A year or so ago it took the blabbering overeager sales rep only about five minutes to sell me on what I had already called to procure in the first place and then just a couple of days later the way stoned field technician stumbled around my apartment building installing the boxes and phone lines that make up the intricacies of DSL and I was up and running and internet surfing like the proud new owner of a high speed internet connection that I was. And now unhealthily obsessed with Megahertz, Firewalls and Ethernet I was jonesing like any good addict would. Unfortunately my cyber fix was turning out to be harder to obtain than scoring Heroin at a Christian Coalition training conference and my “pusher” was slacking on its delivery like all nefarious drug dealers seem to do. Only this time I wasn’t hearing – “relax, I’ll be there in a few hours”. No, we were talking weeks and weeks of waiting for the man!

“Sir, we have to reissue you a new IP address and its going to take time and I’m afraid that at the moment we’re experiencing an unprecedented amount of backlogged orders!”

I was starting to have nightmarish visions of my mega-broadband shrinking to a slow-flow-no-go dialup and in my opinion it wasn’t a pretty sight to behold. So what does any hope-to-die dope fiend do when their connection dries up? Well, I solicited another dealer, that’s what I did. After all my unsympathetically inept carrier wasn’t the only modem slinger in town. There were phone companies and search engines – even frigg’in cable television conglomerates were out there advertising for those high-speed hookup dollars and I was only too sure that any one of them would undercut the competition like the cutthroat backstabbing jackals that they were and alleviate my untimely dilemma!

“Good afternoon, this is Moreen at SBC speaking. How can I help you today?”

“Hello, thank you for calling A.T. & T. my name is Shauntay. What can I do for you?”

“Comcast, for all your cable and internet needs! My name is Ted. How may I assist you?”

Ah, a symphony of relief to my detoxing ears. Apparently the glut of backorders wasn’t a contagious disease in the industry because every one of the other internet happy corporations that I called was willing to bend over backwards and scramble poste haste to my new digs and set up their mini illuminated corporate logo on my laptop’s menu bar. Of course there was a myriad of details to contend with and deciphering all the miscellaneous contract clauses and bonus signup deals was making my head numb. But the end was in sight. Soon I’d be back on the net clicking mouse in hand checking e-mails and overseeing the delivery of my DVD rentals.

Life was starting to look good! Or so I thought.

“Mister O’Neil, when you gave the Ok to begin transferring your existing account to your new address you went into an oral agreement on a new two year contract verbally! I’m afraid there’s now a two hundred dollar early opt out fee that you’ll have to pay if you’re terminating your service at this time”

I am for once speechless. No snappy comeback, no finely honed retort. Just that dull un-agreeable feeling of being use like the big dog.

“I’m sorry Ms… What was it Betty or Betsy or whatever, but ya know I don’t think I actually did agree to this alleged transfer. I seem to remember that what I said was more along the lines of – What the fuck you mean its gonna be a month before its turned back on! And then slammed the phone down. Well, actually pushed my finger real hard on the ‘End’ button, but anyway. That’s what I remember saying. Now if that’s admissible in a court of law, well, then I guess you could say that I did say go ahead and make me wait for eternity while you continue to charge me for a service that I’m not receiving!”

Call me crazy here, but does this sound like good solid customer service relations for a loyal never late on the monthly payment patron? I mean if someone wants to leave the party – then just let them! Don’t just piss them off and then charge them for it! It’s moments like these where I’m beginning to have a bit more understanding and a somewhat greater appreciation for people who go all off the grid and show up at the offending business while complaining in person with an AK 47 or two. You know, as in the Webster’s Dictionary definition of the only-in-America term Go’in Postal! I think even the condescending Ms. Betty would forget about that two hundred dollar opt out fee real quick with a fully loaded automatic assault rifle pressed against the base of her skull!

Wow! Well Ok now! Sorta strayed way out there in the losing control field, huh? I guess I got a little worked up over those hidden early termination fees. Not to mention that lack of internet thing and I just kinda lost sight of reality there for a few seconds. Like a blackout sorta, yeah, that’s it – a blackout! Can’t seem to remember a damn thing and then there I was in the midst of embracing my stagnant anger issues all over again. Musta been all those riboflavin free Twinkies™ I’ve been eating all day. If I could just check my e-mail. I’m sure that that would calm me down a bit. I swear to god its getting so hard to score the good shit these days.

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