I should be full of joy because today is Friday but instead of I’m finding that I’m a little short on patience today. I really don’t know what made my mood head in this direction today, but I’m finding that I’m failing at attempts to set this crankiness aside and to just get on with it.

Now that I think about it, I know what’s put me in this mood. In my job I work closely with a montrosity of a phone company whose name rhymes with horizon. Once part of Ma Bell, they’ve inherited, spindled, folded and mutilated any records that may have been coherent back in the good old days. They have directory listings for a 212 phone number with the address “New York, MA” as the city. They frequently change the “business rules”, the industry agreed upon guidelines that all telephone communications are suppose to operate under, without warning or notice. They revel in their tunnel vision, if you don’t put “install a jack” when requesting new service, they’ll leave the bare wires hanging in some old woman’s basement, it’s up the old lady to do the rest. In short, they live up to the slogan in that old Laugh In with Ernastine the operator, “We’re the phone company, we don’t have to care.”

Today’s project involves getting phone service to a brand new house, in a brand new McMansion development on a newly built street. In 80 characters or less, I have to describe where this house is and give them as much information as possible. (In the telecommunications industry, spelling out complete words is a sign of weakness, and no they don’t accept l33t sp3@k.) I gave VZ (the favored abbreviation for this company) the name of the three closest cross streets. I got back “NEED NEAR TN ON SAME” which translates to they need someone else’s phone number on the same street as the location I am referencing.

When I explained, as briefly as possible (“ONLY HSE ON ST”) that it’s the first house on a brand new street and requested a NEW ADDR, I apparently pissed someone off because they dared use an exclamation point, using up a precious byte. “NEED NEAR TN ON SAME!”

So now we are at a crossroads. I’m not budging and the overpaid union slacker on the other end isn’t budging either. But at the very least, writing about the tale has improved my mood ten-fold and made me realize just how ridiculous it is to waste time and energy on “VZ”. I’ve got better things to do.

Happy Friday.