November 9th, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Written 9 Nov, noon, on a laptop with a battery.

1-800-9OUTAGE

[ring, ring]

Entergy: "Thank you for calling Entergy. Por instrucciónes en Español, por favor marque el 'dos'."

[pause]


E: "To report a power outage or to speak with a customer service representative, press one now."

[boop]

[pause]

[ring, ring]


E: "HelloEntergyIcanhelpyou?"

Todd: "Hi. I'm calling to see if you have any information about the power outage in the Marigny and Bywater that happened last night."

E: "You want to report an outage?"

T: "No, I want to know if you have any information about a major outage that occurred last night."

E: "So you want to report an outage?"

T: [silence]

E: "I can have yo' name?"

T: "Perley."

E: "And your last name?"

T: "That is my last name."

E: "Well den what's your first name?"

T: "Todd."

E: "I can have yo' address?"

T: "xxxx Dauphine St., New Orleans."

[pause]

E: "And you wanted to report an outage? When did the outage occur?"

T: "I wanted to find out about any progress that may or may not be happening in restoring two large neighborhoods. The power went off around 7 last night."

E: "I'm showing an upstairs and downstairs for your address. Is the power off in both houses?"

T: "I just told you. The power is out in two neighborhoods. Thousands of people in my neighborhood don't have power."

E: "Yes, but sir, I need to know if you have power in either your upstairs or downstairs to file the report."

T: "Er, neither then."

E: "Okay sir, I'll file your report. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

T: "Er, yes. Address the only question I had for you. Do you have any information about the power outage in my neighborhood?"

E: "No one else has reported any outage."

T: "That, I find quite incredible."

E: "You have to understand sir, since hurricane Katrina, there are problems in New Or-lee-uns."

T: "You don't say."

E: "Many people still don't have power."

T: "Yes, I'm well aware of that. But our neighborhood has had electricty for well over a month now. I'm calling to get a status report on zip code 70117!"

E: "I have no other information for you."

T: "Is there someone else I can speak with?"

E: "There's no one, sir."

T: "You're all alone there?"

E: "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

T: "'Else' would imply that you've done something. No I can't think of anything 'else' you can do."

E: "Thank you for calling Entergy and have a nice…" [click]



[boop, boop, boop]

411: "Directory assistance, what city and state?"

Todd: "New Or-lee-unz, Lou-ee-zee-ann-uh."

411: "How can I help you?"

T: "Local number for Entergy, please?"

411: "That number is 576-4000."

T: "Thanks. Bye."

[click]



576-4000

[ring, ring]

Entergy: "Thank you for calling Entergy. Por instrucciónes en Español, por favor marque el 'dos'. This call may be monitored for quality assurance."

Todd: [mumbling] "One can only hope."

[pause]

E: "Dis Entergy. Hep you?"

T: "Hi. Trying a local office to see if you know anything about the progress of the power outage from last night in the Marigny and Bywater."

E: "You hafta call our customer service line at one-eight-hundred…"

T: "Yah, they're in Atlanta or Texas or some place. They don't know anything. I thought I'd call a local office. I'm sure you're aware that half of the city that still exists is without power as of last night. Just tryin' to get a little status report, that's all. See if you heard anything. You know. What's the buzz around the office. Uh, just ... checkin' things out. Uh ... hello?"

[pause]

E: "I done already TOLE you! You hafta call out customer reprehension organiza…"

[click]




1-800-ENTERGY

[ring, ring]

Entergy: "Thank you for calling Entergy. Por instrucciónes en Español, por favor marque el 'dos'. This call may be monitored for quality assurance."

Todd: [thinking] "Fat fucking chance."

E: "… for updates on neighborhoods affected by hurricane Katrina, please press five now."

[boop]

[pause]

E: "Due to the high volume of calls, you may expect to be on hold for [pause, different voice] forty-five [pause, old voice] minutes or more…"

T: "Damn daytime minutes!"

[click]