Thursday, December 13, 2007

In which I make a new friend....

In which I make a new friend...

Yesterday being the first day off I'd had off in several, it became chore day. This was the day I spent catching up on all of life's little tasks that I'd let fall by the wayside. Now, you faithful readers (all three of you) know that in the first part of the day, I wandered out and about in town with my fly down.

It was pointed out, later in the day, that it was probably such an unremarkable thing given my general tendency to be hopped up on goofballs, that nobody thought to give it a second thought.


Later in the day, I wandered back out and about, fly in its correct positon, to complete more chores.

First among them was to visit the folks at the cable office, because I had a question about my bill, a question that was not successfully answered on the telephone. Just as an aside, I'm thinking that there's gotta be an entry under "incompetent" for the telephone service that Comcast gives in this neck of the woods...spent 3 or 4 minutes on the phone trying to get an upgrade on my television service...the rep I spoke with said, at the end of that 3 or 4 minutes...Oh! I'm on the wrong menu, you're wanting to upgrade your tv service!

So, anyway, I go to the local office. I'm going to pay my bill, and ask my questions. To my mind, this sortie into the world of Comcast shouldn't last a lot longer than 5 minutes.

One window was open. Which wasn't an issue so much, since there were just two customers. I can handle standing in line that long, right?

Well, it is in the offices of Comcast that I am an innocent bystander to the customer in front of my way-laying the rep with stories of his time as an over-the-road truck driver who doesn't need cable, but he's got a son at home who's coming off rehab at the house who needs something to do while he's there, so that he's not out getting into trouble.

I know those facts because in the 10 minute span I stood behind him, he rehashed those same four facts, without much variation upon the theme, four...maybe five times.

He finishes his business (which, in a sane world, probably shouldn't have taken much more than 48 seconds). I walk to the counter. Find out the answer to my question in right around 30 seconds. I pay my bill, and move on.

After leaving the fine folks at Comcast, I decide to take advantage of the time off to get the oil changed in the truck. My usual place of choice has closed in the past couple of months. The new management had claimed themselves victim to their inability to compete with Wal-Mart's pricing. I (and the past management) point to that new management's inability (or unwillingness) to maintain the level of customer service people were accustomed to. It wasn't an impossible task...I mean, it wasn't like the previous owners were blowing the customers. Just doing a job right, and doing it dependably.

But that's neither here nor there.

Their closing has left me somewhat lost for a lot of my minor car maintenance. I ended up going to a local quick-change place to get everything done on the truck.

I pull in, and there's a car in the bay ahead of me. I let the attendant know what I'm needing, and I head into the waiting room.

And who is sitting there?

The same dude who held me up for 10 minutes at the cable office!

And he's in the middle of his over-the-road-truck-driver story.

Now, usually, I bring a book with me wherever I go. In case of traffic, or in case I have to wait for somebody. But, my truck book has been a CD copy of David McCullough's 1776, and I couldn't figure a practical way to drag my truck's stereo inside with me.

I tried making do with the day old paper I'd read the night before.

All told, I heard his story twice more.

I'd considered standing under the awning outside (it was raining--otherwise, I'd have wandered out in the parking lot). But, my over the road truck driving friend with a son in rehab left shortly after that.

Well, a last errand sent me in the direction of Big Lots. And I'll tell you that I was able to complete the Christmas season with but one purchase.

Three words.

Transformers Wrapping Paper.

Thank you.

Anyway, I'm leaving Big Lots, and I stop at a red light, heading toward my bank for my last errand.

I look to my left, at the car in the turn lane.

Who's there?

My good ol' truck driving friend.

Not in a truck.

In a maroon Toyota Camry

I look in his direction. He looks in mine. Give me a surprised look. And holds up a pad of paper.

With my address on it!!!!!!

That last part's a lie.

He was there at the stoplight. I went in the other direction. Desperately hoping that he didn't bank at my bank.

And that he didn't know where I lived.

Thus endeth the reading of the scripture lesson.



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