Saturday, December 06, 2014

Message in an electronic bottle

Still trying to get permission from the owner of our new, rented house in Fredericksburg to have Verizon Fios connect us with the outside world. Meantime, no phone, no internet, no TV. (This is written on a library computer.) It's a good thing I like to read. I have hooked up systems to play CDs and DVDs, which helps meet my felt need for entertainment.

As for Reflecting Light, I am pawing at the track to return to normal publication. With a spot of luck it won't be long.


YIH said...

Call me crazy, ignorant, whatever, why is this an issue?
I never had this problem with renting, if anything if I were your landlord I'd consider it an improvement to the property.
I've been on both sides of the fence, what is Verizon going to do? Drill a hole from the exterior to the interior to feed a cable through?
Didn't ''the cable company'' do that? Didn't THE phone company do that? In fact, when I changed from ''the cable company'' to THE phone company for Internet, they drilled to 'retrofit' the place.

BTW, I saw a comment you left at Mangan's. I support what your library does (''net nanny'' type software on the router, that blocks websites).

Rick Darby said...


Well, you are right: it has been madness. The problem was, my lease (which is of course a legal contract) specifically says I am to make no structural changes to the house. I simply asked our management company to request approval from the house's owner, figuring it was no big deal, especially because there are already phone jacks and coaxial cables in some rooms.

It took more than a week and several phone calls to the management company's voice mail to get permission.

Meanwhile Verizon, like so many companies these days, puts most of its free cash flow into advertising and sales, not customer service. It is the Devil's job to talk to a customer service rep, and likely as not, they aren't very knowledgeable (I imagine the job burnout is terrific, with constant replacement, so you're actually speaking to someone getting on-the-job training).

Further, the installation is handed off to a contractor, and communication between the installer company and Verizon seems to be almost nil.

As of this week the installation is done, so although there are a few software issues (like how to use Verizon email), the system is up and working. I never thought having a functional telephone, internet, and TV would feel luxurious.

Terry Morris said...

Well now I know for sure you've never been in the military, Rick. Even 25 yrs after the fact I still remember, like it was yesterday, how good it felt the first time they let us use a telephone in basic training to get in touch with the outside world. Among other things. (lol)

Rick Darby said...

Terry, I haven't been in the military, unless you count a couple of college semesters of required ROTC. They tried to draft me during the Vietnam war, but my psychotherapist at the time wrote a letter to the draft board declaring (quite truthfully) that I had severe mental problems.

I suppose someone else just as messed up as me took my place and perhaps paid a heavy price for it. Should I feel guilty now? I would have made a terrible soldier.