Subject: 	[Humor] Telecommunications in 1999

     Sometime in 1999:
     "Hello. This is Bell Atlantic-Nynex-MCI-TCI-America Online customer 
     service. May I help you?"
     "Yes, I'd like to report a problem with my telephone."
     "Our records show you don't have local phone service through us."
     "How'd you know who I am? I didn't give you my name."
     "We have ways."
     "Well, I'm pretty sure you have my phone service."
     "Our records show you have long-distance, cellular, satellite TV, 
     Internet access and your MasterCard through us. Your phone service 
     must be through one of the other three big communications companies. 
     Have you looked at your bill?"
     "My bill is 134 pages long."
     "Oh, you're one of our light users. But we'd be happy to become your 
     local phone provider. If you sign up, you get one-third off long- 
     distance calls made on your cellular phone to friends and family 
     members who have an Internet home page."
     "It's tempting, but I just want my phone fixed."
     "Fine, sir. Just a reminder: Next time you need to contact us, try our 
     Internet site. And when you get there, you can sign up for a free 
     showing, through your satellite TV system, of Hamlet starring Bell 
     Atlantic-Nynex-MCI-TCI-America Online CEO Ray Smith."
     "Thanks. Goodbye."
     Click. Dial. Ring.
     "Good morning! This is SBC-Pacific Telesis-Sprint-GTE-Little Caesar's."
     "Little Caesar's? You do pizza?"
     "You buy it over phone lines. It's content. Would you like one? You 
     get a medium with two toppings when you order HBO on cable."
     "Uh, no. I called because my phone line isn't working right."
     "I see. Do you have your phone over your cable line or do you have 
     your phone over a phone line."
     "A phone line, I think."
     "OK, then that's not SBC-Pacific Telesis-Sprint-GTE-Little Caesar's. 
     My file shows that you get cable TV and video games on demand from us, 
     but in your area, we only offer phone service over cable lines. If you 
     use a phone line, it must be one of the other companies."
     "Thanks. I'll call them."
     "And sir? We're testing some new products in your area. We're offering 
     electric service and natural gas service for 10% less than the public 
     utilities. One-stop shopping. We want to provide you with everything 
     that comes into your house and connects to a device or appliance."
     "No, thanks. Bye."
     Click. Dial. Ring.
     "Hello. Endorphin Enterprises."
     "I'm sorry. I must have dialed the wrong number."
     "You're probably in the right place. We just changed our name. We used 
     to be US West-UUNet-Universal Pictures-Ameritech, but that got pretty 
     cumbersome. I guess they wanted to call it UUUUSA, but then decided to 
     start fresh.  So we're Endorphin Enterprises."
     "Personally, I thought we should call ourselves Youse Guys. Get it?"
     "Yeah, that's good. Um, I was calling because my phone line doesn't 
     seem to work right."
     "Ohhhhh. What services do you have with us?"
     "I'm not sure."
     "We offer everything: local, long-distance, cellular, cable TV, 
     satellite TV, Internet access, music on demand and so on. But so does 
     everybody else these days."
     "Yes, well, it's gotten a little confusing. I've already called those 
     two other companies with long names."
     "Oh, right. OK, see, it looks like you don't have anything at all with 
     us. Now, we could make your life easier by giving you all the services 
     so you'd know who to call. Except in your area, we only offer movies 
     on demand over the Internet, so that could be a problem."
     "No, really, I just want to get my phone fixed."
     "My guess is you must have your local phone service through AT&T. 
     That's the only other company left in the business."
     "OK, I'll try AT&T."
     Click. Dial. Ring.
     "Hello. AT&T. Bob Allen speaking."
     "Bob Allen? The chairman? I'm sorry. I wanted customer service."
     "No problem. Hold on a moment."
     Pause. Rustling sounds.
     "Hello. Customer service. Bob Allen speaking."
     "Mr. Allen, I really just wanted customer service."
     "This is it. We spun off everything but my office. It goes totally 
     against the megamerger trend. Our shareholders love it. I'm getting 
     paid $55 billion this year."
     "Well, sir, my phone line doesn't work right, and I think I need 
     someone to come fix it."
     "Be right there, as soon as I can find my tool belt."

  |         'Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.'          |
  |                                                                          |
  |                 Mark Davis   a.k.a.                  |