Tag Archives: Rants

Greetings From The 9th Circle of AT&T Uverse Telecom Hell

Day 13 of our captivity and we are completely out of service — all services. No internet, no TV, no telephone. It’s been this way for 48 hours.

We’ve had six people come over to our house to try to figure out what’s wrong, including our personal electrical contractors, who AT&T told us to call because they couldn’t figure out our phones. Lord knows how much that’s going to cost me. And now it appears it was all entirely unnecessary, anyway.

Yesterday we had a guy I call the Telecommunications Whisperer come over, ostensibly to give us a new box but after 15 minutes here he determined the problem was a fault in the line from the street. “They should have run you a new line from the start,” he told me. Gee, you don’t say.

Here’s where it gets good: as soon as the line guy arrived, all of the electronics in the house seemed to rejoice, because I was immediately back in service. TV popped on, emails started flooding the in-box, and I got a dial tone on the phone. I went out to ask the guy what he did and he said, “Nothing, I just got here. I’m just getting ready to run some tests.”

I’m starting to think we don’t need a repairman but an exorcist.

By the time the guy left at 6 pm, new line installed, everything was dead. No phones, no internet, no TV, no nuthin’. On the phone with AT&T I was told I need a new ONT box. But — here’s where it gets good — apparently Nashville has a shortage of ONT boxes. They have to order one and who knows when FedEx or UPS can deliver one!

I just give up. I really do. Each new person leaves me in worse shape than the last guy. No one knows what to do so they’re just replacing everything to see what sticks.

I’m done. Finished. Come and take your crap, put my old box back, give me back my old DSL line, and let me get on with my life.

I mean, seriously. We put a man on the moon 45 years ago. Today I can’t even get a telecom service installed.

I tell you this long saga as a way of explaining why I’ve been out of pocket the last few days and comment moderation has been slow to nonexistent. I don’t know when I’ll be back on line. I’m writing this from Starbucks.

Be well.

14 Comments

Filed under AT&T, corporate overlords, telecom

Public Service Announcement: AT&T Uverse Sucks, Stay Away

[UPDATE] 2:

Apparently my solution is to move to Chattanooga.

I actually like Chattanooga a lot. It’s a beautiful river city surrounded by gorgeous mountains. They have an awesome aquarium and a fabulous music festival called Riverbend every June. I could live there. Hell, if it was good enough for Bessie Smith….

I think what frustrates me the most about this whole ordeal is that the actual product itself is very good, probably wonderful. But where these big companies always trip themselves up is on the people stuff. They can handle gears and switches and fiber optics and other technical stuff but dealing with people is something they absolutely fail at. And what this tells me is, feel-good marketing and PR campaigns notwithstanding, they simply do not value people. Not as customers, not as employees. They are not focused on people at all. They are focused on their product, not how it makes its way into the world. But telecom is a very people-centric product. It’s something people interact with in all aspect of their lives. It’s completely integrated into a person’s life. To ignore the people aspect is to miss something fundamental about what it is you do.

Love them or hate them, Apple has always gotten the people aspect of what they do. AT&T has not.

————————————————————————

You’d think in Great Capitalist America we consumers would have more options than just choosing between two soul-sucking, mendacious corporate behemoths for our home technology needs but sadly, in another failure of capitalism, that answer is no.

Mr. Beale and I have spent the past two weeks mired in a labyrinth of corporate incompetence so massive it is astounding that this major American company hasn’t imploded under the weight of its own fail. A few weeks ago we made the (in retrospect) ill-fated decision to switch our tech at the house to AT&Ts Uverse. It was not a decision made lightly: I’ve had very bad experiences with Comcast and other Tech Giants and was reluctant to re-enter that world. But we’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of money on an old-school DSL line that’s so sluggish we can’t even stream Netflix movies while working on a laptop, and YouTube videos chug along like a slow boat to China. Meanwhile we’ve been getting DirectTV, paying a ridiculous amount each month and dealing with weather interruptions, etc. Switching to AT&T would be cheaper, faster, better, etc., or so they said.

Well, I’ll spare you all the gory details but suffice it to say this has been an utter disaster all the way around. We had to have two installers come out — after we were completely blown off on our first appointment, I might add — and half of our phone jacks STILL don’t work. Email has been another disaster, with me finally setting up an account on iMail but not able to send to more than one person at a time. I guess AT&T expects me to send 300 individual messages informing people of my new email address. Does that make sense to anyone? When I posted the question about sending bulk email on the AT&T forums page, I was told to get a free Gmail account.

So the solution to my problem is to not use the service I just spent a lot of money getting. Okie dokie.

Today I called tech support and after getting cut off the first time got switched to two different people where I was told my problem could be solved if I paid an additional $15 a month.

Meanwhile, Mr. Beale has not been able to set up his email account to Outlook Express.

This has been an utter disaster. We will have to try to cancel this service — if they let us out of the indentured servitude that is the AT&T contract. Perhaps they’ll take my first-born son. Maybe a right or left arm.

[UPDATE]:

Let me add, the cherry on top of this Suck Sundae has been the constant requests for me to take their “survey” to “offer my opinion.” No. You do not want my opinion.

21 Comments

Filed under AT&T, corporate overlords

Your State Under Republican Rule

Hey, Gov. Bill Haslam: you might want to rethink that whole “we can’t afford the virtually free Medicaid expansion” deal the Feds are offering:

Crews were called to the Advance Auto Parts on Nolensville Pike after the robbery occurred around 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to a release from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

With a black mask concealing his face and a semiautomatic pistol in hand, he demanded money from a cash register. He allegedly repeatedly told the clerk “my girl’s got cancer, I need this money,” police said.

After the cashier complied, police said, the suspect fled on foot near the Full Gospel Mission Church.

I swear to God, Republicans have no clue how to run a government. On the other hand, I guess they’re wishing/hoping that cashier had been armed so he could “stand his ground” and shoot and kill the guy. Problem solved!

Republicans don’t care about people, plain and simple. They don’t care about black people, poor people, sick people, or anyone who’s either not a fetus or or a person of the “corporate” person.

Looks like it’s time for me to amend my “Top Signs Your Healthcare System Is Broken” list and add #6: when people rob you at gunpoint to pay for their girl’s cancer treatment.

I’m sick to death of Republicans driving people to desperation because they’ve never had to wonder where their next meal is coming from and assume everyone who does is just lazy. Fucking fuckers.

11 Comments

Filed under healthcare, Nashville, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Your Modern American Sweatshop

Oh how I love these people who post ads on Craigslist (click to enlarge):

CraigslitEBook

Wow, the chance to write a 10,000-word eBook for a whopping $50 bucks! Who could turn down such a lucrative opportunity, especially since if they like your work, there’s the opportunity for more such wonderful assignments!

/sarcasm

I mean, cripes: when I ranted about this four years ago the going rate was $5 bucks for a 500-word blog post. My how things have totally not changed. You do the math.

Used to be sweatshops were places in China where they made cheap T-shirts sold at the Gap and Old Navy. Now, it appears sweatshops have entered the white collar job market.

Just, fuck you all very much. Write the damn book yourselves.

[UPDATE]:

Ha! This guy has the right idea!

musicians

8 Comments

Filed under media

Lost In Spaces

Oh, hello. Can someone tell me what day it is? You see, I’ve been underground for so long, I seem to have lost all track of time.

Seriously, TriStar could not have built a more sprawling, confusing, pathetically-lacking-in-wayfinding medical complex than its Nashville headquarters, Centennial. I got hopelessly lost on my way to my annual “X-ray the titties” ordeal and then afterwards toured the poorly-lit parking garage for a full 40 minutes trying to find my car. I was finally rescued by a valet. I’d probably still be down there if I hadn’t run into him. And it wasn’t just me! There were two other women down there trying vainly to find their cars, as well.

I mean, there’s an entire army of lost souls down there, wandering around like they’re searching for Charon to ferry them across the river Styx. Metro Police could probably solve all sorts of missing persons cases if they took a quick trip down there. I’m serious! This was truly the fifth circle of hell. WTF, people?

You want some insult added to that injury? How about this: somewhere along my journey I stumbled across a marble wall with that insufferable Frist family quote, “Good people beget good people,” emblazoned in ginormous silver letters. Savvy liberals will remember this as the title of the family genealogy Bill Frist penned. It got repeatedly hijacked in the Amazon “reviews” section by people offended at the quote’s pomposity, and the fact that then-Senate Majority Leader Frist was making an ass of himself by video-diagnosing Terri Schiavo and helping lead Americans into Iraq. (By the way, the faux reviews are still there.)

“Good people beget good people”? Really? How about, good people know how to design a fucking medical complex so that good people don’t lose two hours of their lives just trying to get to and from their damn appointments. Fuck you, Bill Frist.

I’ve been to a lot of medical complexes in my life, from coast to coast, and have never seen anything as poorly designed as this one.

Major fail.

8 Comments

Filed under Nashville

Next Time Keep Yer Yaps Shut, Tennessee Republicans

Uh-oh, looks like Sen. Bob Corker has embarrassed himself and maybe cost the entire South some jobs:

Reuters reports this morning that Volkswagen’s “top labor representative” has threatened to block any future expansion plans in the South, citing conservative interference in the United Auto Workers vote in Chattanooga.

Quoting an interview with a German newspaper, the news service reports Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council, as saying he can imagine further expansion in the United States, but it probably won’t be in the South unless some sort of labor representation is established in the Chattanooga plant. Workers in Germany have representation on corporate boards, giving them a say in citing decisions.

Osterloh’s remarks seem to contradict statements by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and others that Chattanooga would get another vehicle if workers rejected UAW representation. Osterloh describes such talk as conservative “interference.”

Hey, Senator Corker: Thanks for nothing, asshole.

Interfering in a manufacturing plant’s business, is that how this “small government” stuff works? Is that how Republicans show they’re “pro-business” and “pro jobs”?

Let’s be real, “small government” and “pro-business” are just Frank Luntz-crafted slogans used to dupe the rubes. As always, when reality collides with conservative ideology, it’s the ideology which wins. “Unions are bad, nobody wants ‘em, corporations hate ‘em, they’re anti-business and kill jobs, whasthatyasay?”

Man, everything you guys touch just turns to shit, doesn’t it?

What’s so funny is that when Corker said VW would really move their next expansion to Mexico if Chattanooga workers approved the UAW he forgot to mention that Mexico’s VW plant is union. Dumb and dumber.

I suppose this means Tennessee Republicans will go back to looking for jobs in ladies vaginas. Aw who am I kidding, they don’t care about jobs, they care about making themselves and their friends wealthier.

Major FAIL, Senator. Major FAIL.

8 Comments

Filed under Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker, Tennesseee, unions

There Is No Santa Claus, Idiots

Jesus effin’ Christmas Tree. This explains what’s wrong with your modern conservative, in a nutshell. Arguments over whether Santa Claus was white, black, orange or green are completely ridiculous when you dial back a bit and remember one crucial thing: Santa isn’t real!

You know, I’d love to use this nonsense to point out all of the other fictitious things conservatives believe in: the free hand of the market, trickle down economics, tax cuts create jobs, Obamacare death panels, Conservative Jesus, etc. Seems like I’ve had to remind conservatives about the difference between fiction and reality before, back when they were pretending Jack Bauer was a real person and torture was the best defense against terrorism. But that’s not what’s going on here.

That conservatives are divorced from reality when it serves them is not news; that they will go to the mat in defense of Santa’s “whiteness” speaks to something deeper. This is about race and identity and the pathetic need to hang onto the idea of white superiority. It wouldn’t matter what race a mythic figure like Santa Claus is if conservatives like Bill O’Reilly didn’t feel so insecure about their cultural position in the first place. It’s another manifestation of the conservative inferiority complex, broadcast on Fox News for all the world to see.

There is nothing more ridiculous than a privileged old white guy arguing that no, black people cannot have Santa Claus. He’s ours. Do you people even hear yourselves?

And they wonder why the rest of the world laughs at them.

21 Comments

Filed under Bill O'Reilly, racism, rants, Republican Party, War On Christmas

Today’s Rant: Do NOT Correct Me, TwAppGoogleSoftBook

[UPDATE]:

I finally figured out how to disable the universal autocorrect. You open System Preferences, go to Language & Text, click on the “Text” menu, and there’s a box which you can uncheck which says “Correct spelling automatically.”

Here ya go:

AutoCorrect pic

See, this is why I love Apple. No other product gives me that sense of satisfaction and well-being that comes from figuring out how to make it stop annoying the hell out of me.

You are hereby absolved from reading the rest of this post. All is well.

—————————————————————–

I do not update my technology very often, not because I’m a Luddite, but because I find every new incarnation of a device or app I use contains some horrible new “improvement” which invades my privacy or does something I don’t want or no longer functions as it once did. But as you all know, last week my creaky old MacBook went kaput and I had to buy a new one.

This one is about three generations more advanced than my old one. Instead of being gently lulled into that Brave New World with successive OS tweaks and software fixes, I’ve had to leap headlong into the modern era, and it’s like jumping into a pool of cold water. This laptop has a click pad which inexplicably makes things bigger if I rest my hand on it the wrong way. Also, as I’ve mentioned, WordPress no longer gives me a scroll bar to select “categories” and “tags.” That’s not so bad for tags, since you can just type them in, but for categories you really need to be able to scroll down the list. Inexplicably, the scroll bar appeared maybe twice? I don’t know what made that happen, but regardless, I can’t seem to repeat that scenario. Yes, FYWP.

But by far the worst “improvement” is the universal autocorrect, which I have yet to figure out how to disable. In the new Macs universal autocorrect will correct your typos as you type, regardless of what application you are in. Whether I’m on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Pages, Scrivener, mail, or commenting on someone’s blog, my Mac will autocorrect me as I type along.

While this may sound like a good thing on paper, in reality it is the most evil fucking thing ever invented. I type really fast and I do make mistakes but I also 99.99% of the time correct them, because under the old system a typo was very obvious. Now my Mac corrects me as I go along, based on what it thinks I meant to say, and the misspelled word is no longer underlined so I haven’t even realized I’ve made a typo. Sadly, more often than not it picks the wrong fucking word. So, for example, last night I sent an email to someone and used the word “reply” but universal autocorrect changed it to “replay,” something I only noticed when my correspondent replied back to me. I look like an idiot.

Even worse, I use a lot of different language in my writing, neologisms and expressions like “whaaaaa!” or maybe even a French or Spanish word or two. When I’m writing fiction I write dialogue, and that means things like “Whi-” (stage direction: interruption). And no, MacBook, that was not meant to be “whig.” Thanks for caring, though.

People, I would much rather have an obvious typo in my copy than the wrong fucking word. Dear God but this is awful. I now look like an illiterate asshole, not an asshole who can’t type.

The absolute last thing anyone wants is their computer telling them what it thinks they meant to say. Make it stop. Please.

19 Comments

Filed under rants, technology

Turn Off Your Goddamn Cell Phones In The Theater, People

Hey you young kids up there — yeah I’m talking to YOU. The ones two and three and four rows in front of us and beside us and all around us at the Ryman Auditorium tonight? Maybe it hasn’t occurred to you but when the house lights go down and you’re Tweeting or texting or emailing or burping or farting those pearls of wisdom that simply cannot wait two hours, it’s like fucking laser beams in the eyeballs of every person sitting behind you. Because in case you hadn’t noticed, the rest of the room is dark and your phone is not. So all we can see is the screen of your phone.

And let me add, those pearls of wisdom are pretty fucking lame and most definitely can wait until the show is over or at least the 15 seconds it would take you to walk out into the goddamn hallway.

Seriously, I’m so over people being rude. It’s this Randian notion that I’m the only person in the world that matters. It’s destroying this country.

Offa my damn lawn.

7 Comments

Filed under Nashville

Things That You Can’t Buy Anymore

John Cole nailed it last night:

I find this whole “Obama lied” about keeping your plan nonsense to be quite distressing. The only reason people are not able to keep their plans is that insurance companies no longer offer them. This may because the companies have decided they needed to alter the plans to be more competitive with other plans, or if the plan was so shitty that it covered nothing and the ACA requires the plan to actually do something. That’s it. Obama isn’t running around kicking people off their insurance for shits and giggles, it’s that people can’t keep their insurance plan because the companies ARE NO LONGER OFFERING IT.

There are a ton of things that used to exist that I would love to have back. The original Boomslang Razer, for example. But it doesn’t exist, because the company NO LONGER MAKES IT, so I can’t have what I believe was the best feeling mouse ever. I’m not blaming Obama for that, either.

This is exactly right, and it’s annoying the shit out of me that the news media is picking up the whole “people were kicked off their plans” language. This is what we call technically true but collectively bullshit. If your health insurance was so crappy it doesn’t pass the minimal standard, then you will need to get another one. Cry me a fucking river. Because Congress decided it’s not in the national interest for you to saddle the rest of us with your medical debt because your “insurance” is really just a scam and doesn’t cover jack when you actually need it. That’s the fucking point, people.

If you liked insurance that is basically ripping you off then you’re a moron. You’re probably one of those people who thinks a Nigerian prince wants to send you a million bucks. Guess what, that’s a scam, too.

And can I tell you how annoying I find this national pearl-clutching over what Obama said about people who like getting ripped off by their health insurance company? Jesus effin’ Christmas Tree, people, where the hell was this national pearl-clutching and word-parsing when Bush-Cheney-Rummy et. al. told us Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we invaded and occupied Iraq and then it turned out he didn’t have them after all? My God, this “but he said it!” bullshit is gonna give me an aneurism.

The discourse in this country is so fucking annoying. Why is it Democratic presidents are always held to a higher standard than Republican ones? So President Obama said if you like your health insurance you can keep it, and then the insurance companies no longer offer these plans, and Obama is a liar and impeeeeach??! Grow the fuck up, people.

Okay, end rant.

There are a lot of things that have gone the way of the dinosaur which I miss. For example:

1- Free matchbooks at restaurants. I loved those things. I loved them as souvenirs of places I visited, restaurants I liked. I used them, too, because I love matches (not lighter wands) for things like candles and incense. I love that smell of sulfur as you light a matchstick. But no one offers them anymore because people don’t smoke anymore.

2- Public laundromats. I don’t know about where you live, but pretty much every public laundromat in Nashville has closed its doors. I use public laundromats for washing dog beds and large quilts. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the last one near me closes (which is going to be soon, I hear).

3- Liner notes. It was bad enough when liner notes shrunk down to microscopic levels to fit in CD jewel boxes. You needed a magnifying glass to read them, but they at least existed. But now with digital music, you just don’t see them at all. I miss that.

4- Neighborhood speed humps. Metro Nashville Public Works used to put them on residential streets to keep the damn speeders from roaring through our neighborhoods but now that we really really need them on my street I’m told they aren’t building them anymore. Not only that, they’re actually ripping out ones they’d already built. That kinda pisses me off.

These are things I liked and, dangit, I can’t keep ‘em. Whaah. What are yours?

30 Comments

Filed under health insurance, healthcare