I thought one went away on vacation to relax and unwind. If this is so, why then is planning and preparing for the trip so stressful? Let’s start with my own long list of things to do, and add to that Amoeba’s phone call in which he asks me to go to his office and pick something up, reminds me to call Oceanic Time Warner Cable, and contact the Post Office about our mail.
Let me back up a bit and tell you that every night for the past week when I am supposed to be sleeping, I am mentally preparing the house for my departure and packing my suitcase. I have done it so many virtual times that I am almost too exhausted to prep things for real — mostly because I am short on sleep. At any rate, I got up this morning, grabbed my list and a pencil and prepared to start scratching things off. I started with the cable company. They kept me on hold forever, so I hung up and tried the Postal Service website. I filled out the mail form only to be told, sorry, you can’t do that online, print the form and take it to the post office — except there was no button to click to print the form. After much cursing and cussing and carrying on, I finally found the printable form and clicked it to print — and it printed out the size of a postage stamp. Lovely.
I called the post office and got an automated machine that yammered at me for over 20 minutes without providing me any service whatsoever! Finally it ended it’s spiel by telling me to use the website! More cussing. Forget the post office. I called the cable company back. They said all their operators were busy, but I didn’t have to wait. If I left my name and phone number, they would call me inside of 5 minutes. I left my name and number and moved on to task number three — contacting Amoeba’s office. Of course, I had to use my cell phone because I was expecting the cable company to call the land line. Except the phone at Amoeba’s office was busy. I called it several times about a minute apart. At which point it dawned on me that the cable company hadn’t called back.
I had already spent two hours in frustration and had nothing concrete to show for it. I decided to sort the laundry and do something tangible and easy. The phone rang. Finally, I thought and ran to answer it. It was Amoeba. He wanted to know how things were going. I told him. Loudly!
He asked for the phone number for the cable company — since I had decided they weren’t calling me back because I am not listed on the account. I think my theory was supported when, in less than 5 minutes, Amoeba called me back, having already taken care of our business with the cable company.
I called Amoeba’s office again and his assistant answered the phone. I made plans to meet her — and stop by the post office to see if I could find a live body. At the post office, a live body greeted me almost immediately. It turns out she was actually sentient and was able to help me in a matter of minutes with minimal fuss. I had to do the address stuff in person and sign an affidavit that I wasn’t stopping the mail for nefarious purposes.
I went to Amoeba’s office and completed that errand, then I came home — with most of the day shot — and sat down to call my car insurance company to talk to them about putting the car in storage for a month (reduces the monthly premium by 70%). Happily, a young man named Jerald assisted me without any glitches. Hooray!
Now, it’s late afternoon and I can actually move on to crossing things off my to-do list … and the first thing on the list is a nice relaxing nap!