First Cup of Coffee – July 14, 2022

A long, involved saga of internet and cellular data woes, including multiple interactions with service providers, three trips to the store, two lightning storms, and one coincidence so incredible that I blame Thor.




Transcript
00:00.85
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Um, delicious today is Thursday July fourteenth halfway through July race and ride along I don’t know is this like summer syndrome. Ah delicious. So. Um I have had just how do I describe it. It’s it’s just been an epic few days and in some ways it began a couple of weeks ago with ah a storm it is monsoon season here. And New Mexico I’ve mentioned a number of times which is fabulous because it means rain we are most grateful everything is green. Um, it’s incredibly incredibly important to get these monsoon rains. It’s when we get most of our moisture. However, with rain. Often comes lightning and a couple of weeks ago. We had a storm where we were getting this gorgeous rain and a lightning bolt hit nearby and it was one of those ones where you know like when the lightning cracks right? overhead and makes you kind of. Just jump out of your skin and this one was particularly shocking because we hadn’t had the normal lead up. You know, like normally you can like hear the storm getting closer and closer and the thunder is ah coming faster after the lightning cracks and so you can count and. You know the the childhood game of counting. Ah you know, basically knowing the difference between speed of light and speed of sound and how close that lightning is getting well. We didn’t get any of that. Um, even though there had been like some lightning and thunder in the distance. All of a sudden we had this. Crack right? overhead. Um that you know like everything went really bright I was like whoa and we’d already had things unplugged but it knocked out our internet and we got texts from. Xfinity saying ah internet is out. We’re working on repairing it. Um, they didn’t get it fixed until this was already like um I don’t know seven-thirty Eight o’clock at night and they didn’t get it fixed till like 4 in the morning but it came back up and you know.

02:44.50
jeffekennedy
Hoay. But then our internet just wasn’t the same again. It was um, slow our you know we kept it kept dropping. We had to keep rebooting the router. Um, it would be unstable. You know like in Zoome. Your internet is unstable. Um, so I’d gotten on with an xfinity ah helper person on chat who was great and we were we were on for like an hour and a half and she ended up like upgrading our internet we got faster internet. Um. She like cleared clean things up I don’t know what they do when they clean things up but she cleaned things up and she um when I complained I said ah she said that she could actually get us a better plan where we’d be paying like $10 less a month I said that would be great because we’d already spent like. $30 on cell phone overage charges because we hadn’t had that internet I think we finished watching a movie that night which we were feeling profiglet. Um because you know was like well use our cell data so a bit of background to this. Is we have had this plan that is a very old plan capital V Capital O Capital P Very old plan with ah Verizon which did not have unlimited data but it was it was inexpensive. And Verizon kept trying to get me to switch to unlimited data and I’d looked at it a couple of times but every plan change would have us paying like one ah hundred dollars more a month and we were paying like every time we went. A gigabyte over or four gigabytes over um on our allow allotted data allowance. It was costing us $15 so even on some months when we like. It was mostly if we were traveling if we were on a road trip and we wanted to play music or something like that we would use data and it would you know everyone’s why we would have like $60 in over its charges but it was still you know made more sense financially than $100 more every month. So we were using this cellular data overage I mentioned to the xfinity gal. Oh well, you know with like $30 in overage charges. So be nice to have less on our plan and she said oh well let me credit you $30 so that was lovely.

05:30.16
jeffekennedy
She even said by the time we finished and everything was really working great that she said that I was one of the nicest customers that she had dealt with all day and she really appreciated that I got that twice in a couple of days and I thought are they saying that to make me feel good or am I really nicer. Most David thinks it’s because I’m nicer than most people. Um, maybe it’s I’m I’m not generally and a nice person. Maybe I am I don’t know. But um I can be very forceful about getting what I want but what I’m dealing with. Customer service people like that on chats are on the phone. You know it’s it’s never their fault. It’s it’s never their problem that things are not okay I thought it was showing weird connection speaking of um. You know? So. There’s no reason not to be kind to them. You know, working in those call centers sucks. They’re always just doing the best that they can every once while if they’re not listening and they’re just going through their script then I will get pointed about it. So anyway. We’d come away thinking aha success on the internet’s working well well reader it was not working well it continued to the grade we were rebooting the router many times a day. The router was getting really hot. It was um. Just not. It wasn’t up to speed. You know all of these things lagging dropping signal so I was doing a little bit of research on this I thought I’d have to get on with Xfinity but we decided that probably what we needed was a new rubber. So. On um, we’ll see today’s Thursday so on Tuesday David went and because our router was you know they they start getting old and I was concerned that it was so hot. It’s always a bad sign so he went and got a new router which. Cost like $200 I was a little shocked it was that expensive. Ah, but he came home with the new router and he ah installed it and got it working in time for um, oh just a couple things that we were doing whatever. Um, and so we had it was like installed by like two or three o’clock and it was great internet was perfect it was solid this was clearly the great solution everything was going fabulous and um, we were all pleased. It’s like problem solved then we can move on with our lives.

08:19.40
jeffekennedy
Ah, it’s amazing to me how integral having internet is now but wait. There’s more so storm rolls in that evening and it’s starting to rain and I’m very happy because we’d had a couple of storms come through that hadn’t produced any rain so I was like hooray rain and then. Can you believe it all is sudden crack this massive lightning bolt and I saw it from the kitchen window like it went down and I don’t know where it hit but it hit close and you know instantaneous crack of sound and David was in the kitchen cooking dinner. Like a good man and he just about jumped out of his skin and we were like whoa and ah and it fried our new router it fried the new router it stopped working. What are the odds what are the odds I mean that’s like like Thor coming after me personally. So we um. Best buy didn’t open until Eleven Wednesday morning till the next morning so we used cellular data to do work stuff. Um have both both writing and SFWA stuff. And so we start burning the cellular data and I told David because this happened again at like 7 or 8 at night I was going to go to bed and read and but you know he has parkinson’s disease. He doesn’t always sleep well and he’s very restless at night and I said you know. If you want to watch movies or whatever tonight. Um, go ahead and use the cell data. So I wake up in the morning to like another $30 worth of over its charges but you know what can you do and I do. Stuff that morning pretty much without internet. Fortunately, it’s Wednesday which is my blog day I ended up not blogging at all I thought I could do it later in the day but I didn’t get to it. Um, so apologies there if you were looking for a blog post. Ah fortunately no podcast. Tuesday morning I used cell data to do the podcast to ah, record it and to upload it which that burned a lot of data. It’s funny because it it reminds me of that quote. Um.

11:00.78
jeffekennedy
Which there’s some question of like whether or not it’s apocryphal. Ah, apparently bill gates denied ever saying this but then they found evidence that he did that in a 1985 article. April 20, 1985 issue of info world that bill gates said when we set the upper limits of pc dos at six hundred and Forty k we thought nobody would ever need that much memory. It just amuses me when I’m like burning. Ah, gigabytes of data at a time I could tell you like how much we went through I’m not sure it matters. But oh yeah, like our overage got up to $120 for eight gigabytes um so we had considered lying about the router right? when David was going to take it back. We were like well we could just say you know I mean we didn’t didn’t even have it 24 hours that we could just say oh well, it didn’t work so we need to exchange it. And we decide that that would be wrong that that would be unfair. Ah and so he took the router back and he explained to the best buy person what had happened and and they just said oh sounds like you need to exchange it. So fortunately, we were not out. An additional $200 for this router. So David comes home with the router. Um I’ve pretty much got my words done I had to give a class for the clarion folks. The clarion writathon folks at two o’clock my time. Ah, hello to any of you who may have tuned in today normally I talk about writing more but today’s the epic story of our internet and loss thereof. It’s it’s a variable feast here at first cup of coffee. You just never know what you’re going to get. So I by now it’s like David got home at like noon and so we’re trying to set up the router and I figure it’s going to go fast right? because we’ve done it once already we’d know how to you know we’ve done the drill the day before even though David handled most of it and so. We get it all set up and it won’t connect. There’s no internet. It does connect it says connected. No internet. So I finally get on with an Xfinity person and because I can’t do chat.

13:52.41
jeffekennedy
Because we don’t have internet right? and I don’t want to try typing on my phone and I’m trying not to use the cell data to power my laptop so it and it really was a lot of effort to talk to a person on the phone like even while I’m on the waiting. For to get somebody to come on. They’re like sending me text saying click this text to have a chat I’m like no I talk to a person finally get on with a person. He tries bunch of times tries to help me um, resets it and. It will not connect. There is nothing there and he says we have to send somebody out to your house because there’s there’s something wrong. Um that like the internet data is not making it to the Router. So and of course they can’t send somebody until Friday. So two more days so I’m just like fuck my life. Whatever I can live so I’d hope to have internet back in time to do this clarion class I did not so I ran it on cell data. Did my laptop on connected to the hotspot did the class. It was fun if any of you were listening. It was really fun chatting with you all? Um, we can talk more about the heroine’s journey versus the hero’s journey. Ah, but um. I I don’t know maybe I should read Gail’s book anyway that’s a side conversation. So um, finish that I have like half an hour before I have a meeting for SFWA and so I do that via Discord and. You know I’m watching like getting the messages from Verizon telling me about my overages and so right before I get on this meeting with SFWA I decide. Okay I I cannot be stubborn on this any longer I go to Verizon I pick the cheapest plan I can with unlimited data. It’s still going to cost us like $100 more a month I’m griping about it. But um, at this point it’s just got to be done right? And also I’m noticing for the first time that apparently like we could go to nine gigabytes of overage. But. And we’ve already used like 8.4 and I’m thinking oh it’s not unlimited overage I mean I can’t just keep shelling out otherwise I might have done. It. Also I had gotten a message from Verizon recently. Ah, where they’d said that they were.

16:39.68
jeffekennedy
Absolutely making my Very Old Plan go away and I was gonna have to change anyway. So I was like all right capitulate have to change so I go in and I change it on the website and I figure. Okay, it’s fine. So I’m in the middle of this meeting and it’s like started at for It’s like 4:45 and all of a sudden internet just drops I have nothing I’m kicked out of the meeting. Ah and my phone has not only no cell data but I can’t even use it to make calls. Says oh you can make emergency calls only um and but actually I’m sorry I left out a little piece of this story I changed it before the meeting but then during the meeting I got another notice for an overage charge and I was like what the heck. So as we’re talking I go back into the Verizon website. And sure enough the changes had not taken effect. So I do it again and it’s weird because it’s like different prices now actually lower. So yay me so I go ahead and set it and I don’t know if it’s like when I confirmed the plan change but that was like when it kicked me out and it um. My phone becomes a brick I can’t use it I have no internet can’t use that to contact Verizon so it was like oh well this is just really charming. So I go and get David’s phone which is like down to 10% charge I can’t even with this so I have to find his charging cord too. Culverizon I get on with somebody. Ah this person can’t help me. They say they have to like connect me to someone else and and it takes a while to get to the point where they can’t help me and so then he’s like well let me ah, get you to someone who can help you change your plan and he puts me on hold and. Comes back once to check with me and we’re still on hold and then I get this message saying please enter your pin I’m like what again. So I entered my pen and then it says I’m sorry your the call center is closed like no no the call center cannot be closed so that was when I go. And um I am oh I’m sorry I already was on David’s phone so I call again and I get through and this guy is um, sounds very nice and helpful and but he says you’re you’re so static I can barely hear you and I’m like I am desperate I really am afraid that if I hang up I will not be able to get. Ah, person again. Ah so I’m like yelling into the phone so he can hear me and he says he’s he’s like that looks like you have unlimited data now. You should be fine. He said if you tried restarting your phone and I was like ah fuck me no I had not tried restarting my phone.

19:30.76
jeffekennedy
So while he’s there I restart my phone it clicks in my phone is no longer a brick I’m able to use it and then David’s phone at the same time like even though I didn’t restart it now. All of a sudden it has connects to the 5 g and everything. So. This is this has been a 20 minute story so I apologize to those of you who are here for talk about writing and industry but you know this is like part of it. So I’m um, accessing internet through my cell phone for the next couple of days till they come fix our internet. It is occurring to me now that I have unlimited data. Why don’t I do this all the time. Also when I was on with the the lovely first xfinity gal who gave me all these deals she had asked me who we did our cell phone service with. And I said oh I don’t want to change our cell phone service and she said oh I I completely understand that well dear reader I am now considering changing our cell phone service. We have been with Verizon since the beginning. Um and now I’m wondering um should I consolidate. My internet and cell phone service. It makes me think maybe it would be bad. You know like in this case, it was good to have 2 different services so I could go back and forth and it really sucked when both were down I couldn’t even I had no way to contact the people I’d been in the meeting with. To tell them what had happened I tried to text them and my texts wouldn’t go through. Um, so it’s disconcerting when there’s like 0 ability to contact the outside world I thought that I was going to have to my my final plan and I had another meeting at six and now it’s like after five but my next plan was was like get in my car and drive to the Verizon store I wasn’t even sure what time they closed and I had no way to check since I had no internet or sell data. But I thought well I’ll just go. Drive to the Verizon store and if I can get them to restore our service um desperate measures I was also thinking that I could actually go to a place today. We have a board meeting and I’m probably gonna be online for a couple of hours for that board meeting. Um, we are so reliant on internet now right hummingbird up above. So um, and I could go to a friend’s house too and use their internet.

22:07.83
jeffekennedy
But I think there’s no reason now why I can’t just burn cell data right? I have unlimited data I’m so we’re going to be paying out the wazoo ye old wazoo for it. So I might as well. Just do that right? So on that note I’m going to go upload this podcast. Um, this has been. The latest installment of all the things going on my mom said you certainly don’t lead a boarding life. Um my 80 year old mother who has covid thinks her life is boring and comparison to mine. Thank you for all of the kind thoughts on that she um. Has probably had it since Saturday she was diagnosed on Monday she’s been taking the medication which she said makes her feel like she’s sleepwalking but it is helping she is doing better. Um, stepdad has not gotten it. So. I think which kind of bitches are out because she’s annoyed that she got it and he hasn’t but um, you know it’s just weird. It’s funny how the viruses work some people get some people don’t ah but at least we have the medications and the vaxs now right? Ah all right. This has been a long podcast consisting of very little but ranting I will be back tomorrow I hope you all the wonderful Thursday and I will talk to you in the morning you all take care bye bye.

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