Usually I am the soul of patience. In my opinion, anyhow. I am polite to telemarketers, indulgent with rebellious youth, tolerant of my cats' tendency to wake me up way too early, able to listen to criticism reflectively (at least in public), and grateful for the attentions of those I've asked to help me fix something. Like my Comcast internet service.
For two weeks, I have suffered the inconvenience of not being able to send email on my primary account name with Comcast. I didn't discover it right away; it began to dawn on me that I hadn't gotten responses to several emails sent to people who normally sent me a note in return. So I began to check things out and, yup, nobody for two weeks had gotten any messages from me.
In addition, for approximately the same period of time, all the comments for this blog had been landing in my spam folder, where I would find them, mark them "not Spam" and respond to them from my inbox.
This all seemed to coincide with some newly unveiled "improvements" on the Comcast home page, so I figured if I was just patient, it would all resolve, though I took the precaution of calling the tech desk at Comcast to ask them to check my account.
The techie at Comcast couldn't find anything wrong but reset the account and made a referral to the Big Techie who could investigate further. When the reset didn't accomplish anything, I decided to dig a little deeper. It turned out that my two secondary account names were able to send messages, so I forwarded all the messages coming into my primary inbox to one of the secondary inboxes and limped along that way for another week.
Thursday I called back to Comcast to see if the Big Techie had learned anything yet and was told I'd have to be patient a little longer----the 72 hours of wait time wasn't quite up yet and I'd be hearing something soon.
Friday morning, magically, the primary account was able to send messages and comments to Ms. Kitty's were landing in the regular inbox. I was delighted, naturally, and thanked the invisible Big Techie and his/her supervisor in the Cosmos in my prayers for the gift of repaired internet service.
Friday afternoon, Big Techie called. There's nothing wrong with your Comcast account, he said, and there hasn't been all along. It's not our fault, your email must have something wrong with it and all the recipients' services are blocking it. This was said in a somewhat accusatory tone of voice, as though he suspected me of sending porn or spam and deserved to be blocked by AOL, Whidbey Telecom, Earthlink, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. No solutions or suggestions offered as to how to deal with this and instead his tone of voice touched off an internal response I hadn't even known I was capable of.
"STOP!" I said to him after a few minutes. "You're not listening to me. This is my experience and it is related to Comcast. I am sending out the same kind of email I have always sent out, it is not spam or porn, it coincided with changes Comcast made to its home page, and I am convinced that it is connected."
His response was to reiterate his "not our fault" mantra over and over, talking over me, and eventually I just slammed down the phone in frustration. The interesting thing was that I felt absolutely no regret or guilt, no need to apologize for my attitude, nothing but impatience with how Big Techie had come across. A good customer service rep needs better people skills and I hope he gets them.
Of course, in retrospect, I realize that he is probably right, that whatever it was, it wasn't really Comcast. Somehow my primary account was erroneously marked as suspect, possibly connected to the name of this blog because it is slightly bawdy, and comments to Ms. Kitty's are emailed to my primary account. The fact that they both corrected simultaneously seems significant.
I may be entirely wrong in my theorizing but it's the best I can do. And while I am prepared to admit that Big Techie might be right, I am not inclined to apologize for my impatience. I do wonder where it came from, though. I just started taking a medication to improve my cholesterol numbers and am enough of a hypochondriac to wonder if three days of Zocor could make me an irascible old lady. I guess time will tell.
There are times it is safe to be impatient, hang up on somebody who is being rude, and enjoy the satisfaction of having spoken one's mind and acted impatiently under the circumstances. There are other times it is not safe to do so. I hope to be able to tell the difference!