I’m sitting on my couch typing this blog post on Day 4 of living without a home internet connection. I have to wait until the morning to upload this at work.
My laptop has become a glorified doorstop.
I went to bed on Friday night at 2am -- I suppose that’s actually Saturday morning, but whatevs. I know for a FACT that my internet connection was working then, because I was online doing extremely important business (managing my Netflix queue).
When I woke up, around 9:30am, I immediately noticed an orange light flashing on my modem, inexplicably. That’s never a good sign. So I went through all the typical troubleshooting steps – I rebooted the modem, and the cable box, and my computer. Blah blah blah.
So I called the number on the original installation paperwork (I keep it handy in the TV cabinet for situations such as this). Miracle of miracles, I got a guy who picked up immediately! And then he put me on hold...
FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF.
After about 30 minutes, it became a game – guessing which pre-recorded message was next. It was a battle of the wills. I had too much invested, I couldn’t possibly hang up now. Then delirium set in, and I actually started to BELIEVE my call was important to them (silly me). Then came the anger. I would never get these 93 minutes back. Realizing I could literally die on hold, I hung up the phone and drank in the silence. Ahhhhhh…
I let my ear cool off for a minute, then phoned the number on the back of my bill. I spoke to an automated voice who’s cheerfulness just fueled my pissy attitude. Eventually, a technician came on the line and she quickly put me on hold to check my signal. In doing so, THE MOTHER EFFER DISCONNECTED ME.
Oh sweet Jesus! At this point, I was livid.
I called – AGAIN – and shouted at the robot. When I finally got another technician on the horn, I explained how incompetent the last one was and said I hoped she could actually DO her job. I can see now that probably set us off on the wrong foot.
She needed to test the line, at which point I BEGGED her not to put me on hold. She obliged, but couldn’t find a signal.
No shit, Sherlock.
She couldn’t tell me why it wasn’t working, or if someone else on my floor got cable installed and accidentally knocked mine out. She stated very matter-of-factly that a technician would need to come to my apt to investigate the root cause. Her calmness was aggravating.
The earliest I could get an appointment was on Wednesday from 11am-2pm. FIVE days later!?! I clenched my jaw and explained that in order to pay my bill in a timely fashion, I have to be gainfully employed and therefore could not take time off in the MIDDLE OF A WORKDAY to wait for the cable guy.
Equally unhelpful was her suggestion that I have someone over the age of 18 wait on my behalf. I explained I live alone (and thanks for rubbing salt in THAT particular wound).
Can I please just take a moment to say how much I DESPISE that we are all at their mercy? The cable company, the phone company, the electric company, the plumber. Utilities have the power, and they know it.
I took a deep breath and asked for an evening appointment. She didn’t have one. I asked for a weekend appointment. She DID have one of those. In two weeks. Unacceptable. I begrudgingly settled on an appointment for this Friday -- in the 8am-11am window – which just happens to be my day off. Excellent.
At this point, I couldn’t WAIT to get off the phone and slam my head in the freezer. I don’t care that it’s not her fault. I now hate this woman AND the company she works for. But apparently, she was not as sick of me as I was of her.
She proceeds to try and sell me whole house DVR services. Huh. First off, I live in a 550 sqft studio. I already HAVE whole house DVR on my ONE television. Secondly, ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?
Now I’m a lunatic. I let out a crazy squeal of a laugh I don’t think I’ve ever heard before and ask, “Are you seriously trying to SELL me something right now?! You know you want to get off this phone as much as I do. Let’s end this nonsense.” She informs me that telling customers about the variety of services available is part of her job, and then says that if I receive an automated call asking me to take a survey on our conversation today, I should rate her service a 5, with 5 being the best.
Maybe she was a robot too.
I could take no more. I hung up on her mid-sentence, wishing I had a corded phone so I could slam the receiver down on the cradle. (Pushing the off button really hard on a cordless phone just doesn’t have the same dramatic effect.)
The whole thing makes me want to scream! Life without an internet connection is like life without a nose. Sure, you can breathe out of your mouth, but who wants to??
Thank God for my beloved iPhone so I have at least some connection with civilization. While I wait impatiently for the cable guy, you’ll be happy to know I’m making the most of my analog lifestyle:
• I’ve labeled all the spices in my magnetic spice rack
• I read 7 months of back issues of Food & Wine and Bon Appetit
• I alphabetized my cookbooks (since my DVDs were already in order, naturally)
• I made homemade pesto
• I shampooed my throw rugs
• I shredded my 2010 credit card statements
• I cleaned my hairbrushes and unclogged my shower drain
I suppose this time offline has been productive. But the NANOSECOND that I get my internet service back, the FIRST THING I’m googling is whether or not Verizon Fios is available in my area.
So… have YOU ever had a temper tantrum over your cable company, or am I the only infant here?
tags: city life