Thursday, November 30, 2006


Between the Internet connections problem, more recent computer security concerns for a couple of days, and my usual work-related end-of-the-month paper work crunch, not to mention some other issues, posts on this blog will likely be a bit more erratic than they were for awhile. So look for posts here when you see them, is the best I can say now, at least for up to a number of weeks. My health is hale and hearty, my attitude upbeat, so for any of you who have expressed concern, be concerned no more -- thank you for caring.

Meanwhile, I put this post together during my hit and miss Internet connectivity while in the throes of erroneously believing I could simultaneously maintain my sanity and the then status quo of activity on and offline.

Life's little resentments can sometimes assume greater import in our mind than what they realistically deserve when we consider everything occurring in our lives.

I recently became angry, impatient, frustrated, discouraged, disgusted and tired when a persistent intermittent repetitive problem caused my computer to lose its Internet connection, suddenly and randomly for varying lengths of time over a period of the past several weeks. More than once I was stopped mid-email, during blog post, or would find at varying times of the day and night I suddenly could not access the Internet. Finally, my small bag of tricks exhausted, I resorted to phoning my DSL provider's Support System.

This isn't how I intended to follow my Thanksgiving alone experience piece -- grousing and grumbling. I want to talk about all those eating alone comments and observations, but at another time. Thanks to each of you for your views. I want to thank Ronni Bennett for the Time Goes By piece (see link on sidebar)"Online Friends" in which she quoted the feelings I had with being unwillingly offline; also, for letting readers know of my computer tech issues. Her observations about feelings associated with online friends pretty much pinpoint what so many confirmed in their comments that I, too, have experienced.

Now, I'm sure everyone with a computer who has needed technical support has a story to tell, but I feel compelled to expunge the negative residue dwelling within me from this on/ offline experience which has manifested itself in resentment by writing my personal account highlights as follows:

It was a dreary night and the maiden running through the down pouring rain with her long red hair streaming behind her, arms waving in the air, was screaming unintelligible sounds at a darkened figure darting in and out the shadows ahead of her. Suddenly the figure stopped, but she continued to race toward the shadowed image ... oops, this isn't the story I intended to tell. This is what being offline without my computer has done to my mind -- an improvement, no doubt, by some measures, but I still have a long way to go.

Here's the scoop about my contact with my DSL provider. I've spoken with five different support tech reps, was promised call-backs at specific times which occurred only 50% of those occasions; actually received a promised call-back one time, only instead of within the promised between one and two hours maximum it was more like seven to eight hours and at 10 P:M. -- a bit late don't you think? Of course, that's better than the call-back that never came at all. I was also promised an assist with a Sr. Technician which never happened either, when one of my support techs recognized an inability to solve the problem. I did receive a regular Tech's call which turned out to have contributed to the next Tech's (# 5) temporary solution.

Tech # 5 was able to connect me to the Internet finally, but this is at less than optimum levels from my point of view, and not at all the level for which I am paying. However, some other concerns have arisen which need resolving by other than my DSL provider. If his diagnosis of the problem is correct, then I cannot hold my DSL provider completely responsible for my computer's problem. I'll know in the weeks ahead.

I am not unappreciative that he finally re-connected me to the Internet, despite the slowed speed, but this does not void the residue of resentments acquired during interactions with my DSL provider support system (not my first.) I will attempt to purge myself of those resentments here and now as follows:

I resent having to ask for repeats from personnel in another country because there's so much noise of others talking in the background much like a boiler room operation, sometimes loudly, rapidly, gratingly high-pitched male voices, often in an unfamiliar language which, unfortunately, is perceived as additional noise, making perception for anyone of any age more difficult.

I resent the annoyance and impatience I heard in a couple of the service persons voices. In one instance the speech production of the English phoneme /h/ was not clear, nor was the differentiation of phoneme /t/ and /d/, even though single syllable words were offered in an effort to show the difference between the two when providing code I was to type. I still required them to repeat as I needed clarification. I'm sure phone quality audio contributes to the lack of clarity, but there should be an expectation on the part of service people, especially those speaking any language with an accent, such repeats might be necessary and just a routine part of what they might have to do in the course of providing their service.

I resent being asked my age (of course,I didn't have to answer.) I had to ask myself later, if the "disconnect" which followed shortly thereafter, with no return call forthcoming, though he had my number, could possibly have been because I honestly told him I was 71 yrs.

I resent being abruptly told I was tired and when I protested, was asked to look at the time, 10 p.m., as though it was past my bed time, when it was obviously really the support person who was tired and wanted to end the session.

I resent being told to hire a tech person when the Internet access provider had not yet ruled out their connection as being the problem, or found a way to make the Internet connection.

I resent being told a download of a new IE program was the cause of the problem, despite my pointing out these problems were pre-existing that download by a week or so. Common sense told me the logic I was being given did not compute.

I resent being told to go buy an old IE program to re-install 'cause common sense told me there were other solutions, which later proved to be the case.

I resent that the first tech support person never called back after we were disconnected though he had the number.

I resent the second support person promising to call back the next day and then not doing so.

I resent being told a Sr. Tech would call within one to two hours, then the call back, not from a Sr. Tech at all, didn't come until seven to eight hours later and at 10 P.M. It was one thing to have been in the midst of problem solving at 10 P.M. and wanting to continue toward resolution, quite another to be called at that hour to initiate problem solving -- 8 hours after such a call was to have been received.

I just gotta lot of resentment! Am inclined to think many newer users of tech services as well as some other older people might have given up on all this long ago -- quite frustrated by the whole thing. Perhaps that's what some of the personnel hoped I would do. Heaven only knows I'm no expert, so maybe I'm missing something, but wonder if this is a typical experience for those availing themselves of needed Tech Support for which they presumably pay in their monthly fees?

I feel better now and look forward to writing about more positive matters in the future.



  1. So there you are in Grumbleland! And yes, I have been through the sort of thing you are describing. In this country, it's not only ageism, they treat women like they cannot possibly be computer literate! I get so mad.
    Just for a laugh, if/when you get your connection back, have a look at blaugh
    It seems they've been there too.
    Glad to know you're alright

  2. There's NOTHING more frustrating than not being able to solve your own computer problems Joared. It scares the hell out of me. I have one source that has been wonderful in the past when I've had problems; but he is not as available as he once was. The thought that you called all of these tech people and they put you through all the hassles and confusion...scares me even more. I'm glad you wrote a post about your needed it. I hope the worst is over...I SO feel your pain.

  3. How awful that the idiots should have even thought of putting you through all of that. No wonder you grumble. Unbelievably unprofessional and rude, they were. Wouldn't you have loved to have reached through that phone line and cuffed them on their ears???! Now that it's over, I can tell you that the appropriate answer to being asked your age is, "I am 21, I am a redhead, and I am a hottie. .... Wanna make something of it, Big Boy?!" Better luck in the future.
    Cop Car

  4. I have had similar problems, Joared and the part I resented the most was being given off to someone in a foreign country, speaking English as a second language, and not doing it very well, either. It further frustrates an already frustrating situation. Hope you get fixed soon!