There is something about technology not working that makes HULK SMASH. I swear, when I turn something on and it doesn’t work, I get Lizard Brain. I will shake it and cry “MAKE WORK! THIS NO GO! MAKE GO!” even if I’m the only one in the room.
Internet service at our house has been craptastic for a while. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t watch TV online — every couple hours the Internet goes down for a few minutes, and about every other day or so it goes down for 10-15 minutes. And when you work almost entirely online? THAT’S NOT FRUSTRATING AT ALL.
So when we got back from Disney and the Internets were about as reliable as ever, I didn’t really think about it. Last week I’d had to reboot the modem and router twice, so when I had to do it again on Monday… eh, no big deal. Again on Tuesday? OK, that’s getting a little old. But whatever. It’s what we have to do. Except this time when I rebooted it, even though most of the lights came back on. nothing happened. No Internet.
Whatever, I thought. It was just after lunch and I had some errands to run and then friends to meet, so I didn’t really have time to get any online work done anyway (even though my plan for this week was to upload Winter Holiday soaps both to Etsy and the Wild Iris Marketplace). There would be time on Wednesday, in between cleaning greenware for an upcoming kiln firing.
But after dinner on Tuesday, things still hadn’t come back up. And that made it a challenge to print out the sales that I’d had on Tuesday, that I wanted to get in the mail on Wednesday. I was able to borrow some wireless from a neighbor (thank you, “default”) and get to my sales to see what they were. But hmm, they wouldn’t print out. Why not? Oh! Because I wasn’t on our network any more, I was on someone else’s network. Which meant I had to get to the page, hit print for the page, log off their network, log onto my network (which would let the computers in the house talk to each other, but not get online), hit “ok to print,” log off my network, log back onto the neighbor’s network, go to the next sale, ETC. THIS WAS FUN TIMES.
By Wednesday morning the modem still refused to talk to the Interwebs.
Which is when Tim gave me the go-ahead to call. OK, truthfully, he said he’d call — but he couldn’t call until lunch, which meant we probably couldn’t get a Wednesday appointment, which meant Thursday, and I already had plans on Thursday that I didn’t want to cancel, and also I really did have work to do (in addition to listing all the holiday soap, I have some custom orders I needed to email people about, and they deserve a better email than one pecked out by my thumbs on my phone).
So I called first thing yesterday morning, told the tech on the phone that I had already turned everything off and back on, that everything was plugged in, and just fucking send someone, pretty please. I opted for a will-call appointment on the same day (rather than give you a time, they tell you they’ll call 15-30 minutes before they show up). That was fine; all I had planned was to clean greenware and wrap soap, being that I couldn’t list anything. I had some orders to mail out, and I was waffling between doing it the old fashioned way or borrowing the neighbor’s internet again and doing it the way I like – via PayPal, because then I get free tracking through USPS and the customer gets an automagic email with all the relevant information. I decided to wait to see how long it would take Cox to come MAKE INTERNET GO, because I could borrow the neighbor’s internet at any time that day… provided it was working. It was a pretty weak signal.
They called around… oh, 2:00 or so, and he showed up mere minutes later. It took him less than five minutes to diagnose the problem as a bad modem, which he could replace or I could go buy one and replace it. I chose replace from what he had, because I am a lazy shitheel, and besides, if it didn’t work after being plugged in I didn’t want to have to call him back to come out again. It took him all of maybe ten minutes to take the old modem out and put a swanky new modem in (he did get a chuckle; we’ve had that modem since 2003, and they quit making them a handful of years ago. He hadn’t seen one that old in a couple of years.). Sounds painless, right? Except then it took about another 90 minutes to try every plug configuration with the router, and many laptop reboots, to figure out that the Cat5 was working fine but the wireless was kaput. Guess what? Also a bad router. Which he doesn’t have. So I’ll have to go and buy one. But he guaranteed that if I bought one all I’d have to do was plug it in and INTERNET WOULD GO.
Then he left.
Then I decided to go ahead and borrow the neighbor’s wireless to get my packages ready, since I didn’t know if Tim had any ink in his printer or if I could print to my printer or not, and I wanted to get these sales out in the mail for my customers, and if I did use Tim’s computer I’d be walking back and forth across the house six times while all the weighing and packaging and whatnot was going on in my office but the Internet was in his. After I got everything packaged I would go to the post office and then go to WalMart and buy a router.
Remember that problem I’d had the night before, about not being able to print to my printer because when on my neighbor’s wireless, I’m no longer connected to my network, and can’t print on my printer? Yeah, I totally forgot about that, too! I’d hit print about six times, flipping out that the printer wasn’t working, before the thought bubbled up into Panicked Lizard Brain. And when I changed networks, the printer still wouldn’t print — I think either something was still unplugged from the Cox dude repairing the modem, or something that had still been hanging on by a thread the night before finally died. Anyway. It was a good ten minutes of hitting print and flipping out and being all “I’ve paid for shipping already! It won’t let me print! The post office is never going to believe I paid for shipping! I’m going to have to pay again!” before I realized that… wait for it… I could unplug the printer from my desktop computer and replug it into my laptop. I KNOW, RIGHT?! HOW EASY IS THAT? Not very easy, I guess, when (as I said to Laura via email a few minutes later) my brain has clearly been replaced by an egg roll.
Orders printed, compiled, boxed, labeled, and mailed. Then it was off to WalMart for a router (it was really a tossup between going to WalMart – which I hate but is right around the corner – or going to Best Buy, which is all the way across town in rush hour traffic). Router achieved. I got home seconds before Tim got home from work, and he plugged the router in, and now everything is working.
Knock on wood.