Sunday, June 21, 2015

Going With The Flow

Happenstance taught me a lesson yesterday.

The TV signal dropped, preventing me from mindlessly watching reruns on a Saturday afternoon.

No TV?

Oh the humanity!

Yesterday, Bright House Networks had a major outage of their television signal—and in some cases Internet service too—in the Bakersfield area.

Because my service had been glitchy a week or so ago and because I had just had someone out to repair it, I assumed it was just being glitchy again.

I phoned the customer service line and it was busy.

Translation—for some: a sh!t-hit-the-fan outage and sufficient reason to overreact.

I tried periodically over the next several hours to get through, but the line went from busy to being temporarily out of service.

Translation: wasting personnel time telling customer after customer the same thing—and probably not having a firm answer—made no sense.

To some, not being able to get through probably only ramped up their panic even more.

Today, service is fine.

But think about it.

If you have so many people calling in about a TV signal that your phone banks are inundated to the point that no one can get through, that just indicates how low is the threshold of impatience or panic for people in our society.

Yesterday served as a practice session for me—granted a teensy one.

Assess the situation.

Go with the flow that yields the best outcome.

Now imagine if yesterday was a real SHTF moment instead of a temporary inconvenience, what would people have done?

Societal chaos could have come easily and swiftly is the answer.

I had Internet so I tweeted what was happening and much to my surprise two things happened.

I met a person from Bakersfield that I was not following—nor was he following me—and being the technowizard (sic) he turned out to be, he flooded me with data about ping times and upload/download speeds.

We took our chat to Facebook and I made a new friend.

He noted how dire the situation was, but was calm about it.

Like me, he knew there was nothing he could do but wait it out.

I also had someone from Bright House Networks contact me almost immediately via Twitter. I was not following Bright House Networks on Twitter, nor were they following me.

Traci—the very helpful representative who contacted me—looked into the outage and was honest.

She knew what was wrong and told me the reason.

She had no information on the expected return of service.

She offered apology for the inconvenience.

That was all she needed to do to make it right.

She was the unfortunate soul getting paid to interface with a potentially hostile customer base.

I told her I would have screamed and shouted if I thought that such shenanigans would have made the signal magically reappear.

She thought that was a hilarious response.

A sense of humor rarely hurts.

I told her that I “got it” that the situation was not her fault and that she had no direct control over it.

She appreciated that.

I went to bed last night around 9:30 pm with very spotty TV reception that appeared and disappeared, then reappeared and so on.

Prior to that, my daughter and I managed to watch Guy Fieri gorging himself on decadent diner food as the reception went in and out.

When the reception went out for a few minutes, we hit mute and did other things. She sketched and I hopped onto Facebook.

When the reception came back on, we unmuted and resumed watching.

Apparently, some evil genius has put real bacon bits on glazed donuts. Scandalous!

The in-and-out of the signal told me things would be back to normal soon.

Service was restored fully sometime after 9:30 pm.

This morning, another representative—Carlos—touched bases with me on Twitter to see how things were. This afternoon, Traci followed up as well.

Needless to say, I will remain a very satisfied Bright House Customer.

From a prepper’s point of view, having a TV with an antenna—on first glance—would make so much sense.

That is not an option because companies are no longer broadcasting analog television signals.

It’s all-digital pretty much.

I cannot help but think that it’s unfortunate that we don’t have analog and digital broadcast redundancy.

Think about it.

If cable is down, the Emergency Broadcast System—via television—is also down.

If analog signals were still widespread, the Emergency Broadcast System would still be up.

Food for thought.

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