(posted by josh golden)
Moving into a new apartment is just like being sent to space prison. It’s cold, there’s no power, no Internet, and that new neighbor, the 80 year-old Korean woman, turns out she is your warden and is dead serious with those crazy spells she is casting.
I am beginning the unenviable quest to procure utilities when the warden calls lights out, so I reach for my space age iPhone that I snuck in and over the next hour I sit answering robotic voices with simple “yes” or “no” answers. I try to spice things up with the really professional-sounding ballbuster prompt I have code-named Linda.
Linda: You have said that you want to start your service. Is this correct?
Josh: Yeah, that’s right!
Linda: Please respond with a less emphatic yes or no.
Linda: I am sorry, I can’t understand you. Goodbye.
Why so distant Linda? I go through this dance with every major service provider of any type of service, sitting on my cell floor craving human interaction. Then, when the light at the end of my tunnel seems too dim to see, a voice cuts through the darkness.
I pick up the sound of heavy breathing, the occasional chewing of food. Her voice is sloppy, irritable, nasally. It’s someone alive, like me. I name her Carol; she sounds just like a Carol.
Josh: Oh thank god! I am just trying to set up my gas connection-
Carol: If you are calling to start or stop service (throat clear) please press one (chewing, followed by light breathing).
They are becoming…
My name is Josh, please shout obscenities if you would like to be connected to an operator.