Thirty years ago I didn’t have an internet connection and I didn’t miss it. I wasn’t yet addicted to my home computer, email, Facebook, blogs and more. I tried to remind myself of that over the weekend, as again I was without a working internet connection and it was driving me to distraction.
And, I didn’t have a working telephone connection. Now in all my life, I have rarely gone more than a day or two without a working telephone, though I did have to share a party line of up to 8 parties over the years. In recent years however, I have become used to just picking up the telephone and making my calls.
All of this changed in the past few months. By last weekend, my computer was about as useful as a paperweight! And my telephone was equally useless. I had been having trouble with both ever since I came home from my winter vacation. But in the past 3 weeks it got much worse, with only hours per day when I could get online or get a dial tone. The rest of the day nothing worked.
Naturally I called the cable company. The cable lady continued to tell me to take out the power cord from the modem for a minute and then plug it back in. That was supposed to reset my modem and make everything work. At first, it gave me a day’s worth of internet or phone service. Then just hours, and by last weekend, it gained me nothing at all.
I decided to cancel my telephone service with the cable company and switch to the telephone company. They don’t have a great reputation for service either, but at least they wouldn’t tell me to reboot my modem every day. But after I called to switch service, nothing happened. I waited a week and finally called the telephone company today.
They told me they cannot pick up my telephone service with my current number unless my telephone is working! I had put off calling the cable company again because I wanted to first dump the telephone and then see if they could get the internet service to work. However, today I had to call both the telephone company and the cable company.
When the lady at the cable company again asked me to remove the source of power from the modem, I almost blew up. I told her I had done that hundreds of times in the past 2 months and that it just did not work. She insisted I do it once more and of course, it still didn’t work.
Finally she said she would send a technician – which was way overdue in my opinion! Anyway, he came within an hour which was amazing. The technician checked the wires and cable modem inside and the wires outside. He concluded that some parts had worn out and he replaced them. Immediately I had a working internet connection and a working telephone with a genuine dial tone!
I told dad last weekend that my telephone was not working and I needed to have it fixed. He asked if it was a portable telephone. (I think he meant a cell phone.) I said no, it was the house phone and I needed it. Dad is still pretty much aware of what is going on, even though he rarely talks on the telephone (doesn’t answer when called) and I don’t know for sure that he even can still make calls. Still he understood why I felt I needed mine.
Interestingly, just a year ago I switched dad’s telephone from the cable company to the telephone company. The reason was a bit different. In his assisted living facility, the cable company was not permitted to put in wired wherever they wanted to. Instead they had to just install the modem near the door. I then had to plug the telephone into the modem, which was not near dad’s bed or his Lazy Boy chair.
Dad rarely answered his telephone and I concluded it was just too difficult for him to get to it. Once I switched him to the telephone company, he could have one telephone next to his bed and another by his Lazy Boy chair. But now he spends all day in the television lounge and still doesn’t answer the telephone! Oh well — at least it works!