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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Double barrel blast of Irritating!

Posted on August 18, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Today started off seemingly normal and innocent enough. Got up at a reasonable 8:30, quick check of the e-mail on the iPad, fed the Nut Guy (Lauryn’s guinea pig, Nutsy) a carrot, turned on the super automatic coffee maker, jumped in the shower. You know, things off to a pretty routine start. But then, click-clack, BOOM! Drama starts.

First Barrel: The Internets

I’m working on a review with an Autonomic Controls server for S+V and I’ve been having a couple of issues. Part of the problem has been just the logistics of getting together with their support team. You see THEY are available from 9 to 5 eastern, and yet I am gone to work from 9:30 to 6:30 eastern. So, you can see that we have the briefest of get-together windows of opportunity in the morning. Then the knowledge harvest is missed and starts to wither on the vine.

So, I jumped on the phone and computer with them promptly at 9 AM to enable remote support and logging and whatever. And they mention that my connection to them is very slow. Like VERY slow. But I have cable modem, I protest. And a Gigabit router. This can’t be me. I'm into the technologies!

Eager to prove them wrong, I run a couple of speed tests and see that I am getting 3 meg download and .01 meg upload speeds! (That's the exclamation point of sadness.) (And if that didn’t make gasp in horror and outrage and then cause you to burst out laughing over my girly-man Internet speeds, well, it should have.) Now, .01 meg upload would be about 100 kbs, or roughly ONLY TWO TIMES THE SPEED OF 56K DIAL-UP! What in the holy hell? This is cable modem?! Blarg!!! The Autonomic people say that I should be getting 3 meg UPLOAD (or roughly 300 TIMES what I’m currently getting) which is probably why I’m having certain synching issues.

Instantly bitter and indignant -- Oh, yes! I WILL get my 3 meg upload speeds. By GOD I will! -- I call Time Warner and THEY say that I should be getting 384 kbps up. Granted that is 38 times more than I’m getting, but still, quite slow. For sending large-ish files – like say a video or a zip folder of high-res images – it will take HOURS.

I’m not sure if something has changed because I don’t remember it being that poor, or taking so long to send biggie-big files around but this is totally unacceptable! And probably why some things -- like Pandora -- occasionally cut out. The only other option in my neighborhood is DSL and that is even slower. Solution? Unknown! Frustration? Pent up and building!

Second Barrel: Shoulda Woulda

Shortly after I arrive at the store this guy pulls up. He is driving a nice Mercedes – nice, not *nice* like a 600 series, but nice like a 400 series – and he comes in and it’s obvious that he thinks I know who he is and what the hell he is talking about when he starts out, “Hey, man! I’m here to get that cable.” And what I’m thinking is, “What the hell cable are you talking about?” but what I say is, “Yeah, right. Of course. Let me go and get it...” Then he says, “Nah. I’m just kidding. I went ahead and bought something else that fixed my problem.”

OK. So now I’m thinking are we just chatting here, or did you just stop by to celebrate the fact that you went and bought something somewhere else, or what? Then he hits me with the line I just LOVE to hear. And by "love" I mean choke back the bitter rage-filled, spleen bile of sarcastic "Well, isn't that just GREAT!!!!"-ness.

“You know, I came to you guys like 7 years ago when I was building my house and I got a proposal. I ended up going with another company and I’ve just never been happy. I know now that I really should have gone with you."

Oh, man, isn't that just so great! You know NOW that you should have gone with us. After you bought a pile from someone else that they can't get to work. NOW you know that we were right all along. Wow! Somehow that is just TOTALLY unsatisfying to hear!

"I don’t like the system they put in and I don’t think they fully understood how to install it or make it work. It’s obvious I should have used you in retrospect.”

"Mmm-hmm," I’m thinking through tightly clinched lips. You went cheap, you bought cheap and now you got cheap. And now that you've given the lion's share of dollars to someone else, you want to pay us a pittance to come and try to breathe some life into it.

But he continues. “I should have known not to go with them when every question I asked them was met with a quizzical expression and confusing answers.”

Gee, ya think? They don’t even understand what you want to do BEFORE you start doing it, yet you just blast on full steam ahead completely ignoring that little voice in your head shouting “Iceberg, right ahead!”?

So now he wants a service call. Or at least he THINKS he wants one. He’s not even really sure what he has or what he wants. (He kept mentioning some random VCR and how it was analog and how he should have never bought it and, well, I might have tuned out for a little of it.) But hearing that you lost out on a job 7 years ago that now the customer regrets not using you on? Sure, there is some satisfaction there. But, here's the thing about satisfaction; you can’t buy scotch with it. And you can't pour it over a single cube and drink it. Believe me. You can’t.

Categories: August 2011, CTA, Rants

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