I must share a little story about our attempt at getting a bit of civilization dragged up to our newest digs.
First, I must share just how pathetically important the internet is to our household at this point.
USAA, a military only bank, only banks on-line (as far as I know??). There are no Navy Federals in the middle of our state, since there is no navy base. No water=no base, makes sense. Our long-standing credit union from where we came from is 4 hours away and the bank account we keep open for “that house” is a block away from “that house, making a trip to cash a check a bit of a challenge. That leaves us with two choices. Open yet another bank account or get internet to do all our banking.
We also don’t have cable or dish. After sitting in hotels for 2 1/2 weeks, we now remember why. Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Crackle and various other outlets allow us to view what we want, when we want with out all the stupid commercials and nastiness that seems to exist on today’s television.
A lot of our schoolwork comes from off the internet. I know – “it’s a little thing called a book”. It’s a new age people – embrace it!
My dentist man and his off spring are huge gamers. *hangs head in shame* But lets face it, with nothing else to do until our furniture shows up, I’ve given them a bit more leeway on that one.
And lastly, I’m trying to buy a house and maintain another one from across the country – I need to have a connection.
Those reasons being said, we needed the hook-up.
While sitting in the hotel rooms, we started about a week before we got in the house, looking up various providers, none of which could find our house that has sat on top of this here hill since exactly 1980 (give or take a few months).
A few days before we moved in, we started calling. “Ma’am, where is “S” again?” “It’s right outside of “Y”, a major city in our state?” “Yeah, I’m not finding that on the map?”
Once we moved in, I started seriously calling…. anyone and everything that offered the most remote chance of a whiff of “the net”. (You have to say that in a deep, drug induced withdrawal type voice.)
We finally hit on a company that said “Sure, we know where that is! We’ll have to check to see if we can service that house first though.” What do you mean “if”, we’re not on the top of Mt. Everest?
We totally thought we were in. I mean, all our neighbors have internet. The house had a phone… shoot, it even had a cable coming out of the wall! How hard could internet be?
Talking with another company later that day, hearing that their rival company could possibly offer us internet, they started making us deals. “Sure, if (we’ll call them “Shmomcast”) can offer you internet, *we* can offer you internet!” Whoa there buddy, don’t go offering things you can’t make good on.
Two days later, a day after “Shmomcast” was supposed to call to let us know what our situation was, I got desperate and called them. “Oh, I’m sorry ma’am, the box is 700 ft from your house and we can only go 350 ft.” *click* That was it….. The thought of lightning fast speeds torn from my laptop-empty hands in mere seconds from a cold, heartless and apparently slightly lazy cooperation was breaking my heart! I called their rival (we’ll call them “Shmenterylink”) in protest, only to hear “Oh, “Shmomcast” couldn’t quit make it up the hill? Yeah, neither can we then. Anything else I can help you with today?” While the fact that they didn’t hang up on me immediately was heart warming, the notion that they could “still help me” after promising me the world and then walking away was cruel at best.
We tried “Shmerizon”, who could only give us 20 gigs a month which is laughable. I couldn’t even bank on that much and it wouldn’t hook-up to our t.v.’s.
We tried various satellite companies all who could only offer a mere 4 mps and 20 gigs a month and that was “If” they could get a clear shot. Each company attempting to find our little town.
At one point one salesperson was so apologetic, he offered to send us to a service that was supposed to help us find service in our area. “Hold on ma’am, this service will help you find a company that will definitely work in your area. But before I go, how do you intend to protect this new property? Our company offers a great plan for security systems!” “I buy big dogs that can eat people.” “Oh umm, well thank you for your time.” Side note here…. they can’t get internet up the hill, but they can schlep the security lines up? Go figure!
“Hello ma’am, I’m so happy to be able to help you today. I’m with “Shmomcast”.”
AAAAAAHHHHHHH *hair pulling, nail-biting and possibly a bit of screaming may or may not have happened at this point.”
After about 6 hours on the phone while I finished several loads of laundry. Cleaned, folded and put away. Ironing and dinner made all while talking, being put on hold, and in the end being denied by every company, I finally gave up for the day.
The next morning my search started all over. I contacted our realtor to find out who he uses. And with that, finally found a company that was in our area, had unlimited access, but crappy speeds. “I’ll take it!” I exclaimed in both exhaustion and excitement.
I call, since as previously stated, I have no internet. And after 20 minutes on their awesome phone tree…. that keeps telling me to stay on hold and then hangs up, I finally navigate to a real, human – I was so excited! I exclaim in my enthusiasm for a real voice “Yes, I know I’m in the wrong “branch” of your tree, but all the others kept hanging up on me before I could find a person? Can you help me get signed up?” She proceeds to tell me…. I kid you not, to tell me to “GET ON THE INTERNET TO SIGN UP!” WTHk?
“Hon – if I *had* internet…. would I be *calling* you?”
“Oh uh, well, did you try calling customer service to sign up?” *head… banging… on… desk* “As I previously stated in sheer excitement at reaching a human being. ALL the OTHER “branches” told me to HOLD and then HUNG UP! Yes I tried calling – that’s why I’m here, talking to a real human being….. that would be you.” “Oh sorry ma’am, I don’t know what to tell you.” *blink. blink, blink*
It was 2:30 in the afternoon on a weekday. I pulled out a mason jar with a handle, since a plastic cup just seemed to suit this situation properly…. poured some boxed wine in it and sat to soak in all the glorious stupidity of the situation.
Do we really need to bank all that much? I mean, I don’t need to pay bills right? I don’t need to be paid for “that house” right? My children don’t ever want to play their games ever again I’m sure?
I pulled out my “smart” phone (we’ll use that term loosely here) and pulled up the same company as we last discussed, since at this point it was the only one who could find AND access our home. I proceeded to order, something…. I wasn’t exactly sure what on my tiny screen. By the time I set my phone down, I hoped I had ordered internet. I had hoped I ordered the right plan. I had hoped I didn’t just give my credit card information to a drug lord to fund his rooster fighting ring.
My dentist man comes home and says “We still don’t have internet?” *Poured a second glass of wine.*
So, after all is said and done. I did actually order internet. I didn’t, as far as I know, fund any sort of underground hooliganism and our internet is working rather well. And while I am quite aware that this is truly a “first world problem” it doesn’t make the craziness any less crazy.
Btw – I’m still getting calls from the satellite company trying to offer me a product they can’t get to my house.