Friday, May 28, 2010

Technology - Our Fickle Friend?

On Wednesday, my telephone began to act strangely. At first, I didn't realize anything was wrong with it. There was a brief half-ring and then nothing. When I picked up the phone, there was a dial tone. That happened three or four times. My Internet connection which uses the telephone line, worked so I thought there was no problem. But - I didn't hear from The Viking. He always checks in with me by phone at around 11 a.m. So, I called him.

"Your phone's not working," he said.

I called B*ll Canada , and after a horrendously long wait and repeated recorded assurances that "your call is important to us," my call was answered by a person.

"We can send a service tech between noon and 6 today. If the problem is in your equipment, there will be an $89.00 charge, plus tax" he said.

That long time-frame conflicted with my previously made plans. So, I agreed that the technician could come on Thursday between 8 a.m. and noon. (Why can't they have two-hour time windows?)

He arrived at 10:45 and set to work.
"Where's the main telephone jack?" He asked.

I wasn't sure. I know there are three jacks in my apartment. All of them are behind furniture. He checked the one behind my bed. That wasn't the main jack and since it was connected to the jack behind filing cabinet, both were ruled out of contention. There's also a jack behind the china cabinet.

"I never use that one," I pleaded.
"Well, " the tech said "it could be the main one."

The china cabinet is filled with china and crystal and couldn't be moved unless it was emptied.

Then - fortunately, I had an intuitive flash.
"There's a weird thingie in the front call closet. It doesn't look like the usual phone jack cover, but maybe the line comes in there."

Thank goodness I was right. Then I held my breath while the technician wriggled and jiggled - the lines inside the box. He explained that in an old building like this one (old? It was built about 25 years ago) sometimes lines inside the conduit touch other lines, or something.


I pictured the lines groping each other in the dark. Yes, sometimes my imagination gets me into trouble.

Then he tested the line by calling my number with his cell phone. It worked.

So, now I'm reconnected with the world. However, I worry about what those pesky lines are up to, down there, where no one can see them.

I also worry about what I'd do if the phone line died and couldn't be repaired. I could get a cell phone but I would lose my current Internet service provider. That would be a huge pain in the neck. I might have to consider Internet connection through the cable company. That would be more expensive.

Technology is a wonderful thing, when it works, and our dependence on it ever increaseth. But it can be fickle.

Do you have a technology story?
p.s. I had planned to write about the horrendous cost of the G-8 and G-20 meetings, and about Harper's continuing disregard for Parlimentary democracy but at the moment, I am too enraged to comment on those issues. So, you are safe from another rant, for now.


mcinnesp said...

Ah technology. I'm glad you got your problem resolved.

I haven't had a land line for a few years now. I just couldn't see paying for the cost of that, and my cell phone - so being I hate Bell with every fibre of my being and every dealing with them was a horror story, I chose just my cell, since my line of work dictates I need to always be available anyway.


D. B. Reynolds said...

Hmmmm. It seems to me if the pesky lines are up to something in an apartment building, it's the landlord's problem not yours. But, hey, I'm from that country south of you.

I have a land line at my house, but that's because there are too many hills where I live and we can't get cell reception. I always have to wait until I go down the hill for my cell phone to work!

I'm with Pam, though. If I COULD get cell reception at home, I'd happily ditch the land line.

I'm glad you got your phone service back!

An Again said...

...You've given all new meaning to phone sex.

I had to say it.

Danielle La Paglia said...

We gave up a home phone line about a year ago. We each have a cell - my boyfriend, my daughter, and I. The sucky part is that my family constantly forgets that I live two hours earlier than them and don't shut off my phone. I regularly get texts at 4am despite my constant bitching. I can't turn my phone on vibrate because it's my only line if there's an emergency. There are reasons half the country lies (lays?) between my siblings and I. :)

Angela Addams said...

I, too, am quite enraged about the G20 expense but your technology story is probably better for me at the moment!

You're smart, if it were me, I would have run out and bought a new phone instead of calling that certain company who I have a very strong love/hate relationship with.

Speaking of which...that particular company is courting me because my cell phone plan is coming due...they want to give me a new phone...for free...but I had vowed not to resign with them cause they really don't value me as a customer. So what to do? I really want a new smartphone...but I'd be selling myself...big decisions!

Michelle said...

I have enough to fill an entire novel. But then, most of my career has been spent working in the tech field.

I'm on the fence as to how MUCH technology we really need.