Please Stand By. .
For the past two days I have been unable to access the Internet. How I hate this. It has not happened for quite a while. If the problem last very long I begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, pacing around the house to frequently return to the computer and try to go online again. I find myself doing busy work just to keep myself distracted. I even organized my knife and fork drawer, which has been a mess of a long time. I normally could have lived with it for a long while longer. (You can do such things when you do not have a wife., with obsessive cleaning disorder she learned from watching too much Oprah.) Could I really be addicted!
Almost right away I phoned up the AOL tech people to find out what is going on.They put me through the usually proceedures, which you think I would know by heart by now. My modem has three light on, all steady, which is unusually when there is a problem. Usually, the ready light is flashing which is a real indicator that the problem is with the Bell Telephone Company's distribution line. We remake the AOL connection. Still nothing works. With this first call (Yes, I made more than one call) the tech person said AOL was having a problem with the server for my area. I told her where I lived and then asked her how familiar she was with Canada, let alone Ontario, as I assumed she was in Bangalore, India, where AOL outsourced their tech services. (It used to be in Moncton, New Brunswicl, which allowed be to discuss the weather with the tech person)
Before the day was over I was calling the tech person again. We go through much of the process we went through the last time. By now I am getting friendly with the tech person (I long ago learned not to lose my temper. There was a time when I went through a dozen supervisors when I demanded to speak to someone in Canada, when I was trying to find out what Bell was doing on my behalf. I actually did finally get to speak to a Canadian.) This tech lady had a very sweet voice. Thinking she was an Indian I asked her if she was in Bangalore as I was going to congratuate her on the quality of her English. The Indians had been working of their accents and their knowledge of Canada. They even had crib notes on places in Canada so that when you mentioned a place in Canada they could make a friendly comment or pass themselves off as a Canadian. The tech lady, to my surprise said she was not in Indian she was in Romania. It seems AOL had outsourced their business to that country now. Her English was very good and I told her so. It turned out she was a student of languages and in fact had never been to an English speaking country. I thought she may have had an English speaking parent for I once learned an email Russian friend of mine spoke and wrote English, with little accent, very well because she had a mother that spoke English.
To pass the time while I was restarting the computer I told her I knew little about Romania but I was interested in the Romani (Roma, Gypsy) people in Europe. I asked her how many Romanians were Roma. I could not draw her into a political discussion ( against the rules of the job I guess.) Finally, my computer was full started and I tried to go online. No luck! I was still off line wanting to get on. She very politely said she could do nothing more for me and said good bye. There has been some bad weather south of here and we guessed the Bell Telephone company was working on it.
The next morning I tried to go on line again. No luck.! I think I even tried at 3:00 AM when I was up to let Heidi out for her toilet break. At 9:00 AM, the first moment they were available, I was on the phone again with the tech person. The same nice lady that patiently dealt with me the day before. We went through all the proceedures we went through the day before and even tried some new ones. I even changed to another modem (I have two spare modems that are good that I was supposed to return to AOL but didn't. There was a period when I was regularly having AOL sending me replacement modems in case my problem was in the modem.) That didn't work.This time the tech lady said she would report my situation to an AOL technician and the phone company. The two tech specialists will call me and decide it the problem is an AOL problem or a Bell problem. Once again the sweet lady said good bye. I must wait.
I was getting increasingly restless. I even tried to sign on with low speed over the telephone line. No luck, again! I started to play with the two old laptops I have that are not working right. One I tried to go on line with over the phone line. I couldn't get it to work. While on my main computer trying to get the phone number to get online over the phone line, I became aware that my computer was about to go online. Miracle of miracles! There was the little AOL "bon homme" (pardon my Franglais) moving from square one to square two and finally the AOL logo appeared in square three. "Welcome to AOL", my favourite greeting. I could now check my emails, get rid of my Spam and begin to visit my usual political sites. And, of course ,check my blog. Life is less lonely.
It is the third day now and in spite of the coming rain it seem to be sunny as I can access the Internet. All is right with the world. I will not have to "Please stand by . . ." today.