Welcome to the wilds! New Jersey for me was like crossing the border into Tijuana. Sure, the new lifestyle was crazy, but no one would ever admit to living there. When my husband’s job was relocated here in August 2010, we both were frightened. Now we’re learning about life, love, and marriage in this strange new culture. Feel free to tag along for the adventure.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday Meltdown

Generally, I find the usage of “f***” to be absolutely deplorable. It is the hallmark of the uneducated, egotistical individual who tries to use emphasis with the obnoxiously overused word. However, as I sit on a disgustingly black carpet (it’s supposed to be cream) in my new town home without electricity or hot water, while I stare at the carpet cleaner I rented...that's what I'm thinking. The shopvac and dyson too are in attendance at my meager pity party. The spiders, I had intended to suck up with the power of a vacuum, dangle in sight practically taunting me by their survival. And at this point in my life, all I can think is ‘F*** New Jersey.’

Here I am trying to be optimistic about this move and you continue to thwart me with your regulations and bureaucratic bull shit. The irony of the situation is that when we signed our lease we had to wait until Monday to get all the papers on where to call to set-up the gas and electric. I survived without the hot water. Hell, I could boil water if necessary. However, today as I’m on the phone setting up the electric…the electric truck arrives to shut me down. Even with the phone secretary on my side, I asked first nicely, then pleadingly to keep the electric on. After all, I was on the phone setting it up!

“Not until I get my paperwork,” he says.

To make a long story short, as I watch my nemesis drive away in his white truck with black lettering, the electric company’s secretary has all the paperwork and puts me on hold to send the information to the drivers' office so that I can get electric today. BUT, the guy who can send out the paperwork to the drivers is on vacation. SO, the secretary returns to me on the phone and says and I quote, “We never do same day installation but we were trying to do something special.” I roll my eyes and try to keep my voice cool and collected. Trying to do something special and actually accomplishing it are too completely different things. There are times when you can say, “It’s the thought that counts.” Today is not that day.

Our closing remarks are “I spoke with the driver and he is very busy tomorrow he’ll be there between 8 and 3:30PM but he cannot guarantee anything more than that.” I smile trying to not share the gnawing scream of frustration in my chest.

But no, that is not the end, because I need to get the account confirmation. The electric company tries to sell me more stuff before they’ll give it to me. Even with that sales woman I manage a polite lie that I really have to get going…

“Oh…well I have just a few more things to tell you,” she says.

“I really need to get going,” I say again. Seriously, I don’t want to hear about any more specials and deals for other companies that I’m not going to use, because I’m a renter (which she knows).

“I can’t guarantee the same discounts on other services if you call at a later date.” She’s slightly miffed at my impatience; I can hear it in her tone.

“Well,” I finally say, “That’s my problem not yours. The confirmation number please…”

At last she gives me the number which is a ridiculously long 21 digit code. At this point, I’m near yelling, “I’m getting electricity; not trying to break into some covert, underground, government security system. 21 digits, are you serious?”

But I do not. I simply smile, hoping it is shared with the person on the other end of the line and say, “Thank you. Have a nice day;” although those sentiments are not exactly what I’m feeling.

I wish that had been the end of the phone calls, but I had one more: the gas company. Ah, the poor lady on this line finally does it when she says, “She needs to speak with my husband.” The one phrase that generally ticks me off really pushes me over the proverbial ledge this time.

The poor woman…

If she were reading this, “I’m sorry.”

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