I am going to take my metaphorical hat off to Virgin broadband customer service here. This is mainly due to a certain amount of guilt at what the poor tech support lad had to go through to serve a customer.
Here’s the picture:
Chirpy lad, who’d look more at home serving coffee in Cafe Nero, wearing his chirpy new Virgin-Media-logoed sweatshirt, not iunlike the primary school uniforms round here, turns up as per spec.
Enters house that is being rebuilt around a woman who is sitting in the middle of the floor, surrounded by a pile of binbags, full of food and mouldy books, osessively tapping at a coffee-covered keyboard. The particular half-disassembled PC at which she is kneeling is only one of a mixture of half assembled PCs, each of which is trailing random colours and shapes of wires. The PC she is using has no sides to the case. All components are covered with a fine coating of brick and wood dust.
The keyboard, mouse and mouse mat are balanced on the top of the case. This is not immediately apparent, given that keyboards, mice, micemats, abound – as well as scanners, three sets of giant headphones, a couple of webcams, a surroundsound set of cube speakers, half a dozen power packs, a few data cables, a digital camera a spirit level, a canister each of Dove deodorant, Safeclens monitor cleaninfg fluid, and Xanto carpet and upholsery mousse (oh, the irony of the last two), a laser printer, 2 coffee cups, a few CRT monitors, a kettle, a huge collection of USB to MP3 cables and far too many other bits of crap to count. Not to mention industrial quantities of ciggarrette stumps and random ash.
He is as yet unaware that the PC has no on-off switch – it being ignited by pressing a clicky thing that was once a component of an off switch.
Nor that the afore-mentioned woman has one major objective apart – from a stable internet connection – which is to hide the lack of an on/off switch at all costs, in case the techy decides that he can’t be expected to connect a pc without an on/off switch to anything except a truck going to landfill. So whatever, he does, she is going to make sure he doesn’t try to make her reboot.
She starts off by apologising for the building work and explaining that the builders (I worship at your shrine, European Community, who made it all possible, by the way) didnt start until after the net connection started to go random. He is now on the spot and has to say “no problem” when he clearly never expected to get drilled and sawed and painted round while he worked. This has now given him no out for when he finds the cable from the cable modem to the wall is being crushed under the weight of a glass door.
She insists that the obviously untroubled online state of the PC is not the norm. He is further stumped – he is here because there is no working internet connection…. When she goes into tedious detail of how she’s got it back, involving messing about at the command prompt and typing in her own IP, he starts to look increasingly panicked.
Thye stare at the PC, willing it to drop its net connection. It doesnt. He fiddles around with obviously blameless cable connections and finds them blameless. He has absolutely no idea what to do, he can’t determine any fault that he can possibly influence. He is surrounded by workmen who are achieving biblical miracles of transformation before his eyes, in times that would shame a microwave, while he is spending half an hour prodding at rock solid connections, reading things off the screen which the aforementioned woman has already written down days ago.
He doesn’t know what to do, so that he can have done SOMETHING, so he can bring the job to an end.
Inspiration. There is a loose piece of plastic missing on one end of the cat5 going to the PC. His face, near to despair at this point, lights up. He gets a piece of fresh cat5 with no broken ends and replaces the tired cat5. (Aforementioned woman has already tried about 6 different piece sof cat5, cannily hiding the ones that looked frayed so he didn’t falsely blame the cat5)
He incomprehensibly removes a bit of the tv box – which isnt even on the same cable from the point at which the signal comes into the house – and prepares to escape.
Get effusive thanks from woman, as she has been spared the ignominy of having to reboot by rubbing two sticks together. He then confides that the last house he went to has the exact same problem. He has no idea what caused it there either…..
(It has been pointed out to me since that the issue is almost certainly due to dchp not being properly set up on the server, after the outage at the time of the changeover. So, there really was nothing he could have done here, anyway)
So, given that the apparently bizarre woman was me – caught at an eccentric moment – I have to say – “sorry, tech support, you did everything you were supposed to, when you were supposed to and you remained helpful throughout the process and resisted what must have been the overwhelming temptation to run or, at least, blame me. Thanks for the cat5.”