Times of minor unpleasantness

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Thad
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:14 pm

So obviously the best fix for this is just to not use Cox's SMTP at all.

But I've got five different E-Mail addresses I use pretty regularly. And unfortunately (for my purposes, though probably a good idea in most cases), EMR actually checks the header to see if it matches the login. So instead of just being able to use one SMTP account, username, and password to send all my E-Mail, I have to configure SMTP separately for each of my five EMR E-Mail addresses.

Which is a hassle, but okay, done now. (Well, on one computer. I guess I don't really have to do it on my phone, laptop, or tablet, because kinda by definition if I'm using those to send E-Mail I'm probably not in my house anyway. The Cox SMTP server works just fine from any other IP but the one I'm currently on and which Cox claims to be unable to reset.)

But that still leaves one problem: I still can't actually send E-Mail from my Cox account. Which is still my primary E-Mail account.

Unless I use webmail. Or save it as a draft, pull the draft up on my phone, disconnect my phone from wifi, and send over the mobile network.

So I'd still really like for this to be fixed. But maybe not enough to actually speak to anyone at Cox support again.

Honestly considering filing an FCC complaint.

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Büge
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Büge » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:51 am

Thad wrote:This is the first time I have ever cursed out a support tech.

I'm not proud of it but she kept repeating, for twenty solid minutes, that there is no way to change my IP address unless I disconnect my modem for 24 hours, and that there is nobody in the company who has the power to revoke a DHCP lease.


To be fair, Thad, you seem to have a better grasp of these things than she does*. If her job is anything like mine, she can't really do much more than what the manual says she can do. I imagine she was stalling for time while she waited for her supervisor to IM her any other options. I understand your frustration but I have a lot of sympathy for her too. She has to go through the motions on every call.

*or me. I didn't even know what DHCP stood for until I read your transcript, and tech support is part of my job.

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Thad
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:26 pm

Büge wrote:To be fair, Thad, you seem to have a better grasp of these things than she does*.


Which would be an excellent reason for her to listen to what I'm trying to tell her instead of condescending to me.

When I was in support, I dealt with customers who knew things I didn't. We had colo customers running Solaris boxes; I know next to nothing about Solaris. And we had one guy who ran a network of Windows 3.1 computers, on the theory that they were not targets for malware like current computers were.

When those users had problems, I listened to them. There were times I had to say "I'm sorry, I've never used Trumpet Winsock" (and wanted to add "because I was born in 1982" but managed the self-restraint to leave that part unspoken). But when they said they were having such-and-such a problem on such-and-such a protocol on such-and-such a port, I checked it.

I get that techs spend all day dealing with people who don't know very much about computers. But they need to be able to switch that assumption off in the exceptional circumstances where the customer does understand what's going on.

Büge wrote:If her job is anything like mine, she can't really do much more than what the manual says she can do. I imagine she was stalling for time while she waited for her supervisor to IM her any other options.


So SAY that. The level-1 techs didn't have any problem saying "Sorry, I need to check with somebody else on that." That's what I mean about the level-2 techs being worse than the level-1's; the level-1's understood that I knew more than they did, while the level-2 assumed she knew more than I did.

This wasn't somebody stalling for time, it was somebody refusing to help me, looking for reasons not to help me (I know you don't support Linux, I am not asking you to support Linux, I am asking you to fix your server), and telling me the problem was on my end even though it clearly wasn't and I repeatedly explained why it clearly wasn't.

Rule one of tech support: never say "The problem's on your end, not ours" unless you are goddamn sure.

Rule two of tech support is very similar, but concerns the phrase "We can't help you with that."

Büge wrote:I understand your frustration but I have a lot of sympathy for her too. She has to go through the motions on every call.


I have sympathy for people in tech support; it's a miserable place to be. I feel bad about becoming part of the problem.

But this is, no kidding, the worst tech support experience I have ever had (beating out the previous record holder, the guy who tried to tell me that my power supply wasn't really burned out even if there were burn marks on the connector pins, and the reason my computer wasn't powering on was probably malware or a corrupt kernel32.dll, and had I tried clearing my IE cache?). I've worked on the other end of the phone too -- and it doesn't just give me sympathy for the poor bastards who have to do it, it also makes me take professional offense when I deal with somebody who does it poorly.

This is a person who insisted I was not connected to the Internet.

She didn't say "I'm sorry, I can't see your connection on my interface," she said "You're not connected." And when I explained to her that I was clearly connected to the Internet, she told me that no, I wasn't. That's how the call started: with the tech unwilling to defer to my feedback on as straightforward a subject on whether or not I could load websites.

This is a person who was not interested in listening to me or helping to diagnose my problem. As far as she was concerned, my problem had already been solved, because there was a note in the ticket saying that they'd checked it. And when I explained to her that they had checked the wrong thing, she just repeated what she'd already said. For half an hour.

I've been on the phone with a lot of techs who were unable to help me before. But this is the first time since the power supply guy that I've dealt with one who didn't even try.

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hngkong
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby hngkong » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 pm

If it's any consolation, the central office IT team here decided to make a change to our network on monday without testing it first and fucked it up so badly that it's still not fixed. Completely ruined a ton of lesson plans too, since the teachers were expecting to be able to use the internet in our 1 to 1 device school...

Also the one history teacher who got the job I applied for finally put up the black history month posters today around noon.

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Thad
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:44 pm

Possible workarounds:

I used to forward my Cox mail to a separate address, back when Cox wasn't supporting IMAP. I could use that address for replying to E-Mails sent to my Cox account, with the Cox address in the reply-to field.

I could get a new cable modem. I've been thinking about getting one anyway. I don't really need one since I'm at one of Cox's lower speed tiers, and there's no guarantee my service would improve any if I upgraded. (The modem I'm using is 10 years old, but I really don't think it's responsible for my constant connectivity issues; I think they're Cox's fault.) Among other things, this would presumably reset my IP address. The SURFboard SB6141 seems to be the best option, and $70 is not a lot of money, but I'm still unemployed.

Still, seriously considering it if I get paid next week; I'm supposed to meet a client who owes me for a website.

(Not directly related, but I also want to build a new router. Which is potentially pricier than just buying a new router, but the one I've got is pretty long in the tooth. Its main drawback is that its whitelist for MAC addresses on wifi clients only allows 20 entries. Which was a lot when I bought it but is pretty low for 2016. Also, even though we cabled my house with CAT6, I'm only getting about 10MB filecopy speeds across the LAN; replacing my router might not fix the problem -- could be crimps in the cables or something else I can't do anything about -- but lots of routers do not perform at advertised speeds, and building your own is more reliable on that score.)

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Thad
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:14 pm

Adding: The argument against buying a new cable modem is that if a competitor does show up in my neighborhood, it's going to be DSL and I'll have to buy a DSL modem.

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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:26 am

I have often said that my degree is worthless.

Up to this point, I meant that all the hard work I did to get it has not brought me any success, in any form, and that the high cost of getting the degree has not been worth the life changes it wrought.

But that’s wrong.

Actually my degree is worthless because the college I went to had no concrete academic standards, and whether I had actually learned any of the coursework was immaterial to my progress through the school. All I had to do was pay the bill, and I’d pass my classes.

I know, because I just found out today about the hundred-million-dollar fraud lawsuit the company settled late last year.

So tomorrow I’m going to call the company who bought my student loan debt from Sallie Mae and see if they can get a slice of that settlement, taking some of the burden of repayment for my phony degree off my back. In other words, I’ll call tomorrow to find out if I’m a schmuck who fell for a scam, or a schmuck who fell for a scam and will be paying for it for the rest of his adult life.

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Thad
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:53 pm

Thad wrote:My wife just got over a bout of strep throat. I seem to have made it through unscathed, but I've had a sore throat since last night, it got worse today, and I'm pretty highly susceptible to strep, so I did the responsible thing and went to urgent care to make sure it wasn't strep.

It wasn't. But I sat there and waited for 3 fucking hours to find that out. I will not be returning to that urgent care.

She said I might have the flu, but I might not. She wrote me a prescription for Tamiflu and said to get it if I get any more symptoms.


And of course as soon as I tear up the prescription my symptoms come back.

I mean, I don't know if the pharmacy would have actually filled a three-week-old prescription. Hell, I don't even know if this is actually the flu; all I've got is a negative strep test from three weeks ago and the best guess of a doctor who was in the room for less than five minutes.

So I scheduled an appointment with my primary care to have it looked at again. Which I guess is the right call, even if I do end up just getting another damn Tamiflu prescription for my trouble.

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Thad
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:01 pm

My audio receiver crapped out and quit outputting audio to my speakers.

The good news is, this is a known issue with the hardware and the manufacturer will fix it for free even though it's out of warranty. (Apparently it's caused by a faulty network card. I don't know why a faulty network card would interfere with speaker output, but there are any number of reasons; it could short wires or pins, say.)

The website said I could either have it repaired, or I could replace it with a newer model and get a $125 rebate.

Since there's a possibility I'll have a job offer in the next few days, I thought about maybe holding off for a few days, seeing if I get it, and then deciding whether to repair or upgrade from there.

But then I hit up eBay and discovered that people were selling my receiver for $250 and up. So obviously the best call is to get it fixed; then even if I do decide I'd rather get a new one, I can sell this one for more than the value of the rebate.

Whether or not I'd recommend Onkyo in the future will probably come down to how long it works after they fix it. A device quitting after less than 4 years is not encouraging, but the company fixing it for free outside the warranty period is.

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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:14 pm

My sore throat started getting worse again, so I went back to the doctor.

They said it looks like it's just allergies, and suggested I go back on Flonase.

I'd gone off Flonase (and my Dulera inhaler) because I thought they were making my sore throat worse. (I'd gone on Flonase because my fucking insurance doesn't cover Nasonex. Tomorrow I get to ask how soon my new insurance kicks in. I hope it is immediate, and I can get a refund for the money I've already paid into my current coverage for April.)

So I took some Flonase and Dulera (half-doses of both) and my throat still hurts but I am feeling loads better now. Yay steroids!

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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Healy » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:10 pm

Jesus God I had the worst allergic reaction to the spicy chicken I had for lunch. I went from "hey, this chicken is pretty hot" to "holy God I think I'm gonna die" in like a minute flat. I didn't even think I had food allergies that bad. The worst part is I don't know what caused it; was it the peanuts, did they put coconut in it? The fact that I could have a life-threatening allergy and no idea what triggers it is terrifying.
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Healy » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:31 am

That feel you get when you haven't slept a wink all night and should really be turning in for the day, but fuck no you're fucking pumped let's do this shit let's go the rest of the DAY like this let'sss take thioas mothern down lwest dooo thiii
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby François » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:13 am

Man, I hear ya. I have zero control over when I wake up, and little enough about when I fall asleep, so my only way to try to attend an appointment or family function that would happen off-cycle the following day is to attempt to stay awake ludicrously long (by hypersomniac standards), and it fails half the time, even when I really think I'm going to make it.

And I feel like garbage for a week whether I succeed or not, so that's fun.

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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:24 am

The good news is that the Onkyo receiver came back and is in good working order. The bad news is that, at some point when I was moving shit around to pack and ship it and recable my HTPC to my TV, I knocked one of my speakers over and appear to have irreparably damaged it. (It's still audible but it's quiet and tinny. I took it apart and found that the larger magnet had been knocked loose; I reattached it as best I could but the spot where it connects to the cone is flimsy aluminum and it's dented all to hell.)

I went to Monoprice to see if I could buy a new one, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, Monoprice only sells satellite speakers in pairs. So I decided what the hell, I just got my first paycheck, I'll just go ahead and upgrade both my front satellites to the full-range versions. The new speakers should be here tomorrow.

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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Grath » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:03 pm

So my pistol permit, for which I began the process in last August, finally got approved. Now I can go, pick it up, and hand in the paperwork to register my grandfather's World War 2 trophy so that I can formally inherit it.

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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Lyrai » Sat May 14, 2016 12:08 am

I am posting thijs here because A) I'm not sure where else it'd go, but B) It's not like, life-threatening.

My computer is failing. The video card is passable, and my brother wants to buy one of those new 1070s and he'll give me his 970 when this happens.

Everything else is not doing so hot. At the core, the motherboard and processor are shit, the processor being one of the very first gen i5s. So the long and the short of it is, it all needs to go. I talked with my brother, I talked with people, I assembled a list, and, well, I'm basically asking for donations. Or something. I don't know. I don't like asking for help, I'm just frustrated with shit.

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Sharkey
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Sharkey » Sat May 14, 2016 11:27 pm

I cut way back on my drinking a while back and one of the down sides is I'm apparently capable of having hangovers again. When I close my eyes right now I swear I can see the fucking Eye of Sauron.
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Büge
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Büge » Sun May 15, 2016 12:58 am

Drink coconut water and take potassium tablets.

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MarsDragon
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby MarsDragon » Tue May 17, 2016 5:33 pm

Yesterday was a pile-up of annoyances.

First I got on the phone with Dell support about sending my laptop in to be serviced. (short version: the battery won't charge) This involved all the pain of phone tech support, cumulating in them telling me that I had to put the battery I had replaced back in (it was the same flipping kind of battery) and I needed to backup my hard drive because they might need to wipe my drive to fix my battery. Net result: I can't even send off my laptop to be fixed until Thursday. I'm starting to think it would be faster and easier to just buy a new laptop.

Then I went to see Civil War. No complaints there, fun movie. On the way home I decided to work on my knitting a little and ended up fucking it up in such a way that I had to rip it all out and now have to start over again. It was just a purl row, but one stitch slipped out and the pattern was such that I needed to go back to the previous row to fix it, and then more stitches slipped off the needle, and....yeah. It's only about three hours work, but still.

And then! So I've had a [url="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalazion"]chalazion[/url] since about December. (for those that don't want to click: eye-pimple) The doctor told me to put hot compresses on it, which I have been doing faithfully. I noticed it was starting to hurt when I blinked during Civil War, then when I got home I saw a white head on it. I assumed it was a blister, because my compresses are really hot, but after I put some neosporin on and went to bed it started leaking. I'm not sure, but I think it turned into literally an eye-pimple, complete with whitehead, and burst while I was lying down. The worst of it seems to have healed up and I've still got the main chalazion so I'm just going to keep an eye on it, but it was a gross end to an irritating day.

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Hardly Ideal
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Re: Times of minor unpleasantness

Postby Hardly Ideal » Fri May 20, 2016 11:48 am

MarsDragon wrote:And then! So I've had a chalazion since about December. (for those that don't want to click: eye-pimple)
...oh, it's a pimple on the eyelid. At first I thought you meant it was on the sclera/white part. Pretty nasty all the same.

Is it just me, or does Wikipedia manage to put some of its nastiest photos right at the top of their medical/anatomical pages?
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