Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Digital Path Experience (A Less Than Pleasurable Excursion…)

Friday, February 13, 2015

When I switched to Digital Path from Hughes Net a few months ago I was ecstatic.  Finally I could stream video!  This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal for some people but with the previous company, if I was able to have enough speed to download at all, watching anything anytime other than the wee hours of morning would cause me to violate some law of Broadband use resulting in pretty much complete loss of internet access. 

Sadly I found this out the hard way.  Being old and technologically challenged, I had no idea that streaming episodes of Sons of Anarchy would infringe on my ability to check out eBay.  Who knew???  I called Hughes Tech Support and was rewarded with this delightful bit of info.  Thus began my search for a new ISP. (Internet Service Provider for oldsters like me who may be dumbfounded by techno-geek lingo.).

Living in a remote area with limited choices, i.e., no cable, DSL, or cell service, my options are few and far between.  Pickings are slim in this neck of the woods.  When Digital Path brought service to our area my neighbors were first to sign up.  I waited to see how they liked it before I took the plunge.
It seemed too good to be true…less money, faster speeds, and no “limited usage”…how could I not?  So I did…and life was good.  Until this week.

There was a storm last week that I hope was the cause of the outages that have been occurring.  Last weekend, was the first outage.  I called Neighbor Linda, who knows all, to see if her service was working and it wasn’t.  Neighbor Linda called to report the outage and by Monday all was good again.
Thursday night…down again.  The Husband, who acts like it’s my fault, wanted me to call Neighbor Linda, who knows all, to see if hers was down too.  Instead of bothering her, I did the usual rebooting, unplugging, powering down, up, down up, restarting.  This is the kind of shit they have you do every time I’ve called for technical assistance with the previous companies and I wanted to be prepared.  All for naught.  I gave up and figured it would be working by morning.

Wrongo bongo. 

I waited until 7:30 to call Neighbor Linda, who knows all, and I was actually relieved to hear that hers was down too.  Strength in numbers.  That probably meant that everyone in our area was out.  Neighbor Linda, who knows all, said she was going to call Digital Path mumbling something it being hard.  Since we were about to end the call I have to admit I stopped paying attention.  I blame my short attention span on old age and menopause.  I blame everything these days on old age and menopause, unless I can blame The Husband.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  Point being, I probably should have stayed tuned in to the conversation a little bit longer.
Having been given the phone number by Neighbor Linda, who knows all, I took the plunge and called Digital Path…For Residential Service, press #1, for Business Service, press #2, yadda yadda…I pressed the number for Technical Support at approximately 8:20 a.m. PST.

I got a recorded female voice who informed me that I was caller “Number 13”, asking me to stay on the line and thanking me for my patience.  Okay, I get it, businesses need to have auto attendants, and at least she didn’t sound totally disgusted like the gal on the car GPS who gets annoyed when I go the wrong way and says “Re-cal-cu-la-ting” making sure to enunciate every syllable.  She really does sound completely disgusted…and I don’t know why but I take it personally.

Almost immediately The Voice tells me I’m “Number 12”.  Great, I think…this should go pretty quickly.

Wrongo bongo yet again…. 

It seemed like I was “Number 11” forever.  Long enough that, like my mother whom I’ve apparently become, I start worrying about shit that MIGHT happen.  I’m supposed to meet my SIL and Scari at 1:00 for lunch.  What if I’m still on hold?  If I hang up, I’ll have to start all over again.
The whole time I’m thinking about all this I’ve been holding the cordless phone to my ear.  Since I hate it when people you talk to on the phone “put you on speaker”, I’ve never used the “speaker” feature.  Finally after all these years I have an actual need for the “speaker” feature.  Thank goodness the phone had a picture of a speaker that was obvious even to someone like me.  I have to force myself to be brave and push it because I don’t know if you can go from “speaker” to “non-speaker” without affecting the call.  It works!
I have to go to the bathroom.  Should I leave it on “speaker”?  What if they answer while I’m on the toilet?  Should I risk it?  Should I take it off “speaker” so they don’t hear what I’m doing on the off chance they answer while I’m on the toilet?  This is the kind of shit I worry about.  I don’t know why.

Thankfully I make it through bathroom duty without incident.  Face gets washed, hair combed, jammies off, clothes on.  Still on hold.

I have the History Channel on and there’s a two hour documentary about Caligula.  Caligula, as it turns out, was not a very nice guy.  The show is winding down and by 9:46 I’m “Number 3”!  Okay, so it can’t be much longer can it?

I notice that the “speaker” on the phone keeps fading in and out.  What if the battery on the cordless phone goes dead?  Can I put it in the cradle while it’s still on?  I don’t know and I’m afraid if I try, I’ll disconnect the call.  My plan is if the phone dies I’ll run to the bedroom and pick up the un-cordless phone.  But I don’t know if this plan will work.  You never know about this shit until it happens.  So I wait, silently praying the phone doesn’t die.

From 9:55 to 10:26 I’m “Number 2”.  Yes, I’m poop.  How immature is that?  Every time someone says “Number 2” I automatically think poop.  

Some immaturities I will never outgrow.  “Number 1” you’re a winner, “Number 2” you’re poop.  I never automatically think pee when someone says “Number 1”.  Why is that?  I am pleased to admit that as I've matured, so has my thinking and titling of bathroom duties.  If it happens to come up in conversation and I have the opportunity to embarrass someone, specifically The Princess, the conversation goes something like this.

The Princess:  “I have to run to the bathroom”.

Me:  “Do you have to go Big Potty”?

The Princess:  “No”.
Which could be a lie because even if she did, she wouldn’t want to admit it in front of a group of people.  I can’t blame her.  I wouldn't admit it either.  So I've matured from “Number 2” to “Big Potty”.  Yes, I've made giant strides on the maturity highway.

Finally at 10:26 I hear a voice…

Voice:  “Thank you for calling Digital Path, how can I help you?”

Me:   “My Internet isn’t working.”

After getting my account info and all out of the way we continue.

Voice:  “Okay, there should be a little black box about the size of a cell phone with a green or blue light on it.”

Me:  “Yeah, it has a green light.”

Voice:  “There’s two cords that go in and I want you to disconnect the one that says POE for five seconds”.

Me:  “Okay” as I crawl under the desk with the phone to my ear, lest we get disconnected.

I try to disconnect the cord but can't quite get it because the box keeps slipping away.  I finally manage to get it unplugged.  After waiting the required five seconds, I try to plug it back in but I can't push the cord in because the box keeps slipping away.  I set the cordless phone down so I can use both hands and when I do, I accidentally hit the disconnect button. 

I can't fucking believe it.  Two fucking hours I’ve managed to keep from accidentally disconnecting that fucking phone and now at the critical juncture of the call I manage to fuck it up.  Needless to say, the air was turned a very, very, deep cerulean. 

I climb out from under the desk and sit in the chair staring at the phone.  Surely, they'll call back, won't they?  Why does this shit happen to me?  So there I sit feeling sorry for myself  staring dumbly at the phone when a miracle occurs.  The phone rings…

Me:  “Please tell me you’re Digital Path calling me back” I say instead of the usual “hello”.

Voice:  “Domino’s Pizza”. 

We both laugh.  His name is Gary.  Gary is my hero.

Gary has managed to diffuse my rage, not only at myself for stoopidly disconnecting the phone when I needed it most, but at his company for making me wait on hold for two fucking hours!  With just a little bit of courtesy and a sense of humor, Gary has made life good again…it’s the stoopidist thing.