My internet was down, again. No big deal, I only rely on my internet connection for my livelihood, and this was the third time in a week that it had gone down. Our phone lines were also down, which was not a surprise since we had lost phone lines at least six times in the last two months.
I screamed at my computer screen, but to no avail. As I swept my arm around dramatically to call a technician, I hit my Diet Coke and sent it flying across the office. So, I tried to be more Zen and less Zany and called my internet service provider. Of course this happened on a Friday afternoon, but I decided to be a crazy optimist and called anyway. My partner and I were told a technician would arrive Saturday before noon.
So, I got up on a precious Saturday – you know, the only day small business people tend to take off – and went into work. I sat and waited from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., listening to the crickets and watching tumbleweeds roll by. Around 1:00, I picked up the phone and called the dreaded 1-800 number (which I remember as 1-800-into-the-abyss), and entered the service number given when we first called.
The automated machine said someone was within our vicinity and would be by within the hour. I celebrated with a real Coke and waited. At 2:30 steam began literally coming out of my ears, so I called again and waited for an actual person. They informed me that I had no service number at all – that our entire order had never occurred. I had been bumped out of the system, and since I was talking to a new person it was as if I never existed at all. I pinched myself to be sure I was still alive, and then asked for them to input a new order. A technician could not come out until Monday. I refrained from dramatics lest I send my real Coke flying across the office, and simply went home.
The technician did show up first thing Monday morning, and looked very sharp in his Oakley glasses. He walked in with the profound statement “What do you need?” Nice entrance, I felt so valued as a customer and certainly felt the sincere concern about the delayed response.
“Well, our phone lines have been down since Friday, and our Internet is down as well. This has happened repeatedly . . .”
“Yea – the guy next to you has had his line go down a bunch. I’ve been out here at least ten times for him.”
Nice, now I feel much better. Why would I ever doubt my internet service provider when their technicians provide this information as if it’s just part of their job? The service technician asked where the phone lines were (something I have to repeat for every new guy) and strutted to check them out. He came back in look mighty proud of himself, and said, “Well, I just unplugged and plugged the lines back in and they seem to be working. I don’t know what happened or why. Just weird, I guess.”
Okay, maybe this would be easy after all. “Could you check the internet, please?” I thought maybe the “weirdness” could be as easily fixed there.
“Do you know where your modem is?”
Of course I did, I’d led a multitude of their technicians to it. So, I took him to modem land and went back to my office, filled with false optimism. Suddenly, I sensed someone was staring at me, so I turned in my office chair to see stylish ISP man holding his clipboard, ready to deliver his profound diagnosis. “This isn’t our modem, m’am. I don’t know who put this in here, but it’s not ours.”
“Well, that’s weird because you are my internet service provider and your guys set it up.”
“Is that a new copier?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Well, if you guys are networked this could be a copier problem, not a modem problem.”
Ah, he was a tenacious sleuth. With that shallow solution, our guy left as quickly as he could, looking equally as stylish in his Oakley glasses as he was useless as a technician. I beat myself up immediately for simply staring, mouth open, when he left. I should have tackled him in the parking lot and forced him to return.
Instead, I called the copier company, and talked to someone who actually wanted to help. He led me through a series of diagnostics, at which point we realized it was a modem problem. Rather than dealing with this internet service (said with sarcasm) provider, again, we played with the modem until we got it working.The result? My phones work for now, my internet struggles along taking brief naps, and we’re swit
ching everything we can to another service provider in the first of September.
P.S. Today, when I came in to post this article, my internet was down – AGAIN. The technician is supposed to be here between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. This time I have on my football gear. If he tries to leave, I’m going for a chop block.