Haley's Poker Blog

No bad beats, but still a poker blog... hence the anguish.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Underconnectivity

It's bad enough to feel isolated, as I do of late, but when a weird weekend conspires with itself to laminate the word onto one's forehead, it's just time to shake the ol' noggin and pray that the plastic somehow peels free.

I have a high-speed connection in my apartment... normally. Late Friday morning it went out, and none of the usual reboot tricks to modem, router, or computer would restore the connection. This is not unheard of for Comcast residential service, particularly on Friday or the weekends, when it seems as if they're doing a lot of installs and taking the network up and down, perhaps fixing oddball things as well. I usually wait a few hours and then place a service call. Did that this time as well, around 5:00 pm or so.

I hate calling service centers. Comcast, as with most major American corporations, has a service center call-in tree designed to get rid of a given caller without having to actually devote any real customer-service person to the call. So after being forced to listen to three commercials, including pitches by Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Stein, I finally get through to a live operator for repairs... and I can hear her perfectly but she (seemingly) can't hear me at all, and she disconnects me.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. How ya doing, Shaq and Ben?

The second time, I get through to someone who can hear me, and I explain the problem. I go through the monkey dance one more time for him, meaning doing the reboot cycle again so he can decide for himself that I do indeed have a reason to call. And he checks other nearby customers, and says they're not in service either, meaning there's some kind of local-area thing going on. And he duly issues me a ticket number for my complaint and leaves me with the expectation that in a couple of hours a service tech will have found the problem and corrected it.

Except that didn't happen. No service Friday night, and when I woke up Saturday, still nothing. So I called back into Comcast again, and again had to do the whole navigation thing twice after a connection with too much static made the operator unable to hear me. So that made quad Shaqs, with Ben chasers every time.

When I finally get through to an operator, she puts me through the grill, even though I have my ticket number, name, phone number, etc. She demands I give her my account number, so I grumble a bit and grab for the most recent one. I read it to her, and tells me that it's wrong. Whassat? So we end up arguing over my account number for a few moments. My guess is when I relocated to here a few years back they issued me a new one, then tied my original Comcast account to it in some way. This, though, is their business, and they ought to be able to get it right. Finally, though, she accepts that I am indeed me and opens up my ticket from the previous day.

"So," I start, "what happened to the service call that the guy I talked to yesterday told me about? He said there was a small area outage."

She doesn't give me much of an answer, but assures me that my service should be working. And she tries to reboot my modem from her end, and of course, it doesn't work.

Next step, scheduling the service call, and I get the choice visitation range of 4:00-6:00 PM on Sunday. I now see that this gets to fuck up my entire weekend, but wait... it gets better. The service tech arrived and by the time he came to my apartment my service was already restored, as he'd stopped downstairs at the service box first. The outage on Friday? It was caused by that day's visiting service tech, who installed a new customer in my building, and then turned off every other customer in the building. He then seems to have responded to my call-in later that day (and perhaps others) by just claiming that everything was in order, without bothering to go back and check.

Needless to say, I was a bit peeved. The part I learned about on Saturday, added in to the hassles of dealing with Comcast's customer service, made me forget that I had an online tourney waiting, for which I went to a nearby friend's house and arrived 20 minutes late, where less than 100 of us were chasing an APPT seat and a total prize purse of over $15K. (See? Poker content!) But I'm in run-bad mode in all aspects in recent weeks. I'm card-dead here, but stay surprisingly patient given my service-tree tilt, and still have a playable stack an hour and a half later. I have almost 2,700 and blinds are 75/100, and find a pair of red jacks in the big blind, the first big pair I've seen all day. It's folded around to the button, who I've already noted as a donkey, and he makes an inordinately long pause before jamming for almost 30 big blinds, having me just covered.

I snap-call, figuring I'm way ahead, and he's got an even shittier hand than I expected -- the 7-4 of diamonds. Very nice donkpush, sir! And: Flop 4-5-Q. Turn 6. River 7. Bye, me. Heh. That type of day.

Ah, well. On the plus side, the Comcast tech was so embarrassed when he discovered that my and other relays had been manually turned off (despite having tags on them stating not to do so) that not only did I get six months of reduced billing charges (back to the special introductory rate), he also tossed in an extra $20 credit for this month's bill.

It's not an APPT seat, but it's something.

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