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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No Internet, No Phone: Call Tech Support?

My household's Internet connection - and telephone service - went out, rather abruptly, at about 10 minutes after midnight this morning. This webcam's video feed went with it, of course.

I'm back online now, and hope to stay that way.

If you don't see live video here, there are the usual possible reasons:
  • I'm using software that doesn't play well with the webcam feed
    • I try to do so during 'off peak' times
      • But nobody's perfect
        • Especially me
  • My Internet connection's not working
    • An increasingly infrequent event
      • Happily
  • My computer's not working
    • It's fairly new
      • So that shouldn't be an issue
        • For a while
          • Famous last words?
  • Something else is going on
    • Or, the famous "miscellaneous" category

- - - Which Reminds Me of an Amusing Story

Conventional wisdom in those 'how to be an after-dinner speaker' books is that one should establish rapport with the audience. By opening with a joke or amusing anecdote.

Some folks are good at this. Others have been known to open with statements like "as I cast my gaze over this assembly, I am reminded of an amusing story...." Then the poor fellow tells a joke that has nothing at all to do with the folks he (or she) is talking to.

This is a little more connected.

A few years ago, here in central Minnesota, interruptions in Internet, phone, and cable service were more common. All three didn't necessarily go out at the same time.

Once, when the Internet was gone and a deadline was looming, the phones worked. I'd finally finagled my way through our ISP's customer 'service' menus, and was talking to a human being.

I explained that I didn't have any connection to the Internet. At all. None. He, in a reasonable and helpful tone, suggested that I look on the ISP's website, under "customer service."

Taking tech support and customer service calls isn't the easiest job in the world: I've had both.

Even so, my voice probably had a sarcastic edge when I asked him how I was supposed to use their website, if my Internet connection was gone.

The fellow was smart: he caught on right away, and we finally found out that everybody in this area was offline. That was almost good news: There wasn't anything I could do, except (try to) relax and let someone else deal with the issue.

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