The Holding Pattern Hostility.

I am currently on hold with Time Warner Cable. Our internet is down again and has been down since 0600 this morning. The lights are indicating that the modem is not receiving a signal. We have rebooted everything multiple times. I even had Jamie boot random household appliances just to be safe. The dryer is working just fine, by the way.

Time Warner is obsessed with rebooting the modem. I understand the reason for their obsession but their new phone automation system gives you just three simple steps to reboot the modem and then refuses to do anything else until you have hung and called back after rebooting the modem. Oh, quick tip, screaming WHY????? at the drugged out robot woman doesn’t help. And I don’t know what kind of computer she is doing her informational lookups on, but it sounds like she’s banging on an IBM Selectric with her elbows and waiting for the ticker tape to punch an appropriate number of holes. Perhaps that’s why she sounds stoned.

I tried to avoid calling into Time Warner completely by using their chat system on my alternate Internet connection. I did this on two occasions, Matt first told me that my modem was no longer registered. I did it again when John told me that he couldn’t help me and that I would have to call an escalated support level with a case number.

And that’s why I’m on hold.


I have just finished the call.

“Hi Christopher, I was told to call this number. I have a case number if that will help.”

“The case number doesn’t really do much for us, what’s your home phone number?”

Mind you, the stoned woman looked up my account and determined who I was, where I was and what I wanted using her IBM Selectric all based on my phone number and then automagically transferred me to Christopher, who needed my home phone number to proceed any further.

Oh, he needed the last four digits of my social security number. Not to sound overly hostile, I avoided the “it’s none of your business” standard response that I usually use and opted to append my four digits with, “I look forward to Time Warner supplementing my governmental entitlements since they have my social security number for no reason since it’s not legally an identification number.” My digits are my business.

Christopher took a hit from robo-woman’s bong and said, “Wha?”

Christopher told me to reboot the modem. I blinked my eyes rapidly for five seconds and I said “all done.” He said that I did good (even though I was 56 miles from the modem, sitting in the Jeep near work) and that he did see that I had rebooted the modem but he couldn’t get the modem to respond. I thanked him for the encouragement and worked my blinking eyes into a samba with a twitching nose. It’s all about the magic, apparently.

Christopher then asked if we had done anything with the modem recently. I resisted the urge to say that many kinky things happen in our basement but none of them involved the cable modem and instead I opted to say that no, it’s just been sitting there doing its thing.

He determined that a tech needed to come out to the house. I braced myself for their next available date being in 2014 but was very surprised to learn that they would be out to the house today between 3 and 5 p.m.

Good thing we have people at home today!

I thanked Christopher for his time by offering him a cookie. He politely declined but said that if no one showed up not to panic because they’d be there some time.

While it is very obvious that I am thoroughly a geek, I don’t know how obvious it is that I DESPISE internet connectivity failures. As one of our more expensive luxuries at The Manor (we pay for the “Ultimate Internet Experience” which equates to pr0n without video hesitation), I expect our service to be up and running 99.99999% of the time. If Ma Bell could keep dial tone to the farther reaches of our country in middle of the last century and meet that uptime criteria, there is no reason that 21st Century technology can not follow that precedent. Like Steve Jobs, I expect perfection from my technology and I am vastly disappointed when my expectations are not met.

Let’s hope that the repairman is on time and helpful.