Things That Make My Head Explode Part Seven

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Also, please visit me over at Sharon Hurley Hall’s blog, Get Paid to Write Online, where I’m guest posting today.

What a waste of a day yesterday. It started with a dentist appointment, where I got good news. However, it went downhill after that. I came home knowing I had to fix two issues – an email problem and an antivirus problem. That’s where it all unraveled.

And that’s why I need a Things That Make My Head Explode post.

Clueless Internet providers. First, I called email support. My email service (through a client, not my own) had stopped working Wednesday. I wanted help getting it going again. Fine, but gee, she said, I can’t help you because our server is down. Really? You? An ISP? Down? She gave me a case ID and told me to call back. Their servers were the problem. A few hours later, it was all back. Devon, it’s your personal “favorite.” I see what you mean – they live up to that lousy reputation.

Oversell and pushy people. Avast Internet Security stopped working. Errors all over the place, so I got on the phone. This time, I had to call through a company called iYogi. I’m thinking it’s named that because it’s the antithesis of a zen experience. This one took at least an hour. First I talked to Naveen (everyone’s name gets written down), who walked me through what I thought was a ten-minute diagnosis. No, that was his sales pitch. See, Naveen took control of my desktop, ran a few scans, then showed me how many terrible, corrupt files I had on my computer and how desperately I needed his company to clean up my registry. Worse, he said it would cost $300 at Best Buy (his quote, though he doesn’t work there?) to get it all cleaned. Or… he could help me out by offering a cleaning for $399. Wow, and that’s $399 for three years of monthly jerking with my computer files remotely. Not only that, he was showing me these “critical” problems that were in my Temp folder. Really. How stupid do you think I am? Yet the hard sell continued. If you’ve never dealt with Indians selling you something, know that they’re extremely pushy and enjoy challenging your common sense. Luckily I know plenty of Indians, so my monotone “No thank you” was repeated until he went away.

Not trusting the customer. When Naveen was done with me, he passed me on to Ajay. Ajay was my “chat” buddy, and he proceeded to take over the desktop and actually fix what I’d called for. However, as I watched, I realized the only fix needed was to uninstall/reinstall the program. And why couldn’t I do that? Oh wait – because they didn’t tell me that’s what I needed until they were already controlling the desktop. Whatever. I had the furnace guy at the door and didn’t have time to watch, so he’s probably installed lord-knows-what on this. See, I don’t trust them, either.

National Geographic. What did they do wrong? They have a website devoted to green living (called Green Living). Guess who’s writing it for them? Our “best” friends at Demand Media. Time to boycott.

24-hour days. Not that they’re too long. They’re entirely too short. I’ve felt like I’m being yanked through a keyhole at 75 mph – and I’m wearing heavy boots. I could use about four more hours a day right now. If I weren’t organized, I’d be in a real state.

But hey, the dentist appointment went really well. So there’s that.

What’s making your head go boom?

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  • Sandy January 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Oh Lori, I so feel for you.
    My yesterday went downhill when I finally got around to canceling that pesky charge for ATT long distance service on my land-line. (Seriously, who uses a land-line to make 10-cent-a minute LD calls anymore?). I ended up spending 20 minutes with a pushy off-shore call center guy who spent most of the time trying to get me to buy a "bundle" package, and who, after all that, told me I still had to call my "local service provider" (which according to the bill is the same company!). I started my conversation with the "local" folks by saying "please don't try to sell me anything" and it went a lot more smoothly. It makes my head explode that something that should be so simple ended up eating 1/2 hour of my day.

  • Lori January 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Sandy, that's exactly the part the steams me, too. It should be simple. They are there to help us solve problems, yet too often they become a larger problem than the original one.

  • Cathy Miller January 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Must have been something in the air. I had a very frustrating time with a project taking a 360 degree turn on me. It was not what I signed up for so it will mean a new Statement of Work when I have already done two versions…sigh…

  • Angie Ledbetter January 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Making my head smoke — too many irons in the fire, but that's how I usually work, and it's better than spinning my wheels.

  • Lori January 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Oh, that sounds icky, Cathy. Geez, what a bunch of gear-grinding nonsense!

    Oh Angie, it is SO good to see you here, doll! It's been too long. I'm way overdue for a recipe fix and another chapter of the Ledbetter tales…. 🙂

  • Paula January 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    My county is making my head go boom. The other day the FINAL DECISION to my property tax protest hearing arrived. Apparently in my county a house surrounded by three foreclosures is worth more per square foot than a similar vintage house a block away where there have been no foreclosures in the same period. Right.

    During the 45 minutes I was at the county office for the meeting, I was sweltering. It was a snowy January day yet none of the employees had on cardigans or extra layers like the rest of us wear to stay warm. So I e-mailed the county board chairman. He didn't reply, but passed my complaint to the facilities manager. She said all county buildings are heated to 71 degrees during office hours. I hit the roof. Doctors' offices and retirement homes probably need to keep the thermostat around 70, but an office? An office paid for with taxpayer dollars? In a county that's been hit harder than most by the economic downturn, no less.

    I'm sorry, but it's inexcusable to keep increasing taxes, saying you're doing everything possible to lower operating costs while cranking the heat in all county offices to 71 degrees.

    My head exploded all right – all over the Letters to the Editor page of one local paper. If the county wants heat, I'll heat it up for them – by means of public opinion.

    A good rule to live by is to use your anger at these things to try to correct them.

  • Jake P January 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Current #headdesk is a pair of physicians WHO WON'T FREAKING CALL ME BACK after repeated voicemail and emails. That. Is. All.

  • Anne Wayman January 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Ah Lori, I hate that sort of thing… my heart goes out to you. Recently I've had three tech support folks who actually knew what they were talking about and treated me like I knew what I was talking about – to different companies – in each case I talked to their supervisors to complement them on their people… was actually almost fun.

    Jake, thanks for #headdesk.

  • Joseph Hayes January 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I had a "Naveen" with ATT about my Internet service. The young phone sales attendant (customer service? Hah!) took over my screen and then proceeded to ask me the purpose of every program I had installed. Three questions later I told her to get the f*$@ out of my computer.

    Aside from that, a really great week: two new gigs (they called me), a big extra assignment from the magazine, and word that I got a lovely grant from the local arts foundation for a theater project. 2012 is cool.

  • Amelia Ramstead January 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I'm fairly disgusted that a reputable brand like National Geographic would be going through Demand. What the hell?

  • allena January 31, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Lori, wow to the DS thing. Just wow, wow, wow.

    Now, I was thinking about you today and reminding myself to ask you something. Hmm… goodness knows what…

    Well, I'll email you when it comes. Am catching up on blog reading tonight.