Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stamping Out the 21st Century

I bought stamps yesterday, not loose like cigarettes on an NYC street corner as seen in Law & Order, but in a book for a skosh less than ten bucks. It’s another book of “forever” stamps, these are wild birds so I’ll keep the book in the car because that’s where I tend to most often give others the bird and now I have a back-up supply.

I was buying stamps because I have a First World Problem with the folks from Frontier Communications who (seemingly VERY) suddenly purchased AT & T U-Verse television, telephone and internet services here in The Land of Steady Habits.

As a kid reading about how people would discover a wooly mastodon, hair and all, frozen solid in a glacier perfectly preserved for tens of thousands and more years, I used to wonder how that would ever happen since I assumed the temperature gradually dropped vice instantaneously and the animal would notice but chalked it up to Another of Life’s Mysteries.

I concede The Woolies were not meteorologists, but, flashing forward, you didn’t need a weatherman to know it would be an ill wind for somebody when months ago it was the AT &T operations were changing hands. 

Having spent a decade or more hating Comcast, while it was legally permissible to so do, I was pleased with my own patience in waiting while AT &T eventually built out their own infrastructure to deliver high speed everything and then jumped ship. I was very pleased; notice the tense of the verb.  

It seems to me that none of those in the new company fully grasped the vagaries of the calendar in planning the transition.  The cross fade happened at some point this past weekend. I’m a little fuzzy (yes, that was a mastodon reference, thank you for noticing) on exactly when, what with on-demand TV services “temporarily” not working (consistently through at least last night), and intermittent analog-like drop-outs on the TV signal that’s delivered digitally (I saw the van out front and a guy in brown shorts).

Smooth and suave are two words not used to describe the process anywhere in Connecticut. The anecdotes are universally painful with only the zip codes changing. It’s been an eloquent argument so far for the expansion of sock puppet theatre.

My personal favorite Welcome to the Seventies Moment was attempting  to pay my bill on line (as I have every month for the last two plus years). Yeah, this time not so much. Glad I was wearing pants with pockets so that I had someplace to put all the fun.

The website was being “upgraded” as of yesterday morning (when I last checked) and has been being upgraded for the last four calendar days. I called the toll-free number hoping to pay my bill, as outlined on the website, to learn that online payment is not possible “at this time” (as opposed to some other time, not actually defined in the message?).


The voice recording told me I would need to mail them a payment. Not sure why that couldn’t have been on the website instead of the “upgrade” statement, saving me and others no doubt (though egotist that I am, I only worry about other people in the abstract) four days. 

Which is how I came to be at the post office yesterday, purchasing stamps. Sure hope this effort to bring back the Seventies, the 1870's,  runs its course soon enough. I suspect they'll get it straight just in time for the next billing cycle because we're their customers now and as we learned in the last week, they can do anything they want to us. And will.    
-bill kenny

No comments: