Friday Firesmith – Outage

Monday morning, at 2:26, I awoke in total darkness. There’s rarely anything resembling dark anymore, anywhere, because of security lights, which are neither by the way. In fact, until I looked at my cell phone, I had no idea what time it might have been. The power had gone off, I knew that instantly because not only was there no light, but sound, too, had ceased. 

My ceiling fan’s blade cut through the air, drawing cooler air up, warmer air down, a ceaseless activity that lasts most of the year. Nearly silent, the absence of the fan is felt. I cannot see anything but the faint outline of moonlight from a cloudy sky, barely perceptible in the windows. 

It’s cool enough yet to sleep a while, so I doze off, and Wrex Wyatt awakens me for good around six. It’s time to call in the outages. The power company is easy, automated, and in a few minutes it is done. And just about the time I determined the power outage might be here for a while, the lights flickered, and came to life again. 

The issue was the internet did not. I called them and they said there was an “outage in your area” and it would be fixed by eleven in the morning. No problem. On the way into town at about that time, I called in, and they told me it would be four in the afternoon. Hey, that’s cool, but my neighbors have internet, and we live on a dead end road. Doesn’t this mean my issue isn’t related to the outage? 

There’s a pause. The guy I’m talking to hesitates just enough for me to feel it. He’s brushing me off because he has an excuse to do so. 

At four, I call back. There’s an outage in your area. Yeah, but there isn’t. Again, they assure me thing will be fixed, “by tomorrow.” 

Tuesday morning I call at five in the morning and they are clinging to the outage like it’s the Holy Grail. At eight, I get a text telling me the outage has ended. I have no internet. After an hour of pluggin it in and then unplugging it, pressing the reset button, and are you sure you are holding your mouth right, I finally get someone who tells me my issue isn’t related to the outage. 

They’ll get to me in three days. 

We are not amused. 

I’m nothing if not convinced I can write my way out of any bad situation. I sent text messages to managers, social media messages to customer service, and smoke signals in Helvinca to the old gods and the new. I also post screen shots of my wait times. 

“When the levee breaks, got no place to stay.”

In due course, a get a call from an energetic young man who is willing to listen to me. He agrees that as strange as it sounds that a person without internet during an outage isn’t part of the outage, someone should have listened to me when I told them the neighbors had internet. If for no other reason, he adds, you’re a loyal customer and we owe you that. 

I smile. 

So I still have no internet, it’s Wednesday, and I may or may not get it fixed before Friday. But I got a real live human being to speak with me, and agree the issue has to be fixed. 

That’ll work. 

Take care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Thanks Jeremy