Wednesday, December 10, 2003


WARNING: The following contains technology and internet terminology that may cause the reader's eyes to glaze over. While reading this tale, avoid driving, operating heavy machinery and downloading any files with the word ‘Paris’ in them.


I have met the enemy and it is…….

several individuals currently securing a paycheck at Verizon’s Online DSL Service Center. Starting last Friday, I attempted to connect to the internet using a newly received modem and peripherals that had been provided for the task. I inserted the CD-ROM supplied with the modem and began the process of making a connection, following to a tee the delightful audio instructions that had me wondering when the purple dinosaur was going to make an appearance. All seemed to go smoothly except for one teeny-weeny problem, my computer was not making contact with the outside world. And despite all external lights and electronic signals saying ‘it’s a go’, after clicking on the browser icon, the only information I got was the ‘try again, sucker’ message from MS Explorer.

After a couple of tries and failures, I called the support number on the CD-ROM and was engaged by a cheerful and earnest young lady from Verizon. She proceeded to take me through a number of diagnostic processes that included unplugging and plugging my computer; unplugging and plugging the modem; unplugging and plugging both at the same time; removing the phone chord from the jack and replacing it; shutting down the computer and restarting it; holding the modem in a northerly direction and reciting Sanskrit mantras to the Goddess of Lost Connections. After an hour plus of these contortions, she concluded that the IP address I was pinging from my machine was incorrect. This somehow constituted a serious problem; so serious it that required further investigation from a Higher Technical Authority- none of whom were available at 4:00 pm on a Friday. This Higher Technical Authority must be exceptionally overworked or be on a four day rotation like major league baseball pitchers because I was informed that it would take 48-72 hours to get a response.

Despite all experience and evidence to the contrary that says, ‘Hey stupid, you’re jerking yourself, again’, like most humans I am gullible to the Satanic urge to believe what one wants to believe, and that usually is whatever is going to make my life easier and require the least amount of effort.

Well, I jerked myself again.

Monday morning I called the handy toll free number on the CD-ROM and requested a status report on my service ticket. This time I was greeted cheerfully and earnestly by a young man who after a quick review, informed me the Higher Technical Authority had determined that everything was just great and had closed my ticket. I didn’t make it to 10, but by the time I counted to 7 I could talk in manner calm enough to explain what I wanted to happen and do so without bursting a vein in my neck. The Verizoner apologized profusely and then offered to help take me through the installation once more. In the interest of finding a quick solution, (see ‘jerked’ above) I agreed to additional phone torture.

After another hour of “Wow, this is really weird. I don’t know why this is happening”, the Higher Technical Authority was once again invoked, as was his leisurely 48-72 hour turn around time. I asked that my case be remanded to the quickest possible bench using the inadvertent delay that had occurred from the closed ticket as my best rationale for preferential treatment.

It worked so well that by Wednesday morning I hadn’t heard a word and was now convinced that one last call threatening the termination of service that had never been started was my best and last hope.

This time I hit pay dirt. A cheerful, earnest and this time, capable young man, reviewed the situation and service logs, decided to engage his supervisor to perform a quick diagnostic, and within 10 minutes I was told to replace my Ethernet cable with my USB cable; a process that took all of 20 seconds.

Voila, internet!!

Total damage: 5 days lost productivity, two headaches, aggravated ulcer and daily prayer that I never experience a truly complicated problem.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?