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.

Monday, September 26, 2005

“You can't handle the request!”

I wish there was some magic word or phrase that would inform the tech support Bob that they are unable to handle my request and that I should be escalated up the tech support food chain. I realize they have a script to follow, but when the caller (me) says things like “Can you repeat the problem back to me? … No, that is not the issue,” that should be a big 'ol clue-by-four that things need to be escalated.

Yes, I'm still trying to resolve the email issue and today's round involved four (4) people across two battling business units (and I think my call ended up in Jamaca—the phone quality was horrible) at The Monopolistic Phone Company. It got to the point where, at one point, I actually screamed at Bob “It has nothing to do with XXXXXXX email configurations! I'll tell you why! Because I log into their server directly. I then check the MX record for Oh, it's and I then pick one, say, and do a telnet 25, which is the SMTP port. No connection is made. There's no configuration to worry about at this point because the email servers for are refusing connection.”

It was very quiet on the other end of the phone line after that.

I hated doing it, but the sheer level of … bullheadedness on the other end was just phenomenal. Smirk was feeling guilty about his attacks of schadenfreude, but he's dealt with The Monopolistic Phone Company one too many times.

The final Bob I talked to informed me that I should send email to but I kept insisting on some other phone number I could call. Bob4 balked at first, but I guess the screaming match I had with Bob3 clued him in and I got both a voice and FAX number.

Smirk however, had dug up other numbers, and those proved more useful. Bob5 (of The Monopolistic Phone Company Tech Support Business Email Department) at least asked the right questions.

Curiously enough, when I called back to The Monopolistic Phone Company Dialup Support (the first number I was given) to close out ticket number “tango mike papa charlie zero zero zero six six six zero zero zero foxtrot uniform” Bob6 got horribly confused by my request. Apparently no trouble tickets are ever closed at The Monopolistic Phone Company Dialup Support.


Obligatory Picture

[“I am NOT a number, I am … a Q-CODE!”]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2024 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.