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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Luke 18:1-8.

My late father-in-law Louis was a CPA who ran his own business. When he was starting out in 1979, he emphasized to the local phone company that he had to have the phones on by a certain date, because that was the date he was opening for business. When the day came, he noticed a glaring error: The phones weren't working. While admittedly not as mortifying as what happened to Niles Crane's misspelled ad that was supposed to announce the fact he was a "Jung specialist," it was still a problem. After all, unlike Niles' phone, Louis' wasn't exactly going to be ringing off the hook.

Louis was a former paratrooper, but despite that he was not given to thoughtless profanity. Nevertheless, he was perturbed by this development. He immediately contacted the company and was told by the ground level types that the problem would be remedied. Two weeks later, the phones weren't on.

Louis had gotten his last runaround. He had a wife and three kids, and the company's ineptitude was harming all of them. He came home infuriated and dialed the phone company. A low level employee answered.

Louis: "My name's Louis, and I'm a customer who was supposed to have his business phone activated two weeks ago. Here's my info. I want my phones on."

Employee: "Sir, I don't handle--"

Louis: "Get me your boss. Now."

Employee: "OK."

Boss: "Hello--can I help you?"

Louis: "I want my phones on. Now."

Boss: "I'm afraid I don't--"

Louis: "Get me your boss."

Boss: "OK."

Boss' Boss: "Hello, can I help you?"

Louis: "My phones were supposed to be on two weeks ago. I want them on--now."

Boss' boss: "Well, I--"

Louis: "Put your boss on--now!"

The Company President: "Hello, Mr. Louis. I understand you need to speak with me."

Louis: "Before you get started, I have one thing to say: I want my ******* phones on, and I want them on now."

The Company President: "Absolutely. They will be."

Two hours later, they were.

Moral of the story? I don't know--though I certainly hope that it's not "the phone company's got a better grip on scripture than your local chancery." Why don't you decide, gentle reader?

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