Saturday, July 9, 2011

“Come This Way My Pretty” She Directed The Greedy Fool”

Do you ever have one of those days where it seems the world is determined to put up a road block no matter what you try to do?  Days when the simplest thing becomes a giant mountain you try and try to climb but just as you reach the top a mountain troll pops out from behind a glacial boulder, reaches out his hand to help you, and just as your fingers touch, he smiles wickedly, places his big white snow bunny boot on your chest and pushes you back down the mountain.  

Here’s the deal.  The past few times I have talked to Abby on Skype she’s been breaking up, or I’ve been breaking up, or the call just goes dead.  Our phone conversations have been a lot of  “and then a__er we got to Mia_i … h_llo?  __by?  Are you th___? … mo_?    I can al___ he__  y__.  Hel___?  A__ Shou__ we han_  __?  __o?  Damn.  Lost her.”  The weird thing was, Leslie didn’t have that problem when she talked to Abby on her Skype phone so I thought it must be me.  Maybe my internet needed a kick in the butt.  So last Saturday I booted up the computer, got on the Qwest site and discovered I had the slowest internet speed offered.  It didn’t take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion I just needed to increase my internet speed.  How hard could that be, I thought.  I’ll just ask for faster internet, they’ll flick a switch and boom!  I’ll be surfing and Skyping at lightening speed.  So I opened up the on-line chat window because thought it would be easier to refuse any other “deals” if I was typing, not actually talking.  All I wanted was faster internet.  15 minutes tops, I thought.  

It went smoothly for a while but 15 minutes turned into 25 minutes and it turns out I am not immune to sales pitches even when they are written in a chat window.  I believe internet/phone folks and car salespeople all go to the same “sucka!” school and though their techniques are somewhat different, they are basically the same.  The car salesman leaves you alone while he goes to “speak to the manager” and the internet/phone salesperson makes you wait while they “wait for the page to load.” All the while, you, the unsuspecting “sucka!”, get bored while you’re stuck waiting so your brain starts considering other options just for something to do.  I guess another $250.00 to get the car of my dreams isn’t all that much more….okay, just for future reference, while we’re waiting, go ahead and tell me how much money I’ll save if I bundle everything with Qwest. 

Guess what?  “Sucka!”  

But that’s not the worst part.  Just as “Miss Sneaky” was finalizing all the details in the chat window, before I realized what was happening, Miss Maisie the kitty walked across my laptop.  And she froze the chat screen.  And I could not get it back.  And I have been on this chat window for nearly an hour now.  Yes.  15 minutes was now nearly 60 minutes.  Of course by the time I gave up all attempts to salvage the session it was later in the day and more people were waiting to chat, and because I have the slowest internet available it took longer for the window to load up so then I thought something must be wrong with my computer.  So I restarted, loaded up the chat help, waited, closed it, loaded it up, waited, closed it.  Finally on the third try I forced myself to physically walk away from the computer and just let it run to see what would happen.  In between all these restarts I tried calling the Qwest help line but of course they could not get me back to Miss Sneaky and there was no way in hell I wanted to start the whole process again.

As I paced around the house, checking the computer every 15 seconds, mumbling unprintable things under my breath, somebody finally answered the chat window.  My techno-angel must have been watching out for me because I had written down the name and Identification number of Miss Sneaky so when I was finally in another chat window with Mr. Sneaky I asked if there was any possible way  I could be connected to Miss Sneaky again because I had the slowest internet available and I had just spent an hour in a chat session with her and we were almost finished with all the details because I had decided to bundle everything when my cat walked on my keyboard and froze the session because I hadn’t seen her coming and she just seems to love the computer because of the hot air coming from the fan I think but I’m usually able to keep her off however I was so distracted with all the details of internet and TV and phone that I didn’t notice her and I just didn’t think I could face starting all over again but if he could try to connect me otherwise I think I would just have to give up and try this another time or maybe a slow internet isn’t so bad after all …….  He couldn’t.  But he got my phone number and she called me. On my Qwest landline phone.

And that is another whole side of this “the trolls are out to get me” story because she had tried and tried and tried to call me when Miss Maisie froze the session but my phone didn’t ring.  And this, my friends, is when the bells and whistles should have gone off.  But, of course, I was just so happy to actually speak to her again that I didn’t pay any attention to that little tiny “why DIDN’T my phone ring?” thought that had started swimming forward in my head.  I was distracted by bundles of internet and TV and phone and getting back to Miss Sneaky and rejoicing that I didn’t have to start completely over.  But, in a way, I did have to start over.  Because since Maisie froze my chat window and my phone didn’t ring and it had taken me so long to get back to her because I had the slowest internet offered, she had to cancel my order.  However, it went much faster the second time because I didn’t have any more questions and she remembered what we’d done and next thing you know (as in two hours from the time I began this process) I had ordered lightening fast internet all bundled together with my phone and my cell phone and I was going to get a dish on my house and save all kinds of money.  This was last Saturday.

Fast forward to today.  Today is Friday.  I left work at noon to be here for the TV guys who were scheduled to come sometime between noon and 5 p.m.  They called me at 1 p.m. and said they would be here between 2 and 3 p.m.  I am typing this in Word because I have no internet.  Why?  Because I have no phone.  Why?  Who knows.  I got my nifty box of Qwest installation stuff yesterday---a new modem, cords and simple directions and a letter that said “do not install before 5 p.m. on Friday, July 8.”  But here’s the kicker.  My internet was not working at 1 p.m.  So I thought, “hmmmm, I have at least an hour before the TV guys come, I wonder if they’ve thrown the switch and I can install this new modem get my internet running while I wait.  I’ll call Qwest and make sure that’s what’s going on.  That’s a simple question.  Is my internet not working because you’ve already  ‘pulled the switch so I can go ahead and install the new modem before 5 p.m. today?  Or should I still wait until after 5:00 p.m.   It should be easy.  They’ll say yes or no.  Five minute phone call tops.

Fool.  Fool.  Fool.  In the middle of what I thought would be a simple, succinct phone call, my phone died.  Yes.  On a call with Qwest, my Qwest land-line phone stopped working.  I had to call them with my cell phone.  Now I had two questions.  Can I hook up my new modem early and why is my phone not working?  I “suggested” that maybe it would be pointless to try and install the new modem because “don’t I need a phone line for the internet?”  Oh, no, she said.  Go ahead and hook up the cables while I’m on the phone with you.  Well, of course it didn't work!  I had no phone service!  But she did not believe that until she did some troubleshooting with the modem.  I had to carry it, plus my computer, plus the cords to ANOTHER phone jack (which also did not work) to be sure it wasn’t the modem.  I had to try EVERY Ethernet connection to make sure one of those connections was not bad.  Finally, she decided she’d just have to transfer me to “the phone trouble” people so they could tell me, “you’re right.  Your phone doesn’t work.  And yes, you’re right.  You are unable to get internet without phone service.”  Duh.  

So tomorrow morning “sometime between 8:15 a.m. and 8 p.m.” a phone guy will come and figure out why my phone isn’t working.  If only I would have heeded that niggling in my brain way last Saturday I could have probably possibly  hopefully had the phone repaired before today and MAYBE I would have internet now.

In the meantime, the TV guys (who finally arrived at 3:05 p.m.) are busy attaching a dish to my house, hooking up TVs and doing whatever it is Direct TV guys do.  If we don’t have a huge windstorm come through and blow off the dish, or the electricity doesn’t go out I should plan to hope to be able to watch TV tonight.  Because I won’t be able to post this.  Because I have no internet because I have no phone service.

At 5:05 p.m., as the TV guys were STILL here working, I held my breath, picked up my land-line phone and clicked the on button.  Guess what?  I have a dial tone.  It’s 5:05 p.m. and I have a dial tone.  If only I would have waited until 5:05 p.m. to attempt installing the modem (just like my letter said) I would have spent the afternoon planting flowers, or sitting on the deck with my feet up or gosh, even, I don’t know, posting photos of our trip to Ecuador.  

Update:  It is now 6:54 a.m. Saturday morning. I am up because Shadow still does not sleep past 6:00 a.m.  As you may have surmised by now, I do have internet again.  But if you think getting that up and running went smoothly you are sadly mistaken.  And if you think the Direct TV installation and subsequent viewing went without a hitch, you are a candiate for the “Land of Fools”.  The saga continues and will be documented in another post.  In the meantime, I'll give you a small hint:  The Bresnan guy is scheduled to come  “sometime” today.



Abby said...

Reading, and following, the directions usually helps ;-)

Deano said...

Some of that geology has worn off on you over the years despite your best efforts! You actually wrote glacial boulder rather than just boulder as an average person wouold.

Talk To Qwest Team said...

Hey Cathy, this is B with the Talk To Qwest Team. After reading your blog post, it seems that your services were working, but I wanted reach out and see if everything is still in working order, if I can help with anything.

If I can help out, e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to help with anything necessary.

Thanks Cathy,

Talk To Qwest Team