Customer Service Rep: "Hey, I'm calling today to check in on how you are liking your new home internet?"
Me: "I'm not"
Customer Service Rep: "Well, Sir, how can I make your experience better with our service?"
Me: "It would help if you had installed it at my condo not a condo six buildings down"
Customer Service Rep: "I'm sorry, I don't understand."
Me: "Your. technician. installed. the. internet. at. the. wrong. house."
Customer Service Rep: "Um... uh... I just can't understand how we did that."
This is the battle I am presently fighting. And losing.
I've been in my new place now two weeks and I have no home internet service (and all of my neighbors have password protected their wireless networks...assholes). It sucks in some respects: this column will be late getting to Constitutional Daily (sorry BL1Y), I can't record an episode of Blind Drunk Justice (sorry BL1Y) and clearly I can't download any lewd and lascivious photos of members of Congress from my bedroom (sorry Nancy Pelosi). For the most, however, this is the longest I've gone without internet in my home and it is refreshing. The biggest benefit is that I'm not able to connect to my firm's server, thus I can't do any major work from home. My home computer is sitting idle and I am sitting on the couch watching ESPN.
I’d like to think that being without the internet has allowed for me to be more productive around my new place: cooking, cleaning and drinking to excess. This has made me wonder what it would be like if I didn’t waste all of those billable minutes on the internet each day at the office. The time-sucks on the internet are a plenty: Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, GChat, Four Square, Pegmo, Websites, News Sites and the list goes on and on and on. And that's just for your first hours of work when you don't want to focus on the six feet high stack of documents about your client’s puss-filled nether regions (or for when you first get up in the morning and need something to do while you drink your morning coffee).
Let's forget about wasting time for a moment and broaden the question, what would our days toiling at the office (or toiling at a coffee shop using the free WiFi looking for a job with an office) be without the internet? I'm not sure who would be worse off: the Nigerian Banker or that one secretary in my firm that sends 15 “funny” email forwards a day. I'm thinking it would be the secretary.
But back to my productivity-inspiring technological dilemma...
My internet service provider assures me that they will be able to fix this problem in “seven to ten business days” and that they “appreciate my patience”. I’m not a technological wizard (I’m a Mac user after all) but if it took three days to install the internet six doors down, why will it take twenty-one days to come install it in the proper home?
If a lawyer knows he's going to miss a deadline with the court, he gets to ask the court for an extension. Unless the other party would be prejudiced, you usually get one freebie, no questions asked. And, the same courtesy is generally extended in other industries. If the cable company had called ahead of time and said it wouldn't be installed on time, there might be some forgiveness. But after the fact?
Try missing a deadline in court. Recovering from it requires a very generous opposing counsel, a forgiving judge, and a whole lot of groveling, and that's the way it should be. You shouldn't get away with it just be reciting a dismissive "we appreciate your patience."
One day I will stand for this behavior no more. One day ...when lawyers have more power than the cable guy.