We rely so much on our electronic devices and if one becomes unworkable, our life seems to grind ungraciously to a halt. Life can be tough getting back into the rat race again.
My mobile phone was serving me well, albeit with a minor issue with sound, which meant I usually had to have the speaker turned on. I chose to live with that rather than invest in a new phone, knowing that one day I would certainly have to buy a new one. But not yet. The cover was another matter, and one Sunday morning I bought a new case on Ebay, as the old one was wearing badly. A new bamboo one - I was excited to have found it and purchased it.
My grandchildren had come to stay, and they “helped” me buy the case, just before we went out to fish in the lake nearby, and while helping one with a snagged hook I dropped the phone into the water. Briefly. I swept it up almost as soon as it hit the water, and was glad to see that it didn’t look too bad. Perhaps only the cover was wet, and I had ordered a new one. I soon learned that the phone was going to punish me for dropping it in the water. For a few days, actually until the new cover arrived, the sound was impossible. Scratchy – in fact sounded more like the speaker was blowing bubbles.
The children were excited when the new cover arrived and I was excited that the phone seemed to have a new lease on life with the new cover, and the sound improved. Lucky me.
A week later, the children were back at home and school and I was on my own again, thinking I could catch up on many tasks that I had put aside while I endeavoured to entertain, feed and generally manage the grandchildren, but worse was to befall me.
While busily checking emails, Facebook, local news and other things on my computer, the Internet stopped. I went and checked the modem etc and turned the equipment off for a few seconds and back on again. No signal. I contacted my neighbour – our units adjoin – but she was having no problems. I tried to phone my Internet provider but could not get through. Not happy.
So I chose to write and ignore the Internet and prepare for its return. Surely it would be back on soon! Later that day a text message came through – the company had had a fire and their equipment was damaged, but they expected it to be back functioning within 3 days. Could I live without the Internet for three days? Why not?
I have a smart phone and could access emails, and most things.
On the day the system was to be functional again, there was bad news. It was a strange and convoluted message, but essentially said that the company could not tell when it would be going to return service. I had to source another provider, which was challenging as I had no Internet, but I managed to use a WiFi at another business and checked out a few companies. I chose one, on price, which is not always a good idea, but as I don’t earn a lot of money price is often my system of choice.
The following day, after several phone calls and giving them my details, I am told I have active service. When I returned home after my morning tasks I endeavoured to get online, without success. I phoned their help line. They told me that I could not be on fibre, but had to have had ADSL. No, I had fibre. No, said the woman with a foreign accent, probably from an Asian country, then I must have satellite. I have no satellite on my roof, and I explained that, but she did not believe me. In the end I spent around 4 hours on the phone, as they advised me to change cables in the various boxes on the wall of my very hot garage where they are installed.
In the end she claimed that the previous company had not been providing me with fibre, but ADSL, which she was adamant about, and then told me there was a fault with my computer, or the modem, and gave me a number which she claimed was the company which manufactured the modem. I rang the number only to learn that it was incorrect. I phoned my son, daughter, and son in law – the latter who has a very technical brain and I knew he could help me. None answered their phones, and I left messages for all of them.
I was pretty brain dead with all the endeavours to work with the foreign lady who seemed to be on a different planet to me, and so frustrated I started to cry. Now, not many folk would know that I can cry – I do not do it in public unless I am at the movies or a funeral, so to have this melt down was quite out of character for me.
Eventually I went to bed, but sleep didn’t come. In part because I didn’t know what I was going to do next with my Internet (or lack of) and I was exhausted, and on top of that two cats chose to spend all night howling at one another across the road. I could hear them but not see them. They were loud like a woman screaming. I learned that other neighbours suffered from insomnia on that night because of the cats, but no one could do anything. It was hard to see where they were.
I did doze off eventually and when I woke in the morning I looked like I had done 10 rounds with Mohammod Ali!!! Then I had an idea. I would get out the old Dongle that I hadn’t used for many months, and see if I could activate that. I phoned the company and was told I needed a new SIM card, so waited until the post office was open and went to get one. They didn’t have one. So I went to the newsagent where I did get one, but my friend behind the counter could see I was distressed and when I told her my issues, she offered to send her partner who apparently is good with technical stuff.
I contacted the company to activate my account and SIM card, and had to leave a message – they would phone me back within 10 minutes. They NEVER phoned me back. I phoned my son again and ranted about his lack of interest in calling back his mother. Yes, sorry, but…..
His phone had been uncharged – and when he got it back and running he didn’t see my message, though hours later he admitted he had eventually found it. Then he phoned the company that was “trying” to get my Internet active. There was me in the garage again, with laptop, and phone, talking to my son, who was relaying messages from another female techy somewhere in the world, and after four more hours of achieving nothing I stopped it. It was just going nowhere. Again I was told there was a fault with my computer.
Then I phoned the other company in an effort to get my Dongle going, which did happen.
My friend’s bloke turned up, and looked at a few things and then said he had to “activate” something on my computer and so desperate was I, that I let him do it. I was still not on the Internet. I have no idea what he did to the computer but it is totally different to what it was like BEFORE he touched it and many of my programs have gone missing. I could write about 6 pages about the changes to my computer – but I won’t!!!
My tears were starting to flow again – frustration and fatigue was getting to me. My daughter phoned (she had been busy and just found time to call me) – over 24 hours after I had called her. I know she is busy, and I respect and understand that. Her husband phoned me – apparently he uses another phone and had just realised his old one had a message – my message from the previous day.
I explain the problem to him, and he said he would phone back. He arranged for his brother to call over that night – they are both technically clever, so I was happy for him to come. He did and several hours later I was back on the Internet.
Now I am trying to catch up on my last week’s work, BUT…….. Isn’t there always a “but”? I am still trying to get my computer back into some semblance of what it was before. Even Skype disappeared.
I hope never, ever, ever to have to endure what I have been through in the last week. I wonder when/if I can restore my computer to its former glory. OMG. It is a wonder I didn’t take heavily to wine!!!!!