My Tale of Woe…

I’ve been “away” but not on purpose. Life just gets in the way of blogging some weeks! Not that my life has changed much – from the pretty boring existence I live to some wild, mad-cap social butterfly lifestyle! Oh no. But I find that when little things happen to me, I have to tell everyone and that means typing it all out many times, so to save my fingers from all that work, I’m going to just tell it here to you and I will refer anyone who wants to know about it to this blog. OK?


Monday morning dawns. I did nothing different. I got up (late as usual) and turned on my desktop computer that is up in my room and clicked on the good-morning email from my friend Sandy. When I went to reply back to her, I got an error message saying my email couldn’t go through.


I got dressed and slowly maneuvered my way down the 13 stairs (I always count them, going up and coming down, as they are very difficult for me to navigate and for some reason I count them out to myself every time). Into the kitchen to get my cuppa, to clean up any little disorder that might have been left by the Cleaner-Upper-in-Chief (aka Paul-the-Lobsterman). He is usually very good about cleaning up after supper but now and then he just leaves some stuff for me to do the next morning.

By the time I got to my laptop and my chair, it was late-ish so I clicked on my emails and lo and behold, there was “NO INTERNET CONNECTION” !!! I, of course, sunk into a deep depression at that moment. With no internet, how could I continue my day?

So I sipped my cuppa and sat here in silence (I wasn’t in the mood for TV or world or local news yet). Finally, when that was done, I went back up those steep 13 stairs to my room to see if I could figure out what had happened to my internet connection. I tested everything and found that the little plug that goes into the wall telephone line was out! One of the dogs (probably Kip) must have done that! But it was very strange because that little plastic plug, that has a place for 2 lines to go into the main one, had been stuck in so that I could never pull it out! How did a dog brushing up against it in the night get it out? I have no idea.

So I figured that if I just put it back in, all would be well and working again!

Oh, if only life were that simple!

To simplify this story, it did not work. My modem was not blinking correctly, I could tell. So I disconnected the modem and the wifi box from everything upstairs and I brought all that stuff downstairs and out to the breakfast room where there is a phone that is attached to a jack down on the baseboard by my chair. That phone works so I figured the modem would, as well.

Nothing is simple for me.

By this time I was pretty much wiped out, physically. The process of unplugging and plugging in upstairs required that I actually get down on the floor, on my hands/knees, to do this job and that is something I have not been able to do in a long time. I had to pile 4 pillows up and then fall onto them on my knees, which hurt like the Dickens! and getting up was something I just don’t want to relive! I had to do this process 3 times in total before I was done!

Anyway, when I hooked the boxes up to the outlet in the breakfast room, they didn’t work.

So now it was time to call Verizon. Oh yeah… the dreaded Verizon call.

It was around 9:30 by this point. At just about 11 a.m. I got thru to a live person at Verizon. Yes, I was on the phone all that time trying to get someone who would speak to me and not a robot. I got Kenneth. I poured out my soul to Kenneth, told him I was just about to break down and cry and he said “Oh, don’t cry, don’t cry!!!” and I pulled myself together.

We talked. I explained it all. He said he’d check my modem remotely and when he got back he said it may be outside in the line on the pole. I was hopeful. But not convinced.

We talked more and I had to schedule a repair person to come here ASAP (which was going to be today, Tuesday) and the time they would show up would be “somewhere between early morning and 8 p.m.” I kid you not. They could not narrow the window any more than that. Well, I’m home here all the time anyway so I guess it was OK. We set it up.

If the repair person needed to come into the house, after discovering that the problem was NOT outside, it was going to cost me some buckaroos, too. Like $95 just to set foot in the door (and I had to corral the dogs up and keep them separated from this repair person at all times!) and then another $45 for every 30 minutes he/she was here to repair the problem. I could see dollar signs flying out every window!

So finally we hung up. I was a wreck by this point. I hadn’t had anything to eat, just my one cuppa, and I was feeling very wobbly and faint. I ate something quickly and then sat and thought out it all. No internet. What was I to do?

This is not good. I am way too dependent on internet! Way…too…dependent.

I went through all the wires and disconnects and connects in my mind that I’d just done. There was one combination that I hadn’t tried and that involved going back upstairs and taking just the phone line that goes from the modem and putting it into the original jack box, without the splitter with the two holes… (one was for the phone on my desk). I did that (which meant the whole pillow thing and pain, lots and lots of pain in hips and knees and back, and getting up balancing on a rolling desk chair… which almost fell over… and then I looked at the modem and the blinking lights were CORRECTLY blinking!

Wow! That worked! But I had no phone plugged into the line now, just the modem/wifi set-up. Who cares! I hate the phone anyway! I have two phones downstairs so who needs a phone in one’s room?

I came down and tried my laptop and YUP! It works! I don’t need the repair guy, so I called and only got robots again but miraculously by me yelling into the receiver that I just wanted to speak to a real person, someone heard me on the other end of the line! (huh?) and I got a recorded voice saying “So, you are set up to have a repair person, do you still want that?” (yes a robot said that!) and I yelled “NO!” and they said “OK, do you want to cancel that repair call?” and I yelled back “YES!!!” and they said fine, it was cancelled, and I hung up.


It was 1 p.m. by this point. I’d been at this since 9 o’clock.

I couldn’t watch TV. I answered a few emails, checked in with important people, and closed up my laptop. I needed a rest. No TV. I got out the last leftover piece of pizza from the fridge and heated it up and ate it. Then I got out my current book, which BTW is called “A Cup of Tea – A Novel of 1917” by Amy Ephron, and here I sat reading my little book for a couple of hours until Paul got home from lobstering around 4-ish.

I had this whole story in my head of my morning-from-hell to tell him, but he walked in, said hello, and sat down on the sofa next to me and told me “I just had a fender-bender!”

OMG. He was fine, his truck is fine, but the other car got a tiny 3-inch long scratch on her rubber bumper… he was trying to back up on a very narrow road in Marblehead and he got some lady’s car on the bumper. She was IN the car, too! She took his info but he didn’t take hers. He figured since it was HIS fault, she would sick her insurance company on his insurance company and they would work out the details. Those details will be a surcharge now for him for 3 years of increased rates! That is what happened to me when I bumped into someone who stopped short in front of me several years ago. Increased rates for 3 years!

This, to me, is not fair. Why have insurance if, when we need it, it fails us? Anyway, that was HIS news. After he was done and after he’d called his insurance agent to break the news to him, I told him my tale of woe. He is not an internet kind of guy. He knows nothing about modern technology that doesn’t directly relate to his lobster boat… he can’t even turn the tv on and off without instructions from me (it takes two different remotes to do it!). So he wasn’t exactly as sympathetic to my story as I was to his. But that’s OK.

And that’s the long and the short of it. Sorry it was so long and not so short, but there you have it. No repair person is coming. I have internet. I have no phone now upstairs but I don’t really care!

So cheers, I think, for it all working out like it did.

There may come a day when I give up internet altogether. But it’s not now, not yet. Not this week.


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Check out my other blog, “From the Hawthorne Tree”
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Pages from the American Notebooks, Nathaniel Hawthorne

Passages from Hawthorne’s English Notebooks

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9 Responses to My Tale of Woe…

  1. Bex,

    I hope things have straightened out and life is back to normal if there is such a thing. Too many notes. Seems we are in a cycle of ‘always something’ for a bit.

    Sorry I have been away…I have been self-absorbed. Sigh.


  2. Bonnie says:

    Now I must check. I don’t remember my insurance going up after I wiped out the side of my car. Maybe hubby just hid that from me.

    Glad you at least solved the problem of the internet.


  3. sandy freel says:

    BUMMER DAY for the Crowells…Glad you got your fixed…sad about Paul.
    I loathe insurance companies as do others..I had a fender bender a few years ago and my 10% discount went off for 4 years…it added up to a whole lot more I paid…I wasn’t a happy camper over that deal.
    I hope life is better today for you.


  4. You did it Bex! Congratulations on your nerdom, accomplished despite challenges. I am impressed!


  5. nina says:

    I laughed, I cried, I sympathized in ALL ways! First of all, my day yesterday was without internet and I burst out crying for a good five minutes because of it. I HATE being disconnected. Second of all, I think insurance companies ought not be called that anymore. Dont get me started on what I think of their tactics.

    So happy you (and I) are on line! It’s a lonely life without that ability to talk online or read about someone else’s day!


  6. Eric Mayer says:

    Ugh. That’s a nightmare doubleheader. Internet and insurance problems. Two of my least favorite things. At least ultimately you didn’t need the repairman but talk about upsetting. I too am far too dependent on the Internet and freak out when the connection goes bad. A couple years ago we lost our connection and I tested all the various plugs. We use a splitter also. Nothing. And the phone didn’t work either. I finally figured out the phone jack had somehow gone bad and I was able to replace it

    I loathe insurance companies. They are legalized crime as far as I’m concerned. They expect you to adhere to your side of the bargain by sending their premium every month without fail but when it comes time for them to hold up their end of the deal….forget it.


  7. Karen G. DiCicco says:

    How awful! It is so hard to do things when backs, knees etc. don’t work like they used to.
    Poor Paul! Well, both know we all can relate to all your issues.


  8. WendyNC says:

    Nothing more frustrating than a bad splitter, bad cord, bad plug, etc. when one is trying to diagnose internet issues. The worst ones are the intermittent ones, though. In the case of our office, I finally ran it down to a bad modem (we love our new one!) but it was about a month of amazing nuisance, with no rhyme or reason about why it would sometimes work and sometimes not. Fun times, no?


  9. TopsyTurvy says:

    That does not sound like a fun day, sorry you had to go through all that. Thank goodness you got it all sorted out!

    You scared me when you said you set things up to fall on pillows. I too have problems getting onto my knees but I slide down from a low chair or lower myself from the bed.

    Now I’m wondering if we’d both be better off with those knee protectors that are made for gardeners.

    With your phone call to Verizon, usually the best thing to do is just hit 0 (zero) and # when the machine starts talking. The computers are usually set up to go straight through to an representative if you do that.

    With Paul’s fender-bender, ask your insurance agent about adding a forgiveness clause to your policy. DH’s brother was a manager at Allstate, so he set us up with the best coverage and that’s what we have. When DH got in a fender-bender a few months ago the policy paid for the repair and didn’t go up. Actually, as of the renewal last month it went down $18 per month. And as long as we don’t get in any more accidents for the next 3 years everything will stay the same and the forgiveness clause will renew itself.


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