We Protect You From Yourselves

Democracia – We Protect You From Yourselves, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, 2013

We had a home security system installed yesterday. Our appointment had been scheduled between the hours of eight and twelve. What wasn’t made clear is that the appointment would run that entire window, from eight to twelve. It turned into quite the ordeal and was way more involved than I thought that it would be.

Now that I am retired, we travel a lot more than we ever used to and I think that to some extent, we have been living on borrowed time. Don’t get me wrong, Joanie does a bang-up job of looking after the house when we are away, but she can’t be here 24/7. What triggered this project, were the experiences of some nearby friends. Before our Virgin Islands trip, we attended a dinner party. We were alarmed to hear that they their house had been robbed, while they too were out-of-town. Their neighbor’s home surveillance system indicated that the robbers had taken almost an hour to ransack their home. Based upon their cautionary tale, I made the appointment with AT&T the very next day.

Michael the tech was courteous, clean, experienced and everything else you would want in a service representative. We settled on a configuration, which he installed and then he explained its operation. Its day-to-day operation is pretty simple, but all of the what-if situations left me glad that he was there to explain and then later re-explain the processes. He informed us that AT&T will soon be discontinuing its home installation service, in lieu of a dropship, DIY process. We had to “take classes” that is watch half-a-dozen instructional videos that again reexplained how the system worked. This was required by the police, who will be none too pleased at having to answer any false alarms.

Now our front walk is flanked by two signs. The old one welcomes all of our neighbors, in Spanish, English and Arabic. On the other side of the walkway is the new sign that announces presence of the alarm system and basically says go away. Together, they make for an interesting dichotomy, but a necessary one.

In other home news, after taking the weekend and a rainy Monday off, the water company’s plumbers are back at it today. “They’re back,” I plaintively cried when I saw one of their number trundling down the block on some sort of motorized wheelbarrow. To which Anne answered, “Don’t you want them to get done, done?” Which she later revised to, “Done, done, da-done.” Being out-of-town last week, we missed the worse of their onslaught, as they connected our lateral to the new main. Evidence of this work was found in the hammering of our water pipes, when we first ran the faucets after returning, a sure sign that the water had been shutoff. I think that this phase of the job is almost done. Soon, the next and final phase will begin, road repair and after that, they will finally be done, done, da-done and then be gone.

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