In 12 easy steps.
1. Spend the morning tidying potential repair site areas. There’s no phone outlet in the master closet or bath, so go ahead and cram all that folded/unfolded, clean/dirty laundry in there. Don’t forget to do a quick dust job behind the television where the colony of dust bunnies large enough to cast a made for television production of Watership Down stands watch over the jack that was causing all the trouble the last time the service guy was out.
2. If you’re set on showering before your service appointment, better leave yourself more than a 20 minute window in case they call an hour and a half before your appointment to tell you they’ll be there in 30 minutes and you’re in the middle of making school lunches and minutes away from heading out the door to run the kids to school (too few minutes for even a quickie rinse off and too many minutes to leave you enough time on the backside of that carpool run).
3. Should you find yourself in the predicament described in step 2, don’t worry about not showering. A few passes with the deoderant, a bra, and a little mascara will make you semi-presentable.
4. When the service guy arrives, be sure to give him a detailed account of the last service call, pointing out the source of the trouble and explaining that the last service guy said it was possible his repair job might end up being a temporary fix.
5. When the service guy tells you thirty minutes later that he thinks he’s found the source of the problem in that jack/wires/faceplate that’s hanging out of the wall in the upstairs family room, don’t argue with him. When he’s done fixing the jack/wires/faceplate and figures out that wasn’t the problem, you’re still ahead one fixed jack/wires/faceplate.
6. Avoid saying “I told you so” when he decides fifteen minutes later that the jack/outlet you told him about in the first place turns out to be the source of the trouble.
7. During this time, you should establish some kind of contact with a third party off the premises that you trust. Sample text conversation:
You: I have a service guy in my house & I never know what to do with myself. Plus it’s always wise to have contact with someone on the outside in case he turns out to be a murdering rapist or something.
Trustworthy off the premises third party: You should text me a detailed description of the guy, just in case.
You: He’s an attractive young Asian man. Maybe early 20s. Tall–6’1″ or 6’2″. His name is Phil, or so he says. He has bright blue plastic booties over work boots.
TOTPTP: Wow, that’s tall for an Asian guy.
You: I know, right? Perhaps he’s of mixed decent. Would it be rude to ask?
TOTPTP: Hey, when a guy is in your house wearing bright blue plastic booties he has already checked his pride at the door.
You: Well, at least it gives me a distinguishing characteristic to report to the police. Oh, he’s also driving a white Comcast van, or so it says…
TOTPTP: Or so it says…u crack me up 🙂
You: You won’t be laughing when I’m dead. … He’s in my backyard now. Do you think he’s casing the joint for possible re-entry routes???
TOTPTP: Better lock up your windows tonight…just in case…
8. When he informs you he needs access to the crawl space, keep a smile on your face as you unload the contents of your 3×4 hall closet into your entryway. At least you’re not the one who has to go into the crawl space.
9. After you’ve unloaded the contents of your hall closet and you remember that the crawl space access has been covered by your snap together/non-glued-down laminate flooring, pull up the flooring yourself. Don’t leave the service guy to his own devices, and don’t under any circumstances give him a pry bar unless you want two pry-bar shaped holes in your wall.
10. If you ignore the warnings in step 9 and leave the guy grunting in your hall closet for 15 minutes and then check on him only to discover no progress other than the two holes in the back of your closet, go ahead and offer to take care of the flooring yourself and then get his card to reschedule the appointment for the next day.
11. When you’ve popped the flooring up yourself without the aid of pry bar and/or grunting two minutes after he pulls out of your driveway, wait a few minutes before calling him to see if he has time to come back later that day. You don’t want to completely emasculate and/or offend him, you still need him to get down in that crawl space and fix your friggin’ phone line.
12. When all is said and done, don’t be too disgusted with yourself for apologizing for all the trouble and pretending not to notice the holes in your closet wall. Your phone is fixed, all the crap you pulled out of your closet will cover up the holes when you get around to putting it back in, and you haven’t antagonized the “service guy”/murdering rapist.
TOTPTP: R u still alive? The tall Asian really was just a cable guy?
You: Yes, I’m alive. Phone is fixed. Tall Asian guy has disappeared…for now…
TOTPTP: Or so he says…