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Ballyhooly Road

Asking tech support to stop talking for one second

Cork Ireland, October 2008 —
Today I told her stop. stop. stop. Please, will you stop talking for one second?

She had asked me to go downstairs and look at the modem for a number — then I couldn't get off the phone, her talking on like a gibbering fool.

The thing is, she's not stupid. God, what's her name. I can't remember it. She remembered me, once we got talking today. She remembered because I live on the second floor. She had tried, at one point, to say, during our previous conversation, that I was too far from the router.

The way she'd approached it was funny. She'd asked me "is [the wireless router] more than 30 metres away?" No, I said. "Is it more than 30 feet?" She was grasping.

Man, today, in the end of it — they're professionals, these bastards — they had me feeling guilty about getting so angry. Never mind that the internet [here] works about 85% of the time, randomly, and that every tech visit has been for nothing, because nobody writes anything down. Months into it, and they're still going to send a technician to look at it.

Only one of them seems to know what to do. The odds are, it won't be him tomorrow, even though I've gotten a word of hono(u)r from two people (who have not spoken with each other) that it will be the same guy tomorrow. He said he wants to run a cable through the front bedroom. If he's coming tomorrow, he didn't call me today — and if he's planning to get into that front room, he hasn't let me know about it.

And it's not my job.

I guess I shouldn't let it get to me. This is, in fact, at the basis of her job, I think — to disuade people from asking for physical tech support. Much better they convince you that you don't have a problem with them — that it must be you.

Or, more generally, "maybe it's just [ __ ]" (fill in the blank.) Any delay in service is money saved, and most people believe almost anything if it's repeated and spoken with authority.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 8:51:07 AM — Today, she doesn't remember [the details.]

All she remembers is I was the one pissed off at her and getting impatient. She doesn't remember that she was the one trying to tell me it was the router -- and then if it wasn't that, that it was something else that it was not.


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In Irish English, as in all of European English, the "first floor" is the first one above the ground floor, and so on. In America, the ground floor is the "first floor," and so on upward.

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