Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Thursday, 07 August 2008

Calling Major Tom

phone lines

Remember that song? I might as well have been out on some space ship this week for all the difference it made.

Friday morning at 10:30, our internet abruptly died... totally. Jorge went to call Telefonica, our service provider, and found the phone was dead too. When he got outside, he encountered a guy from Electropaulo (the electricity dept) who was connecting power to a house two doors away. He told Jorge that a truck had come by and snagged our phone line. Jorge went up the road to the nearest public phone and reported the incident to Telefonica. They told him it would be repaired within 72 hours. Simple, huh?

We waited.

I started organising and backing up my pc. On Saturday, Tat and I went into town. Sunday, we sorted out some of our disastrous store room. Sunday night, we were beginning to get annoyed. Monday morning, we were angry.

All work Jorge and I get comes in via the internet. The client calls to see if he is available, then the work gets sent via e-mail. Internet downtime means zero income, a situation we can ill afford. Yes, it was over the weekend, but that is often when work comes in for Jorge. My work is far more sporadic.

Monday morning, Jorge went off to the Telefonica offices, where he was told that the 72 hour wait was 72 office hours! What was more.... the 72 hours would only start the day after the original complaint. This meant that the Friday incident would only be counted from the Monday morning!! *insert expletives of your choice here*
So we waited some more. Wednesday rolled in... no internet. Jorge went to Pro Con this morning first thing. Pro Con is a consumer rights thing. They arbitrate between you and the company in question. They're pretty good. They told him to return tomorrow morning with the last 6 months' worth of phone bills at which point they'd take action. Huh?! On his way home, he stopped in at Telefonica again... a new problem...

The girl at Telefonica said, "Oh.... isn't that strange. You are down for a line inspection. There is nothing here about a line being damaged. We'll have to put in a new service request." How long would it take? From the time the new service request went in... another 72 hours!! That would take us through to next Tuesday. Jorge got a little... upset. Jorge doesn't 'do' moderation. He either does nothing or totally blows his fuse. He blew a fuse, then came home and settled to wait some more, with plans to go to Pro Con in the morning. Pro Con has the  power to enforce immediate action, but, to get anything done, you really have to be there by 7am or you only get attended to late afternoon. That is the length of the queues there.

At 4pm, our front bell went. It was the technician who was cursing on his own account. Apparently, he could have had this job done virtually immediately after the first call went in. They have spent the whole week being sent out to jobs that other technicians had already been assigned to. Apparently all the technicians are complaining. To top it all, we have had some much needed rain and they have had to work out in the rain, poor guys. He was aghast at how long we had to wait. We learned something else too. The call center for Telefonica isn't in this city, but in some far-off little town in the same state, but far away... where they have absolutely no idea of the geography and demography of the city of São Paulo. No wonder it is such a mess.

But.... I'm back online... and we actually survived this period without killing each other, so all is well. I will try to catch up, but may not go to all the backlog of blogs. Gosh, it's good to be in touch with friendly faces again. At times like this, I realise how cut off I am from the rest of the world when I don't have internet... and McD's has removed all its computers. Who said they could do that???

Oh the photo? That is the mess of wires outside our home ; )

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