HW: #WednesdayWisdom – What to do when your Internet is down.

Conformity has never been anything I consciously worked towards. Growing up, I was told that I was special and one of a kind. It was not in a “snowflakey” kind of way. It was more along the lines of: “You do not need to imitate anyone; just be you.” Even though, along the years, I have conformed in more ways than one to achieve my goals, I feel as if I still am “ME”.

I like choices. I like having choices. Yes, that is better. Even if I end up making the same decision as you, I will appreciate having the CHOICE between this and that. Having too many choices can make me frazzled sometimes and then I just end up picking the first best thing.

As you know from the title, this post is mainly about the Internet and our everyday choices related to it. At my previous job, I had an old-school phone (call + text + pictures), which did not have access to the Internet. Moreover, it was pre-paid, which meant that I paid a specific amount of money for every call I made (or received), and every text I sent (or received). It was more cost efficient to me, and I was happy with what I had/ did not have. At some point people started sending MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) to me. They were mostly pictures or gifs. Those cost me more than standard SMS (Short Message Service), and my phone did not like opening them anyway. Because of that, I would ask people to stop doing that. I will survive without your photos. You can show them to me the next time we meet. You can also write what you want to say instead of sending an infographic. The art of conversation is DYING!

Then came group chat. What a mess. Instead of receiving a spam of messages from different people in the same conversation thread, I would receive a spam of separate messages from random people and had to decipher what was meant and for whom. (My boss with text all of their employees and I did not have everyone’s phone number. Also, I did not want my number to be known to others. No, I was not asked if my number can be shared with others.)

What do these two things have in common? Expectations and lack of choice. People were stunned when they found out that I did not own a “smartphone”. They recommended I get it ASAP. How was I checking my emails? On the computer. What about music? MP3 player. After years of struggle, I finally gave in. Not because I decided to listen to the people around me, but because I realized that moving forward will be hard. I got a new phone and an “Unlimited” plan. (I use it in moderation and I think I use it less than what I pay for. But it is all or nothing in today’s world.)

Now, that we have discussed conformity and cell phones, let us move on to the Internet.

Although I grew up without the Internet, and then survived with dial-up, I have become dependent on the fast Internet of today. A few days ago, I arrived home from work and found no juice in my Internet connection. The first thing I did was the usual – unplug the router and plug it in, restart everything, etc. I waited a minute or two. The red light of NO INTERNET was still staring me in the face.

Time for step 2 – call the Internet provider company. If you are working on saving the planet, or do not have too much space in your home, chances are you are signed up for paperless billing. Well, I am not. I like to have easily accessible documentation. Every time the pesky “Go paperless” pops up, I smash the “NO” button. The electric company actually got me recently and I had to undo that “green” selection. They are getting sneakier and sneakier about it. Some companies do not give you an option, or they charge you for your paper bill. How insane is that? Why is the paper bill so important in this instance? It has the phone number that you need to dial to report your issue. Thankfully, I saved the number in my phone after the first time this happened. But if something happened to that, I could pull out that bill and dial the number without breaking a sweat.

What happened when I called? I heard: “You can report an issue online on our website…” WAIT, WHAAAAAT? I did not get to talk to a live person. I ended up pressing all sorts of buttons to reply to their automated prompts and requested a text update, which never arrived. Go figure. The Internet was not restored until the next evening. No one knows what the problem was. The sun was shining and the skies were blue.

Back to: “Visit us online to report an Internet outage”. How is that supposed to work? In order to access the Internet I need Internet, and if I do not have Internet, I cannot browse the Internet. Sounds logical to me. Does it sound logical to you? Here is where conformity and smartphones come into play. You are forced to rely on the Internet on your phone. Chances are that if you have no connection at home, you pull out your phone, you Google your provider’s phone number on it and/ or you submit a ticket online via your phone. Some of us do it. Some of us can. But why do we expect EVERYONE to be able to do it?

The reason why this whole situation was so funny was because AT THE SAME TIME there was no running water at the apartment complex I live in. The maintenance was previously scheduled, so I was prepared. The management sent out an email saying: “Please do not call us to check on the status of the maintenance. We will send out an email once it is completed.” How was I supposed to know what was going on if there was no Internet and everyone refuses to use the phone to conduct business?

A comedic tragedy.

What do you do when you do not have Internet in the house?

#WednesdayWisdom: Be prepared and make a plan for an Internet outage TODAY!

Stay golden,

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37 thoughts on “HW: #WednesdayWisdom – What to do when your Internet is down.

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  1. Much as I detest wholly automated phone systems, I hate foreign call centres even more. They aren’t expecting my accent, they can’t/won’t understand me and it’s always deeply unpleasant and stressful. I’m at the point where I’d sooner pay more than deal with a company with an offshore call center anymore

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those are funny. In very small doses. They get offended that I don’t understand them (although I am always respectful). How is that supposed to work? It’s not MY fault. I witnessed someone swear at a foreign call center worker quite recently. This was at a place of business. I was stunned. This person was not gentle about not understanding their accents.

      Call centers aside, I am not a fan of people who refuse to understand you. Maybe it’s because I’ve been exposed to all sorts of accents in my life, or maybe it’s because I WANT TO understand the other person, no matter how much they butcher the language. The people who often claim they “can’t” often “don’t want to”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. Growing up in London with hotels as the family business, I’m very good at understanding accents and speech impediments. I do think it’s harder over the phone as you don’t get body language clues. I’ve definitely had some bad experiences with call center reps. The worst is when they can only operate from a script as their English is poor and they just can’t understand what I want from them. I actually like the language variations but some clearly don’t. Interestingly I’ve found some races far less tolerant than others and women far more likely to be aggressive or indifferent than men. If they’re in a customer service industry and being rude to the customers, maybe a career change is in order!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I was a trainer in the call center in England for Capital One and managed to be a huge part of getting rid of scripts and call time goals… then they outsourced to India and for obvious reasons, scripts came back with a vengeance and they lost out HUGELY on collections. Served them right!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, I find it crazy how it’s become the norm, the internet I mean. It wasn’t that long like you said, that it didn’t exist and life still went on. Sure, I had it in college but used more of a leisure way, pirating music was a thing, and a few times a day or to chat with local friends that I knew personally. Other than that, I just enjoyed life. Now, I feel we are too forced to depend on it. Everything is wifi linked in and if you had the money, literally everything you could own is powered by the internet. I’m not a fan of that, to be honest. Like when the internet is down or not available…the world would stop, like really? And it was not that long ago. I fear it will only get worse. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why I don’t understand it. It feels like the past is something that I lived, but no one else did. Do they all have amnesia? Or is comfort really everything for them? Do we really need to do everything with a single swipe of our index finger? Motorized chairs are fun, but only for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s crazy how quickly our form of communications has changed. I don’t have a smart phone and I even have texting blocked from my phone. I do paper bills sent to me so I would be able to call to report the outage but if it required an online report I would have to depend on a neighbor. Thankfully I still have neighbors that are willing to help each other out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Its annoying with no internet but I love holidays when I’m in places with little or no network. I love that for one day a week I won’t be online at all.

    It made me laugh that you have to go online to report internet issues…

    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I run through the same process as you. Happened the other day. The automated system told me it would be back up by 11 p.m. — 5 hours from then! I decided to use my time wisely. I couldn’t surf, couldn’t really work, couldn’t watch TV. Kept accidentally trying to do things that required the internet.

    I kept thinking today’s young people would lose their minds if transported back to the 80s or early 90s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least you knew when it would be up. I think a lot of companies don’t say when it will be up because they’ve been wrong about it in the past and people complained.

      I am scared to imagine such a reality. A 5 year old kid (or even less) that cannot use their console, or tablet, or phone? A regular TV is not enough for them. They need it hooked up to Youtube and a million other cartoon channels. A radio? What is that.

      It sounds like I’m stuck in the past. Nothing can be further from the truth. I just appreciated the variety. Now you do everything on your phone with the use of the Internet. How diversified is that? It quickly gets boring.

      Like

  6. Grin.
    For help of no internet, visit our website. 🧐🧐

    My parents used to tell me that staring into the small screen would cause migrane, but once they got one on their own, their eyes were glued on the phone 😄

    I am currently in bosnia, so I’d have to pay for roaming which insanely expensive. So very limited for me.
    It’s inconvenient on the road, but I like the digital detox 💪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, when I heard that, I did not know whther I should laugh or cry.

      I’ve been told plenty of things, too. My eye sight is not perfect. It might be due to watching too much TV, or it might be due to reading books at night. Or it might be something else. It’s hard to confirm what causes what. Many people believe that cell phones (and particularly radio waves) cause brain cancer and other anomalies. I air on the side of caution, but know that what is meant to be will be.

      I’m glad you are able to just enjoy good, old-fashioned reality for a little bit.

      Like

  7. About a month ago, we lost our Internet. It was a BIG deal for Ken. Our TV is based on the Internet (IPTV thru CenturyLink Prism). No Internet, no TV…no 24/7 news cycle (he is a news junkie), no FakeBook (he likes that), no paying bills online… He was ILL. Then, the round-robin with the call center…in the Philipines, no less. Really? You can’t have ONE call center here in the US? Not one? Three attempts, later, we request a technician visit. Be here tomorrow…

    Turns out, our lawn guy weed-eated the wiring. Technician splices, dices and boxes the band-aided wires. TV back on. Computers back on. Happy Ken (thank god…).

    But, for 24 hours, I tried to entertain Ken. My stupidphone still had access to the local tower. So, I got on my phone and READ the news headlines to him. It was either that or listen to him bitch, non-stop until our ‘knight in shining white van’ showed up.

    Me? I’ve been a computer geek since I was 17. Programmed on Apple IIs with 5 1/2 floppys, first. That was back in 1983. I didn’t even get my own computer until 1999 and it was a used one, given to me by my, then, boyfriend (now ex-husband). I had to work on those things for a living. Coming home to one…well, I was mostly disinterested. Email was cool, tho. The ex was also a computer geek. He liked to build them and network them, so I wound up with the latest and greatest…all the time. We had his & hers computers the entire time we were together.

    I couldn’t have cared less that the TV was off. And, the computers worked fine just no outside connection. If I hadn’t had to entertain Ken, I would have been outside, bare feet on the ground, sitting in my Adirondack chair and READING A BOOK. If I really needed the Internet, I could walk two blocks, get a coffee at Cup-O-Joes and tap on my laptop…like I’m doing now (tapping, not drinking coffee at said shop).

    I remember the days before it existed. It was supposed to be the great connector. Look at us now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing this story. It was an entertaining read first thing in the morning. I know someone who needs to see every news headline, too. I think it’s yet another feather in your cap that you are fine without the almighty Internet.

      Like

      1. Happy to entertain. 😁

        The Internet is merely a tool, no different than a library to me, just like the computers connected to it. People have turned it into an addiction they can’t live without. It’s ridiculous.

        I grew up on my grandparent’s farm. They had three channels plus PBS. I entertained myself. I still remember how to do that.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I, too, insist in old-school paper bills. I also still pay those bills by check, which I record by hand in a paper ledger. Just because they have new, faster ways to accomplish tasks does not mean those ways are better and/or infallible. I am totally in the same boat as you.

    When my internet is down at home, I accomplish chores, reading books, taking naps, and watching movies. You know, stuff we used to do when the internet wasn’t a thing…days I still remember. If I have something urgent to accomplish online, I’ll whip out my phone to do it, though I generally prefer doing most tasks on my laptop—I plug in to a full sized monitor, keyboard, and mouse…which all make things more efficient for me.

    On the flip side, I don’t judge others for choosing their phones. I get it. I just wish phones weren’t considered more important when in the company of others.

    Liked by 1 person

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Rachael Ritchey

Worlds of Fiction

from famine to feast

recovery and growth, things that interest me, occasional deep-thoughts, and semi-regular poetry

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