In which our intrepid hero narrowly avoids the dreaded death by phone-monkey.

I’m off sick again with tonsillitis and associated complications. My doctor says that if another course of antibiotics doesn’t work, then I should consider getting them removed. I find this a bit odd. The whole concept of (as far as I can tell) yanking out part of my immune system aside, how many 31-year-olds get tonsillectomies?

Isn’t that like getting chicken pox or the measles at 31? (Mind you, I never caught either as a child…)

Mim K/W also took off half a day sick yesterday, and met me at the doctor’s. We did a bit of food shopping (including the all-important tea, which I’ve been missing for a week), came home, had a cuppa or two and went for a snooze.

I swear tea has some sort of anti-inflammatory property—which would explain the whole “teabag on the eyelids” thing. After a couple of cups of tea (as opposed to the coffee I’d been drinking for the past week) and a good lie down, my tonsils felt a lot less swollen.

After we woke, we headed downstairs to the lounge room to catch the news. And then the phone rang.

Back in January, we signed up for ADSL, bundled with a phone package. The bill gets automatically drawn from Mim’s account, and we work out who owes what with the other bills, based on that.

Mim’s bank was giving us some trouble with automated payments that month, so it didn’t come out as planned. That month’s bill, $285—which included the router and a heap of calls to mobiles which Mim made from the landline because she wasn’t working, and had no credit on her mobile—rolled over to the next bill, for a total of $454 or thereabouts.

When we got back from Queensland, we discovered that we had no phone and no Internet (part of the reason for the 10-day lacuna in blog entries recently), despite the $454 coming out of the account the previous week. I rang the ISP from my mobile and sorted it out with them—or so I thought—and our phone and Internet were put back on.

Last night’s call was from the ISP. They said that unless we paid the $454, they’d cut off our service again. After much toing and froing, it turned out that Accounts had forgotten to credit the $454 payment. Hopefully, that’s settled now—but then they said that our first bill for $285 (which came out as part of the $454) was still outstanding, and we’d have to pay it or, you guessed it, they’d cut us off.

One thing I’ve noticed with this bout of tonsillitis is that it doesn’t react well to stress. If I get stressed out, my tonsils swell, I get what’s called referred pain in my ears and sinuses, the lymph nodes in my neck blow up like a balloon and I get severe headaches. It didn’t take that very long to happen at all last night.

At the moment, I feel like Carter Wong‘s character, Thunder, at the end of Big Trouble in Little China, except with a lot more body fat and a lot less Chinese ancestry. And, unfortunately, with no kickarse faux-wuxia lightning-sorcery with which to dispatch call centre employees at the other end of the line.

Thankfully, my ISP has no fixed-term contracts. They’ve got exactly one more chance to get the billing right before I find another, cheaper ISP—whose Accounts department isn’t a bunch of complete fucking morons.

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