MY DAY | SUNDAY: Thomas the Technician & Big Boss Man

I opened the front door to see a frazzled, exhausted looking young man stepping out of his Spectrum (cable/internet) van and as he rounded the front end of the vehicle, he asked, “Do you mind if I take just five minutes to gather my wits and clear my brain?”

“Of course, not. Just come on inside when you’re ready. Take as much time as you need.”

The slender, weary-laden gentleman with short cropped red-hair and the semi-faddish facial scruff reached into the van’s passenger side to retrieve a near frozen 2-liter Mountain Dew from his cooler. With each swig of The Dew, he seemed to slowly revive. I stepped back inside the house to let him regain his spirit.

The original Spectrum order, which surprised me, was for a technician’s arrival between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon. My online discussion with a Spectrum agent about my internet issues was Saturday afternoon and I was grateful to get such immediate assistance despite the need to reschedule Sunday lessons. Fortunately, a music ensemble performance and a senior’s birthday party had already taken care of all but three students and they were out of Spectrum’s anticipated visit. Well… at the start they were.

1:50 PM, a voice message arrived from Spectrum that my technician was delayed. No problem.

I had spent the morning cleaning my study and the area behind my desk for fear the technician would think he was entering an Indiana Jones’ movie set dressed with aged cobwebs and who knows what else. Since the sweeper was out and we had struck up a working relationship, I swept the entire house. It’s kind of like the mentality of passing a restroom and using it since it’s there.

I seldom have company repair-personnel come to the house where I am wedged into a waiting frame. How does one go about their business, naturally, when they know the moment they begin to bury themselves in a project the repairperson will arrive? I felt like a stage actor trying to figure out stage business while the director steps out to smoke (back in the day). It was so foreign.

“Hey, Boss Man!” I heard Thomas step into the house.

“Come on back, Thomas the Technician.”

And, thus began an almost three-hour relationship of Thomas the Technician and Boss Man.

I’ve been called many names of different, varying degrees of titles, but “Boss Man” was entirely new. It worked.

Thomas the Technician stepped into my study looking much refreshed and energy-filled. He apologized for not making the earlier time window; it was now after 4:00 PM. His apology was sincere and to me, almost heart-breaking as I could tell he was stressed.

“Thomas the Technician, my theory is this: If someone, who is coming to fix something in my house, is running late, I hope that technician will give my needs the same detailed attention and time as the customer before me. Trust me, you’re good.” I was not disappointed.

I showed Thomas the Technician the issues and he got right to work, but not before asking permission to pet the dogs, gated in the bedroom next to my study.

“When I am done, do you mind if I give them a ‘T-R-E-A-T’?”

My heart swelled! Thomas the Technician must be a dog owner. How would he have known to spell in front of the dogs?

Over the next two hours and forty-five minutes, I learned Thomas the Technician had been a cable technician with Spectrum for five years, had two sons at ages ten and four, had graduated from Wayne High School, still lived in Huber Heights, owned two dogs that were pit bull and black lab mixes like my Chief (whom he adored), and was scheduled to finish his last job by 10:00 PM Sunday evening.

This rain soaked Monday morning, I feel as though I am in a completely new working world as my internet speed is much faster and stable, and my main work station with my PC, along with four laptops conveniently placed throughout my study and bedroom, feel like I was on LET’S MAKE A DEAL and the television game show’s hostess, Carol Merrill, showed me what was behind the numbered curtain I had selected. Last evening, I was in an elated state, in awe of technology, and glad I am not as technically minded so I can still marvel at these advancements.

First, my cable cords or wires, were installed when we moved here, June 2003. They were old. New cable stuff was installed outside in the grey box fixed onto the brick wall just inside the gate, from the basement and through the air duct into my study. Second, when the giant wood desk had been moved into my study three years ago, the boys sat it on that air duct cable, pinching full service. Thomas the Technician had to clip the ends and just leave the trapped cable beneath the cumbersome desk.

While working on the outside box, Thomas the Technician had four loving, attentive-sniffing assistants. Several times I commanded them to back off but he implored me to let them be. I was impressed how he could attend to his work while still petting each dog. Even more impressive, he knew their names within minutes while I still refer to them by their coat color or personality.

I had easily installed my new Spectrum-sent modem the previous Saturday and now, with a brand spanking new Wi-Fi router, geared for speed and distance, my study and entire internet world throughout The Haasienda feels like the Christmas edition of the Sears Catalogue has arrived.

By the time Thomas the Technician stepped onto the front porch to venture off to his next customer, over in Trotwood, he was sagging, again, and the strained fatigue was etching its way into the lines on his face. Suddenly, he brightened.

“Wait, Boss Man, I almost forgot.”

From the van he retrieved two sets of four large treats from a container of dog delicacies his mom had made for his own dogs. He rushed back into the house, hugged on the dogs, and then gave each dog a delicious moist treat from each hand. Later that night, I reluctantly offered each dog one of their medium sized dry, but crunchy, Milk Bone treats; they still seemed satisfied and appreciative following the quality gourmet treats Thomas the Technician gave them a few hours earlier.

I hope Thomas the Technician got home, earlier than his expected 10:00 PM job, and is still experiencing much needed sleep. He deserved it. I truly appreciate my new-found world of updated technology.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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