Mike is an awesome guy.
I’ve known him for years, on and off. I was genuinely touched when he turned up to lend a bit of support during a difficult time a while back. We catch up every few weeks, usually for lunch. He’s a storyteller: a natural talker who, unusually, can listen.He knows people, people know him. Amazing guy.
But we’ve been organising lunch via txt and frankly, I think Optus is jerking us around. The latest debacle went like so:
- He contacted me earlier in the week to do coffee. That arrangment fell through. Then another a couple days after that.
- After that he suggested 12:30. I was busy that morning with a regular engagement that often runs late, so I texted back that I would text him when I was done.
- Fine. At 1:30, I texted him to say I was out of my meeting, and perhaps we could arrange a time that afternoon. (I’m a contractor, so I can have lunch whenever. Lunch at 2:30 is not a big deal.)
- At 3 – an hour and a half later – not having received a reply, I texted again to say I’d go with plan B.
- At 3:30 – two hours after I had txted about the meeting being over – I received a bunch of txts in sucession: “Plan B?” and “yes, now is good.” Now here’s the thing: at that very point I was exactly at the moment of arranging another meeting, actually in someone’s waiting-room, just about to go in. As I got those txts, I had to ask “do I blow this person off and see Mike, or not?” I chose to see Mike. I txted back – “Ok! Coffee it is!” and apologised to this other person “I’m sorry about this, but I just got a txt and I have to deal with it.”
- As I was walking down the goddamn stairs, having cancelled the meeting, I got another txt from Mike: he was free at 4:15. Which is heading well into teatime territory, but we had had such difficulty catching up, I was ok with it.
- Finally, another txt at 4 saying that he’d be another quarter hour.
At which point I blew him off.
But here’s the thing: recall that I said “I got a flurry of txts from Mike”. Fucking Optus and his network do not exchange txt messages promptly. He probably got all of my in a bunch at 3:30, because from that point we could txt back-and-forth no problem.
So from Mike’s POV, the day went something like this:
- Morning txt to Paul: Lunch at 12:30?
- Paul’s reply: meeting often runs late, I will txt you. (commitment from Paul to txt later)
- Txt from Paul at 3:30 in the arvo :
- How about nowish?
- Naah, fuck it – I’ll go plan B.
- Txt to Paul: no, no – now is good.
- Txt from Paul: Kewl!
- Txt to Paul: need 45 min
- Spend 45 min frantically clearing shedule
- Txt to paul: need another 15
- Txt from Paul: screw you hippie, I’m going home.
And here we are.
From my POV, after trying to arrange lunch or afternoon coffee at lunchtime when I said I would, Mike got back to me 2 hours later, I cancelled something else right on the spot, then he blew me off for another hour.
From Mike’s POV, I txted him late in the afternoon – seven or eight hours after the morning exchange, then cancelled over a 15 minute delay.
Fuck you, Optus. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you Optus.