Phone problems

My socialist son asked me if I had ever voted for a Democrat and I told him yes, Kennedy. I thought about it later and that was wrong. I was too young to vote in 1960 but I did vote for Jimmy Carter. He was a techy guy, nuclear physics, Georgia Tech grad (at the time, Georgia Tech was in the SEC), Georgia boy – how could that be bad. Four years later it was clear he was simply in over his head and leading the country to destruction. So the election came down to a guy who had shown what he had the previous four years versus a Hollywood actor who had done a credible job as Governor of California. The rest is history. I guarantee you, I’ve never voted for a Democrat since. Jimmy Carter later found his niche building homes with Habitat for Humanity and teaching farmers in Africa how to grow peanuts or something. Noble causes but not the qualities you want in a President. I think Obama will find his niche working with Chicago disadvantage youth, or not.

I have a way to solve the unemployment problem. A giant cyber attack that renders all the computers useless. I am now of the opinion, for example, that there are no people employed at AT&T. I had what I considered a very minor problem, one that should have been resolved in a few minutes but had me tied up for two hours, literally, trying to find a human at AT&T capable of helping. The problem was that I wanted to be able to remotely access our voice mail remotely so that when we’re away from home, we can check our messages. I guess when we got the account 12 years ago, maybe we assigned a PIN number or password. I really don’t remember ever doing it and even if we did, have no idea what that number is. Simple enough to change the password, or so you’d think. Tom was sure he could do it online but after trying for at least a half hour, he got a screen that said this could only be done by talking to a human, for privacy reasons, and gave him a phone number which he tried calling only to learn that it was an 8AM to 5PM source. So I picked up the ball and called the next day. I was told that it could only be done on-line – a path already tried. I insisted on moving up the food chain and eventually hit someone who came back and told me that they had indeed tried to do it online and that it said it had to be done live as I said. That came as a big surprise to them. No one, it seemed, had ever had this problem before. Each time I was switched, there was a 15 minute hold. The entire process took almost 2 hours and the person seemed to be phone hopping all over the corporation trying to find. An answer did finally come from Union City NJ. They said all I had to do was call into our home number then when it went to voice mail, hit star and dial our own number. I asked if I should dial the entire 10 digits, 7 digits, or just the last 4. They didn’t know. I suggested that they try it from Union City and let me know what worked. Here’s where it gets interesting, the support person called and said that I had to use the same access number as I did when retrieving my voice mail locally. Trouble is, I don’t have to use an access number and am not prompted to use one. The system just starts spilling out the messages in sequence and prompting me to either replay, save or delete each message. She called an hour later with a special number to call and a temporary access code. It worked. I had Tom check to see if he could access our mailbox remotely and change the temporary password to a final one. Aside from how long it took to do something that I would think was routine, the support person said she’d call back about 6PM and check to make sure everything was working the way I expected. That’s the first time I can ever remember a support tech with that kind of follow up. Of course, it never happened but at least her heart was in the right place.

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