Twelve Steps Will Not Cut It

One sure way to measure your network dependency is to live in a building in which broadband is included with your rent, and see how you respond when the Internet suddenly, completely, and inexplicably breaks. And there is nothing you can do about it — no router you can reset, or DSL modem you can futz with, no customer service hotlines on which to hold. There is only your apartment’s leasing and maintenance office, where you’ll be told, “uh, yeah — it’s broke.”

How many times do you turn to the computer to look something up, only to realize you can’t, before the aggravation really starts to kick in?

How long does it take before you pack up the laptop and head down to the coffee shop, the one with the open wi-fi?

How long before you start picking fights with roommates or family members?

How long before paralysis sets in, in which you feel it impossible to accomplish anything?

Just curious.

[UPDATE, 5.17.06, 11.00 am: Yes, I changed the title of this post. I’m so deranged by my lack of networked communication that I totally fumbled the support group reference. And left the ball lying on the field for a full day. What a maroon.]

4 responses to “Twelve Steps Will Not Cut It”

  1. So the Internet got fixed, just in time for the cluster from which my school email is served to go down. Which it has been for something like 15 hours now. Which is making me completely crazy. If you need to get ahold of me, use the address here for the time being.

  2. Even better — the cluster is not down at all. But something has happened that is causing the firewall to block me. So it’s totally personal. And I am not amused.

  3. Weren’t you due for one of those “return of defective toaster” entries? The last I recall was Sony. I do like the interrogative mood of this particular tale. Adds a note of supsense…

  4. I am due for a consumer-electronics and/or customer-service rant, I think. For those just tuning in, you’ve missed:

    — the saga of the microwave oven

    — the tale of the Sony home theater system

    — the FTD episode

    Have there been others? Perhaps what was so frustrating about this last batch of techno-trouble was that there was nothing blogworthy in it whatsoever. The Internet broke, and nobody fixed it for a couple of days. And there wasn’t anybody who really deserved to be fussed at about it. And then, once the Internet got fixed, my access to my school servers crapped out, but it turns out that that wasn’t terribly interesting either; once I figured out that the servers themselves weren’t down, it was just a matter of getting our very helpful admin to figure out why the firewall suddenly thought I was an intruder. I’m not sure he knows why it happened, but he at least got my access working again, and that’s all I was really after.

    Please wish me no consumer nightmares until after I get safely re-settled in Claremont, okay?

    P.S. The answers to all of the questions in the post are basically “not anywhere near as long as it ought to.”

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