Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Day After the Day After

Not much going on today except frustration. First I thought I would be a nice guy and visit my friend who is slipping into the fog of dementia. I suggested taking him for a ride to the beach and sit on the boardwalk on this sunny day. Just as I was about to out the door I got a call from a friend of mine in Florida. I take the call which results in me getting out the door late. I call my friend and tell him I'm going to be late. He says "Okay."

So I call my friend and tell him I'm going to be late. When I get to my friend's house he opens his locked door and says "Didn't you get the call?" I said "What call?" He said he called my house and told Bill that he and Jim "weren't feeling well." Uh, not "feeling well." This came on all of a sudden?

Bill may have called me but I had my new TracFone cell phone off. So I didn't get the call. It didn't matter anyway because I hadn’t set up my Voicemail. And that is another frustration of the day which I will go into later in this blog posting.  Sit down and stay a spell.  This is a longer than usual blog posting.

So since I'm there I walk myself in the house (I'm that way.) However I could sense his apprehension. I sit down and he look warily at me. What? Then Jim comes out of his bedroom in his bathrobe. He looks around and says "Who am I? Where am I?" I guess it's true, they're not feeling well. Now remember this is Jim of the 165 personalities. Not one more or one less but 165 personalities. He doesn't know who he is or where he is.  Oh yes, he doesn't acknowledge my presence at all.  But this isn't anything unusual.  That's what he usually does when I visit my friend.  I'm the invisible man. 

I hear the Twilight Zone theme playing faintly in the background. These people are crazy, absolutely crazy.

I'm not the smartest guy in the world but I do know when I am an unwelcomed guest. So I get up to leave. My friend says "I'm sorry." What for? For feeling "not well?"  So, as Jimbo wanders back into his bedroom like a nightwalking scarcrow, I decide to split this joint.  I know when I'm not wanted.  Feeling sorry for myself (feels good sometimes but not today), I head for the front door and slip on my shoes (which I always take off when entering anyone's house.  Don't ask.  It's just something I do. Maybe I'm nuts.)

So this is the deal folks. Jim, my friend's partner is a nut. A certified, guaranteed nut.  On top of that he is very possessive. He probably threw a hissy fit when he learned that I was coming over to take his Significant Other out for a ride. To quote Steve Martin "Well, EXCUSE ME!" Folks, this isn't the first time this has happened. But I'm afraid it's going to be the last time. THE LAST TIME.  I am tired of this.  So tired. 

I leave. When I got home I get an earful from Bill because I didn't have my cell phone. As I said before it didn't make a difference because my voice mail wasn't set up. So what do I do? I attempt to set up my voice mail. That is easier said than done.

I set up my voice mail then I call it from my land line to test it. Then I turn on my TracFone to see if I can retrieve my voice mail. By the way, any of you reading this blog who have TracFone who didn't have a problem setting your voice mail and want to tell me that.....forget it. It doesn't do me any good that you didn't have trouble. I'm glad you're special and DIDN'T HAVE TROUBLE. I DID.

So I call my Voicemail. Immediately I get a message that reads something like "You have activated the feature to retrieve recently deleted voice mail messages. Go to the main menu and press 311." What? First I didn't ACTIVATE anything. Secondly, how about retrieving my voice mail?

While I'm playing with this my minutes are disappearing before my very eyes. I try it again. I get the same message. Again, I try it. Again I get the same message. This time I wait until the end of the message and it gives me two options. Either to press 1 to hear the message again or to press 2 to "continue." "Continue" sounded like a good option so I pressed 2. Now I get a message saying "I can't hear you." WTF? I'm in a loop. I go through the whole routine again, and again.  I'm definitely in a loop and I'm the only one losing because my minutes are disappearing as fast as a cabbie's meter reader goes up.

My minutes are still disappearing. When I started out I had 242.50 minutes. Now I'm down to 219 minutes and I'm no farther along that I was when I started out other than I am tremendously frustrated.

Then I make the momentous decision, I call the TracFone Help line. Omigod. As I expected I get someone in India who I can hardly understand or hear. She goes through her whole menu of test options. I'm constantly saying "What?" "I don't understand you."

This comedy continued for about forty minutes until she finally wrote up a ticket for their technical department. She said it would be fixed in four hours. Uh huh. It will take longer than that. I've seen this movie before.

After I'm done and hang up the phone (thoroughly frustrated and irritable by now) I think "What about Bill's phone?" Here we go again. I call his phone and leave a message. I turn his phone on and, sure enough, the same "You have activated the retrieve recently deleted messages" feature.

Oh yes I did. I called TracFone again. This time I get someone I can actually hear and understand most of what she is saying. But she is also following a script. I have to jump through all the hoops all over again to get to the point where she writes up a ticket for their technical department. This all take another 45 minutes or so. I've been on the phone since a few minutes after 12 noon and it is now almost 3 o'clock. All this because I thought I would be a nice guy and take my friend who is headed toward La La Land on a Sunday afternoon ride to the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach.

Ever hear of the saying "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished?" You have you say? Well, that's what happened to yours truly today. I should have just stayed home and scanned some more slides into my computer. I could have taken a walk outside on this rare, sunny, beautiful day. Then take an afternoon nap. After the nap go outside and check out my backyard before the sun goes down early again today (I hate short days.) Then maybe come in and annoy Bill some before I get on my computer again and try and figure out why I can't go to the "Home" key on my FB account when I'm on AOL but I can when I'm on my MSN account. Frustration, frustration, frustration. 

In the evening I would have dinner then a Netflix movie. Yes, that's what I should have done. But I didn't. But alas, the day wasn't a total loss. When I got on my computer a friend sent me an Instant Message telling me how hot a recent picture that I had posted of myself (part of my Oldie Goldie scans for the genealogy album) was. Hey, nice to hear. Of course that isn't me now but still it was nice to hear.

Maybe today wasn't such a bad day after all. It is amazing how one little compliment can dispel all the negativity that was generated today.  Thank you Cousin Norm.

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