I pride myself on being a professional person. Even if things have gone awry in business — or pleasure — I like to tackle them with a “firm but fair” attitude.
I generally get things done with honey rather than vinegar, to coin a phrase.
I am not one to scream profanity. I prefer to be demanding with a little more style. My most overused phrase being “this is a first world problem.”
Inconveniences happen. Still, when they happen repeatedly it’s time to address them. When they happen every Friday night when I just want to relax and watch trashy television, we have a problem.
I am an internet addict. I own it. I work from home, so high-speed internet is a must.
I also need fast streaming of television shows because I’m basically sedentary and like to click through literally thousands of programming options while lamenting that there is nothing to watch.
So when I come home three Fridays in a row and find that my internet is so unreliable that I can’t even stream a movie, I am frustrated.
When I can’t file a column, I’m annoyed. When my children cannot access the internet to send in their college work (that’s a thing now), I’m upset.
I called the 1-800 number confident that someone could easily fix this little issue. It was probably to be blamed on the weather. Isn’t everything these days?
I wasn’t even all that upset. I figured they would do some magic on their end and everything would be right as rain — or sleet and snow. Instead, when I called, I was unwittingly drafted to become a cable company technician.
I followed instructions. I pushed buttons. I watched lights. I even sent BoyWonder across state lines to exchange equipment so they wouldn’t have to.
Nothing seemed to fix the problem. We still had no reliable internet. It was as if the hamster that actually drove the whole network had fallen off the wheel.
Still, we laughed. Unfortunately, after three weeks, two modems and two technician visits, our cable company appeared to have no desire to repair the issue.
At that point, it became apparent that they only react to clenched jaw malevolence.
Finally, after three calls and two return calls in the space of two days, they asked, “Well ma’am what do you expect us to do?”
My answer was nearly a hiss: “I expect you to put a truck at the end of the driveway and every time the internet drops again he can trot on up to the house and reset it!”
They said they would be here Sunday between 8 and 10 a.m. Forget all the niceties. Apparently hissing at them works? Sad, really.
True to their word, they sent two wonderful technicians who crawled all over the house inside and out. They were in the basement, closets and the attic. They even scaled a ladder.
My disappointment is never with the technicians — they do wonderful work. It is with the fact that it seemed the only way to get any real assistance in the first place was not to ask nicely but to throw a high-speed tantrum.
It’s embarrassing that it had to come to that.
I really like to be the “nice guy” and set a good role model for the children. Instead, I’ve become the person who causes BoyWonder to leap across the room and grab the telephone from my hand so he can save the overseas call center from my fury.
If I can’t stand as a good example, I can at least be a horrible warning, indeed.
Eventually, they seemed to have everything up to speed (no pun intended). It was wonderful. They did all this with the help of the Wonderdogs — 25 combined pounds (15 and 10 respectively) of pure guard dog fury.
We did our best to keep the furry helpers contained, but they seemed really interested in keeping a keen eye on the technicians. In fact, so vigilant were they that our smallest Wonderdog ended up napping the rest of the day.
He was utterly exhausted after an early morning spent keeping the interlopers on notice that he is a Fierce Protector of his people.
The technician needed reminded even if he was just moving from room to room and returning again.
Nonetheless, our furry fury kept a close eye out. I mean, everyone knows the killers always come at you from behind the TV. It pays to stay alert.