Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tech support laughs at me, not with me

I'm no techie goddess, but I'm not an idiot either. I felt pretty confident that my internet issues could probably be solved by jiggling some wires, unplugging cords and plugging them back in, and - just for good measure - peppering my speech with four letter words.

To my dismay, and through no lack of four letter word peppering, this turned out not to be the case. I finally broke down and decided I'd have to suffer through tech support and their condescending "Is the cord actually plugged into the modem?" questions.

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to a young man who introduced himself as J.R.TechID#9479. After failing to answer the first condescending question correctly (I forgot the account predates my divorce, and so I flubbed the answer to "Can I have your last name, please?"), I breezed through the next several questions like a pro. Unfortunately, it got a little ugly around condescending question number 42, which deals with the green wire:

-And the green cable is plugged directly into the phone jack?

-Yes.

-And where is the other end of the green cable?

-Plugged into the modem.

-The back of the modem?

-As opposed to the front?

-It can't plug into the front, ma'am.

-Yeah. That's kind of my point.

-[laughs] Right. But I have to ask the question. So, it's plugged into the back of the modem?

-Yes.

-Sorry, I have to ask this one too. Is it plugged into the corresponding green hole?

-[shameful silence]

-The one marked "line," not "phone"?

-[more shameful silence]

-Ma'am?

(Aha! I have a plan. I'll distract him by arguing about my name. Then he'll forget about the green cable and I won't have to admit that I have the damn thing hooked up wrong. Brilliant!)

-Don't call me ma'am.

-Okay. Mrs. Fra--

-[interrupting] Don't call me that either.

-I'm sorry?

-That's my married name. Don't call me that.

-Um. Okay. How about "Miss"?

-Sure.

-Okay. So, miss, is the green cab--

-But you can't ask me any more questions about the green cable.

-Um... well... but...

-Let's talk about the yellow cable.

-[catching on] Why don't you just plug the green cable into the corresponding green port, and we'll see if that solves your problem.

-Sure, it's in the wrong port NOW. But it wasn't always. It was hooked up right when the problem started, but I unplugged everything and plugged it all back in trying to fix it and I must have just hooked it up wrong the last time.

-Do you have four solid green lights now?

-Yes. But really, the problem started before it was hooked up wrong, and so I was doing the unplug it and plug it back in thing and [continues to babble]

-And are you having any difficulty getting online now?

-No, it's great. But really--

-[more laughing] Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.

-But can you ask me about the yellow cable anyway, just so we end on a good note?

J.R.TechID#9479 did as I requested, and then praised me profusely for my expert yellow cable abilities. But I'm still pretty sure he hung up and immediately added "stupid girl" to my permanent record.

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