I apologize for being incommunicado the past several days– we had an internet outage that was just repaired yesterday.
The problem would have been resolved sooner but troublemaker– er, troubleshooter me I had to look into it before calling Verizon. But after a couple days of frequent connection dropouts I hade to give up and call for help when everything went down completely. I threaded my way through their automated voicemail to receive a message saying service was out in my area and would be repaired late Friday. When the high-speed FIOS service still was not back up on Saturday, I checked again only to hear it would be later that day (turns out that larger issue was not my actual problem).
When there was still no internet by Saturday night, I had to call and get to a human being. The respondent promised a technician between 8am and 10am Sunday.
Amazingly enough, the friendly guy showed up right at 8. He ended up replacing the main FIOS box and upgraded our router when the former alone failed to do the trick. He had us back up in less than two hours total. Delightful service! Kudos to Verizon. They are doing their part to keep this customer happy.
What astounded me about the outage event was that I really did not miss the internet for a few days. I needed a break from my job search anyway (I never really take one when I say I will) and there was nothing important pending… that is, until I had to buy a new hard drive for my main PC on Saturday and could not get it to work after a few frustrating hours of labor (more on that later). So other than the aggravation of delaying a single Google search I wasn’t put out much.
I could not have said that a few months ago, when I was mostly working at home for Nokia. With no internet access, how would I contact around 400 logistics claims handlers and tell them I was out of commission? Who would have accepted a home internet breakdown as an excuse? The fact is that if an office was unavailable I would have had to have found internet service somewhere, and in fact had to do so on occasion. I remember pulling over to dash into Starbucks with my laptop when a second shift supervisor called on my cell phone to alert me to a factory material movement situation. There were times I even hauled out my N800 internet tablet in the middle of shopping and connected over cellular dialup to resolve some issue.
There are still some gaps in the US in the big “internet everywhere” scheme and that’s one reason why I was saddened that WiMAX is faltering. Hopefully LTE will catch on. One way or another, reducing my opportunities for excuses will be a very good thing. 😉
EDIT: for a bit of no-internet fun, watch this South Park episode, done tastelessly in the vein of Grapes of Wrath.