Saturday, November 27, 2010


If there’s one thing that really irritates me it’s sitting around waiting for people to show up…and then they don’t.

Such was the case last week when I wasted countless hours waiting for an Internet satellite company to come install a satellite dish so my computer finally could run faster than its usual speed of a snail in a tar pit.

The dispatcher told me the installer would arrive on Monday between noon and 4, so I spent all day Sunday cleaning behind furniture I hadn’t crawled behind in over a year. I knew that in order to install the cable to my computer, the guy was going to have to drill holes in my floor. And those holes were going to be drilled in places that were notorious breeding grounds for dust bunnies.

By noon on Monday, the house was sparkling and I was sitting on the sofa, waiting. That’s when my husband asked me where the fresh bread was.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I want to make a sandwich for lunch.”

If he’d asked me where the fire extinguisher was, I couldn’t have been more horrified. “And get crumbs all over the counter and the floor? No way! You can wait until after the satellite guy is gone!”

“But I’m hungry now!” he protested.

I was unsympathetic…even though his stomach was making so much noise, you’d think he’d swallowed the Lion King.

So we sat around waiting like two stiff robots, not wanting to move and risk messing up anything. At 2 p.m. the dispatcher called and told me the installer would arrive in an hour.

I was getting antsy by then. I wanted to go shopping. I wanted to go for a walk. I wanted to bake some chocolate chip cookies and mess up the whole kitchen. Instead, I continued to sit.

At 4 p.m., the dispatcher called and said the installer wouldn’t be coming because he’d had a family emergency and he was the only installer who serviced my area. She said he’d be over between noon and 4 the next day.

My first thought was the guy’s family emergency couldn’t be very severe if he already knew he’d be able to work the next day. My second thought was, “Oh, great, I have to suffer through all of this sitting and waiting again tomorrow?”

The next day turned out to be a repeat of the day before – I sat around doing nothing and the dispatcher called every hour to tell me the installer would be there in an hour.

By 4 p.m., I was ready to tell the dispatcher exactly what she could do with her satellite dish. That’s when the installer himself called.

“I’m heading to your house now,” he said. “I’m in Laconia, so I should be there by 5.”

“We live out in the middle of the woods,” I told him. “It will be pitch dark out when you get here. How can you install a satellite dish on our roof in the dark?”

“See you in about 45 minutes,” he said, not answering my question.

He arrived at nearly 5, when it was so dark outside, the only thing that could have lit up our roof enough so he actually could see it would have been a passing meteorite plummeting to earth.

“I have good news and bad news,” the guy said when he finally came into the house. “The good news is you have a nice clear line of sight for your dish if I put it on the left corner of your garage roof. The bad news is the rules require me to have a spotter with me or I can’t climb up there.”

“So you came here alone?” I asked, thinking no one could be that dumb.

He nodded. “But we can be here at 8 in the morning, our first job of the day, to set things up for you.”

At that moment, all I wanted to do was put my hands around his puny little throat and choke him. But then I remembered his family emergency and I mellowed a bit. “Has your family emergency been taken care of?” I asked.

He shrugged. “Yeah, my kid was sick but he’s OK now.”

I went back to wanting to strangle him.

So the next morning I arose with the birds and figured I’d spend the next 12 hours sitting like a statue on the sofa. My husband, however, chose to remain snoring in bed.

I nearly needed a whiff of smelling salts when the doorbell rang at 7:50.

“So, where do you want this?” the installer, carrying a huge roll of cable, asked.

“I have a laptop computer and use it in both the living room and my office,” I said. “So I want hookups in both places.”

He shook his head. “You have to choose only one.”

I was crushed. Reluctantly I chose the living room.

“I’m going down to the basement,” he said. “When I get back, have the sofa moved so I can get behind it.”

I stared at the sofa – the sofa that contained two built-in recliners. Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t have moved it.

When the guy came back up from the basement, he glared at the sofa and moved it himself. Then he proceeded to drill a hole in the floor. After that, he and his spotter went out to the garage to install the satellite dish on the roof…on the windiest day of the month. A huge tree actually fell across our road while they were up there. I had visions of the guys going airborne and landing somewhere where they would be greeted by Munchkins.

Finally, after a mere 44 hours longer than anticipated, everything was installed, and I now have a computer that is so speedy, I practically have to run to keep up with it.

And Wednesday night, I finally let my husband make his sandwich.