There’s An Outage In The Line? And Other Small Crises That Made Me A Little Insane This Monday

A Monday Story, Told With A Little Help From Amy Poehler.


It’s Monday. I overslept. Not by the standards of a normal human whose “must do” work schedule is largely governed by Pacific Time, but for mine.

Monday is my busy day. Monday is the day that I have to be on my game, cannot get behind, cannot lose focus. Monday I rise unnaturally early to get a jump on the week, hoping this week will be the week I figure it all out.

Monday is the day that sets the tone for my week.


Monday I wake to find that I have ignored the alarm again. I am groggy, but manage to shuffle through my social media feed, take a quick glance at my email, and shuffle down the hall to begin the daily ritual with my pugs, Thor and Loki. I think to myself,

Ok. Once the dogs are eating, you are going to have to be super productive to make up for all the time you lost sleeping in. No worries! You can do this . . .

Emails to write, analytics to which I must attend, social media posts that need my attention, meeting agenda to write, newsletter to plan, 2 meetings today, blogs to edit, a class to finish preparing . . . former psych student who needs help with an English paper . . . don’t forget the shower and 45 minute commute . . . no gym, I guess . . . the list goes on. Monday is also the day I teach a preservice class at the college, so I must fit all of this into an extremely small window of time.

What fresh hell is this? Seriously Verizon, I don’t have time for this.

I sit down, ready to put my nose to the grind and . . . no connection.

Scold dog for non-stop scratching.
Refresh. Refresh.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Check iPhone. Damnit . . . No M-Cell (Live in Deliverance. Need Mobile Phone Booster)
Scold dog for non-stop scratching.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Text Husband. (How is it possible I can still text?)
Scold dog for non-stop scratching.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Close Internet browser.
Open Internet browser. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.
Scold dog for non-stop scratching.
Scold dog for non-stop licking.
Reset modem.
Check my connection. Open Husband’s laptop. Check Connection.
Cautionary text message to my boss about the possibility that an internet outage will impact my ability to be productive . . . .
Check social media. Tweets cannot load at this time. Tap to retry. Failed connection. No internet connection. (Now how is it I can send a text but not a Tweet?)
Oh, Ok. . . just got a notification. Must be OK. (Click notification. Goes nowhere. Notifications are taunting me.)
Pretend to be patient and carefree — read a book. Can’t do any work related task . . . all of my work requires an Internet connection. Maybe by the time I finish it will be back on. (Can’t focus. Continuously check for internet connection as minutes tick by and panic sets in.)
Check social media. Tweets cannot load at this time. Tap to retry. Failed connection. No internet connection.(I think I feel itchy)
Scold dog for non-stop scratching.
Wait, what? How is it that I can get a Messenger message, but can’t use Facebook? Makes no sense.
Explain Clinton email scandal to college freshman. Sorry, can’t pop in to help with your paper right now, my Internet connection is out. I’ll catch up with you later.
Check social media. Tweets cannot load at this time. Tap to retry. Failed connection. No internet connection.(Is this what withdrawal feels like?)
Scold dog for non-stop licking.
Text Husband who asks if I have called or started chat with Verizon. No. Only because I cannot look up the number or connect to start a chat (Happily play with new iOS 10 messaging features). Number arrives in text.
Make 10th (estimate) call to Verizon complaining about service since June. Know the conversation by heart. Speed it along by answering all pertinent questions before they are asked. Lovely woman looks at call history. Her voice changes, she sounds . . . frightened. Tells me to sit down and have a cup of tea while I wait for her to check the line (not kidding).
On hold. Furiously fold laundry. Scold dog for non-stop scratching.
We have located a problem. It seems there is an” outage in the line.” (No, S#!T!) They are working on the repair. It is expected to take 48 hours.
Scold Verizon representative, who empathizes and then asks If I have received “5 star outstanding customer service.”
Have short, relatively calm discussion about how “5 star customer service” would include functioning internet connection.
Reminded self . . . Self, there isn’t much she can do. Be nice. Tell representative as far as she was concerned and what she could control, my experience was excellent. She was happy. At least there’s that.
Text Husband.
Check social media. Tweets cannot load at this time. Tap to retry. Failed connection. No internet connection.Create new 4-letter word.
Answer call from Verizon. We have been classified as priority Level 3 and will take priority for service restoration. (Was this because I was nice? Hmmm. What does Level 3 mean? I know : We looked at the call history and this woman is soon going to lose her shit.)
Look down at dog I love dearly, facial expression altered and askew.
Scold dog for non-stop scratching. He excitedly wags tail.

Knowing that all hope is lost, there is only one option: Leave this place. I have 30 minutes until my first meeting, for which I will not be prepared. If I hurry, I can fumble through this meeting, drive to the college, inadequately prepare for the next meeting, finish prepping for class, and maybe pull this day together.

Shower. I’m cold. (Other dog is resident “Peeping Tom”).
Check social media. Tweets cannot load at this time. Tap to retry. Failed connection. No internet connection.
Reset modem.
Take meeting #1 on the phone. Boss reads agenda, which I cannot access.
Take care of dogs.
Text Husband.
Race out the door as the Internet reconnects. Grumble under breath.
Ahhh. Hamilton. Happy Place.
Buzz. Report was due Friday. Get it done today.
I’m a mess. Seriously. Hot. Mess.
Wait, Buzz? Tweet. I can Tweet! Text Husband to report that I have, in fact Tweeted and it was glorious.
Buzz. “I’m stuck. I need help.”
“Wait 5 minutes then call me. I’m in the car.” Some discussion. Return to Hamilton.
Hamilton interruption.
“This is weird.”
“Yeah. You’ll have to get over that.”
Student reports that another student, who was also in my class last year, was incredibly giddy that she was speaking to me on the phone. He says “Hi.”
Short discussion on paper. It all comes together. Giddy student says “Hi” again.
“I’m not telling her that.”
“What does he want you to tell me?”
“Um. He said to tell you he is the one who put the tampon in the coffee in your room that one time.”
“Ok. Ummmm. Thanks?”

We say our goodbyes and plan to regroup after the first round of paper feedback.

I race into the building and I connect! Ahhhhhhh.

I do a rapid meeting prep, connect to the meeting, and lead it — with only slight clumsiness.

Following the meeting I take care of a few tasks. Finish my plans for class, grab a coffee and a twix (the only thing I have eaten thus far),

and prepare to teach about Literacy and Inquiry in the Social Studies Classroom.

The rest of the day goes as a Monday typically does.

Satirical? Yes. But also accurate. I guess this is more evidence of how incredibly dependent we are in our lives and work on the now embedded technology. I discovered quickly that without a functional Internet connection, I was useless. I was able to do exactly nothing productive within the scope of my work and there was nothing that I could do about it but flee and seek out connectivity.

Looks like today I will be busy catching up!