November 2005 Archives

QWest Sucks More Than Ever

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QWest, as the local telecommunications monopoly, has given me so much grief over such a long time, it is hard for me to remember a time when QWest didn't suck. But today, QWest actually delivered something I spent months begging them to deliver, but was refused. And it clearly shows that QWest sucks more than they ever sucked before.
If you have followed my blog in recent months, you know that I moved my office, and when I arrived at the new location, I discovered that QWest DSL was not available. It never even occurred to me to check availability before moving, since DSL is deployed throughout this entire city.. except in THIS neighborhood.
I did a lot of research, pushing my complaints up through middle levels of QWest management, and was consistently told that DSL would not be available, they COULD provide it, but would NOT provide it. Reports from QWest's DSL technicians indicated there was a new DSLAM installed a mere 8 blocks from my home, but QWest would not connect any users to it. The service was available, DSL techs were ready to install it, but management would not permit anyone to purchase the service and connect to the new DSLAM. The last manager I spoke to at QWest was almost psychotically rude, she took special pains to be as abusive as possible to me, despite my attempts to be as polite as possible (after all, I was begging them for service).
So today, this morning at 9AM, as I was just getting up and making coffee, a bit fuzzy after a late night of work, I get a phone call. Oh joy, it's a QWest telemarketer asking if they can look at my account and see if they can find any way to "serve me better." I bite my tongue to suppress the urge to blurt out all the DSL backstory, and tell the guy, "Look, I never use this land line, I use my cell phone for all my calling, I'm thinking of disconnecting it entirely. The only thing you could do for me is to hook me up with DSL." The guy says he'll check availability, I told him don't bother, I just spent 4 months trying to get DSL and QWest always told me no. He looks it up in his computer, surprise surprise, DSL is available in my location! I refused to believe it, so I went to my computer, looked it up on their website, yes it is available!
Now instead of being happy I can get DSL again, I am absolutely infuriated. It proved that QWest could have hooked me up 4 months ago, but they refused for no reason whatsoever. I'm probably going to move out of here within 2 or 3 months, so I will only be using this service for a short time, when I could have been using it all along.
Now that I am scheduled for DSL installation on December 5, I will be able to restore BlogTV service. I needed DSL with high upstream bandwidth and 2 static IPs, in order to deliver video from my QuickTime Streaming Server. This was impossible with my current cable modem connection. But it is not worth it to restore service if I'm just going to move in a couple of months and go through this all over again. It is time for me to move this blog and the QTSS server to a professional hosting service.
If there is one thing I learned doing years of customer service, the worst thing you can ever do is screw your customers in a way that makes your them look bad in front of THEIR customers. And that is exactly what QWest has done to me. They refused to deliver DSL when they could have, causing my archives of video stories to stop working. Years of my work were taken down, making me look bad. I recently noticed a couple of articles about video blogging cited my website, even after the video server went down. But when readers clicked on the links to my videos, they got nothing but an error message, I looked like an idiot, and the article writers looked like an idiot too, for citing a dead link. This is the sort of thing that makes me totally dispirited about publishing ANYTHING.
But no more. I am now determined to be totally free from QWest and their incompetence. I will be using QWest for my home connectivity, but only for the short term. I am determined to move this blog to a bulletproof hosting service NOT through QWest. And I am determined to resume writing and posting videos as often as possible once the transition is complete. I have several long videos recorded and ready to post, as soon as I can get the video server up and online. But it's going to take a bit longer, if I'm going to do this right. So bear with me, this transition may be a little rough, but this blog will be better than ever. I promise.

A Lesson in Time Management

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Goal Displacement is one of my mildly neurotic problems with getting things done. The classic example of Goal Displacement is a writer who has to sharpen all his pencils perfectly before he can start writing. And today I encountered a classic example that should serve as an object lesson for everyone.
Today I was listening to an audio tape on Time Management. I was doing multiple things at once while listening to the tape, surfing the web, sorting mail, paying some bills, etc. So I felt like I was getting a lot done, I was multitasking even while taking a lesson on improving my time management. But the lecturer insisted that my activity was not actually productive, I was mistaking activity for progress, and I must learn to focus on what things are most important in my life, which the lecturer insisted is learning his time management methods. And then the lecturer posed a few questions that I must stop and ponder, and write down the answers, so I thought I'd take it seriously, pause, and write down my answers.
So I grabbed my favorite fountain pen, and started writing. But something was wrong, the pen was clogged up. Of course I could have picked up some other pen or pencil, but this was my favorite pen, and if it gets clogged up, it gets worse if it dries out, so I needed to fix it right away. I pulled out a tissue and squeezed the nib, there were little dots of ink on the tissue, so there was some ink left in the pen. But I couldn't get the ink to flow. I went to the bathroom and ran the nib under hot water, ink was definitely coming out, it's writing a little better but still not working right. OK, I guess I'll have to put in a new ink cartridge, but where the hell did I put them? I bought a little 3-pack of ink refills when I bought this pen, but they were packed away when I moved a few months ago and I haven't seen them since. I had to search through a few boxes of junk to locate them. I inserted a new ink cartridge, it took a bit of work, another rinse under hot water, a couple minutes scribbling on waste paper, but now the ink is flowing. Ah, there is nothing like the feel of writing with a good fountain pen, even if they are tempermental sometimes.
After spending 15 minutes trying to get my pen to write, I completely forgot what I was supposed to write. I even took another 15 minutes to write this little story, and I still haven't gotten back to the lecture. I think I was supposed to write down some things I did this week that I thought were urgent but really were not important.

Dear Neighbor:

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It appears that you, Mrs. Neighbor, do not quite understand how to work with a common resource like this apartment building's laundry facility. Permit me to offer a suggestion that will make life easier for everyone who shares these washers and driers.
Be sure to remove all foreign objects from your laundry before running it through the washer and drier. In particular, you should NOT run these items through the drier AGAIN:
  • Paper matchbooks. Most people like their laundry free of cardboard lint and wet phosphorous fragments.
  • Halloween candy. In particular, do NOT run sticky toffee candies through the drier. Most people like their laundry free of sticky, sugary, melted toffee.
  • Your husband's expired Mexican ID card. Most people like to remain ignorant of the details of their neighbors' immigration status.