the twisted gardens of the mind


more #comcast fuckery

last week, on irregular polytopiary

[close-up shot]: i sit by the computer, drumming my fingers. bored.

[another close-up shot]: i pull the phone away from my face. i look shocked and annoyed.

[shot, starts close, but pulls out, showing the rest of the room]: i sit at the computer, playing angry birds.

[shot, a building outside of a generic metro area]: an explosion rocks the building, all windows are blown outward in a spray of glass.

[shot, camera moves upward but stays centered on my face, slow change of focus to my fist]: me, standing in the middle of the living room, addressing the cats (one is sitting under and one is stretched out on top of the coffee table, and another off to the side, quietly cleaning her paw with her tongue), shaking my fist at the sky.

[shot, my kitchen]: my expression goes blank and i drop the pot of coffee. [cut to close-up of the coffee pot, inches off the floor, falling in super slow motion]: it hits the floor and breaks.

and now, the next exciting episode…

thu / – i receive an update from the 2nd tech i twittered with. he says there was signaling issues and asks if a tech had been out. i respond (at the more reasonable hour of that the issue had cleared up on its own, and asked if there was a problem with the modem. he responds that “it could come and go. we’ll keep an eye on it.”

thu / – i  receive a comment on the last comcast post: an apology and request for details of my experience. i find some of the comment baffling, as she asserts that their social media/support reps are online until EST.

sun / – i get home from brunch and am having the same packet loss problems as before. i send an email to the address provided in the comment, and cc: the 2nd tech that i had sent stuff to before. as i have a project deadline looming and cannot work on it, i, annoyed, proceed to annoy everyone else (cats included) in the house.

sun / – magically, the problem disappears again.

mon / – i receive an email from an executive customer relations person. she would like to contact me regarding my complaint. i’m, of course, at work, and completely forget to respond.

tue / – i receive a 2nd email from this person, asking to contact me. i respond that i can talk to her on wed (today).

wed / – working from home today, and guess what? high packet loss. i call the number provided by the executive customer relations person, but get only a recorded message that the offices are closed and that business hours are …well, right now. i send off an annoyed email about the phone recording, as well as mentioning that i am supremely frustrated that i now have to go into the office to work.

really, what i want to say is that right then i should be logged onto the VPN, coding, wearing a tshirt & boxers, with a kitten on my lap, and a beer resting near my mouse.

she responds back, asking if there’s a number she can reach me at. at this point, however, i am running out the door and have a train to catch.

wed / – after several increasingly terse emails, a technician is scheduled to be sent out tomorrow to check out the line. of course, this means i will be super-late for work again (like i was today).

and just because i’m on the subject, the longest standing thorn in my side about comcast is that their stated speed (for our package) is 20Mbps (~ 2.5 mb/s). i don’t think i’ve ever seen it push past 16Mbps, which is the rated speed of the next lower package – and $10 less a month (it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s almost an entire month’s internet+cable bill over the course of a year).


its fucktastic!

10.20 am : internet is running slowly.

10.45 am : after running extensive ping, traceroute, and speedtests, then rebooting every piece of hardware i can lay hand on and run it all again – 20 to 40% packet loss after 2 router hops.

11.20 am : when i can’t find any working network status page for comcast, i finally call them. they tell me i’m not on the account and can’t put in a trouble ticket.

11.40 am : i log into comcast via my gf’s laptop, add myself to the account, although due to high packet loss, it may have been more expedient to use carrier pigeon. i call back.

11.50 am : the support rep i am on the phone with tells me she can’t see any trouble in my area, but also admits that their internal system is down. she apologizes for not being able to help troubleshoot what she is fairly certain is really just a problem occurring between my computer and the modem. i refrain from telling her that that is the only saving grace about this call.

12.10 pm : i try and get some work done, but am continually booted from my remote desktop session. i play angry birds and eat lunch.

12.50 pm : i re-run all my diagnostics, not only from my pc, but from my gf’s laptop and directly off the router itself. i double check all ethernet and coax cabling.

1.05 pm : i randomly google comcast twitter and find the twitter accounts of several techs who seem to be giving more solid help, advice, or even just up-to-date status to customers. i connect with a tech and am passed off to a second tech with a request for details of the issue.

1.30 pm : i happily send them brief traceroute & ping logs.

3.05 pm : i send a quick check-in to see if they have any updates on the issue.

3.15 pm : i realize that neither of the techs has responded to any issues since shortly after 1.30. apparently, they are on the east coast and have gone home.

4.00 pm : after having wasted an entire day, i call comcast again. their system is still down and since i never received any type of follow-up, i not only do not have a trouble ticket, but there is apparently no record of any of my previous contacts. i hang up in disgust.

4.30 pm : i am filled with the rage. i can’t  watch anything through boxee box, because it … you know, uses the fucking internet. i pretend that all the little pigs are comcast employees while i play motherfucking rage-filled birds some more. whatever corporate fuckwit decided that there should be no network status page deserves a triangular, yellow, gurgling bird to the throat.

4.50 pm : in a last ditch effort to at least appear productive, i call support again. i get put on hold and hang up.

5:20 pm : consistent service appears to be restored (just in time for people to get home and start watching tv!).

i almost hate you more than AT&T. almost.

[edit] i have been contacted by several customer relations people regarding this post. i will update this story as warranted.

i hate you because you are dumb

sometimes i make the mistake of reading sarah palin’s facebook page.

i’m almost immediately filled with an urgent sense of horror and dismay. it is literally terrifying to me to read the responses, by her adoring fans, to her absurd rhetoric.

they are the nonsensical, un-punctuated, pie-hole noises set into the cement of the interwebs, by … who? who are these people? let’s find out…

please note: this is by no means a comprehensive list (or even the worst). but this was all i could handle without needing an anti-depressant. also, i have NOT edited these in ANY fashion.



letter to client

good afternoon ms. important-pants, ph.d.,

i would like to apologize for the apparent miscommunication between you and our team which necessitated that you cc: us, our boss, your boss, and every tangentially-related person in creation, on your email about how you didn’t receive what you wanted.

as an aside, i would like to commend your agency on its careful cultivation of english as a foreign language. i was not aware of any other official dialects of american english (outside of ebonics), but it seems i have not followed recent developments as closely as i should have. i’m curious if you are able to leverage your dialect as a method to procuring more grants as a “protected minority” (eg, “rich, unable to use dictionary”)?

returning to the point at hand, i agree that it is of utmost importance that there be a written understanding of our deliverables to you, as you are either unable to specify them in a clear fashion or you have only provided this information to your imaginary associate who unfortunately neglected to pass it along before we completed our original work.

we are currently working to rectify this situation however and should have a revised dataset as soon as you can respond to my attached request for clarification on your “clear specs”.

best regards,

[signed], f.u.

p.s.: if i am to understand correctly, congratulations are in order for your entry to the oxford dictionary being considered!!

symmetric difference -noun (mathematics)

a list of set A that did not match set B and a list of set B that did not match set A. essentially, the left-overs.

kudos! your precision and dedication to accuracy are sure a credit to the institution that awarded you a doctorate; or at least the government agency you are director of. or a ferret.


misleading headlines :(

i almost had the best day today:

“i’m through,” palin says. (CNN)

…with being a whiny bitch, she adds. which i guess i’ll believe when i see.

vitriol – (n.) see sulfuric acid

i’m stealing the idea for this blog from my smart, funny, sexy, and awesome girlfriend. i wanted to have something to write about, but hadn’t really come up with a theme, so i’m stealing this:

something i dislike today, every day

see? it’s catchy.

today: it’s rainy, and i find that annoying. i know, not a very harsh start, but wait until i get rolling.