musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Day the Modem Died

Is this the end of the world?  Seriously - is it?  Just tell me.  I can take it.  I swear.

Yesterday afternoon at precisely (give or take about 20 minutes - ha!) 4:03 p.m., while faxing documents, talking on the phone, and looking over e-mails, the internet modem died.  A couple of very faint' blips' on the phone line and it was gone.  Flatout redlight gone.  All multi-tasking ceased.

A quick (who am I kidding?!?!?) call to the internet provider, a couple of diagnostic tests later and the modem is officially declared dead AND out of warranty.  Never mind the lone green light.  Dead.

I was incredibly impressed with the diagnostic tests.  Yeah.  Not really.  I was kidding.  I mean, I didn't need to go through the 'automated operator', listen to canned music, and deal with someone in Siberia who's sole plus to the job is the fact he cannot speak fluent English, to be told to do things that I already attempted BEFORE suffering through a call to Eddie (that was the 'customer technician' guy's name).

Hello.  Thank you for calling - - - - - .  My name is Eddie.

Hi Eddie.  I'm Robin.

Is your phone number - - - - - ? 

Yes.

What is your name?

Ummm. . . Robin.  Robin Z.

I'm sorry you are having internet problems, I am here to help.  Let's do some tests to see what is the trouble.

Okay, Eddie.

Push the reset button for 30 seconds.

Okay. . . . .Nope.  Still a red light.

Okay.  Now I need you to unplug it and try a different outlet.  Perhaps one in your bathroom.

Eddie?  Seriously?  The modem is plugged into a power strip and everything else plugged into that power strip is operating fine.  It's not the easiest plug to get to, if you know what I mean.

Ma'am, I do need you to try a different plug in.

Okay Eddie.  I'll do it. . . . . . Eddie?

Yes?

It still isn't working.

Okay.  I'm sorry about that Miss Z.  Your modem is no longer working and you will need to buy a replacement as your modem is out warranty.

Really?  I was afraid of that *before* I called and we did those in-depth tests together.  Where can I locate a new modem like the one I have?  Oh, Eddie?  How long does a modem typically last?

Ummm. . . .about 4 years, Ma'am.  I can transfer you to our Guest Equipment Store and you can have one by Monday afternoon.

Eddie?

Yes?

Monday afternoon is FIVE days away. . . do I get credit on my bill for not using my internet service for FIVE days?

Ummmm. . . . no Miss Z.

I can understand that.  But is there some way to get this piece of equipment faster?

Yes Ma'am.  Many stores like R---- S----, B----B----, or W---M---- carry these.  You can go there to buy one. 

Are you sure?

Yes.

Ummmm. . . .Eddie.  Do you know what kind of modem we have?

Ma'am?  It's an internet modem.

Well, Eddie. . . it's a bit more than that.  It's the internet modem - that is true, but it's also our wireless hub for our office equipment.  Do you think those stores would carry that?  Does your guest store?  We had difficulties locating this one when our last modem went out three years ago.

Miss Z, you would have to call and check.

Okey dokey Eddie.  I think we're done here.

Thank you for calling -------.  I'm glad I was here to help.  You will be getting an e-mail survey about how satisfied you were with my service.  I would appreciate it if you could give me a positive review.

No problem Eddie.  Have a good day now, okay?

Thank you Miss Z.  Thank you for using --------.

Yeah.  Sure.

I do want you to know that the conversation above is recorded as closely as I understood it and I left out quite a few - "can you repeat that's" and "I didn't quite catch what you said's"

So now I'm left 'piggy-backing' on the city's unsecured internet network in my neighborhood.  Thank goodness all of our city parks have free internet floating around. . . and thank goodness I live within a block of one of these said parks.  But I'm worried.  As per my computer's warning, I'm sure people are watching and downloading everything I'm doing.  It's unsecured.  I envision  a laundry line outside in the front yard with my underoos flapping around for everyone to see. . . and take.  Hmmmm. . . .kind of scary. 

And, I'm not complaining, mind you.  I'm glad it's available.  The other option would be driving around town looking for another unsecured (there I go with that flapping underoo visual again. . . ) network to tap into. 

Ummm. . . yeah, officer.  I know I can't park here - but there's INTERNET!

I'm in my office and things are slow, but considering the signal is very-very weak at one bar instead of the five possible.  Another bar does light up in the bedroom if I stand on the bed, balance the computer on the ceiling fan, lean against the headboard, and put one foot on the wall.  WOW!  All of that for another bar of signal.  Which still doesn't allow me to send e-mails.

Yeah.  What's up with that?  I can't send e-mails from my computer e-mail program.  I can go direct to my e-mail account website. . . but it takes so much longer.  All of my data and addresses are NOT on the internet's e-mail page but in my e-mail program.  Oh well.  At least I can receive e-mails and navigate the web.  Slowly.  Never mind there are now 19 e-mails waiting to be mailed. . . .

But I'm not complaining.

Did I also mention that there is not one computer, out of three or four in this house, that can print right now?  The convenience of a wirelessly hubbed printer (sarcasm).  No wires.  No modem.  No printer.  Don't ask.  I can copy and fax all day long - but don't ask me to print anything.  Not going to happen.

The modem died.

Sigh. . . . Is it Monday yet?  Bet you never thought you'd see me type that, eh?

Have a lit-up modem kind of day ~

Robin Z

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