I’ve not been publishing much recently because I’ve been unexpectedly blown off the air. Tuesday at 2 minutes after midnight local time (Monday afternoon in NYC), when I was trying to publish Scientia Pro Publica, my internet connection crashed and I nearly lost the entire document (!), apparently due to a router malfunction. Rebooting multiple times did nothing to correct the situation, so it is assumed that the router is “dead.” Never mind that it is brand-new (two months old?).
Of course, the Germans being the models of technological inefficiency, have decided they cannot fix this issue nor issue a new router until after they subject my spouse to a phone call where they assess the problem (never mind that they have promised to call for two days, but have not, and our repeated phone calls to them end up in yet another so-called “promise” to return the call the next day). Waiting for this telephone conversation is required before they tell us what we already know: the router is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced. Like, duh.
Even though I live 13 floors above the T-Mobile store, the store employees refuse to issue a new router to me. Instead, the T-Mobile main office insists on mailing a new router — a process that will take approximately one week, according to my estimates. Unfortunately, I have no clue as to how many days it will take before the command to mail the new router trickles down the hierarchy and someone actually puts it into the mail (perhaps another week? We are at the beginning of a religious holiday here, so anything is likely).
To say that I view this as an unmitigated disaster is a colossal understatement. My entire life is online, and has been so since the early 1990s, when I opened up my first email account and began writing essays for my (rather large) website. To avert an impending crisis, my spouse invited me to tag along to work with him, setting up camp in a corner of his office and using his wireless connection. It feels improper, somehow, to do this, and I’ve offered to hide out in the campus cafeteria or the library, but he is fine with having me sitting across the table from him, typing (sometimes banging, grr!) away on my laptop.
My time on-campus reminds me that I desperately miss the academic life — the one place I’ve ever felt I belonged. But alas, being a misfit is the story of my life.
In the meanwhile, the wifi bills arrive, and are paid as if the service is actually available for use. Germans, being the model of efficient billing, refuse to refund the cost of service that was unavailable due to malfunctions of their own crappy equipment.