Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Life is back to being good. The new Dell is up and running. I have a new DSL modem at thrice the speed of my old connection. But the cost?

Initial boot-up!

I had one of the worst experiences with tech support in my life in trying to get my internet connection back. What made it worse than it might have been, was that the flying monkeys apparently working at my ISP's tech support desk speak perfectly fine English and actually sound sincere in attempting to help while after the fact I imagine them poking each other with pencils, flicking blobs of ear wax around the call center, and trying to stifle their laughter in knowing that they're sending the help seeking customer on a one way trip to hell at the doors of which one should simply abandon all hope.

I was nice when the first guy, Corey, came on the line and tried farting around with rebooting my modem, as if I'd not tried that 100 times before calling. I knew he was following the mindless script he was expected to stick with so I played his little game and danced like a chihuahua out of whose reach a burrito was being held aloft. I fell for his eventual promise that someone would be out to the house the following day and braced myself for that evening and night without internet access.

When the expected time of the technician's arrival came and went the following day I called the tech support line to confirm that someone would still be on the way. Casey, (How do they get these Skippy sorts of names?) checked the ticket and had the gall to tell me, "They had to order a part." I was incredulous! How could they need to order a part when they hadn't been here yet? "Oh, they do most of the work outside, he assured me," in spite of my having explained that it was digging through the mess of wires under my PC desk that had caused the problem in the first place. When I started arguing about how stupid what he was telling me sounded he halted, put me on hold, came back and said that he had misread the ticket and that somebody would still be coming. An hour passed. On my next call I got Tammy and she was too adorable sounding to argue with so I asked her to try to make some kind of sense out of the load of crap I'd heard. Now, I don't know if I was just taken in by the sound of her voice, but she candidly admitted that Corey and Casey were both jerks who were taking guesses as to what was happening with my issue. I didn't feel better about waiting for my service to be fixed, but at least Tammy calmed me down a little, and when I later heard that it would be at least another full day before somebody would show up the top of my head didn't blow off.

Day two of Lack of Internet Hell arrived and I went to work confident that the planets would align correctly later on and that I'd be back up and running shortly after school. I kept that hope in my skip till the wife called me at lunch time to tell me that the ISP had called her to tell her that they had come to the house and nobody was there in spite of my having told the tech center and having had them read it back to me from ticket #2 that they were to arrive after 3:00 PM. The part that sent me into partial meltdown mode, though, was when they told her that if we called the tech support center back early enough they might make it back out later the same day.

That was when I called tech support and went ballistic on the flying monkey who happened to be next up in the queue. "Ripped him a new one," would put pleasantly what I did in response to the incompetence of the system.

Then my luck changed. On the way home I decided that I was going to call again, but to chew up and spit out a supervisor just for the heck of it. I keyed the 800 number and then went through what I thought was the right sequence in the voice-mail options. I accidentally hit an incorrect digit and got a guy in networking rather than the usual jerks at the tech desk. I quickly explained my predicament when he asked if he might be able to help and as soon as I finished, he said he'd put me in touch with the local technician dispatch center. A minute or so later I was actually talking to a real live person (who doesn't take to the air with a banana in each hand) who was sitting at a desk only a few miles away. She assured me that a guy would be out shortly, and indeed, he was. After a quick check of my wiring he went to the truck, brought in a new modem, and all was well with the line.

I quickly built a new shelf for the new modem because it was bigger and bulkier than the one it replaced, then set to getting the Dell out of the carton and up and running. By the time I went to bed last night I had about 95% of what I use on a daily and usual basis installed and working on the new machine, in part because after having learned a horrid lesson the last time a computer fritzed out on me I'd been keeping all of my data on external drives along with most of the installation programs for my typical software.

I haven't seen this big a section of the rug under my PC desk
since the early 90's. One of the things I dug out of there was
a long, thick parallel port cable. Can't remember the last time
I used one of them!

So, for better or worse, I'm back, and summer vacation is so close I can almost smell it. Now if I can get my blood pressure back down to a normal level by then to do some serious scooter riding and writing, I'll be okay!


Brady said...

Your tech monkeys fly? Dear god, what service do you use, I need to get it!

Well, that's not true, it sounds like you have just as much of an issue with your service as anyone, myself included, and that completely sucks.

I fought with big cable for a couple of months. Finally, when someone came out they said, oh yeah, you've got a bad splitter. It was replaced in 2 minutes and my net has worked ever since. It took 2 months of intermittent garbage before they showed up, though. Dear god.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Joe said...

Hey, Brady! I added you to my list of links in the ol' sidebar. Didn't know you were out there!


irondad said...

Love the descriptive writing. I feel your pain.