It all started with a simple Facebook status message I posted a few days ago, the title of this post. The fuzziness I intended to portray was centred around a small unpredictable, lively, bouncy object aged five.
The Fuzziness of the world must have taken offence and decided to step in. I was then taken on a whirlwind tour of its internals, the outcome of which, I learned not to give my word on anything without adding a “I’ll try to” or “if nothing hinders it” or “provided everything remains unaltered” to every promise I was forced to make. Those phrases are my lifeline I now fall back on when things become …er… fuzzy.
First it was the electricity board, better known in these parts as BESCOM. A previous near-death experience had prepared me against loss of unsaved work. I have begun backing up my work in at least two places, even at the risk of getting confused as to which is the latest and doing comparisons daily to determine which one to work on. (My absent-mindedness is a post for another day.)
The day I committed to someone that I’ll appear to chat at 11AM to discuss the work to be done, power supply failed at five minutes to eleven, forcing me to devise new methods to reach him and request him to make a call to my mobile phone (it was not easy, considering that he is in the US). The BESCOM uncertainties lasted almost a week, making me rely on Airtel SMS to keep myself from getting cut off the world.
Once BESCOM steadied itself, it was the turn of BSNL(broadband). I don’t remember facing a major problem with them in the last one year or so. This time I dialled their toll-free number a hundred times (and got royally disconnected almost every time), finally managed to register a complaint, spoke to their customer support personnel about ten times, got connected to different people and ended up repeating the story every time, finally losing my temper to one woman ( who calmly asserted, “No use in shouting at me, Madam!” ) and later apologising to her ( — “No problem, Madam, we are used to this.” — “But I‘m not used to yelling at anyone…” ) and finding one helpful technical person who helped me through ( — “Sorry for the trouble…” –“Oh, don’t say trouble, Madam, it’s our pleasure!” ). The problem, as I eventually found out, was at my end most of the time, except once when the network really had issues. Again, when broadband failed me, I resorted to Airtel GPRS to send emails that kept others informed of my situation. (I did consider writing a post on my experiences with BSNL broadband, particularly their customer support.)
It was the timing the problems chose to crop up that was beyond my comprehension.
Do you also feel (in my friend’s words) handicapped if you are not Connected? I often wonder why I need an Internet connection when I am working on an article for which I have sufficient data with me. But I do rely on Google to confirm that I am writing it right, to search for apt words and phrases to use, and when I need a break I browse or tweet or Facebook.
Lesson learnt: There should always be back-up, preferably more than one! I thought back-up only meant saving our data in more than one place. How naïve, huh. It also means, in addition to a BSNL broadband connection, you should have an Airtel GPRS, Tata Indicom USB Modem, and any other connectivity you can lay your hands on. It also means that if BESCOM wreaks havoc, you still have an inverter, UPS and other accessories powerful enough to hold you above water for hours. It also means that if the customer support number breaks down, you have a couple of other direct mobile numbers of technical personnel handy. So that unless rain, lightning, thunder and storm join hands to cause destruction, the rock will keep the leaf from blowing away and the leaf will keep the rock from getting drenched.
Sometimes I feel I’m walking on a tightrope, afraid to look down this side or that, lest I should fall. But isn’t that the challenge of it all, the balancing act? Besides, every time this happened, there had been an alternative way to keep myself afloat.
Thank you, BESCOM, BSNL, HP, Intel, Airtel, et al for making my life an adventure!