Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Internet Shenanigans
Jennifer Flaten

Interior of the command center, everything is quiet, and then suddenly sirens start blaring and red lights flashing. Sounds just like another disaster movie right. If only. Throw in a few people running around proclaiming it is the end of the world and you have what my house looked like the afternoon the internet went down.

Thankfully, the only thing out was the cable, the kids still had television. Although, how the television could be working and the internet not, since they both come from the same place and through the same cord remains a mystery.


Perhaps it’s best not to think too hard about that stuff otherwise it might be time for a tinfoil hat.

Most of the time the kids view me as the woman who can’t even program the DVR. For the record, I certainly do know how to program it. I just never get the chance. The kids guard the television; they are as ferocious as a mother bear protecting her cubs.

Despite my perceived lack of technical prowess, I am the first person the kids turned to when the internet went down. They looked to me as if I have a direct line to the Gods of the internet.

Ah, now here is a chance for me to display my massive knowledge of all things technical. First, I did what any person, especially one with pets and children should do, I checked to make ensure the plug was solid in the wall.


someone tripped over the cord and forget to plug it back in

Scoff if you will, but in this house the number one reason why something isn’t working is that someone tripped over the cord and neglected to plug it back in.

Keep in mind, the area behind our television is somewhat of a forbidden zone. It is fraught with large dust bunnies and the cat’s stash of toy mice. There is also a nest of cables the size of a Fiat. For a bunch of people who are on the lower end of the technology bell curve, we have a large amount of gaming and television viewing equipment.

To my surprise, nary a cord was out of place. Next, I tried turning it off and then back on. Still nothing, well, that’s the extent of my knowledge. Hmm, I am a stumped. The only other thing we could do is sacrifice a computer mouse to the God of High speed internet and see it that works. 

Cue ominous music. This will require a call to the provider. Oh, god no, not that, anything, but that, where do I find help. I would rather spend five minutes on the rack during the Spanish Inquisition than call my internet service provider.

I have the internet specifically so I can avoid interacting with other humans. Now, the lack of internet is forcing me to talk to a customer service rep.

I applaud my clever internet provider, asking people to switch to paperless billing, which makes it impossible to find a number to call for support when the internet goes down. After a bit of digging in my paper files, which are relevant now? I found a customer service phone number.

As a customer, with a service problem, the last thing I want to listen to on hold is the company’s endless loop of propaganda telling me how fantastic it is; this only makes me angrier. And, you won’t like me when I am angry.

Finally, I got a hold of a person, no, wait, a robot. Yes, an interactive computer program handled my entire call. Yeah! I for one, welcome my new robot overlords if it means I can get my problem fixed in a timely manner.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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