From the full version of Sunnyside's Lousy Book.
It would be nice to have a phone that works
The first time I can recall my phone service had been tampered with was during the time I was working on a few underground vaults. Due to the rainy weather conditions, I decided to wait out the heavy rains. Since I was living without electricity my answering machine couldn't work so I stayed by the phone expecting to hear from the manager running the job as soon as the rain let up. I found out later that he hired someone else to
finish the job because he couldn't get in contact with me. The loss of income to me was about $1,600 and not to mention the company was reluctant to use me on anymore jobs that had a tight time schedule because the job I'm mentioning about had a deadline and a $1,600 per day fine, if it wasn't completed on time.
Later I met with some of the people managing the particular job and they said that they tried to call me, but there was no answer. I told them that I was expecting their call and had stayed by the phone waiting for their call. I let it be known that I'd thought my phone had been rigged and from that point on I'd always get the calls from them, but calls from other customers became sparse -- practically non-existent.
I decided to try a cell phone service and it only turned out to be costly experiment because in those days three hundred minutes cost close to $200.00 per month. As time when on, I realized that the calls from company I painted septic tanks for were the only calls I could count on.
Since I made most of my living by word to mouth, most of my summer work was out on the coast, it made it a little more difficult for the conspirators to put me under financial difficulties than they could have with most people. Out on the coast my work was generated by word to mouth and didn't require the use of a phone. When the spring time rolled around, I'd usually have a back log of jobs that I couldn't get to during the previous summer; but that changed over time. (More on it later.)
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