Airbag Industries

The Georgian.

I picked this hotel specifically because it has high-speed Internet access in every room. That and it wasn’t packed with a convention full of Amway Shriner Addicts.

Through the door, magnetic key in mouth, arms full with bags, paper, and pulling another bag, I launch into the room — quickly scanning for Kato, or a would be mugger, assassin, or lost bell hop.

Light check. Bed check. TV check. Window check. Phone check. Internet check.

No internet.

Nadda, nothing. Flat tire.

Frantic, I scanned the note card given to me by the front desk with instructions on connecting. Nothing out of the norm and not that I need it, I’m using a Powerbook after all.

Knowing the chance of anyone at the front desk knowing what a DHCP server was, I dialed a toll free number labeled tech support found on the note-card.

Mentally I traced the call being placed, running through wire and switch, ending in a bottom-floor office, located at the end of a narrow hall with it’s only light twitching. A white phone stained by years of plumbing grease and soap flakes comes to life with an awkward series of ring-rings, the line light working just about as good as the hall light.

I expected to hear a recorded voice tell me that I should have called back during normal business hours, but to please leave a message for prompt service on the next business day.

Instead a human answered the phone. Alone with the television turned on but with the sound turned down, I blurted into the phone.

“Hi, I’m Greg, long time user, first time caller.”

What seems to be the problem he wanted to know. I started with a history of everything I tried, making sure to leave no detail behind so I wouldn’t sound like the idiot in room 309 who was trying to get his new Gateway laptop online so he can make a nightly sales report and exchange pointless joke email with a growing list of annoyed coworkers, friends, and family.

I could hear the tech typing and mummer the words as he read them off the screen.

“Have you tried… ”

“Yeah, did that a long time ago.”

“Ok” (click, click, mummer, mummer) “Go into this tab and tell me what…”

“Did that too.”

At this point that I’m about to hang up knowing this guy obviously doesn’t know a thing except what some knowledge base is telling him to do.

I don’t understand why they don’t publish these things and just give them to the user? I can read just as good (if not better) than the guy on the other end of this phone conversation.

On a commercial airline I am provided complete, easy-to-use directions on how to survive a crash on land or at sea, so why can’t these guys just throw a few cave drawings on paper and leave them next to the Gideon Bible?

Bored with the situation I ask where he works, half expecting to hear Oklahoma. I hadn’t heard that name in a while so the odds where pretty good.

“I’m in Vancouver.”

From that point the discussion changed. We exchanged Vancouver stories and tried a few more potential fixes. Still nothing.

A job ticket is created and I am assured the morning crew will look into the problem. And I can sleep soundly, knowing the problem is in the capable hands of Vancouver. Vancouver will fix it, they will make it better. And if by chance they don’t at least I can call my new friends toll-free.

Now I just need to figure out why the hotel has placed a gold sticker on the toilet paper. Not sure if that’s part of the mini bar or not.