When The Internet Is Internot

, , , , | Working | July 10, 2018

(I am a telecom technician. I have been sent to troubleshoot an Internet issue for an auto parts store in Maryland. I eliminate all customer equipment as possibilities and call the service provider, who insists they can see the connection up at the “smart jack,” a box at the end of their cable inside the building. Anything before that point is their problem; anything after that is mine.)

Me: “Yeah, [Line] is down on 20- to 30-minute intervals, and the customer is pissed; they use VoIP phones, and without Internet, customers can’t call them and they can’t look up parts.”

Tech: “I can ping the smart jack, sir.”

Me: *unplugs smart jack* “Humor me; is it still up? We’re testing for a periodic issue.”

Tech: “Just a minute. Yes, it is still up.”

Me: “That’s some magic trick.”

Tech: “I’m sorry?”

Me: “Well, I just think it’s amazing you can ping a smart jack that’s not turned on.”

Tech: “…”

Me: “Tell you what. How about a vendor meet?” *as in, I meet their technician at the site and we work together to fix the issue*

Tech: “All right, sir, does tomorrow at nine work?”

Me: “Perfect. Please be on time, though; I have four other work orders that day.”

(I show up at 8:40. Come 9:30, I call in to ask where their technician is. After some confused techs pass the phone around, I learn the vendor meet was never scheduled. They redirect a tech to me with an ETA of 11 am. Come 12:30, there is still no tech, and I reschedule for tomorrow at 9:00. Nearly the same thing repeats, until eventually:)

Me: “Where is your technician? They’re overdue by hours! Again!

Provider Rep: “They said they were onsite, sir.”

Me: “The parking lot is the size of a basketball court. They’re not here.”

(Just then, I see a van trying to leave the cul-de-sac, with the provider’s name on the side. I hang up and flag him down.)

Me: “Are you the tech I’m meeting?”

Tech: “No, I was working over there.”

Me: “Really? Was anyone there to meet you?”

Tech: “No! I hate when vendor techs leave without telling me! It’s such a pain!”

Me: “What address is on your work order?”

Tech: “Oh, [Auto Parts Store] at [address].”

(I wordlessly turn 90 degrees and point at the building. The [Auto Parts Store] sign is massive and illuminated, with the address printed above the door)

Me: “So, let me show you this problem…”

(Eventually it was fixed.)

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