Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Bad Karma

I think we must have pissed off the Technology Gods at one point, or maybe our house was built on top of a computer graveyard. All I know is, we’ve got some very bad karma going on when it comes to IT matters.

We had a ton of trouble with our internet last year. For 6 weeks we went back and forth with phone calls to our Internet Service Provider (I only recently learned what that means) trying to diagnose the problem. Every time we called, we'd get a different person, and would have to start all over again explaining the issue. All along, my husband kept saying, I think it’s the modem. We need a new modem.

They fiddled and diddled, and for a few weeks it actually worked. Then we started back on the old routine of turning the modem on and off to kickstart things. We have better things to do with our time than spend hours on the phone with some internet technician, running up and down stairs plugging in this and unplugging that, tracing wires and cables all over the house. Not to mention the fact that they speak a ‘techy’ language that I don’t—DSL and megabytes and routers, OH MY!

For some reason, they were reluctant to send us a new modem, even though we offered to pay for it. My husband even resorted to putting the modem in the freezer to cool it down, since it was overheating. That actually worked, for a while. Finally we made a complaint to customer service, and they relented, agreeing to courier us a new modem, but we had to talk them into it. Hallelujah, Praise the Lord. While we waited, they sent over a phone cable guy to check the outside line, because our internet is connected to our phone (somehow – don’t ask me how).

The Phone Guy came. He drove a van with the phone company’s name on it, and wore a uniform. He told us that on top of our modem problems, we had a problem with the outside phone line. This wasn’t news to us. Our phone connection has always been bad. You could hear a loud ‘humming’ noise every time you made a call. This was probably also interfering with our internet.

So he said someone would come to fix the outside cable asap. We waited and waited and waited some more. Nobody came. I called the phone company, who sounded surprised to hear we were having phone trouble. Nobody sent in a report. Then who was the guy who drove one of your vans, I asked, perplexed? Why would he say he was sending a report, and not send it? They didn't know.

Phone Guy #2 arrived. He drove a van with the phone company’s name on it, and wore a uniform. He told me the same thing that Phone Guy #1 told me. We needed the outside phone cable repaired. I told him to go ahead. Go nuts. I figured I may as well have company. He said, NO. He wasn't the guy that repaired those things. He would send a report, and have Phone Guy #3 do it. Needless to say, I was gnashing my teeth at this point. I also didn't believe a word he said.

It was dark outside by the time Phone Guy #3 arrived. He drove the same kind of van, wore the same uniform. He didn't ring my doorbell to tell me he was there to fix my phone. The only reason I knew he was there was because my dog barked at him through the window. I heard him skulking outside my house, doing things only Phone Guys do. It’s a good thing I had a dog, or I’d have figured he was a Peeping Tom or something.

The next time I looked outside, the van was gone. Great, I thought to myself. I figured he had fixed the phone. I picked up the phone. No dial tone. It was dead as a doornail. Now I didn't even have phone service. Or internet. (I think I mentioned, my internet and my phone are connected somehow – a very unhappy marriage). Did I also mention our house alarm is connected to our phone line? In the event any skulking intruders tried to rape me or something, all I had to do was press a button and I'd be dialed in to the police station—but only if my phone worked.

So there I sat, listening to my security alarm beeping because it had been disconnected. My phone was dead, and so was my internet. I was isolated and alone in the vast universe, without any heads up from the phone company.

Like I said, must be bad karma. Or bad Feng Shui.

Or maybe just rotten luck. Stay tuned, there's more.

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