I had kept putting off the inevitable with my broadband problems. I dreaded making the call to one of those call centres in the sky where an army of IT geniuses blind me with science and convince me that I am stupid. I already know my limitations even before I am asked complex questions about my rooter that force me to confess that I don’t actually know what a rooter is (or router as it should be spelt…thanks Claudio – see below). I panic about these things whilst watching my life float by, waiting in a queue for the high priests of Nerdom, listening to soothing words from an infuriating automatum.
Well, I did it. I made that call and I spoke to a human being who listened to me as if I actually knew what I was saying. To be honest, I think I did know this time. I had prepared well for the encounter and second guessed all the right answers.
My broadband engineer told me what I wanted to hear – that there really was a proper technical fault and it wasn’t some act of dumbness on my part that meant that my internet access crashed every time the telphone rang.
As a child I used to dread the arrival of the doctor even if I was feeling very ill because I assumed that he would tell me that there was nothing the matter and that I was wasting his time. Later in life I realized that I just had a terrible doctor when I was young but the fear has persisted.
Sometimes I would hope for some terrible diagnosis just to justify all the doctor’s visit. Yes, young man, you definitely have bubonic plague and a nasty dose of leprosy so you will have to stay in bed for a few days and take these small green pills. It was always leprosy and plague that scared me because I had seen Ben Hur as a child when I was suffering the early feverish symptoms of chicken pox. Those spots were definitely leprosy I believed, in my delirium, as I waited for my parents to dump me in a cave away from civilization where all my limbs would fall off one by one.
Sorry, I got carried away then. No, the broadband engineers where nothing like that useless family doctor. They told me that the rest was up to them and that they would test things at their end and that there was nothing for me to worry about. Then, a couple of days later, he rang to say the fault was in my house and all my fears returned with a vengeance.
Oh no, I thought, it is all my fault after all. I must have done something that was damaging the sacred internet – a crime against the modern age and one for which there would be a serious punishment.
So this morning, instead of writing this blog, I awaited the arrival of the broadband doctor. would he tell me off for wasting his time? Would he fidget and look bored when I told him my symptoms? Would he just tell me to get on with it and stop making a fuss? No, he didn’t.
He went round the house like one of those television series forensic pathologists looking for clues and evidence of ill-doing with a sinister-looking fault detector. I just made the coffee.
It was not my fault – it was a wiring and cabling thing – one of those problems where 21st Century technology struggles against early 19th. Century domestic architecture and for which, alleluia, there was a cure beyond moving away from my home town of Lewes in England where all the houses are unsuitable, thank God, for modern life.
I couldn’t help being a blogger-poet in a Georgian house and I will receive no punishment or penalty for causing such a clash of cultures.
My broadband doctor was great and, several long rolls of cable later, everything is now working and, maybe, it is even better than before.
In the amazingly calm world of my study now that it has no computer problems, with the sun shining through the window and a small wren singing in the bushes, I even wonder if I have got over my technology phobia.
If you are one of those people that I asked not to phone whilst my computer was crashing, you can dial my number agian now and I promise to try very hard not to sound bad-tempered when I answer your call. Unless you are my old family doctor that is…..I never want to see you again, OK.