And boy, was I!
Yep. I'm back and it wasn't easy.
What happened was this. Way back in September (it was the 12th) I realized I didn't have the Internet. So, the inner dialogue went something like this.
Well, shit. I'll have to call up Peoplepc--the guys from over there in India or Pakistan... But not today. Maybe tomorrow.
See, it is never a nice experience because they have an accent. I don't understand them, and you have to explain what you see on your screen--the whole thing--to them.
Well, the next day I call. I get someone on there who must be a pup (in training). I could tell he got exasperated with me for asking him to repeat everything. Just because you speak my language doesn't mean I'm going to get it the first time around. When these people get on my bus and ask me if I go to some place I always have to have them repeat it 3 times before I can understand them!
So, at one point he says he would have to have someone call me back. Mainly because I think he didn't know what the hell was the problem. I get a call back in a few minutes. We go through the whole thing. I've now spent an excess of an hour and a half, when I get a brand new error message up after everything we've gone through, and he says "Oh. Ma'am. You have an outstanding bill."
"A what?" He repeats it. I owe them $25.10. I said, I didn't get your last bill. Which, by the way, I had to pay them an extra $3.00 for a paper bill because I will NOT pay for things on line. So, I tell him I'll send them the payment. He said in 7-10 business days I'll have service again.
I check about midweek. Nothing. I check at end of week. I also, at this point check my phone connection, just in case, because we get mice chewing on lines outside... There is no dial tone. Nothing. Silence.
Well, shit! Now I have to call up the phone people--who by the way gets $44. in addition to my bill for Internet from Peoplepc. You do the math. I've wanted to get wireless, but my phone jack is in another room from the computer. I can't move my computer into the bedroom. It can't be more than 10 feet from the jack. I wasn't going to have someone come in and do the work, as they'd charge me.
So, on Sunday I call the phone people. I get someone who's first language is Spanish and I have trouble understanding her. I thought that maybe I'd reached Donald Trump's house and got the maid. Anyway, after the difficult give and take she locates the problem, and tells me it's inside the house. Which means if a tech person comes into the house to do the work, they will charge me.
I was livid by this time. So was my husband, as he overheard the whole exchange.
Over that weekend we decide to get rid of both Peoplepc and the phone company. It was much easier to deal with the phone people (by this time it was Monday, the 21st of September), than the Peoplepc people. The guy tried to keep me. Asked if I still wanted my email, or "free" Internet for a month. NO to both things. I just wanted these jerks out of my hair forever!!!!
That was the end of my Internet, and phone. We discussed getting a couple of cell phones, but we didn't really need them right now, as we had the park phone that we used--very rarely do we need to call anyone. We are not phone people. We don't have kids (who would probably not call us but expect us to text them--bullshit on that).
So, I wrote a letter of Shelly Arkon, to let her know what was going on with me, so that people in my network didn't wonder. I want to thank her here for getting the word out that I was okay and when I could, I would be back on-line.
Believe me, if I wasn't a writer, and making some money with it, I wouldn't even have the Internet. I wouldn't even have a computer.
So, my husband and I discuss my options. I tell him if I get a laptop I could go anywhere there's free WiFi. However, living 8 to 10 miles out in the country sort of has its limitations. I'd have to go to town plop down in a coffee house and spend hours there doing this. Not exactly fun. Free, yes. Not convenient.
In the mean time while we are lobbing ideas around, I get a bill from Peoplepc. It's still on the refrigerator, by the way, and the amonunt is wrong, as I don't owe them no effing $25.10. I didn't have Internet. I told the guy I spoke to that unless they send me a corrected bill, I'm not paying it. Screw 'em. When I called them, I'll bet I wasn't even on-line as yet! So, I figure I don't owe them anything.
In the meantime of all this going on, we had a new furnace and duct work put in. That was 2 days of noise and we had to get out of the house. Also, new windows upstairs, and a brand new front door went in--which seemed to take forever, and a new ceiling fan in my office. I've had to clean and re-clean areas of the house, so I was busy. I was busy outside as well, just being me.
On October 5th, we went to Frontier (our former phone people), to look into Internet w/o having a phone connection. You can, they said. It would cost us $28/mo. Just a little bit more than Peoplepc were charging me, and no phone connection. And he said all the work inside and out would be FREE. Great! The guy said he'd get someone to our house by end of the week.
We waited for a phone call. He called and left message that he was "trying to get in touch" with his tech guy.
We waited. Had no further message about when this would happen. Then, the next week we had a message we'd have someone in on a Thursday of next week. We'd asked for a Monday or Friday--I had to be here in order for the guy who did the connection to speak with me. Dennis doesn't do computers.
Dennis called the office and talked to Brittany. He told her the problem, we had to be home when this guy came, and what we wanted. He spent all day trying to find out when/if we'd ever see anyone at the house. By this time two weeks had gone by. Brittany said we should have been connected within 10 business days. Uh, right.
So, after Dennis' 4 hours of dealing with this. He gave up. Then, on Monday, October 19, we get a call that the tech guy would be there on Tuesday (tomorrow) between 8am and 4pm. It was an automated message.
Well, Dennis said he'd stick around Tuesday. He can, since his work is near the house. He waited. He did laundry, I think he moved furniture...
It was around noon and I was driving route # 6 through the parking lot of one of our grocery stores, and there I see him walking across the lot, waiting for me. I stop the bus, put it in park and get off. He isn't smiling. Tells me the guy hasn't shown up. We needed a few things from the store, so he was going to get something for dinner, and go home.
I'm devastated. Will I never get Internet? Why is it so difficult. Are these guys even on the same planet as us?
I drive home, feeling like the world is going to end soon. I'm sitting down to eat a sandwich I couldn't eat because I was too upset. Dennis is taking off his boots and says "He's here!"
Okay, hang on, this isn't the end, gentle readers.
Tall guy, easily 6'+ some inches, name is John, comes in and while I eat he goes and reconnects an older phone jack that is in my office. Then he goes outside and puts in a brand new box on the outside, because the other one was outdated. After that, he brings in a router box. He was asking my husband why we went to the frontier store. Dennis and I got the picture that that guy we spoke to that day was a salesman. The Tech guys hate them. They put too much work on them (over heard him on phone telling his guy--who must be a go-between--that he'd do 4 jobs a day, five at the most and work through lunch, but that was it).
He is at my computer getting the router up and working. Everything is green, but my Internet won't work. He tries this and that, going into areas of the computer that I wouldn't know how he found. After forty minutes he stands there telling me my firewall or something is blocking my computer from recieving the signal. When everything looked bleak and he was telling me that their tech guys (the ones you call and they talk you through stuff), are pretty good, I'm like this isn't happening. I'll never get the Internet again.
But John stays past 4:00, until 4:30. For some reason he feels sorry for us, I don't know. Probably saw our 20 year old furniture and ancient TV set, and figures we need this free help today.
He kept getting the error message that the "proxi server" wasn't connected. Something like that. By this time Dennis has gone and taken his shower, because he could be of no help. But before he left the room he said "Those Peoplepc people are messing with you."
John says "I don't know what that means, "proxi server".
I say to him, "Proxi means main, or primary."
Something about what I said had him go somewhere into what he'd been looking at before. Somehow he found it, pulled up this window and right there it said "Peoplepc" on my proxi server.
Oh, he did it! Suddenly I had Internet!!!
I nearly cried I was so over joyed. We did a hi-five, and I couldn't have been more happy. I said I'd hug him, but not in front of my husband. We all laughed. I shook his hand. He was happy, I could tell, that he'd found the problem. "It was something that you said," he told me. But really, he did it. I couldn't have done it.
Aside from one glitch, and another phone call I had to make to a tech guy today, I've got Internet going.
So, I'm happy to say I'm back. But I never trust this crazy technology. Eventually, I think it will be the end of us all. I really do. That was Dennis' prediction way back in the '70's to the teacher who boasted about computers and how great they were going to make our lives. Well, I don't think my life is any better, really, if anything things are more complicated. I'll have more to say on that some time later.
For now. I'm BAAAACK!
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