Thursday, March 28, 2013

From Connected to Unplugged

What a week. Since Monday, I have been on an isolated planet. Not really, but I have been without internet. Isn't that the same thing? According to The NPD Group about 93% of US households are connected, with an average of 5.7 devices per household. (Interesting note, in 1997 only 18% of US households had internet access). So for the past three days, I have been floating in the small pool of the 7%, which I can only assume is otherwise occupied by disconnected canines (would the US census bureau be counting dog houses in the population?). It's been tough. Sure, I missed the surfing, shopping, and Pinterest, but have you ever tried to work from home without the internet? I was left with a slow, battery-eating phone which struggled to pull a stable 3g connection for all the data I was requesting. No matter how big your smartphone screen is, I don't find it a good viewing space for working or surfing for any substantial amount of time.

Why was I unplugged? Well...AT&T is entirely responsible. I called to ask about obtaining better package pricing after our promotional period had expired. (We were assured upfront we would be able to do this.) The customer service people (all 3 of them) were fairly helpful. They seemed to have no issues offering a new long as we would disconnect our current service and start a new account with them. To get the same prices, same deal, and same services we had previously. It didn't sound logical, but I was willing to go along with whatever i's had to be dotted. Until they mentioned it meant a physical disconnection and two technicians would have to come out later in the week to reinstall. What?? But, a decrease in cable is necessary, so I had to agree.

Day 1: I figure I'll get by using my phone. Two hours later, I'm still trying to accomplish one simple task.
 I gave up and started reading books the rest of the day. internet and no TV got me to read.

Day 2: I am learning a lot from the baby books, and I'm finally tackling a stack of pleasure reading I've wanted to get to for months. Well...

Day 3: I'm really starting to get bored and frustrated. But, TV is back since Tech #1 came out to the house. End of reading.

Day 4: I got the internet back today. Unfortunately, your technician only had to enter a number online to get it working. He and I both thought it was unnecessary for him to come out. Starting to get angry. Then he wakes up the child I mentioned was sleeping. I've now been left with a grumpy and fussy child the remainder of the day which prevents me from even using the internet I now have again.
So the lessons here are:

  1. Corporate America is still full of ridiculous policy and waste.
  2. I am absolutely dependent on having internet access.
  3. I'm okay with that dependency.
  4. I dislike all cable/internet companies. Pretty sure they spend their days conspiring to overcharge and underdeliver.
  5. My kid is really fussy if she skips naps. 
  6. All the helpful baby book reading in the world won't fix #5.
  7. If nothing else, AT&T did give me a blog topic. I guess that's the silver lining, because I had been struggling to find the right topic for a few days. Problem solved. And they are now saving me $30 a month.

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