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We Are All Helpless Against Murphy’s Law

Murphy's LawDo you ever have days where nothing seems to go right? I think we all have them and they tend to come in bunches. Now we’re not talking about really bad stuff. This is the kind of thing that just makes you shake your head and wonder if there is a jinx hovering over you.

The last few days I have had my fair share of these head shaking moments and I wanted to share them with you. One of them could have affected you and the others will hopefully bring a smile to your face knowing that you’ve had something similar go wrong.

Before I tell you about the first one, I have to go back a few weeks. Our local phone company was advertising that fiber optic Internet was coming to the neighborhood. Considering the really poor speeds they currently offered, having 40 MB/second download speeds was a massive upgrade if they could deliver as promised. I signed up to be notified as soon as it was available and got a phone call two weeks ago informing me it was ready. The person who called claimed the top speed was 12 MB/second and no minimum speed was guaranteed. I declined the offer.

Three days later, there was no dialtone on the two voice lines in our office. If customers were to call us, we had no idea they were calling. And if we wanted to call out, it would have to be on a mobile phone. Of course I discovered this at the exact moment I had a conference call scheduled. A repairman was scheduled to arrive later in the day and you know what comes next, he wasn’t there by the time promised.

Finally the repairman arrived and he was able to fix the main line into our office. The problem? A rat had gotten into the box down the street and chewed through the line. Of course the second line had a completely different problem that he couldn’t that day. Really, both lines at the same time and they had different problems? And you want me to trust you with Internet service? Anyways, he vowed to return the next day to fix the second line. Friday afternoon rolled around and it still wasn’t fixed. Yet another call was placed and now they claimed there was no repair ticket. Someone was now scheduled to come by the end of the day.

I left the office late Friday afternoon and it still wasn’t working. I returned later in the evening and there was a dialtone, but there was also a horrible buzz on the line. The repairman had left a message indicating it was not fixed and would be fixed on Saturday. Yes, it was fixed on Saturday and after two days we had two working phone lines again.

Imagine my surprise when I tried to answer a phone call on Tuesday morning and the main line was down again. While incoming calls would ring, we had no way to answer them. Sorry if we missed your call. If we tried to call out, there was no dialtone. Yes, it got fixed later that day and it was a completely different problem that the ones the previous week. Still, I can’t bring myself to trust them with my Internet connection. I sure wish I could, because then we could switch completely to VOIP (Voice Over IP) and not have to deal with the rotten phone lines in our neighborhood.

Sure, one of the utilities seems to want to drive me crazy. But then came another one on Friday. I turned on a water faucet and it looked like iced tea was coming out of it. When I talked to the water coming, they claimed there had been a line break three days earlier that allowed the dirt to get in the line. As I sit there and scratch my head, all I can think is “why didn’t you tell us three days ago about it?” It took a full day, but clean water is again coming out of the faucet. Now I just have to clean up the residue of all the dirt left behind.

Now that there was clean water, I decided to get together with a friend and have a nice dinner on Saturday evening. The main dinner went great and it was really tasty. Then it came time for the final course, apple pie. I cut two pieces out of the pie and put them on plates. Unfortunately I bumped the pie pan and the rest of the pie landed face down on the floor. Oh well, the one slice I did have was very good. This blog is my offering to Murphy to lift the curse and allow me to have some good luck again for a while!

About Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III
Foster D. Coburn III is the author of thirteen books on CorelDRAW, the latest being CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed. He has been a contributor to numerous magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site and many more, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics and Web conferences.

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3 comments

  1. Welcome to my world!

  2. Is that 40MB/sec or 40Mb/sec? (MB= Megabytes, Mb=Megabits) 40Mb=5MB. 🙂

    I’ve been waiting for FIOS in my S.CA. neighborhood mainly for their faster upload (and download) speeds. I have Time Warner Roadrunner Extreme but only get about 31Mb/sec (3.8MB) download and 6Mb/sec upload.

    Let us know if you switch over.

  3. Bob, I believe it would be 40 MB/second. It is definitely must faster than we can use and need, but a significant improvement over the service that has been available from any provider by a faster of at least 8. Unfortunately it is hard to trust a phone company that can’t even provide a reliable dialtone.

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