Yes, Arden called.
But first, my dog started barking.
It wasn’t his usual bark, like: listen up, squirrel, come down outta that tree so I can chase you around the yard and possibly kill you. It was a bark that said: Mommy, mommy – there’s a strange man in orange overalls standing by the back fence.
I checked out the front window. The phone company van was back, and so was Phone Guy #3.
I was very impressed. Only half an hour had passed since I’d hung up with Arden. I guess when Arden talked, people listened.
Phone Guy #3 continued to skulk around the house. I waved him over and asked for a status report. He told me he was fixing my phone cable. I asked if he had come the night before. He said no, wasn’t me. Apparently these people never work back to back shifts. I asked if they’re supposed to identify themselves before they start working on my property. He shrugged his shoulders. Technically, yeah, he said.
I think what he meant was, listen lady, this isn’t a perfect world, so get off my case and let me do my job, okay?
I gave him a closer look. He was young and cute. I wondered if he was single. No, I’m not a cougar. I’m simply on the lookout for a good match for my single daughter, and you never know.
A while later, the van disappeared. I checked my phone, and it was working. I did a happy dance.
Then my cell phone rang. It was Arden.
He was 15 minutes late calling, but he had actually called. He loved me, he really loved me… but I digress.
He told me he’d contacted the dispatcher, and all the technicians were busy. Nobody could come fix my phone until tomorrow.
But it’s already fixed, I said, perplexed. I checked my phone again. It was dead.
This isn’t happening, I thought. I’m in the twilight zone. I’m in technological purgatory. I’m hallucinating. I’m having conversations with Phone Guys who don’t exist. I had only imagined that my phone was fixed. It was actually still dead.
Arden didn’t have an explanation. He reiterated that nobody could come until tomorrow. Then who was that man in the orange jumpsuit? I demanded. The one who actually fixed my phone for a few minutes. The one who drove a phone company van.
Arden assured me that he must be an actual Phone Guy, and perhaps he was already working in the area.
I looked out the window, and the van was back. Phone Guy had returned from wherever he’d disappeared to, and was skulking in my backyard again.
There he is, I told Arden. He’s back.
It dawned on me then that the office pencil pushers and the Phone Guys work in alternate universes. The phone company Pencil Pushers live in Fantasy Land, and the Phone Guys work in Real Life. And you can’t cross over, or there’ll be a nuclear explosion. They don’t even speak the same language.
I thanked Arden, slightly disappointed to learn that he actually had no idea what was going on with the Phone Guys. The Phone Guys did their own thing, and didn’t much care what the Pencil Pushers, or the customers for that matter, said.
Phone Guy rang the doorbell and informed me my phone should be working now. I checked, and it was. I thanked him, and he left.
I never did catch his name. I wished I’d offered him a cup of coffee, since it was a freaking cold day out that day -25 Celsius. But I didn’t.
According to Phone Guy, somebody else is coming in the spring to bury the phone cable. I can’t wait. I’ve marked my calendar.