Sunday, December 04, 2005

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Frustration and the Ridiculous

Life is sometimes frustrating, this is normal. After all, however much we might desire otherwise, the world doesn't revolve around our needs...

My internet connection is down, or rather it's working very intermittently (mostly not). This is annoying as I've come to rely on the internet for a significant portion of the normal information and things I do. It's going to snow, how much, check Can we afford that birthday gift for our child, check the bank balance, online. And of course, gotta blog gotta blog gotta blog (no, I'm not addicted, I can give it up anytime, really).

So I call my internet provider, Comcast. First, voice prompt prison. Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish (announced in English, how's that help?)...

"May I help you sir?"

"Yes, my internet connection is working intermittently."

"How's your cable TV reception sir?"

"Umm, I don't have a TV, so I can't tell."

"What? (long pause) Ooook. Did you recycle, reset, jump up and down, and stand on your head till you're blue in the face?"

"Yep, did all that."

"Ok. Well, we'll have to send someone out to check your line. Seems like your neighborhood is booked with problems until next Wednesday, how about Wednesday?"

"Hmm, perhaps a bunch of problems in the same neighborhood indicate a common problem you might want to look in to?"

"Is there another time you would prefer?"

Ugggh. Good thing I didn't switch over to internet phone service.

I had to replace my wife's cell phone this past week. My children flipped the flip phone once too often, flipping it into two pieces. Now I could have done this online (if my freakin internet connection was working!), and online is nice at comparing features and getting phone reviews (which I did, told me a few models to avoid), what you can't do is get a feel for size and useability. So off to the Verizon store I trekked.

My wife set a few simple requirements, new but very practical. One, pull out antenna is undesirable because the children tend to bend it. Two, speakerphone is very desirable because full hands and/or busy car often make it hard to answer and get hands free equipment in place. Now Verizon has this nice contract feature of giving you a phone credit every 2 years. So I arrived and presented my problem (flip phone now existing in 2 pieces), and my new requirements.

First they show me the cheapest phone in the place that meets my requirements. Well, the net cost to me in this case is $0, so why aren't you showing me the best my credit can get? (Don't answer that.) Eventually I find a nice one with loads of features that does what my wife needs (and a bunch of things I'd love to have too :-). Get the phone, off I go. Open it up at home, it came with no belt clip. Now, this is really odd, every phone I've gotten always came with a carrying case / clip. So I call them up, nope, not included but we can sell you one for only $17.95. Are you kidding, $17.95 for a plastic clip? Now I know where they're making their profit (I've since found it online for $5).

So my wife opens the phone manual, after all this thing has more features than her car. Here's the first 3 pages, urgent phone warnings we all should know... (these are all real, though edited for brevity)

#1 Never cook your phone in the microwave oven, it will explode.

#2 Do not bite battery or nail it to the wall, this may cause a fire.

#3 Do not eat phone parts, you might choke to death.

#4 If you put the phone on the airbag and the airbag goes off, it's gonna hurt.

#5 Don't charge the phone in the bathroom or mikvah, wet battery is bad.

#6 Do not clean phone with gasoline, turpintine, or alchohol, fire could result.

#7 Smashing phone may harm internal circuit boards.

#8 Do not twist, pull, cut or melt the power cord. You could get a shock.

#9 Holding plugged-in phone while you are soaking wet is a bad idea. You could get a shock.

#10 You can only make an emergency call with the phone if it is turned on.

#11 You can only make an emergency call with the phone if you are in a place that gets cell phone service.

This would be funnier if it wasn't for real.

So, life is frustrating, Thank G-d! A new challenge to overcome every day.

This article is from the Mystical Paths blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else without an attribution, then it's without permission. Check it out at the source, click here!


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