Tuesday, September 16, 2008

interruption in service

(written the evening of Monday, Sept 15)

Today has been a frustrating day.

Upon moving into this apartment, the landlady told us to expect her carpenters first thing in the morning to crackfill, paint, and generally fix things up for as many days as it took to get everything done. After two days, with lots of sanding and so forth left to do, they just stopped showing up, leaving a great deal of painting supplies around. I called the landlady Friday to inquire as to when they could come back, and she promised to have them back immediately and explained that they had forgotten about us.

Surprisingly (if you know anything about landlords or carpenters) they turned up again this morning bright and early, determined to finish the job, and so Sean and I left for a coffee while they worked. When I came back (Sean having left for school), there were large drifts of plaster dust in the halls and a suspicious lack of lighting in the living room. I swept up as much plaster as I could, and then went to investigate the living room, and found that there was no power in the living room, guest room, or Angus' room - which has the internet things in it, thus killing the internet too.

There are smart ways of handling these situations, and they generally aren't heading to the basement by myself with intent to fiddle with power boxes. I went downstairs and banged on the second floor apartment's door for five minutes before they noticed me through the thumping bass of Britney Spears' latest album. We've met three occupants of the downstairs apartment, and a new one (possibly a replacement for one of the others, who apparently didn't get a student loan) answered the door. As she opened the door, three cats streaked out into the landing - Hermes and Apollo (two white kittens) and a new cat, who is fluffy and grey and evidently belongs to the new girl, Erin. I asked about the fuse box, and found that their apartment has its own fuse box inside. I helped them recapture the cats and went to search my apartment - no fuse box. Hm.

I called the landlady, who was dismayed at yet another thing breaking. No, she said, not all the apartments have their own fuse boxes; ours was probably in the basement. She promised to send along the handyman as soon as possible.

As far as I could tell, he never did come by. After a long, internet-less day, Angus came home at seven, and I explained the lack of power and internet. I was pretty annoyed.
"It's weird... the carpenters didn't even have any equipment to plug in to blow the fuse, and we didn't have anything unusual plugged in," Angus said. "If they were messing with a light switch, or maybe a power outlet..."
The light came on, in my mind, at least. There is a power outlet on the wall they were sanding and painting. It's a weird outlet - a bathroom outlet instead of a regular one...

I hit the reset button, and magically, the power was back.

So instead of a fuse box, we have a bathroom interrupt outlet. Presumably the actual bathroom's interrupt outlet is the fuse for the back half of the apartment.

After half an hour of glorious internet usage, another intermittent problem reared its head. Our internet service has been randomly cutting out since we moved in. Angus has several years of internet service provider tech support under his belt, and so he's pretty good at diagnosing problems; after a few simple tests he decided it wasn't the router or a few other very routine problems, but instead probably an issue with the old phone wiring. He's had a few phone conversations with Aliant to this point, and their chats are getting less and less amicable, because he knows when they are giving him ridiculous answers or refusing to even look at the ongoing log of our problems in their system. This evening he got a particularly useless tech who insisted that our internet was working fine because a light was on. It's kind of entertaining watching Angus get off the phone and pace and rant for a while about the tech support industry, but as a result of all this, the router is off again until the connection gacks out again so he can prove a point and hopefully get a technician out to check the lines. Hopefully I can post this tomorrow, if things will just start working properly again.

Postscript: the internet went out again this morning, and Angus got through to someone who could actually help, so tomorrow we have a technician coming!


Blogger GailM. said...

oh, what frustrating.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Steph... it is rather handy having a Techie roommate though isn't it? Very frustrating when the so-called-help isn't helpful at all. Anti-Help-Desk/Line is what most of them should be called. Can't wait to see pictures. (hint hint) KofO

9:30 AM  

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