Day 7 of ADSL flakiness. On Monday December 31st I went to OTE in Iraklio to speak to a real person about my ADSL problems. Of course I didn’t get any further than an administrative staff member who dully noted down what I said (I presented her with a nice spreadsheet of all the down times), after which she made a phone call and gave me a new splitter which “would solve the problems”. I tried to explain to her that the splitter was not the problem, that there was a pattern which showed one long down time during the night, followed by a short period of intermittent down times early in the morning, followed by a period of reasonable stability for 3 to 4 hours around midday, followed by intermittent down times again in the afternoon, and back to the full down time until the next morning. Her reaction? “What do you want me to do? If they tell me to give you a new splitter, I give you a new splitter”. A guy who had been standing next to me, tried to come to my rescue and told her that a splitter is a passive device that doesn’t change anything. He got the same answer: “if they tell me to do this, I do this”.
In the afternoon I prepared for the new year’s eve celebration which we would be spending at a friend’s house who had some 40 people on her invitation list. Everybody would bring home made cooking, so I set up to produce 4 kilos of Belgian waffles as dessert, a specialty for which I have built a reputation in the last 3 years. I can’t compete with the Greeks in the real food department, but they forgive me if I bring home made waffles.
Day 8. On Tuesday January 1st, the ADSL line was up when we awoke around midday. I wasn’t going to use it. In the afternoon we went for a walk in a totally deserted Iraklio, which was an eerie but equally very pleasant experience, with a faint lemon sun trying to break the damp cold. Around 7 o’clock we found what must have been the only open ouzeri/mezedopoleio in the whole town, settled down at a table in a corner (we were the only patronage at this hour), and slowly started to warm ourselves at the white wine from the freezer and the hot dishes from the oven and the frying pan. It was perfect.
When we got back home I checked the modem log file and noticed that the line had died at 18:52 but somehow got resurrected all by itself at 23:41. Was someone working on it on New Year’s day? I couldn’t believe it.
Day 9. Wednesday, January 2nd. At 5 minutes past 8 (in the morning indeed!) the telephone woke us. A guy from OTE asked if we had reported problems with our telephone line. I answered that we had indeed problems with our ADSL connection and I tried to start explaining the pattern to him. He was not interested. “We will send a technician”. Before I had the chance to ask when this technician was going to come he had hung up. We quickly got up, took a shower, got dressed, moved some furniture aside so that the technician would have full access to the lines and the plugs and waited. And waited. And waited.
In the mean time the line remained pretty stable until 2 o’clock, after which the usual behavior of regular drops (14 in total) started, until 19:35 when it died completely.
I called 121 this time because I was really beginning to be fed up with this. After a few minutes in the queue the lady at the other end asserted that I had had problems since December 31. That was when the lady from OTE had called in and got the advice to give me another splitter. I corrected her and told her all about the pattern since December 24. I also told her about the technician that was going to come today and who didn’t show up. I lied through my teeth about an important appointment that I missed because I waited the whole day at home for him. She noted down my mobile number and said that someone would contact me. Nobody did that day. Ask me if that surprised me. Go on, ask me! Around midnight we went to bed. I dreamt of ebola striking down the whole OTE workforce and me being the only doctor around with a medicine to cure them. I woke up hysterically laughing.
Day 10. Thursday, January 3rd. The ADSL line came back into life at 09:12 and bar a few interruptions (6) remained stable until 17:05 when it died again, in the middle of this post. I’m continuing in TextEdit and hope to be able to post this later. I call 121 again. The lady takes my mobile number. I wait. And wait. And wait.
One hour later, at 18:50, I call 121 again. The lady (each time it’s another one) informs me that my case is being handled. I ask her what that means in terms of time. Three to four days is her answer. I’m near to exploding. I know I will dream of actually fabricating an ebola virus this night. After explaining the whole situation again (gasp!) she promises that she will escalate this to her manager who will put some pressure on it. I thank her from the bottom of my heart. Maybe I’ll spare her from the ebola virus…
I wish you all a very stable ADSL line in 2008!
P.S. The line came back 35 minutes ago, at 07:40 (Friday morning, day 11)