The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ping-pong by phone

There have been some “issues” with the T-1 to one of our customers—basically, every 8 to 15 seconds it gets a burst of errors, thus degrading the actual bandwith of the circuit. It's less of an issue since the wireless connection there is working (redundant paths) but still, it's an issue that needs to be resolved.

Over the past two weeks it's been phone ping-pong. I call The Monopolistic Phone Company Business Technical Support Repair line to have the line tested. The Monopolistic Phone Company does a line test on the T-1 and says it's clear. I call back saying no it's not. They return the call saying yes it is. No it isn't. Yes it is, can you test out to the DSU? Ohhh look, we get errors, we'll do some more testing tomorrow (this was said yesterday).

So starting at about 8:00 this morning, and every half our or so thereafter until 10:30 The Monopolistic Phone Company called me (on my cell—yes, I gave them that number) with status updates which basically boils down to: “we can't actually seem to locate the error.” It could be between the DSU and the DMARK (on the customer side), the DMARK and the CO (on the customer side), somewhere within the CO, or between the CO and the DMARK (on our side) or the DMARK and the DSU (on our side).

Note: I usually don't get up until 11:00 am.


They're supposed to call in a few minutes with an update, but I'll give them another fifteen minutes or so before calling them.

Update later today …

They still don't know where the error is, and they don't have the appropriate monitoring equipment in the CO at this time to see if that's where the error is. They'll have everything in place on Monday apparently.

More overheard technical support phone call conversations

“Your call may be monitored for quality assurance. The expected hold time is currently 1 minute. Please wait for the next available represenative.”

“Hello, this is Bob. Not the same Bob as you called yesterday, but still, just call me Bob. [I should mention this was a very perky Bob. —Editor] How may I help you?”

“I'm calling in reference to ticket number ‘tango mike papa charlie zero zero zero six six six zero zero zero foxtrot uniform.’”

“And whom am I speaking to today?”

“This is Sean.”

“Okay, Mr. Sean, if you can please hold while I review your ticket.”

“Okay.” (cue FX of Girl from Ipanema)

“Thank you for holding, Mr. Sean. I didn't understand a word that Bob wrote yesterday but I gather it has something to do with sending email.”

“That's the gist of it.”

“Can you please send an email message to [garbled]?”

“What was that?”


(cue montage of Sean roaming around the office looking for a quiet place to write down the email message—many minutes go by while this happens)

“Oh! It's!”

“Yes Mr. Sean. From that the email company department can diagnose what happens.”

“Please hold on a second, I can test this right now.”


“Yup, just like I said, it won't get through because your The Monopolistic Phone Company's email server is dropping the connection from this particular server.”

“So it's a networking issue?”

“No, because I can get to The Monopolistic Phone Company's email server from other computers.”

“Oh. Well then, just send a message to explaining the situation and they'll be able to handle it.”

“Okay, can I include the ticket number?”


“Okay, thank you.”

“You're welcome Mr. Sean! Thank you for calling The Monopolistic Phone Company Dialup Support Line.”


Update on Saturday, September 24th, 2005

Director's Commentary on this entry.

You know … like James Bond.

“Hi! This is Michelle from 97.3 WKRP The Party-Hearty Hip-Hop Happening Radio Station! Who am I speaking to?”

“Hello. This is Sean.”

“Sean. Is that S-H-A-U-N?”

“No, it's S-E-A-N.”

“Oh.” I could hear the disappointment in her voice. The call went downhill from there. No big deal—it was a marketing call anyway.

Update on Saturday, September 24th, 2005

Director's Commentary on this entry.

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