Wow, have there ever been some shakeups on the Internet front lately. Recently, the “big four” decided it was time to look into something called User-Based Billing (henceforth referred to as “UBB”). There was a massive public outcry… I mean, astronomically massive nationwide outcry. This was big enough that the Federal Government actually woke up from their medicinally-induced coma and said “wait… companies want to charge our people more money for what they already pay for? Only WE can do that!”.
Yeah. It was that big.
So anyway, the Government called up their buddies at the CRTC (the same ones that decided that “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straights is an offensive song) and told them they had to put a stop to this at once. Coders will understand this next line.
$str_replace(UBB, stop, pause);
Yeah. Even you non-php coders should be able to get that one.
Bleh. As the story goes, Shaw (our ISP, as well as our Cable and phone provider) thought it was time to reach out to it’s customers. In over 30 cities across its coverage area, they started holding a town meeting with its clients, giving them a chance to hear what Shaw has planned for the future (some pretty kickass things, tbh), as well as a chance for those customers to offer their own suggestions and feedback on the paths that the company may follow from here forward. Tami and I were one of the people who got to attend the session here locally, and I must say that it was worth the time. We got a chance to meet some of the upper levels staff, got to voice our displeasure in the changes they did make, as well as the changes that they almost made (but shelved at the last minute due to risk of losing a very large chunk of their customer pool). Mostly, it was a chance to sit back and relax while shooting the shit with a couple regional managers. Among the things that came up was the latency in the lines for people out here in town (something Shaw had not been aware of, due to lack of communication from the customer side). Result? We are going to get a node split done here for town within the next 3 months. Give input, get results. Good start, Shaw. Next was “We want faster net, but want to make our bill smaller… any ideas?”. We were told that they were actually getting ready to roll out a new cable selection package (the next day, actually) that would allow us to eliminate the channels we don’t want (seriously, do I sound like someone who would watch one of the 12 french channels?), and add in some of the ones we wish we had. Result? We are now on 50mb/5mb service with a ping time of under 15ms (which is only going to get better once the node split is done) and have more channels than I know what to do with. That’s 2, Shaw. What else you got?
How about instant support via Twitter? Yep, got that too. After hooking up the new modem, we noticed that one of our IPs was missing. Tami happened to mention this to @ShawHelp on Twitter, and within seconds the modem is mysteriously rebooting itself. Wham, 3rd IP shows up, they tweet back that it should now be all fixed, and we’re live and rocking out in high speed.
Shaw, you may have lost a lot of trust from your clients these past few weeks… but with support and customer service like you have shown, you are well on your way towards redemption. Bonus points go to Shaw for actually using Social Media properly, as well (not to mention having to put up with the idiot that was at the counter next to us when we picked up our modem, while he was trying to turn in a phone box, 2 cable boxes, and a cloth shopping bag for his $200 credit he was supposedly promised… without bothering to turn in the cords for all the boxes, and neglecting to actually note the service rep that told him the dollar value (it was actually closer to $90).
Now, on to the “Scott needs to vent” part of my bi-annual post. Work. This would be where the “Raging” part of the title starts to come into effect. I did manage to keep the language down, so points go to me for that.
I used to enjoy my job. Really, I did. I know some people say that, and you think they are just bullshitting out of fear of unemployment, but seriously… I liked what I did. I liked most of the people I worked with (there always has to be one or two), I liked the tasks that I had to do while I was there, and I liked the challenge of trying to make sure that everything that needed to be done actually got done. I was tossed into the position with no training, and I am largely self-taught and making it up as I go along… always looking for a way that works better than what I have set up now.
Well, this past week has shown me that riding a high like that just means I’m that much higher to fall from when it all comes crashing down. I’ve had salesmen swearing at me and calling me names over the phone (within earshot of customers, I might add) because that salesman failed to give me the necessary information to complete my job, so I had to wing it. I’ve had a salesman outright lie to a customer of ours, telling them they never got their load because I didn’t bother to send it… said salesman neglected to also tell the customer that he never even bothered to write up the order (last I checked, one can’t send an order that doesn’t exist… but don’t let that stop the salesman from blaming me anyway). And the big catalyst started on Thursday, flowing over into Friday. You know that there is concern when drivers are calling me at home to make sure everything is alright. I won’t go into major details, other than to point out that when you only have a limited number of trucks, and someone requests a specific truck at a specific time… a truck that is already booked up, it’s expected that the delivery will not be at the site at the exact requested time. I got shit from three different people because I said it would be closer to noon instead of at 11 sharp. The time the truck showed up? 11:35. The customer response? “Good to see you made it, we’ll be ready for you in a few”. So, it wasn’t the customer that blew all this out of proportion giving me shit and yelling at me on the phone and threatening to bring in the company boss to “talk to me”… the customer was fine with it.
So, where does this leave NightStorm? I always used to say that when you were no longer happy with your job… you know, when you would absolutely hate the idea of going to work in the morning, that maybe it was time to move on. Well…
Do I really want to? No. I still like some of the people I work with. I still like the job itself. I just don’t like how things that have nothing to do with me, or are completely out of my control, are still somehow my fault. I just think that perhaps some people need to think before laying blame, and perhaps take the few seconds from their uber-busy lives to hear all sides of something prior to just going straight to yelling and hanging up on someone. But, when everything is said and done… when the smoke clears, and the World and its people stop coming apart at the seams… I’ll still be here. I don’t need the reinforcement from everyone that I’m doing a good job, and that everything will be okay. I know how things are at work, and I know how much I care about making sure that my job is done well. That is all that matters to me. Not the opinion of a few over-opinionated yet under-informed salesmen. Not the opinion of management that take one side of a story and run with it without checking facts. All that matters to me is how well I think I am doing. In the end, that’s all that should matter to anyone. What they think of themselves. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
And just in closing, humanity are idiots.. maybe it’s time that education took these morons as an example, and figured out that it’s time to start the learnin’. http://www.pwsnt.com/2011/03/12/karma-for-pearl-harbor/ and even more so, http://i.imgur.com/cLpgX.jpg
I hate people.