The Day The Network DiedThree weeks ago today, my Verizon DSL stopped working. I turned the modem off and then on again, restarted my computer, and waited for everything to come back up. It did not.
And so I made what was to be the first of more than a dozen phone calls to Verizon DSL technical support. After waiting on hold for nearly an hour ("Your call is important to us! Please stay on the line!"), I finally reached a live technician, who prompted me to restart the modem several more times and plug and unplug a variety of cords. Thirty minutes later, we hadn't made much progress.
"I'm not sure what the problem is," he finally confessed. "I think maybe your modem is broken. So I'm going to put a new one in a box to you. It should be on your doorstep in 48 hours."
48 hours later, a new modem was indeed sitting on my doorstep. Unfortunately, despite its shiny wrapping, it couldn't connect to the internet either.
By the second week and the 11th or so tech support phone call, I felt like I was trapped in another dimension. Work and correspondence were piling up; I had to drive to the library to wait in line for a chance to jump online and send important messages. I spent countless hours on hold with Verizon Technical Support, and subsequently screamed, raged, and threatened; but all to no avail. On one of the last phone calls, I finally broke down. "I've got to get back online!" I sobbed to the poor technician. "This is absolutely ridiculous!"
He apologized, yet again. And then he revealed what the problem was: "Hey! I just noticed something!" he said. "It looks to me like you cancelled your DSL service two weeks ago!"
"I see it right here."
"You see me CANCELLING MY SERVICE?! Are you seriously telling me that I made a telephone call to CANCEL MY DSL?"
"It's right here. Yes."
"Then can you kindly explain why on earth I've been calling EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last two weeks to figure out why I can't get online?"
He assured me that my DSL could be up and running once again... in just 10 days.
AFTER I blew the poor man's ears to shreds, and AFTER I threw the phone across the room in utter and total frustration, THEN I breathed deeply and made a pot of green tea, and FINALLY I called Comcast and asked them how long it would take to get high-speed internet service.
"We can have you up tomorrow," they said.
I was back online on Thanksgiving, which made me very thankful indeed. A few days later, I've finally caught up.
And now, when I see those Verizon commercials showing the network for their cellular phone service, I think: that so-called network is made up of cardboard cutouts! They aren't real at all...
Oh, the taste of bitterness.