Monday, September 18, 2006

Technology ... can't live without it

Technology has not been my friend this weekend.
I always knew the computer / internet had changed my life when it came into my house less than two years ago. This weekend has proved it to me.
The problems started when we decided to go bargain hunting for cable, telephone and high-speed internet connection. DH decided we could save money by bundling with company Q, so we made arrangements for them to switch us over on Friday.
Friday also happened to be the day DS-L was planning to have a bunch of friends over for his 12th birthday sleepover – I’ll be visiting that event later.
The phone guy came, hooked up the cable, gave DH instructions and left. We had opted to install the DSL internet modem ourselves and save the $100 installation fee.
But as DH tried to get things set up we discovered the phone lines didn’t have a dial tone. After a long, frustrating discussion with the tech people, they promised to send someone over on Saturday.
Saturday, a different tech came, hooked up the modem, did whatever magic was necessary to get the basement phone lines working and went away “for a few minutes” to see why we weren’t getting a signal.
He called some time later (I’m not really sure how long later, because I fell asleep on the sofa while waiting for him) and said he needed to address the issue with the SLC office, but they wouldn’t be in until Monday.
Problem. All the information I need to call and set up interviews are on the e-mail on the … INTERNET!!!
We drove to DH school and I printed out the numbers late Saturday night.
Sunday I spent the day working on scrapbook layouts for an ongoing project. I printed several photos, with only a minimal amount of cursing at our brand new printer!!! manufactured by company H. The printer refused to print nine times out of ten because “printer is out of paper,” even though it wasn’t.
DH called the printer company H help line, and ended up trying to convince a woman in India that the printer was not a year old, was not working and could you, pretty please, let me talk to someone I understand???
After going the rounds with the new tech in India (I assume he had taken the advanced courses in English, because both he and DH were able to communicate with each other). The new tech said “oh yes, we have a patch kit for that problem. I will send it out to you.”
Hummm, do you think the makers of this printer have encountered this problem before?!?
This morning (today being Monday, although I don’t know when I will be able to post this blog) I was on the phone by 8:30 asking company Q to please get my internet up and running again, as I needed it for my job.
After talking to several nice people, being put on hold twice and hung up on once I was told the ticket was still open and by golly, I should be getting my internet service in four hours.
Being unable to work on line, I printed (after many tries) my work hours (which were due today) and promptly forgot to take them with me when I went to visit the office and explain my situation to the small staff trying to take up the slack for the editor who quit Thursday. Oh yes, I downloaded my photos while I was there in case my internet wouldn’t let me send photos in time for the Tuesday’s paper.
I returned home just in time to open the door on another company Q technician who arrived at 1:20 p.m., wandered outside for a few minutes, then told me the same thing the Saturday tech told me “I need to go check some lines; I’ll be calling you back in just a few minutes.” We are closing in on 3 p.m. and I still don’t have service
So here I sit. Afraid to use the phone in case I miss the most important call about my internet connection, holding onto a list of work-related phone calls I need to make, cursing technology and the fact that I am so dependent upon it, I apparently can’t even do my job.
Meanwhile, DH worked the weekend at a truck stop / convenience store where the power went out for several hours Friday night before his Saturday shift, then cut out again on Sunday while he was on shift. He couldn’t leave on Sunday until the power was up and running because they wouldn’t let him leave until he closed out his till.
I’m beginning to understand why my grandmother refused to learn how to run the clothes dryer and instead insisted on hanging her laundry in the basement.


Wyo sis said...

Oh! S***! What a mess. It's a steep learning curve, but eventually things will work out and you will breathe a sigh of relief. The next time you think about upgrading you will experience a sharp twinge in your solar plexus reminding you of past horrors. And they wonder why us "old" people are resistant to technology. EXPERIENCE baby!

Amy Sorensen said...

You know...that India call center is SO FRUSTRATING. Aside from the fact that sooner or later my DH will lose his job because of India call centers, there is just not anything quite so maddening as being through-the-roof P.Oed at your printer/computer/whatever and having to figure out what in the HECK the person on the other line is saying. SOOO frustrating!

Anyway, glad you got back up!

Karen said...

egads... I won't complain anymore about my work debacle!

pudding for brains said...

Okay, so you know sometimes spending an entire day on the line w/ a foreign tech that barely speaks english, yet is supposed to be the key to solving a VERY STRESSFUL problem w/ (my Dell computer in my instance) your technological life is VERY SUICIDALLY STRESSFUL in itself. I feel for you guys. I spent 3 days (full days, no joke) with several different techs, until I found the right one, that solved my problem in like, five minutes!!
Looks like your back online...and hopefully your printer stops giving you stress.