Monday, November 15, 2010

Answer the following and stay sane!

I didn't post last night because I couldn't get an internet connection until 11:00 pm and I was too ticked off to write.

Something happened to my router. Or maybe it was my ADSL. Or something. Anyway, I couldn't get online. I learned something about myself when I couldn't get online. I have an addiction. When I couldn't log on, I started hyperventilating, freaking out that I was missing ...I don't even know what I was missing, but I was sure I was missing SOMETHING! Something big and important and terribly exciting! My heart was beating 200 times a minute and I started twitching. I, the person who used to say that computers were evil, was going through withdrawal because I couldn't connect to the cyber world. Aparna will identify with me here..shes been through this lots of times!

Anyway, that wasn't even the frustrating part. The mind-numbing, maddening, irritating, aggravating, annoying, exasperating, infuriating, riling, troubling, trying, vexatious (thank you part of my little extravaganza tonight was the two hours I spent on the phone in a maze of voice menus. TWO HOURS!

Welcome to Omantel
For English blah blah blah number one
I see you're calling from xxx-xxx-xxxx. Is that the phone number listed on your Omantel account?

ME: Yes.

Thanks. I'll just look that up. Now, in a few words please say the purpose of your call. You can say things like "I want to pay my bill", or "I want new phone service." To speak to a service representative, say "agent".

ME: I can't get online.

It sounds like you'd like to make a payment. Is that correct?

ME: Umm no. Duh. I have internet problems.

Lets try this another way. If you're calling about payments, say "payments".

ME: NO! Not payments. Internet service!

OK which service needs repair, phone, internet, tv, or none of those?


I think you said you're calling to repair your dial up service. If this is correct, say "yes".


My mistake. Please say one of the following: phone, internet, tv...

ME: INTERNET! It's always been internet. It's still internet!

To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?

ME: Yeah.

I think you said, "phone services." If this is correct, say "Yes".


To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?


Just a moment while I look up your account.

ME: You do that. @@

I'm sorry, I do not understand. Let's try this another way.
To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?


Main menu: please say the option that best describes the issue you're calling about. For set up, password or connectivity issues, please say "tech. support". For billing questions or account services, say "billing". To hear these options again, you can say "repeat".

ME: GRRRRRRRR!!! You've got to be kidding me!

I'm sorry. I did not understand. If you're having problems with your high speed internet and would like tech support, say "yes".

ME: I'm having problems with this stupid voice menu! Can I talk to an actual person? Do you have any of those there???

It sounds like you want to pay your bill. Is this correct?

At this point, I whipped the phone across the room and grabbed a beer.

I tried calling the customer service line for my router, thinking that maybe someone there could help me. I was on hold for 42 minutes. That's not an exaggeration. FORTY-TWO MINUTES! I heard Rhapsody in Blue, Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven's Fifth, Barcarolle, William Tell Overature, and Danse Macabre. I started comparing the pieces to the way my kids play them. I never did talk to anyone there.

I tried two more times and each time, after navigating their system for several minutes, I finally got through to an actual person. Of course, when I finally got a person on the phone, they didn't speak English! I guess they might technically have been speaking English, but it was so broken that it might as well have been Arabic, Greek or Ubbi Dubbi. Why? Why is this? And why do these people act so annoyed that you're bothering them with your obviously stupid questions? Where's the customer service? From the cashier at the grocery store, to the floor help at the clothing store, to the customer service rep. on the other end of the phone, more often than not I encounter someone rude, annoyed, or seemingly bored. What, can no one smile? Can nobody be helpful? Can't anyone at least pretend to care about your needs?

It's so rare to find a person who will not only help you with a smile, but who will go out of their way to give excellent customer service. Whenever I encounter such a person, I make sure to let them know how much I appreciate their help. I also try to find a manager so I can praise the employee that took the time and effort to give great service.

Anyway, at 8:30, I completely gave up, ran out to the City Centre, hoping to get there before they closed, and bought a new router. Voila! Problem fixed. I got back online at 11:00 pm.

It's been a fun two days here. I also learned that my youngest hasn't turned in numerous assignments at school. He's grounded until the second coming. Today the youngest of my neighbour's kids, who has been totally potty trained for over a year, decided to poop in the garbage can. Why? Why do they do things like this? For the love of all that is Holy, WHY??? I made her dump it out into a garbage bag. Then, apparently offended by the stench of her own poop, she figured she'd spray some air freshener around. Unfortunately she grabbed a can of lemon-fresh Pledge instead. She sprayed furniture polish into the air and it landed in a waxy coat on the floors. They are now more slippery than the ice skating rink.

Speaking of kids they have holidays for a week starting today. What are the chances they'll let peace reign? What are the chances I'll stay sane if they don't?