Monday, November 08, 2010

Instant Gratification

It’s amazing how much we rely on the internet these days. Even for me to write a blog post takes a bit of research, depending on what subject matter I’m talking about. Whether minimal to extreme internet surfing, from the correct spelling of certain names to the correct information given by news sources, the internet has taken a whole new meaning of “instant information” at the tip of our fingers. I’m sitting here in my office without any internet connection. We’re having quite the storm here in New York, which brought down a few trees around the area. When I came home to open up my laptop, I realized I had no connection whatsoever. I picked up my phone, which happens to also be connected to the internet ---nothing. Even our phones are relying on the internet. I quickly shuffled over to my BlackBerry to frantically dial customer service. “The technician will be there tomorrow between 10am - 2pm ma’am.” Although this wasn’t the answer I wanted, it was the only solution I was going to get. We’re so quick to get online, yet they’re so damn slow to get us back online. It’s amazing how far behind telephone & internet companies are when it comes to restoring services. And yes, I tried logging onto someone else’s internet connection, but apparently they were down too.

I remember the days when I worked for a telephone and internet company myself. I’d cringe at the person who would call in at around the time I did today --5:00 pm complaining about no phone service. I used to take a deep breath, and inform the customer that a technician would be at their house restoring service the next “working” day between 8am - 1pm. (God forbid this fell on a Friday evening.) I heard the frustration in their voices. One older gentleman used his neighbor’s phone. He had health problems and was disabled. He clearly couldn’t be without a phone. He didn’t have a cell phone or any other means to call if there was an emergency, other than his neighbor checking up on him. We literally had to send one of our reps out there to give him a temporary cell phone overnight just in case he had an emergency. What did we do before the internet? I mean, think about it - we totally flip out if we can’t log on or use our landlines when in fact, we hardly ever use our landlines. I use mine mostly for business and conference calls, but when it comes to personal stuff, most of my communication is through the internet or through my cell phone. The more technology increases, the less our motivation to do it the hard way decreases.

For example --my loving sister. She just bought a brand new BMW with an advanced navigation system inside it. She’s a real estate broker, so having this navigation system helps her a great deal when going to new locations she’s never been to before. For some odd reason, the navigation system had to be repaired and updated. While driving to one of her locations a bit far from home, she panicked when it told her to make a left hand turn into....a lake. My poor sis was stuck in the middle of nowhere relying on this piece of technology (or POS) to get her over the river and through the woods. Whatever happened to compasses? I love my navigation system, but I remember back in the day when we didn’t know where a location was, I would trek over to Mapquest.com & print the directions out, and before that I would call the person or company to get complete directions and write it down manually. (I forgot what my own handwriting looks like.) What have we done to ourselves? We’re completely helpless. We are slaves to technology.

While talking with my mother today, she made me laugh and asked, “Remember the 'bag phone' we gave you when you were sixteen years old?” It was a phone inside this leather sack - looked much like a car phone, with the exception of mobilization. People thought it was an ugly purse, so I just left it in the car and said the hell with it. Even before the cell phone craze, remember CBs? I mean, come on, talk about antiquated - but hey, you had communication inside your vehicle just in case of an emergency at least. “Breaker breaker 1*9 1*9” and someone would respond to your emergency call. Granted, you’d probably end up with some hillbilly in a rig, but it sure beat being stuck on the side of the road waiting for someone to stop.

And whaddya know - oddly enough, my phone and internet just started working NOW. Time to call the cable company to cancel that visit from the technician. I think I’ll post this little tidbit on my blog NOW. Wow, instant gratification. Gotta love it.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com