I Love/Hate Technology

Sunday was supposed to be a relaxing day.

After our team’s opening night Saturday (and the hellstorm of work that led up to it) went off with a few hitches, I was looking forward to doing next to nothing Sunday, save watching football, cleaning up the apartment and setting up my new Tivo box. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be writing about it if the process was simple, so you’ll get the full unedited story.

1 – Dell. Remember a few weeks ago when I told you that a Miller Lite virus attacked my keyboard? Well, using my extended warranty through Dell, I sent the computer out for repairs and was told it would be returned to me within eight days. I was pretty content at the whole process: they shipped out a box, complete with packing foam, paid for the whole thing and gave me a reasonable expectation as to when my pc would be home again. Well, a week passed. Then, two weeks passed. I began to get suspicious and decided to contact them. Contacting them, by the way, entails the equivalent of Private Chat (for you UMaine First Class users) and getting rerouted to three different chats before finding which one applies to you. The user names of the Dell employees are pretty funny, considering the broken english you get from most. I’m not sure, but I think ‘Chuck’s’ grammar school teacher probably taught him how to string together sentences. They can’t hide the fact that they use foreigners, so why even try at this point?

The person I chatted with told me that my computer had already been shipped and even gave me a DHL tracking number. Wow…tremendous, right? I saw that the computer was reportedly in New Hampshire already, but the address they listed was incorrect and didn’t even have a street name on it. Red Flag no. 1. I went to DHL’s site to see if I could re-route it, but to no avail. I called and got the following response when I gave the number.

DHL: “Yeah, uhhhmmm. We’re showing that package as lost.”
Josh: “It says on your site that it’s right in Londonderry.”
DHL: “Yeah, that’s incorrect. You should probably contact the shipper to let them know. Is there anything else I can do to help you tonight?”

Red Flag 2. Hey DHL Douchebag! I didn’t lose the computer….you did!!! Why should I call when you obviously have so much more info than I do? And second, why are companies now asking people if there’s anything else, especially in this situation? What else could I want – shipping rates? Dropoff locations? A brochure that explains how packages get lost? I then contacted Dell (they told me that their records showed that DHL had the package too) and they said they’d resolve it and have something out to me within 2-4 working days. At this point, I was very skeptical but didn’t have the time to worry otherwise. Not having a computer at home has been an adjustment, but overall, I’ve survived by using a work laptop with wireless access.

Fast forward to Sunday: I rise at around 11:30 (love sleeping in…love. it.) and decide to stroll back to the VWA for the afore-mentioned work computer, bring it home and rip on some Dell agent as to why seven days later, I had no computer. I figured that round-trip, this journey would take about 40 minutes. Of course, I couldn’t find the laptop anywhere. I jumped on my work pc and after changing my fantasy football lineups, headed to dell.com for what I thought would be a quick status check. About 90 minutes later, I was more frustrated than ever. I got re-routed for a good hour to different chats where no one wanted to help. Finally, a kid named Josh (ironic) took the bait and did what the other guy could have done a week ago: simply write up the order as ‘lost’ and ship me a new computer. What was most irritating was having to give my contact info over and over and over again, explain the situation and then be told, “Sorry. Not this department.” I never did get an answer as to what happened to my ‘2-to-4 day’ promise and was told that within 10-12 days, I would have a new laptop, possibly a better version than my current model. I’ll believe it when I’m typing on it.

TiVo: Later on this day, I decided to get something done and moved my new TiVo box to the living room from my bedroom. Now, I just set this thing up last week at blog reader Berger Berger’s house because I don’t have a phone line which TiVo requires to set everything up. This is probably the most retarded requirement I’ve heard in quite some time. The need for house phones is dwindling thanks to cell phones and with wireless internet technology abound, don’t you think they could figure something else out? Anyhoo, I spent a good hour arranging everything (only took one call to Tivo too to correct a problem), brought it home and set it up, only to realize that you need a phone line/USB wireless connection to update the info. I bought the USB, but guess what I needed to set it up? A wireless laptop!!!! Irony is a BITCH.

In the meantime, I decided to move the box and rearranged it to use with my Comcast cable box but I couldn’t get any type of signal. After looking through the manual and troubleshooting, I found out that in order to transfer the unit to a cable box setting, I would have to DIAL IN AGAIN AND REDO THE WHOLE THING. Ever have those moments where you lean back, look around and assess what is happening in front of you? Yeah, I’m surprised that something didn’t get broken. Until I can get back to a phone line, my TiVo is working as a nice coaster. And no, I’m not getting a phone line.

Other random bits:

–The anti-pot commercial people have done it again. I once mentioned the National Anti-Drug Youth ad about missing the little brother’s birthday party (“I’m sure your brother will understand that you missed his birthday party because you were out smoking pot.”) killed me every time I saw it. Well, now they’ve added one about missing dinner with your grandmother. This one just about ripped my heart out; not about smoking weed, but c’mon, sad grandmas?! That’s just wrong! I hate the U.S. Government.

–Hey, speaking of pot, it’s the 20th anniversary of Nintendo! Check it out:

And if you don’t think I’m getting an NEX, think again!

–I think it’s hilarious on how the media is skipping around the NBA Dress Code issue. Basically, the NBA wants their players to dress more white and not look like 50 Cent on the sidelines. Interesting move that the players association is backing. I also thought it was particularly telling that one of the dissenting ‘this is racist’ voices came from Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers, otherwise known as ‘the guy that wasn’t Ron Artest that attacked Detroit fans last year.’ Will this somehow bridge the gap between the NBA and the growing amount of people that say, “I used to watch the NBA all the time, but don’t anymore. Can’t figure out why though”? Doubtful, but at least it’s an attempt.

–If you were to say a year ago that Bill Simmons would write a book and I wouldn’t have it read it a good month after its release, I would say that you were crazy. I finally bought the thing tonight. I am a terrible fan.

–Atlanta, pt. II coming Sunday. I have to go call my grandmother now….

thanks for reading,