No Internet, Part II

This post originally completed on May 21, 2017 at 1:23 AM

Another post to explain why many posts are being uploaded on the same day – I’m once again back at that previous location.

In a nutshell, we tried to switch internet providers but the timing was a little off. Now, it has been almost 30 days without wired internet. It hasn’t been terribly bad since most of us have mobile internet, but for me personally, this location happens to be a T-Mobile dead zone (AT&T can at least make calls, but isn’t much better). At this very moment, my phone reports that it’s connecting through EDGE, but if I actually try to load any sites, nothing happens. In 2017, I am dealing with the exact problem that I dealt with back in 2004.

Thirteen years is a long time, and I am no longer the person I was. I’m not going to spend my precious time chasing support representatives trying to solve a telecom issue. I can simply scan my magazines and post them at a later time. But although I’ve changed, it seems that telecommunications companies in America (well, the SF Bay Area at least) still suck. It’s been about 16 days since I put in an order for new internet. Yesterday, two techs from AT&T finally came out to install, but due to a labor strike (I’m not kidding), they had to drop everything and leave immediately. They didn’t bother to reconnect the landline, so now even the phone is dead. No ETA in sight. Looking back at my HK records, when we first got our place there, we stopped by a PCCW store and ordered our 300M fibre connection on March 4. On March 8, a PCCW tech spent less than an hour setting everything up, and that was it. I know that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but damn. That’s a big difference, isn’t it?

None of this surprises me anymore, because I have experience working with various telecom providers throughout the years. I would guess that anyone who’s had experience wouldn’t be too surprised, either. Slow, shitty service, ancient tech, it’s like these things are normal here. And that’s the part that gets to me a little, the part that’s sad. We treat this as our standard, as normal. Things going wrong, not getting what you paid for, wasting extra time trying to set up what is now considered a basic necessity, these are all normal. Going from sign-up to IP address in 4 days? That would be considered a ridiculous expectation.

Which got me thinking about the whole “make America great again” movement. If you replace “telecom providers” in the preceding paragraph with a multitude of other goods and services (public and private) in this country, it would still be true. It has always been true. In my nearly 30 years in this country, there have often been these types of head-scratching moments when I’m asking myself, “Huh? This happened? In America?”, whether I’m experiencing it myself or reading about it in the paper or a history book. We’re actually not that great, if at all, and we’re mostly just like everyone else: average (I’ve actually brought this up before). As I type this, I am wondering if it would be a good idea to post it. In the land of the free, I am considering self-censorship (it wouldn’t be the first time). Wouldn’t want to be called unpatriotic or to be told to go back to where I came from. It’s not too different than criticizing the Chinese Communist Party in China and being called a subversive element. If we have more in common with authoritarian China than we would care to admit, then perhaps we’re not that great after all.

But, I digress. The point of this post was to once again explain the reason behind having so many posts with “originally completed on” posted on the same day. Now you know.

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