Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Some days, I shouldn't really be left unattended...

A few weeks back, i heard a sort of weird buzzing noise in my business phone. One of the requirements when i became a telecommuter was that i needed a dedicated phone line for my business line and access to a high-speed internet connection. So, it made sense to bundle both as it was a bit cheaper that way, and since i am reimbursed for the cost, it made it easier from an accounting standpoint. Everything on one bill.

Prior to moving here full-time, during that two-year period the house stood mostly uninhabited, we were required to have a freezer guard in the house. It's a temperature sensing device that automatically calls whatever phone number or numbers one has programmed into it. A landline is required for the freezer guard to work, and so it was that we had a phone number and a landline at that, for the express purpose of ringing our caretaker should the temperature fall below 48°F in the house. The insurance company insisted that in order to insure the house, we had to have a caretaker if we weren't going to be here full-time, as this house wasn't meant to be a seasonal home, and we were too far away to come running at the drop of a hat should the freezer guard indicate something was going on that required human intervention. Alrighty then.

The business phone line is digital, and my business phone and internet provider sends cunning adverts about how much better digital is, and all the bells and whistles i can get should i wish. They also want me to bundle it with a tv package.

Um, no. In the time i've been telecommuting, i've had several business phone/internet outages, where i used my anachronistic landline to phone my boss and let her know. I've also used the same older technology to partake in teleconferences when the digital line wasn't working.

When the buzzing started, it was intermittent and annoying, but like a fly, a bit here and there. Unplugging and replugging the phone line seemed to help somewhat, and it was then i noticed that Jim had taken to chewing on some of the wires. I told him no, of course, a word he's heard often enough to understand, and changed out the phone line with one that he's never gone near. Nope, still same buzz. By this point, the buzzing had gotten more noticeable and seemed to be occurring more often. I had seen the cable company truck near the house a few days earlier, so maybe something was up with them?

With Jim's help, i also tried switching out phones to see if the phone was the problem. I heard a buzzing sound, tried to get him to stop helping me, and switched back to the original phone. Some buzzing, but not as bad as before.

I talked with my boss next day, which was yesterday, and we both agreed the buzzing had to go, so i called the cable company. They'd have someone out some time today. The kind tech, whom i think was named Todd noticed the buzzing and said it was very annoying. No wonder i called.

Yes, i've heard the horror stories of waiting for the cable company. That could be grouped with the contractors post i wrote earlier. I had work to do, of course, and figured my errands would have to wait a day, but other than that, no worries. I got the call from the cable company just before 1:00 pm. He'd be here in 10 minutes. And, he was. He, Ben, was the same young man who'd come over once before, i think right after i first had things set up, and the internet connection was a bit slow. He remembered me, and loved Jim. Jim was only too glad to say hello and wanted to crawl in Ben's tool bag. I told him if Jim was too annoying, i'd take him away and hang with him in the other room. Nope, all was fine.

And, in 10 minutes, Ben deduced that the problem was with my phone. Ahem. He had me test for myself, and yep, there it was. Even though i'd swear i heard the buzzing when i had switched phones the other day. Since it was a service call, he had to check the lines. He did, and found one outside that was a bit too tight and could cause some problems. Another showed a bit of wear and could stand replacement. Another work truck had happened by, and talked with Ben. Together, they ran new cable line from my house to the pole. One of those serendipitous things, so it was meant to be.

I thanked Ben for this trouble, felt foolish, and he left. I have to go through a preferred vendor my company has chosen rather than drive 10 minutes to my office store of choice for a new phone. Trying to remember my sign-in and getting that to work was another adventure. sigh.

The new phone will be here in 1-3 days according to the on-line order form. I've had to make two calls with my business phone since, and the buzzing has nearly disappeared. You know, like those times where the car makes a strange noise, you take it to the mechanic to demonstrate, and nothing sounds amiss.

Perhaps it's a good thing i work from home. When i have days like this, i can't help thinking that the roadways are probably a good deal safer. I'll have a new phone that i won't know how to operate and which may provide fodder for another blogpost. On the bright side, i can add another great service/repair call experience.

1 comment: