I apologize if you have tried to send me email in the last couple weeks... It may not have reached me due to an entry in the email forwarding I set up (which I cannot seem to find right now - away from home, on a slow-ass dialup...). Email contact has been updated on this page... Sorry about that...
I'll be back home on the 3rd of Dec. with an announcement for you.... ;)
Just to let you, my dear reader, know, I will be away on vacation, and not blogging for the next couple weeks. We (my family and I) are going on a trip to explore areas that we may move to in the next few months. I am officially on a Leave of Absence from my work, and according to the HR department, my job may not be here for me when I get back.
For that reason I am taking all my notes and stuff home... I may need some material to pull from when we get back...
I do plan to continue this blog, regardless of my job or location, since I have enough material (written on little yellow stickies, mostly) to go on for years...
Where did the broadband community go wrong with the branding of high speed Internet? It would seem that at least half the calls to this (CABLE ISP's) helpdesk from those who are clueless about what they use to connect to the Internet, think that this is some service called DSL. The problem is that the term "Cable Internet" doesn't just roll off the tongue.
Broadband is just too broad a term (it encompasses wireless, DSL, Cable, and others as well). People need some Alphabet soup to associate things together it seems, and I am getting tired of telling customers that we do NOT have DSL service, we are a CABLE ISP, not a DSL ISP. DSL uses the telephone lines to connect to the Internet, we use Coax cable.
DSL has, like, a much lower speed cap than we do (unless you are paying big bucks you are probably getting 1.5 M down and 128 K up, and they are not independent of each other either...). DSL is a phone company thing. Cable Internet is a Cable Company thing. Who are you talking to on the phone right now?
I get about 2 people a day who say "My DSL is down" or in some way refer to our service as DSL. I almost want to reach thru the phone and wring their necks when they say it. Especially if they are talking like they know what they are talking about....
My standard response to
Clueless Customer: My DSL is down.
Haywood: We don't provide DSL service. Are you sure you are one of our customers?
Clueless Customer: Uhm, I mean my Internet is out.
Haywood: Oh, the cable modem isn't working?
Clueless Customer: I dunno.
I got a "ding" on my report card at work today... Seems that IT went thru everyone's H: drive and found quite a few with Remote Administrator programs. Myself included... Well we all got written up and will be forever marked as an offender. I guess that's better than the alternative of losing the job... Which was the desire of IT, actually... I guess our lil old call center would have been decimated had they done that... Too many reps breakin' the law...
Just to let y'all know, I may be on an extended vacation soon, checking out areas to live with the family... I will try and let you know exactly when we will be gone as the time approaches, but cannot say much more right now...
Got another incomprehensible dude from the great state of Oklahoma. (Oklahoma is OK!)
He is having a problem with his Network Adapter and Tier one correctly identified the problem - Adapter missing from dropdown menu in winipcfg. This usually means that it's Windows 98 and that the drivers got "borked". Typically something NOT supported unless we installed his NIC, so the call should have never been transferred up to me...
Anyway, he says,
Clueless Customer: Did they tell you the story?
To which I foolishly reply:
Me: No, they did not. Why don't you please tell me your story sir!
So he launched into the history of his two computers and how he got a new HP after his 3 year old Compaq started acting up and I piped in
Me: Did you tell the Compaq about the new HP?
Which he did not necesarily get (I was trying to make a lover's quarrel type of joke, but failed miserably...) Once he caught on
He was fine with it.
Me: "That was a joke..."
So he continued to tell me about his little saga with his computers and tells me
Clueless Customer: Of course, I eventually got tired of swapping the Cat5 cable repeatedly so I got me a router.
... Yadda yadda yadda... And he tossed in some key phases I just had to blog about.
Clueless Customer: its a linsky (Do you mean LINK-SYS?)
Clueless Customer: It's got 22.4 gigs (I think you meant 2.4 GHz, not 22.4 Gigabytes)
Clueless Customer: Now I know ISP.net doesn't support routers. (Then why are we even having this discussion?)
Clueless Customer: My routers' light would not come on with the second inlet. (Huh? You know this is unsupported, right?)
Me: Well, it looks like you problem is with drivers on your Win 98 machine.
Me: Do you have the drivers for your network adapter?
Clueless Customer: I'm sorry could you say that again?
Me, slower and enunciating better: Do you have the dri-vers for YOUR net-work uh-dap-tur?
Clueless Customer: Oh, that? I don't know.
Clueless Customer: I am not sure if you are talking about the Voodoo or not
Me: Well, it is kind of like Voodoo the way it happened.
Clueless Customer: No, the cable plugs into the Voodoo.
Me: Oh, you mean your Voodoo video card?
Clueless Customer: I guess. I am not sure how to pronounce it, so I call it my eth-ee card.
Me: E-ther-Net card?
Clueless Customer: I guess.
Clueless Customer: i thought the eth-ee card is out. (I love it when they make up their own words. It just makes it so much easier to figure out wtf they're saying...)
Clueless Customer: i go in my ethnic and it works. (Your ethnic? What is that?)
Clueless Customer: clinic for microskoft (What kind of clinic do they have? A PC Health Clinic?)
Clueless Customer: tcp ports
Clueless Customer: usp ehterneck (keep making stuff up sir)
Me: Go ahead and type in "ipconfig slash renew"
Clueless Customer: Oh, hang on, I just typed in ipconfig
Clueless Customer: It says file not found
Me: Go ahead and read to me what you have there
Clueless Customer: i-p-c-o-n-f-i-g space slash r-e-n-e-w
Me: Are you using the slash on the question mark key?
Clueless Customer: Oh, no, I was using the big slash.
Puzzled, but willing to move forward.
Turning off the RRAS (Routing and Remote Access Service)
Me: OK, what does that say for the "Service Status"?
Clueless Customer: Started.
Me: OK, we need to set that to Stop.
Clueless Customer: OK, now what?
Me: What does it say for "Startup Type"?
Clueless Customer: Automatic.
Me: Go ahead and switch that to Disabled.
Clueless Customer: How?
Me: It's in the dropdown right below Service Status.
Clueless Customer: I don't have that anymore.
Me: Did you close that window we were looking at?
Clueless Customer: Uhm, yeah. OK I am there now.
Me: Go ahead and switch it, then hit OK.
Clueless Customer: Wait. Apply or OK?
(What did I say?)
Me: Please hit the OK button.
Clueless Customer: OK.
Then he wants to know the difference between the two. Basically, one closes the window you're looking at and the other doesn't. They are functionally the same.
how many times do i have to say we don't support Norton?
Just because Norton runs on your computer does not mean your ISP can support it... I musta told this guy like 3 times that Norton is not supported by us, and he still persists with the questions:
Clueless Customer: How long should it take to run a full system scan? I have 52,000 files so far scanned.
Clueless Customer: Why does my computer act up when I start it up? I am running Norton System Scan right now.
As usual these queries get refered to Norton for support... I just love that part!
OK, I am back to work now. I was actually on vacation at my brother's wedding for a little less than a week, and immediately before that San Diego was on fire, so I was told not to come into work!!! Imagine my excitement when I found that out for both days before our trip!! Anyway, we flew out to Atlanta on Tuesday and came back on Sunday, and since I was "on vacation" still on Monday, and my days off are Tuesday and Wednesday, I had a somewhat extended vacation... Figures my wife would get sick on my weekend, and naturally we all got sick. I was here on Thursday, but then slept all day and nite Friday/Saturday and now I feel about 75%... I am still recovering, but I am here to do my job...
However, back in Atlanta, no cameras were allowed in the club we went to for my bro's bachelor party. (uhm, that last link is probably not work safe, so click at your own risk...)
As many of you may not know I am in the job market. I have actually been offered a position with a Data Recovery company in Marin County (just north of San Francisco) and have been thinking that would be a great place to work. The complication is this: the whole reason we are even considering leaving Paradise, er, San Diego is to be near family in Florida. Both my parents, my Grandmother, and my in-laws are living within 1 hour of each other, and they get along famously. So the idea was to move to Florida so the kids could be near their grandparents. Well, this throws a monkey wrench in the works.... Perhaps we will only be in Florida for a short while and then we can explore Northern Cal a little bit, once the kids have grown up a bit... But that musing is for another blog
I did interview in Florida, while we were back east, for a position with a little more hands-on than this job.... The only hands-on I seem to get is when I put my hands on the mute buttons, like when I get a real ID-10T, or a crazy drunk guy. It was kind of a cool trip actually. I got to fly ALONE and then rent a car and drive up from West Palm Beach (all while wearing my best suit.) I basically had time to do the interview, check out the town (Ft. Pierce, FL, which is in Saint Lucie County) and drive back to the airport, hop on the plane and cruise out to the bachelor party... Got there in time to see some "dancing" but apparently I missed the part where my brother was up on stage...
Anyway, I will be considering your input as I ponder my next job, just post here or in the forum and share your thoughts with me...
A while back I posted a link to the most awesome Rube Goldberg device I have ever seen and in looking thru my logs, I notice that it is broken. Here is the new link, hosted on the forum, so you can comment easier if you like.....