Verizon Strike: Service vs. Smiles and duct tape
Gosh, those Verizon guys who can’t fix anything sure are nice.
Two days after Mother Nature snapped the data cable that runs 25 feet from the street to my home — severing the home phone connection that I barely use — they rang my bell and greeted me with smiles. You heard right: smiles.
Next came a pair of handshakes with uncalloused hands, then introductions, a declaration, and a revelation: “I’m Jim, and he’s Steve. We are managers! There’s a strike!”
Me: “A strike? Really? I didn’t know that.”
Jim: “Yeah neither did we, until we got the call at about 12:15 AM.”
(I begin to wonder if the “Brand Spanking New” tag are still attached to their unscuffed hardhats. )
Me: “So, can this cable be fixed? (I point to the lifeless strand, hanging limp on the ground between my car and their van.) Should I expect my phone to be back on soon? ”
Jim: “Well, it looks like it snapped off clean. (They discuss whether a quick fix was possible, and agree it could not). We might need a bucket truck.”
Me: “So… can it be fixed today?
There is more discussion about what can be done. And what cannot. We make small talk. They speculate that the strike might be a one-day thing. (It’s not.) Its the kind of chatter I’ve never had with myriad Verizon service technicians, whose modus operandi is to roll up to the house, mount the utility pole, fix the problem, and — maybe — knock on my door to ask me to sign some kind of work order. But today that nameless guy is probably walking a picket line, and my buddies Jim and Steve are on my front steps. Thankful for their attempt, I drive away to handle Sunday chores.
When I return, the data cable is no longer on the ground. No, its now coiled up and duct-taped to the utility pole, the business end still 25 feet from my house. I made two new friends at Verizon — too bad I can’t call them on my phone.
(Photo: Imani Paul)