Thursday, April 30, 2009

Early morning surprises

I woke up early so I could finish work early, but the work gods decided to upset my work ethics. I turned on the lamp, fired up the computer and monitor, and readied myself for the first download of work. It didn't come. I tried again. No joy. I emailed technical support at work, Reggie, who happens to be Filipino. No joy. There was no problem on his end. There was no problem on my end even though he made me shut down my browser, open it again and check to see if I was actually able to surf the net. I was, but I knew that before I emailed and then called him at his request. Give me credit for some brains and computer savvy.

He said they had a similar problem a year ago with two other MTs. Oh? What was wrong? There was an outage between their location and the home office. Okay, if you knew that, why did you have me go through all those steps when I told you at the outset the only problem I had was getting through to you at the home office? Obviously, a stupid question because all he could say was "Call your Internet provider and see if there's an outage." Disconnect.

I called my provider and they couldn't figure it out either even after I laid out the problem in considerable technical detail. "Well, we can't tell if there is something wrong with their provider."

"I didn't say there was a problem with their provider. I asked if there was an outage between my location and theirs since everything is working on both ends."

And it just keeps getting better

"Oh. Well, we checked your location and everything's fine."

Calmly, while gritting my teeth and smiling, "I know everything is fine here. Is there a problem between here and New Jersey?"

"Did you know you could talk to a technical rep at .....?"

Still gritting my teeth and smiling, "I checked that already and haven't received an answer. Is. There. An. Outage. Between. Here. And. New. Jersey?"

"We can't check that. What's the model of your modem?"

Things got worse from there. The barely English speaking Pakistani gave me the number for the modem manufacturer. I took it, said goodbye and hung up while he was telling me about all the new services Qwest offers.

The modem works fine. The computer works fine. I downloaded work just yesterday, and uploaded it, too. I can dial into the work servers by telephone, but the DSL link for the VPN is not working. The tech rep actually suggested that my virus protection could be interfering with my VPN even though I explained several times that the computer and configurations have been the same without any problems for four years. Nothing has changed except that I cannot upload or download work through my broadband connection. There is an outage between here and New Jersey. Obviously, I know more than the tech rep, but then I do speak English and actually live in the U.S.

Reggie called back and asked me to ping several addresses, including Yahoo. Every ping went through in a matter of milliseconds, except for work. He's going to call back in about an hour and have me ping again. It's not working. I've tried several times since then. I'm reduced to 12K dial-up and slow connections in downloading and uploading work on the last day of the pay period. I'm resigned to being used as a foil for the Powers That Be today.

As if things couldn't get any worse, I got another call. Thinking it was Reggie again, I answered without checking the CID. It wasn't Reggie. It was Don, my old lover Don. He's in town again.

To spare myself the usual round of him begging me to reconsider, I told him I wasn't interested in reconciliation. The line seemed to go dead. "You haven't changed your mind?"

"No, I haven't."

"Not even if I moved here?"

"Not even if you bought me a cabin in the mountains and laid your lottery winnings at my feet."

"How about for a bigger ring, a deeper colored amethyst in an antique setting that's hundreds of years old?"


"You haven't married someone else, have you?"

"No. And I'm not likely to remarry."

"At least see me."


Someone knocked on the door. I started to answer the door and said goodbye when it hit me. "Where are you?"


"Don't be cute. Where are you?"

"At your door."


We've arranged to have dinner tonight and I have to say he does look good. His arms around me felt good, too. The kiss . . . well, some things are best left private. For right now, I'll chalk it up to having a bad day, but then again... What do they say about second chances and the road not taken?

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