My internet went down at 7PM on Friday evening.
Zip. Just like that.
I thought it was my computer at first and got into a little mini panic, but when I realised my beloved Mac was still fully functional, I knew it was my less beloved Internet Service Provider.
So I rang them.
They had one of those voice activated programs where you have to answer yes or no to a series of questions.
The pre-recorded voice belonged to a young man with a mellifluous voice like honey being dropped from a spoon. He nearly got me with that voice of his, he nearly did, that spawn of the devil.
HE: Are you ringing because you can’t connect to the internet?
ME: Well, yes. How did you know?
HE: Have you checked your phone line, filters, modem? Do it now. I’ll wait.
His voice was low, soft, lulling me into a sense of security I don’t normally feel when talking to technical support. I felt like he was really concerned about my technical difficulties, that all he wanted to do was help.
ME(all a-fluster): Well, if you insist.
HE: When you’ve checked it, say continue.
He lingered on the ue of continue like a cat licking the last drop of cream out of the bowl.
My hands were shaking as I checked my ethernet cable and the position of my filter. I no longer had a desire to rant at him, scream, complain. His voice was as relaxing as a cool breeze on a summer’s day, like the cool drink of water the actresses from the forties used to talk about when Gary Cooper or Alan Ladd walked in the room.
HE: What are your modem lights doing?
His voice was a sigh as if my modem lights weren’t the only lights he was thinking about.
ME (wanting to say): Well, they’re flashing away, giddy as schoolgirls. (Actually saying) The power light is flashing and the rest of the lights are off.
And then he blew it.
HE: Sounds like a service disruption. Your service could be out anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours.
Then he went into full disclaimer mode saying how his company took no responsibility for disruptions in service – yadda yadda yadda – and that I should call back in a few hours so they could check the line again.
And the spell cast by the sexy, little robot voice was broken.
I asked to be transferred to a real person and was reassured the service would be on within one hour. I waited one hour. Two. Five. I called three times, avoiding the lure of Robot Boy with all the skill of a military strategist. Each time I was told I would have to wait a little longer.
Desperate times. Desperate measures. I do what I always do when electrical things don’t work. I took the modem apart. I used to take broken clocks and radios apart when I was a kid. Dust all the bits off and put everything back together again. Most of the time they started working again. You would be surprised how much dust blocks up the circuits.
So I pulled the modem apart, dusted it off and put it back together again. And after 36 hours of doing nothing at all it started working again. Just like that.
I was elated. I was thrilled to not have to call technical support again. I could blog. I could check my emails.
But somewhere at the back of my mind lurked the velvet tones of Robot Boy, concerned, reassuring, talking only to me.
Whispering down the phone line – I’ll wait…..