Forgetting to Pay the Phone Bill
The Internet connection slowed down, then sputtered out. I gave it some time. I reset the modem. I waited some more, and installed a set of towel hooks in the bathroom. Still, nothing.
I went into the bedroom of Tatiana's parents and picked up the phone—a familiar automated message was looping. The account has been suspended again because the bill wasn't paid.
I don't understand it. Is it so difficult to get utilities paid on time in this family? The telephone, and with it the Internet, are such vital services used every day, wouldn't you think that there would be some routine or priority about ensuring that utility isn't disrupted?
I'm frustrated and annoyed.
I'm not online all day playing around; I'm working. I rationalize my time here, in part, because I can do the time consuming projects I need to do online while I'm in Lima. Not having the ability to work pisses me off.
I express this Tatiana. I tell her I'm not angry with her, but with her family. "What if we woke up tomorrow and there was no power, water, or natural gas?" I tell her. "There are certain responsibilities a functional household has, and one of them is paying the utility bills."
I understand if people can't pay credit cards, I'm down, I understand. But I'm a guy who has never made a late payment on any debt, and was raised by a father who taught this discipline to me, like I'm sure his father taught it to him. So, when this kind of stuff happens, it bugs me to no end.
I'm so grateful for the comforts of the home that I find myself in. There are many benefits during this temporary moment of stillness that I don't mention nearly enough, and consider myself very fortunate to be surrounded by the family that I am. But this telephone/Internet service suspension happening two months in a row is less of a nuisance than it's worrying, as it reveals attitudes and absentmindedness here in this home that shouldn't exist.
You'd think the embarrassment of it happening in November would have been enough to keep it from happening again in the near future. I guess I was wrong. Maybe this happens often enough that it's considered normal.
It wouldn't bother me if I was told that money was tight, and the funds for the utility bill were used to buy Christmas presents instead. That's OK; I'm fine with people knowingly not paying bills. It's the forgetting that irks me.
Back to the Internet café I go.