taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Friday, April 08, 2005

My internet connection alternated between nail-bitingly slow and nonexistent last night. When I don't have the internet, I go a little bit crazy. It feels like being locked in a room with no windows. (And yes, I'm aware that I have a problem.) I tried all my usual tricks--resetting the modem, checking the connections, and so on. As my anxiety mounted, I realized I would have to call The Evil Ones. Yes, and sit on the phone with 1-800-COMCAST for the rest of my evening.

Normally this is a chore I endure once every couple of months, sitting on hold and having them say things like "Now unplug the modem" or "Did you restart?" while I seethe inside: "YES I UNPLUGGED THE MODEM, BEE-YATCH!" Instead, though, I always say, in my sweetest voice, "Yes, I went through those steps, do you think you could have a technician come look?" This whole process is bad enough--not to mention the days I've spent waiting around for techs who never showed up, or when they did, who never had the right equipment or skills to fix the problem. (BTW, it's always, always the modem. And they never, ever have extras in the truck.)

However, tonight it was worse. Tonight it was as though the entire internet--my umbilical cord, my livelihood, the thing my entire career has been built on--nay, my entire social life--had come to a screeching halt. Because when I called Comcast, THEY WEREN'T THERE.

First it was busy. Then I got to the menu, made my selections, and was told "We are attempting to connect your call," even though I'd already been connected, supposedly, to the Comcast customer service center. "Connecting!" the voice would say, and then, horrifyingly: "We cannot connect your call to Comcast. Try again later or--" and here's where I really started to lose it--"check our website at www.comcast.net!"

Click.

I called back, frantic. Busy again.

Suddenly it dawned upon me: I no longer had access to any information. My internet connection was down. If I had an internet connection, I could probably solve the problem of its being down, right? Because I could get customer service for my downed connection over the internet! The TV couldn't help me. The phone couldn't help me. The only thing that could help me was the very thing that I had a problem with.

And then I realized, with utter horror, how totally dependent I am on this technology. How I've surrendered so much of my life to this network. I depend on it to talk to my friends, to tell me what to wear in the morning (weather-wise), to buy gifts for people, to solve problems, to communicate with the world, to create art, to find out what's going on in the world outside. I depend on it for my salary and therefore the internet is responsible for my house, my food, and my daughters' school tuitions. Perhaps this is why I want to know if it's sentient, because it controls so much of my life.

And, even more frightening--Comcast holds the keys. Yes, the men in the little white trucks, who can't be expected to keep to any schedule whatsoever, who don't seem to understand the technology in any way--they control all access to my lifeline.

So maybe a better question is: is Comcast sentient?

5 Comments:

At 8:13 PM, Blogger sweetney said...

motherfucking amen. ditto. every word.

sigh.

 
At 9:34 PM, Anonymous seadragon said...

I feel the same way whenever the internet goes out. In my case, it's usually down because of bad weather. Winter was especially horrible. Verizon would always make us wait it out and then when it was sunny and warm, they'd note that the internet seemed to be working just fine so in their mind there was no problem.

As for functioning without the internet, I notice that when I'm out somewhere that a computer is inaccessible, and a question comes up, I feel helpless. I know the answer is out there somewhere, but I don't know it myself and I can't look it up! So the question just sits there, unanswered. And apparently other people are just fine with this, but I feel totally cut off from the world. Funny how you can feel cut off from the world when you're out participating in it, instead of sitting at home on your computer, huh?

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger dogfaceboy said...

Nope. Not a problem for me. I know everything. Just ask me.

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger chang said...

Yeah, I hear you sister. yesterday I was at my brother's and panicked for a second because I had gone for 3 hours without checking my email. And just knowing there was a high speed connection there made me feel okay.

But god, when it's out, it's like the blitz. The NAzis have got me by the balls and all I can do is cower.

Pity you can't get RCN. I love them!

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

Comcast hates you. What more do you need to know?

No, actually, I think Comcast has had some services outages ... two that I've counted in the last week or so.

My computer is going in for repairs next week ... don't know how I'm going to survive for a whole friggin' week!

(Maybe I'll hook up the old POS)

 

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