Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today's Thursday Wednesday.

The truth is that when I got up this morning I was convinced today was Thursday. This week is just dragging along at a snail's pace, mostly due to our first casualties of the school year. Vio has been home with a fever for the past two days, and now it's Carmen's turn. You would think that with a fever they would be content with lying around watching TV, but no. When Vio got tired of watching cartoons, after about fifteen minutes, she started begging to play on the computer. That in itself wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that our internet connection was down (yet again) most of Monday. I have been calling the provider since the past Spring to complain that our connection is iffy at best, and non-existent at worst, and they have sent someone over several times to have a look. I say "have a look", because that's all they do; they look, and they look, and they say "The configuration is fine, our signal is fine, so your cable has probably rotted - there's a lot of humidity here, you know." Yeah, I know. It's all very strange, since we are not the only ones in the neighborhood that are having internet problems. So, our rotten cable is screwing up internet for our friends who live 20 houses down? Boy, that is some powerful cable...or maybe it's spreading-rot, a highly dangerous variety of rot. Of course the spreading-rot has spread to our friends' cable but has not affected the company's cable that lies between our houses...maybe it's jumping-rot, which, as we all know, is a rare and especially deadly type of rot (kind of like the Ebola of rots). Our TV works fine too, and supposedly the internet and the TV signal share the same cable...suspicious. Maybe only the half that the internet signal travels down is rotten. Yeah, that must be it, your classic case of half-rot, and as you know, half-rot is what half-rot does. The company's suggestion, change the cable. Our dialogue went something like this:

Me: How much will that cost?
Them: Oh, we don't really know, it depends on how long it takes.
Me: Well, how long might it take?
Them: We can't say, it depends on how easy it is to get to the cable. The hourly rate is 32 euros, and the cable costs peanuts, so if we take three hours it'll cost you around 100 euros (plus taxes, plus the call-out charge, plus the scratching one's ass as one looks at the cable get the picture).
Me: Thanks, I could have figured that out myself...So, if I decide to have the cable replaced, will that fix the problem?
Them: Well, we can't guarantee anything...

After 10 minutes of "work" to tell us our cable is hypothetically faulty, we were sent a bill for 30 minutes of service. I never signed anything while they were here, so I'm wondering how the company knows the guy was even here. When I called to complain, the girl who attended my call simply said, "It's your option to pay or not, and it's our option to come over or not, the next time you have a problem." Ah, to pay or not to pay, that is the question. Actually, it's not even a question; we can't switch to another provider, so they've basically got us by our (metaphorical) balls. Well, we could switch, but this is a subsidized program that costs us 50 euros a year. If we switch, we'll be paying more like 50 euros a month, and from what I've heard, the service other providers give isn't much better. Okay, I know we only pay 50 euros a year, so I shouldn't complain so much. But if you think of the several thousand people who are paying the same (along with a substancial government subsidy), the company is getting a pretty penny (well, a pretty euro cent, in any case) for lousy service (plus all the rotten cables they change along the way). So, we're holding out with our rotten cable, complaining to the town hall, and paying the bill. And, since the service is back up for now, I'm taking advantage to write this post, and then I'm off to tend the sick once more. In the meantime, you should check out The Frog Bog, since the fabulously funny Frogster has recently done an exclusive interview with David Beckham's Left Foot, at my request. Yes, he does requests! So get over there, request away, and see just how far he'll go.


  1. ok, i came here to say thanks for the comment you left at my place and to have a lil looksee. i read this post and giggled, so i continued and my giggling increased. i read through all the posts here (and watched the new math vid). do you realize what a bind you've put me in by beinhg as funny as you are? now i have to come back regularly and my blogroll is already unwieldy! and if your jumping ebolic cable rot crosses the atlantic and infects me then i am going to wind up going into some sort of withdrawal because i can't come read this funny stuff. woe is me! i have found another terrific blog!

  2. lol! I like her like about it being her choice to come back...
    Funny stuff! Anyways, in your situation, I'd pay since 50 euros a year sure beats 50 euros a month.
    I'd complain, but I'd pay... Sigh.

  3. Oh, man. I hate being had by the balls, metaphorical or not. Since I've been blogging, I've had pretty good service. It would frustrate me to no end to wonder whether or not I would be able to get online. And I don't do well when I am confronted by people who have power over me for no other reason than they have a cable pluggy thing or a pipe wrench. Grrrr.

    -2 cups water
    -1 clove garlic, minced
    -about the same amount of fresh ginger, minced.
    -a pinch of cayenne pepper
    -boil for five minutes and drink. For the kids, you may want to add some honey (like a cup).

    As far as the post request, I'm glad I was able to fulfill your wildest dreams (or at least write a post about something for you).

  4. Ooh, I'm so glad Lime has found your blog! She's the best of readers. Really.

    Damn the monopoly that is genuinely grabbing you by the metaphorical balls!

    At least it distracted you from how long the days are while your girls are home sick.

  5. Oh, a true customer service moment ! :D

    You'd be in Canada, I could tell you a squirrel ate your cable. Happened to my friend. But Europe is not animal-friendly enough for that, so it's more likely a case of simply bad service.

    Can we have the part II soon ? I must be sadistic, I liked the story ! :D

  6. Customer service, huh!

    Sapin! Move out of there! :)

    I kid...well, sorta!

  7. Lime: Glad you stopped by, and I hope you'll be back, in spite of your unwieldy blog roll. I'm sure I'll be visiting the House of Lime regularly, to fill my daily humor need. Cross your fingers and hope it's not jumping rot; I wouldn't want to be responsible for a cross-atlantic epidemic. :)

    Pavel: Sigh. I'll be paying, and hoping that enough people complain so the problem gets fixed.

    Frogster: In my case it can only be metaphorical, but it is highly annoying in any case. The cure-all has not fixed the cable rot for the moment, but maybe we need a new dose. I loved your post, so can I have another request, or is it one request per person?

    Jocelyn: I'm glad I found Lime, because her blog is hilarious. Damn them monopolies, allways grabbing something or other! And yes, I've been distracted, but at least I'm up and blogging again.

    Zhu: No, the squirrel thing wouldn't work, since there's not a squirrel to be found for kilometers. Part II won't be nearly as interesting - it'll be: pay the bill, keep complaining, and hope someday someone will do something.

    Minka: Most things do work here, that's why I complain so much; it's such a contrast with the rest. Down South is a different story; there I'd be so surprised if it worked, that I would call the company to thank them if it did (I might even send them flowers). But down South they get all the good weather and the best beaches, so maybe I wouldn't care. :)

  8. Oy, Bossy had a sick kid home today. Did Bossy say, "Oy" yet?

  9. Oh rotting cables! Maybe my net connection all the way over in England has caught your rotting cable problem too lol. Keep at them - you will get the justice you deserve.

    Hope your children are feeling better now :)


    Miz Nix

  10. Oh, boy! We are somewhat rural and at the mercy of our provider too, which is tolerable at best...I hear you! At least you keep your humor about you!

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