Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I’m Mad as Hell and I’m NOT Going to Take it Anymore

(This is not my menopausal hormones talking … or is it?)

I know this is a NANA blog where I share stories of tradition and caring and food and love and … well all of the nice stuff. But, today, I share my tale of woe. I’ll start by asking you a question. Is technology making us stupid??

Yesterday, my fire alarm shrieked at 2:00 in the afternoon. This had never happened before. In fact, I didn’t know that we had connected the alarm since I never use it here in the mountains. I punched in my code (the same one that I use on EVERYTHING) and the squeals stopped. Ah…but wait…then there is the bleating of the telephone. I answer.

“This is the monitoring center. Who am I talking to?”
“This is Jorj Morgan
(aka Top NANA). I’ve had a false alarm. There is no fire here. Thank you.”
“What is your password?”
Hmmmm. Well it’s probably the one I always use. “BLANK”.
“Thank you.”

Crisis averted, I return to the kitchen where I am whipping up some delicious mac and cheese and peas. BLEAT, BLEAT. Hmmm. No one ever calls me.

“Ms. Morgan? This is the Security Gate. Do you have a fire up there?”
“Oh. So sorry. I told the monitoring company that it was a false alarm. I should have called you. Sorry.”
“Well, the fire trucks are on their way!”
“Oh, again sorry. You can tell them it is a false alarm. Thank you.”
“Well, Ms. Morgan, only the monitoring company can call them off. They’re on the way.”
Hmmmm. “I’ll call them back. Sorry again!”
Where is that redial button? Where are my glasses?........
“Hello. This is Mrs. Morgan. The one with the false alarm. I must have given you the wrong password. I’m not having a fire. You need to stop the fire trucks, please.”
“What is your password?”
Hmmmm. “Well, I just told you that I don’t know it. Can you give me one of my hints? I only use a couple of paswords, so how about I give you them and you see if any of them work?”
“I can only punch in one password and then the system shuts me out.”
Hmmmmm. “Ok." Let’s try BLANK 1.”
Click. Dial tone.
Glasses. Redial button. “Hello. This is Mrs. Morgan. The one with the false alarm who doesn’t need the fire trucks that are on their way. Can I speak to a Supervisor?”
“This call will be monitored for quality control.”
Click. Cue muzack: “It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya? It pours, man it” Click.

May I help you?”
Ah, a supervisor! “Yes. My name is. I live at. I have a false alarm. The fire trucks are coming. You need to stop them. I do not have a fire – others may need them, but not me.” Whew … I got it all out in time.

“What is your password?”

Are you kidding me? “I’m sorry, I have managed to forget my password. I didn’t even know the alarm worked. If you give me a hint, I can guess it.”
“We are not allowed to give hints.”
“Well, you are in fact a SUPERVISOR!.” Surely there is another way that I can convince you that I am me and that there is no fire. Do you want my social security number, driver’s license number, date of birth, husband’s social, American Express number (I’ve been a member for 35 years!) name of my first born, name of my second born, how about the name of the college in London that my third son is attending?”

“I need your password, please!”
“Ummm, I don’t know my password. What can we do to stop the fire trucks?”
“There is certainly nothing I can do. However, you can contact the contractor that installed your security system and he may have your password on file. Have a nice day.”

Glasses. Phone. No, cell phone. 411. “Can I please have the listing for Security Company?” No, I don’t need a text message sending me the driving instructions, just connect me please.”
“Hello. Security Company. How can I help you?”
Calm, calm. “Hello. This is Mrs. Morgan. I live at. I have a false fire alarm and I have forgotten my password and the fire trucks are on their way and the security gate can’t stop them and the monitoring company can’t stop them and they told me to call you and look up my account.” Breathe. Inhale.
“Let me get someone that can help you.” Click. Cue Muzack: “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the” Click. “This is Johnny can I help you?”
OMG! “This is Mrs. Morgan. I live at. I have a false fire alarm. And, by the way your company installed said alarm so this is really all your fault. It has gone off and the fire trucks are on their way even though EVERYONE in the ENTIRE COUNTRY knows that I am not having a fire. I need my password and I need it NOW!”
“Did you say your last name was Morgan?”
“LISTEN TO ME! I DO NOT – REPEAT – DO NOT have a fire at my house where I am standing. STOP THE TRUCKS. STOP THEM before they get to my house to find that I have no fire and slap me with a $100 fine and look at me like I am stupid for not stopping them from coming.”
“Let me put you on hold for just one moment .,.”
Click. Cue Muzack: “Raindrops keep fallin' on my head and just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bednothin' seems to fit. Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep” Click. “Ms. Morgan?”
I know this much is true.
“I found your password.”
Thank you, Jesus!
“What is it?”

Duke. The name of my dog. Not the maiden name of my mother, my anniversary date or my birthday. At some point in my remodeling of the house, seven years ago, I chose the name of my then puppy as my security code. “Ok. Duke. Now, please call someone to stop the trucks.”

“Well, Mrs. Morgan, I can’t do that.”
No shit. “You are kidding me, aren’t you?”
“Well, ma’am. This is for your own safety. What if someone broke into your house and then set a fire and then…….”
“And then this person waits until the phone rings and while he is setting the fire, he answers my phone and DELIBERATELY gives the monitoring company the WRONG password? Seriously?”
Were you serving on the Casey Anthony jury or what?

At this point my adorable, itty bitty, house-helper is waving frantically at me. She was ironing at the time this all started and is taking the whole thing personally. I’m guessing the fire trucks are pulling up to the door and hooking their hoses to the fire plugs as they prepare to ax down my newly re-painted front door. “What? No, not you, security person Johnny. You hold on a minute.” No music from him by the way.

“I got my cousin Teeny on the phone. She’s gonna try to stop the trucks.”
“How in the world can your cousin stop the trucks?”
“She’s the 911 dispatcher.”
Perfect. All is saved. After paying a security system to install an alarm that I never use and a monitoring company to monitor it and creating a password seven years ago when I was agog with a new puppy, finally, my house-helper’s cousin can stop the trucks. All is well with the world.

“Sir. This is Mrs. Morgan again. I would like to change my password to BLANK. I would also like to arrange an appointment to check out my alarm system to see why it falsely sent a fire alarm.”
“Well, ma’am. That’s going to be a service call and that’s not covered in your yearly fee so this will be an additional charge of $100.”
Of course there is a charge. “OK.”

I should have let the trucks come and paid the fine……………… is technology making us stupid or is it my hormones?

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