Monday, September 19, 2011

Puppy teeth triumph again

Last night I was writing up a storm and didn't have the TV on. Somewhere in the evening I got a notice that the connection to the internet had been broken and I'd be notified when it was restored. Okay, I missed a few emails--no big deal. And I couldn't get Facebook but I just figured the TCU server was down.
This morning I wandered into the kitchen and turned on the TV--I'm a TODAY show junkie and really like to get the 7 a.m. news. Instead I got a screen that told me service was disconnected and gave me a list of things to check, including the connection to the master modem. Tried the office TV and got a snow screen--and then I remembered that I'd caught Sophie chewing on a cord (yet again) when I put her up for the night. I'd wrapped the frayed cord with electrical tape, treated it with Tabasco and thought all was well--apparently not!
Called U-Verse, which involves listening to this automated man who insists on running a few tests, etc., and takes up about ten to fifteen minutes before he turns you over to a tech. The first tech, probably in the Philippines--hard to understand for my less than efficient ears, tried to be helpful and after about forty-five minutes said he'd send a new modem which I would get the next moring. Then he put me on hold for an order number, kept checking, and after anothr 30 minutes said he'd call back and leave the number. He never did, and I hope he forgot because a modem wasn't what I needed. I looked again--the modem still had power, but one of the cords connected to it was the frayed one. So I had another delightful conversation with that automated guy who does all that clicking and checking. The second tech said I should just go to Radio Shack and get a new coaxial cord--save the $55 minimum servce call charge. Hot diggety! I was ready to throw on clothes and go--but I couldn't separate the cord from the modem, and when I followed it, it's one that goes behind all four sections of my bookcase and finally outside the outer wall. Back to the automated guy--this time when I got a tech I said, "I can tell you what I need. I need a service call." Of course she insisted on going through their usual rigamarole of questions but finally said they had openings for this afternoon, between noon and four. She did assure me it would all be taken care of for me at no charge--at least I think and hope that's what she said. I resigned myself to waiting until four, but it was a good excuse to scoot out of a meeting at 11:30. At 11:50, the service man knocked on the door. He said, "Give me ten minutes, and you'll be back in business." It took him in truth about 25 minutes, but he was so pleasant and helpful. We checked each TV in the house, the internet, etc. and everything worked fine. He spliced the cord below the frayed part and then said my connection was old-fashioned and he'd give me the newer model. Bonus: he gave me a sheet with his name and number on it and that of his boss, said next time to call him. If he couldn't talk me through the problem on the phone, I could call his boss and ask to have him sent out. Goodbye, automated man.
I've already had a neighbor request the magic number, but I figure that isn't fair to Danny--that's his name. He'd be inundated with unhappy Berkeley residents, many of whom have been complaining about U-Verse.
You read about people who abstain from TV or give up their computers for a week. Not me! I was in despair this morning at the thought of a whole day without anything to do. Oh, yeah, I could read and work on my novel--that part of my computer worked fine--but it all felt helpless. I even forgot a couple of times that the phone did still work. And I was so happy this afternoon to have it all back. I think I've secured it from the puppy teeth now, and I'm taking much more precautions so my arms don't get bitten any  more.
Hope to be back on track tomorrow.

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