Such was the excitement around here

The AT&T man came today, fulfilling his role in the AT&T electronic dissatisfaction ecosystem. We have had internet connectivity issues dating back to, ohh, 2010 in our previous house. So the fellow comes out, his shoes in protective booties so as to not track mud, and asks us if we’d like him to wear a mask. Asks us. Can I come into your home and should I adorn the facial covering?

I’d like that, yes, and thank you.

Such was the excitement around here.

So we all don masks, because what’s the point of just the one of us doing it? And we should be fair and considerate to our fellow man, the kindly AT&T man who’s just here to check off a line on his call sheet. He runs a test, I guess. I was standing at least eight feet away.

We’d just received a new router two weeks before. It was the first one in four years and, apparently wildly outdated. The customer service rep on the phone couldn’t even send a signal to our decidedly old school gear. So they shipped a new one. The Yankee installed it. Many updates were updated and, we learned today, that took far too long. So the guy today did his test and sold us another device and left.

We wiped everything down. Did he touch this? What about that? He was definitely around this. And also the cats, because the cats haven’t seen a different person in forever and of course they were curious and good luck sponging cats down with Lysol wipes and if I get sick because of the cats it’ll be the perfect bow on the story of these cats.

Such was the excitement around here.

Later we found something he touched that we overlooked, and I’m just going to let it sit for two or three days. If the good natured man who kindly asked if we’d prefer he wore a mask on his Nth call of the day gets me sick it’ll be from the cats, not the random cable I overlooked in my new germ mania.

The other device he sold us is a repeater. I wiped it down three times before sitting it on a small table in a hallway closer to the home offices. This piece of plastic picks up the wifi signal and broadcasts it again. Perhaps it will somehow keep video chats from freezing, which would improve our professional capacity by at least 33 percent. It has no chance of keeping the signal from falling away, which was the original point of the service call and, I can guarantee, has not been resolved.

This is not my first trip around the technology block.

Today was notable, then, as the first person who’s been in our house since February. You know what you learn from an experience like that? The basic social graces and social cues, they’re still in your mind and functional, but you have absolutely no idea what six feet is. I can’t tell you anything about the test today because I was so intent on thinking, “Well if my arm is about three feet then there should be two arms lengths between us, and if my foot is a little longer than a foot then that should be about five shoe lengths or so, and since I know from my time studying forestry in school that I cover 66-and-a-half feet in a little more than 13 normal strides, then today I should keep this guy a good step-and-change away … and that’s what I’m thinking about while he’s running his diagnostics, or pouring sugar into the new router or doing who knows what.

Such was the excitement around here.

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