Friday Firesmith – Outage

Monday morning, at 2:26, I awoke in total darkness. There’s rarely anything resembling dark anymore, anywhere, because of security lights, which are neither by the way. In fact, until I looked at my cell phone, I had no idea what time it might have been. The power had gone off, I knew that instantly because not only was there no light, but sound, too, had ceased. 

My ceiling fan’s blade cut through the air, drawing cooler air up, warmer air down, a ceaseless activity that lasts most of the year. Nearly silent, the absence of the fan is felt. I cannot see anything but the faint outline of moonlight from a cloudy sky, barely perceptible in the windows. 

It’s cool enough yet to sleep a while, so I doze off, and Wrex Wyatt awakens me for good around six. It’s time to call in the outages. The power company is easy, automated, and in a few minutes it is done. And just about the time I determined the power outage might be here for a while, the lights flickered, and came to life again. 

The issue was the internet did not. I called them and they said there was an “outage in your area” and it would be fixed by eleven in the morning. No problem. On the way into town at about that time, I called in, and they told me it would be four in the afternoon. Hey, that’s cool, but my neighbors have internet, and we live on a dead end road. Doesn’t this mean my issue isn’t related to the outage? 

There’s a pause. The guy I’m talking to hesitates just enough for me to feel it. He’s brushing me off because he has an excuse to do so. 

At four, I call back. There’s an outage in your area. Yeah, but there isn’t. Again, they assure me thing will be fixed, “by tomorrow.” 

Tuesday morning I call at five in the morning and they are clinging to the outage like it’s the Holy Grail. At eight, I get a text telling me the outage has ended. I have no internet. After an hour of pluggin it in and then unplugging it, pressing the reset button, and are you sure you are holding your mouth right, I finally get someone who tells me my issue isn’t related to the outage. 

They’ll get to me in three days. 

We are not amused. 

I’m nothing if not convinced I can write my way out of any bad situation. I sent text messages to managers, social media messages to customer service, and smoke signals in Helvinca to the old gods and the new. I also post screen shots of my wait times. 

“When the levee breaks, got no place to stay.”

In due course, a get a call from an energetic young man who is willing to listen to me. He agrees that as strange as it sounds that a person without internet during an outage isn’t part of the outage, someone should have listened to me when I told them the neighbors had internet. If for no other reason, he adds, you’re a loyal customer and we owe you that. 

I smile. 

So I still have no internet, it’s Wednesday, and I may or may not get it fixed before Friday. But I got a real live human being to speak with me, and agree the issue has to be fixed. 

That’ll work. 

Take care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

13 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Outage”

  1. I’m surprised the, “…you’re a loyal customer and we owe you that”, wasn’t followed by 45 minutes of oboe solo.
    You know before he said you were a loyal customer he was probably checking to see if you paid your bill.
    We had a 4 hour outage the other night when a thunderstorm rolled through with lightning like I haven’t heard in years, frequent, loud, and close.

  2. You could always try the old “I give you one day then I will take my posthole diggers and cut your cable every fifty feet” ruse. I did that in South Florida when I could not get a locator to come out. Except I parked a drill rig over the cable. I had an entire crew there in two hours… Good luck!

  3. I often think people have to be stupid to get some jobs.
    I had a letter telling me an office had phoned me several times but had been unable to get an answer.
    They wanted to know when they could install my phone.

    • Rikkochet, the guy that showed up today was great. He had a feel for what was wrong and solved the problem fast. But then he stuck around while to make sure.

  4. Did you find out what the problem was? I mean it obviously wasn’t a failure in your house, so out on the line, but were the people past you out too?
    It didn’t take long to find and fix it, just took a week to make them look.
    At least now you know you’re a loyal customer and they owe you.

    • Bruce, evidently there was a power surge that caused the modem to reset its settings. Then again, this stuff can is just to the left of witchcraft to me.

  5. “I live at the end of a one-way, dead end street. I don’t know how I got there.” – Stephen Wright. Sorry, that came to mind when you mentioned where your house was.

    When our Internet connection starts getting squirrely, we will unplugged our modem and router, wait about 10 seconds, then plug them back in. That usually makes our Internet connection behave.

    But when our Internet goes out–which is not often, fortunately–I will use my cell phone as a hot spot to get back online.

    I am sorry you lost your Internet connection for so long, Mike, but glad you got it back.

  6. The lack of darkness is called light pollution and it is the simplest to cure by turning off excess lights.

    If the light from your neighbors crosses into your yard that is light trespass. Simply talk to your neighbors about it. Glaring lights is not security.

    • David, the security light is the idea of the wife in the partnership that dwells in that home. Pick your battles, my dude, and understand which ones you’d lose hard by winning.

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