See Introduction, One, Two, Three, Four and Five first. It makes this all that much better. Honestly!
Where we left off: I've just been told I can't return something I don't have in the first place, meaning that what I do need to return I can't return yet.
A week goes by before I get up the courage to phone Big Communications Corporation (BCC) again. I am not looking forward to explaining that I don’t have a g.d. rural modem, I just want to return this stupid portable plastic piece o' poo modem so I can get my money back. This time I get a guy who puts up with my initial stumbling and awkward attempts to describe the situation succinctly.
“So let me make sure I’ve got this right,” he says. “You had the technician out but he never left you a rural modem?”
“Yes!” I practically holler. Then I explain again about the one I do have.
Hey then says that technically, because I’ve had the portable modem for over 30 days, it usually means I’d have to keep it.
Stunned silence on my part.
Then I manage not to yell: “If you tell me that I have to keep it now, I’m going to have a brain hemorrhage.”
I seriously said that. Me!
"No," he says, "No problem." He can override that apprently.
I say, "So I’m not going to get a call later on saying I can’t have a return kit because you don’t take back rural modems?"
Nope, he says. He’s sending me out the return kit himself.
All right then. I’ll have to just take that as it is then, won't I?
"Is there anything else I can do?" the guy offers.
He’s being so friendly and helpful, I decide to go for it. I try to explain that I am looking for internet services and although BCC says I can have nothing but dialup my neighbours have DSL and when the tech was here he verified that I’m not on a loaded line even though the BCC database says I am and that I’m on the same cable 400whateverpointwhatever as the neighbours that do have DSL and that all that info had gone on to The Powers That Be but that I’d not heard anything since and what do I do now? (Or something to that effect.)
"Well," he says, "Would you like me to check on that for you?"
"Um, okay, yes thanks, that would be great," I manage to squeak out.
So I’m on hold. And on hold. Classical music, natch, but this time the volume has been set to an ear tolerating level. Thank god. Maybe someone else complained.
After a bit he comes back and says he has good news and some okay news. I try not to shout: What??
Fearing the worst, I brace myself for his answer. He says, yes, we can have DSL but we can only have some kinda minimum DSL lite service.
Excuse me? I got stopped processing after the part where he said I COULD have DSL. Did I just hear that right? So I fumble for something to say and manage, “Um, what is that service? Could you describe that for me please?”
He rather apologetically tells me the parameters, that it is only going to be about 1.5 mbps, and all I can think is: “Buddy, I’m workin' with 56k here!!!!!! WHO CARES?!?!”
"Would you like to sign up for that?" he asks.
I waffle for a second. (Remember I can't make snap decisions?) And then I decide to go for it.
So he taps some keys, taps some more, then asks if he can put me on hold again.
Ugh. You're kidding, I think. I'm positive this is not promising, but I say sure.
More classical music. I get a look at the time. Crap! Gotta start dinner. So I trap the cordless phone between my ear and shoulder in some sort of Quasimodo impression and start chopping up stuff for dinner.
The guy comes back on the line and says he's very sorry for the delay and could he keep me on hold for just a little longer. Uh, okay. Damn, why am I starting to think he's going to revoke that offer of highspeed internet lite with some sort of a "Ha ha, just kidding"? I take it out on the onions I'm chopping.
The guy comes back again. He apologizes yet again and says his system isn't allowing him to put in my request and that it will have to be done by some Other Branch of BCC and can he call me back.
Oh yes, you do hear a pin drop.
"Okay," I say meekly. I hang up. Sob. No wait, that was induced by the onions, I swear.
And so I remained
ever and ever still
a techo peasant.
[Go to Installment Seven]