I guess the Lord is doing a work in me because yesterday I spent a grand total of 133 minutes on the phone with a variety of Xfinity tech support personnel and I never lost my temper once.
Not even after all the automated prompts and the fact that the 133 minutes of talk time did not include the minutes spent trying to get to a human.
I also logged 3249 steps and 19 flights of stairs running back and forth between the television in the basement and the Gateway modem in the office.
And in all this, I continued to carry on civil conversations with all three customer support people.
The first one was located in Romania and I never could quite catch his name so I gave up.
However as we waited for the system to reboot numerous times and attempted to restart the connections to the internet, he awkwardly started some small talk with me. He said he knew it was a trivial question but how was the weather where I lived.
I said it was really fairly pleasant, which somehow broke the ice and from halfway around the world he decided to share with me that he had been working in the hospitality industry in Hawaii before Covid hit. The pandemic had forced him to return home and he was trying to start a business so was doing extra work to help like this job to help make ends meet.
As he poured out his story, I commiserated with him on the difficult changes we are faced during these times. The system finally did it’s thing and so he coached me through a few more attempts to get our TV connected to the internet and eventually told me I would most likely need to get a new box for it.
He said he would make notes on the call, and I would be receiving a text in an hour asking if the issue had been resolved. I would need to reply N for no and they would direct me to the steps I would take to get the TV box replaced.
An hour later, I received the text, made the call and got John.
Not our John of course. This John referred to himself as “John like John the Baptist”. He sounded like he lived in Atlanta and he was pretty sure he could fix the situation over the phone despite the notes that guy #1 had left on my file.
He was not as chatty, but was nice…although a bit disenchanted with my lack of technical skills. At one point when I was trying to locate the XR number on the inside of the remote and finally found it, he couldn’t refrain from a relieved exclamation of “Thank you, Jesus!”
I said Amen and he laughed and from there we worked together as brother and sister in Christ, and seriously the only thing we had in common…. but still to no avail.
John tried repeatedly to get my remote to “par” (assuming he meant pair) with the TV but it was just not meant to be.
Finally John determined the remote was the problem and advised me to go the nearest Xfinity store and tell them I needed a new remote.
He gave me a ticket number, which I said I would need to find a pen and paper for, but since I was in the basement all I could put my hands on was a large purple crayon and a coloring page.
But done and done and I thanked John and wished him a blessed day and he did the same to me.
Ah well, I thought.
A simple solution and time on Thursday to hit up the store for a new remote.
Except now we had no internet on any device.
I searched for it on the settings of all devices and discovered our wifi name had disappeared from the neighborhood.
So my third call was to Stuart.
I have no idea where Stuart hails from.
He sounded like perhaps he was Hispanic…but who knows.
When I told Stuart we were AWOL from the wifi list in our area, he discovered that somehow in all the pushing of buttons and running resets, our Gateway had been returned to factory settings.
Stuart got us back up with our old wifi name and set up our old password and I was quite happy. He wanted to make sure I could connect all the devices including the printer.
And then Stuart earned my deepest respect. One of the TV’s was having trouble connecting so he suggested unplugging the box and then plugging back in. It worked.
He also asked me to go back to the original problem TV and see if we could get it up and running as well.
Sure enough – by unplugging the cable box and plugging it back in …
The errant TV now worked.
He said that he has discovered often when a box and TV are not working, this simple step of unplugging and replugging the box seems to do the trick.
I proclaimed Stuart a genius.
He humbly laughed and said he wouldn’t go that far but I insisted whatever else happened today in his life, he is indeed…a genius.
So 133 minutes, 3,249 steps, 19 flights of stairs and three phone calls later…our problem was fixed and I realized that God does transform even the likes of me…this time.
I hope I can remember that the next time I have to call to have the paper stopped or need to ask someone about our garbage pick up…sigh…