Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time-Waster Cable of NYC

Too often life can be such an unending rip-off.  I've been having problems with my internet connection for over a week.  I was out of town for most of that time so I talked my wife though some basic troubleshooting steps over the phone, determined that it was most likely the modem, assumed that I'd deal with it when I got home. 

So, when I got home I had forgotten that the internet was out and needed to send some rather large files to a friend. Cursed the heavens and set the modem aside to be brought back to Time-Warner, an activity I hardly relish.  I was too busy to do it this morning, waited until later in the evening, took a xanax (that wonderful reservoir of relaxation), stopped by one of my favorite little bars, had a single pint of beer, and headed on towards the Time-Warner office, on foot.  

It was a lovely NYC late-afternoon, the type that I'll longingly miss. I have been to this office a few times before but I looked it up in the "maps" section of my iphone anyway and sure enough the address came up. In clear and unmistakable numbers, letters, and then more numbers.  I got there and it was not the office at all. It was a residential building. I looked around and then I intuited that the office was on the next block. Sure enough, there it was.  Then I vaguely remember it being that way the last time I went there.  You know you are dealing with top notch customer service personnel when the address for the office has been wrong for years. An undoubted indication of the service that surely awaited me.

I walked in, took a number, asked where the bar was, got a surprised look, started to respond but instead waited a few seconds... stared at the two people at the front desk... felt the warm waves of xanax overtaking my mind with fuzziness, and then just responded with, "Um, what did you just say?"

No response.  I took a seat.

The numbers were arranged with prefix categories of A, B and C.  Mine seemed like it was a reasonable distance away. My trusty iphone was still working so I sat down and tried to download some amateur Swedish porn, just to see if I could.  I couldn't, or not at a satisfactory rate.  So, I checked Facebook instead.  I was still loved by many, more than I would have ever guessed. Or do they just merely like me?

Finally, without any surprise whatsoever, as the numbers crept up sequentially through the speaker system, ever so slowly and deliberately, bouncing from alphabet vowel intro to alphabet letter and then further in again, also in a very strict order, conclusively to my designated ticket of A290.  I rose as if hoisted from the seat below by an inflatable marshmallow. I approached the counter in slow motion.  

I said, "I think I need a new modem." 

She typed some information into her computer and handed me a new modem.  

I queried, "Don't you want to test that one?"

She replied, "If your internet suddenly stopped working it's always the modem. We haven't had any service drop-outs in your neighborhood in a while."

I pronounced, "Did you know that you are actually working at the wrong address? Time-Warner is the next block down, in a residential building, quite a nice one in fact. The door man made sure that I did not even make it to the elevators. Very fancy place...."

She looked at me as if I was trapped between genders.  

So, modem in hand I took the long way home, barely by choice. It was such a nice day out I figured that I had earned some meandering time. As a poet I thought to stop and imbibe yet another pint of delight. That one glass that separates the sinner from the saint.... that efferves... ence....  

I came out of that rather quickly. 

I was eager to get home and write this blog.

You can guess the rest... When I got home the modem was not the problem. Even though everything pointed towards it being the issue.  I was happy to have gotten the new modem anyway. The older one was slower and governed.  I had never gotten above half of the advertised download speeds in my apartment.  Incidentally, I called my friend in Sonoma. Her download speeds are 5 times what ours are... Yet another advantage to this leap we are about to make.

So, when I got home I called their "technical help" line. That phrase is doubly insulting when you really think about it. They demanded to know my phone number, even though it was not associated with the account, then proceeded to hang up on me midsentence, twice.  They said they could not call me back because their computers only received calls. I asked if it felt like an insult that the company they work for would not grant them one of the very services they offer, and not even in the interest of helping customers and doing their job more fully. None of them seemed to care. One of them couldn't even grasp what I was saying.  I explained that they offer an online phone service package.  He couldn't seem to grasp that you could make phone calls with a computer. 

He was actually the most helpful one of them all. 
Must be the new guy.

In short, after much testing, and unplugging and retrying, I was told that a "technician" would have to come out and troubleshoot the line.  They gave me a 3 hour window on Saturday and I assured them that I would be waiting here. They asked for my phone number...

I countered, "He works for Time-Warner. How's he possibly going to call me?" 

They said, "On his phone..." 

I gave voice, "Now how in the 21st century hell is he gonna do that?" 

I texted my neighbor, asked for his wifi password, opened a beer, wrote this post.  

It feels good to be back. 

The funny thing about being gone for a week from the blog... 

It seems to have somehow boosted my readership.