Monday, January 31, 2011

cutting corners


my internet has been spotty. going in and out in no consistent pattern. i just got it installed last week, after a good half a month with no service at all, and from the moment it was hooked up, it went out for no good reason.im assuming that it was installed incorrectly, that there is an unstable connection somewhere along the line. im no whiz when it comes to technical set ups, but i have my suspicions why this is happening.

the first time a technician came out there was a simple reason why he couldnt hook it up. he was afraid. to install internet into my building one must go to the roof, drop down a ground wire which will run into the basement, then hook up a coaxial from my apartment to a small hub of wires attached to the backside of my building. snow still blanketed the street, it lined the sidewalks in 5 foot high ridges and banks. and a rain had fell the evening before, creating an icy sheet under your feet. a definite hazard when navigating the rooftop of a five story apartment building. when it became clear that the technician would have to complete this task in order for my internet to be hooked up, he sternly declined the job telling me id have to have someone else come out to do the deed. frustrated but also acknowledging that if i complained and he did go to the roof, id have to suffer the burden of guilt were anything to happen to him, i agreed to make another appointment and let him go on his way. sure, it is his job and he should have been trained to work under such conditions [we are in new york, after all. snow isnt entirely uncommon] but the guy feared for his life. i just didnt want to deal with it.

the second guy that came out was a supervisor. he assessed the situation, saw that it was entirely doable and that the previous technician just lacked a certain bravery to complete job, and told me that another person would have to come out soon to finish what had yet to be started. he did, while muttering under his breath about the lack of focus these young kids had and the unreasonable sense of entitlement the junior technicians seemed to be born with, lay down some basic groundwork for the next technician to work with. i thanked him and made another appointment with the internet company to have my service installed the following week.

when the third technician came out the attitude was different. he had a careless, almost third world bravery about him. he trudged along the roof, crunching ice under his boots and sliding every so often [without even so much as a widening of the eyes to show alarm] while peeking over the edge of the building to see just where the ground wire would have to fall. after a brief survey of the wires already available and the potential job at hand, he hissed through his teeth and grabbed one of the cables that already lay on the roof.

-these idiots think i have to do all this work to install your internet. theyre wrong. idiots. ill just take this wire here and ground it to this box on the roof to your neighbors building.

he walked over to a small hub that hung from the top to my neighbors courtyard. -see, people dont like how i work, but i bypass all the bullshit. i dont need to climb up the back of your building, why should i? there is a grounder right here. he pointed to a box just a few feet away, on the next rooftop.

he proceeded to hook a cable up to the box, which not only was i unsure was active, but that looked like a shaky jumping point, being that it just hung there and wasnt attached to anything.

-these assholes expect me to do all this unnecessary bullshit, he said, i dont need to! you understand? i cut through the bullshit my man. thats why they dont like me.

i just stared at him in silence. the wind was cold and quiet and the icy layer beneath us broke loudly as he negotiated the questionable connection. finally he put his tools away and beckoned for me to lead him back to my apartment.

when we got back inside he fiddled with a few wires from my wall, then hooked up the modem to my computer. after about ten minutes of waiting for the connection to kick in, in which i sat on my couch and he stood near my desk and we discussed the Jets loss and the potential of a decent superbowl even without our beloved green and white on the field, my google homepage kicked on.

-there ya go chief, he beamed, youre internet is on. see? i told you all that other shit was nothing. took me twenty minutes to hook that up. this is why they dont like me, because i cut through the bullshit. he hissed again through his teeth and shook his head.

i thanked him and gave him a check for the install. he wrote me up a receipt and we shook hands and he left. not five minutes later my internet went out. ive been restarting my modem each half hour ever since.

finally, today, i decided to give them another call and have another technician come out. this is bullshit. i dont even know if ill be able to post this.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.