After The Storm

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well Icepocalypse  didn’t leave us completely unscathed as reported yesterday. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the ice and snow, it was the subfreezing temperature that was the culprit. We had a couple of tenants with frozen pipes this morning. No matter how many times you warn folks about leaving their faucets on at a trickle to keep them from freezing, some folks just insist on seeing how bad a burst pipe can damage a trailer. Now they get to see it, and live with the damage, until they get it cleaned up. We have strict rules about who is responsible for what at TackyToo, and being an idjit is always the responsibility of the tenant.

One other unexpected inconvenience from the storm was the loss of the internet for a few hours. We have one of the major players in the internet serving our area, they’re called Windstream. I think they serve all of the areas that Comcast and Time Warner think are going to be a pain in the rear to service. Anyway, our lights flickered in the Rec room and then came back on strong. I figured “woo hoo”, the power didn’t go out, but then Yuri Stinker let out a curse as he slammed his giant paw onto the desk of the community computer. The internet had gone down while he was in the middle of renewing his NRA membership on line. His face was as red as a sunburned beet, and from the distension in his neck veins, I thought he was literally going to explode. I approached cautiously and applied my vast IT knowledge to the problem. I typed www.cnn.com into the browser window and hit return. The computer thought for about ten seconds and then displayed a page that said “server not found”. Well there you have it folks, the internet was down.

I stuck my head out and checked the cable line from the Rec room to the pole on the highway, and it looked good. I promised Yuri I’d do everything I could to get service restored as quick as possible. I assured Yuri he was first in line when the internet came back, and that he would get his full fifteen minutes of time. I headed for the office to get my rolodex of “important numbers”, and placed the dreaded call to customer service. OMG! Push 1, push 6, speak English, don’t care what my balance is, and then, a human voice.

From deep in the bowels of a call center in deepest darkest New Delhi, a woman identified herself as “Amy”. “Amy” had a lot to say. I think most of it was about me adding more services, but some of it was aimed at troubleshooting my problem. She kept calling me, “Mr. Bud”, which I guess is nice, but those were basically the only words I could understand. I try real hard to not be a xenophobe, but this was really getting to me. I finally just started suggesting courses of action and having “Amy” agree with me. At least she could understand English, she just didn’t speak it. After twenty minutes or so of rebooting the modem we determined that “Amy” was helpless to fix the problem. “Amy” wanted to schedule an in home visit from a technician, would I be available next Tuesday from 5 to 7 in the evening? Why of course I would, what were my options? “Amy” and I said our fond goodbyes. 

About an hour later I get a call on my cell from “Clark”, from “Advanced Technical Support”.  “Advanced Technical Support” apparently means I’m going to go through the same routines as regular support, except in better English. Towards the end of my twenty minute conversation with “Clark”, he happens to mention that there is an outage in my area, and that it should be fixed by 8:30PM. Well, deep fry me and call me a hushpuppie. In measured tones I explain to “Clark” that if  “Amy” had told me my area was experiencing an outage, and to just cool my jets until 8:30, we would have avoided wasting a heck of a lot of everybody’s time. “Clark” promised to call me back tomorrow to see if I was fixed and he could cancel the in home visit.

Well, long story short, about 8:25 the internet came back on, and life sort of returned to normal. I called Yuri to tell him he was up, but he didn’t answer. I’m sure the NRA will give him another shot at renewing his membership. Namaste.

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