My Internet access was down for nearly 2 days. Considering my electronic devices’ proclivity to having meltdowns at inopportune moments, I guess being Internet-less isn’t that much of a shocker. But it’s still annoying and makes me feel like I am cut off from the world.
It started on Friday morning. The lights on my modem weren’t lit up like Christmas, as they should be. I tried to get online – no luck. I unplugged the modem and then plugged it back in. Still no juice. I went to work out and came home. Did the unplug-plug routine again. Still nothing. I tried to think about other things, such as my life path, what I wanted for lunch, and what to do with my hair. But I couldn’t stop feeling annoyed about my lack of Internet. I called T-Wizzle to bitch about the situation. Then I called Charter, my Internet provider.
I’ve worked on several customer service hotlines and I know how helpful it can be to have an automated attendant to direct and screen calls. Charter has this voice-activated system that attempts to help users get their Internet working again. While trying to get to a customer service rep, I got into this system. It uses a woman’s voice and she sounds like a soccer-mom-meets-phone-sex-operator. I’m sure this is by design. If someone has a sexy voice, you’re more likely to put up with pretty much anything.
The “conversation” went like this:
Charter: While you’re waiting, let’s see if I can help you get back online. When you’re ready to begin, say “Continue.”
Charter: Great. Let’s first disconnect your cable modem. Once you’ve unplugged it, say “Continue.”
Moxie (pulling out cord) : Continue.
Charter: Okay, while we’re waiting, go ahead and power down your computer. I’ll give you a few minutes to do this. When you’re ready, say “Continue.”
Moxie (powering down and muttering): Continue.
Charter: Great. We’ll give it some time to reset. While we’re doing that, I need to find out what kind of modem you have. If there’s a name printed on the front of your modem, please say the name now.
Moxie: SMC Networks.
Charter: I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Please say the name again.
Moxie (enunciating and speaking louder): SMC NETWORKS.
Charter: I’m sooo sorry, I still didn’t get that. I’ll give you a list of modems that Charter supports, and once you hear the name, please say it. If you don’t hear it, say “Other Modem.”
(She gives me a list. In my head I start cursing out Fry’s Electronics for selling cheap-ass crappy products.)
Moxie: Other modem.
Charter: Okay, great. Go ahead and power up your computer. Is the modem working now?
Moxie (getting even more annoyed): No.
Charter: Okay, let’s look at some other options. Sometimes the splitter can go bad. To see if this is the case, disconnect the cable coming in from the outside and connect it directly to your modem. I’ll give you time to do this. Once you’ve done this, say “Continue.”
Moxie (assesses the wiring and realizes that she cannot easily get the modem to reach the cable): …
Charter: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. When you’re ready, say “Continue.”
Moxie (sighs heavily): …
Charter: I’m sooo sorry, I still didn’t get that. When you’re ready, say “Continue.”
Moxie (yelling): For the love of Steve, this is not helping! Give me a f*****g person!
Charter: I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.
Moxie (muttering) : Of course you didn’t, you stupid bitch.
Charter: I’m sooo sorry, I still didn’t get that. If you’d like to speak to a customer service representative, please say “Wait for help.”
Moxie (head exploding): Wait for help.
(series of beeps)
Charter: Your wait time is eight minutes.
Moxie (yelling): Oh f*** me hard! (hangs up)
On Saturday morning, there was still no Internet. I call Charter again and get right through to a customer service rep. She tells me how sorry she is that I don’t have Internet access, and attempts to empathize with me. Lady, I appreciate your attempts to make me feel better, but you’re gushing like my dog died, I think to myself. Settle down. She says she can send out a tech that day. I’m going to get my hair done at 1:30 p.m., but she says they will call twice before they show up. My other option is to wait until Tuesday, and that is not going to work for me. Already I have the shakes from not getting my daily fix of blogs and Google.
I miss the first phone call – it came while the haircolor was seeping into my follicles. I keep the phone on my stylist’s counter should they call back. When the appointment’s over, I rush home, hoping that the tech will call back as promised and not just show up at my door. It’s now about 3:45 p.m.
I wait. And wait. And wait. What is going on? Did they forget about me? Do they have no love for Moxie? I sit and think about my life. Mossimo the cat comes to lay on my lap. We talk about current events. I call T-Wizzle again to bitch.
At 6:30 p.m. I fall asleep on the couch and wake up a little after 7. The service call was for all day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. I look at the modem. Whoa…it’s lit up the way it is when it’s connected. Could it be…? I go to the computer. Sweet Jeebus, it’s working! It’s working! I think falling asleep redirected my superpowers away from the modem, allowing it to reset without my telekinetic interference. Or the tech just went outside and fixed something at the central box for the building. Whatever. The fact is it’s working, and all is right with the world once again.