Technology: an uneasy relationship.

You don’t realise how dependent you are on technology until your home phone, mobile phone and broadband ALL go AWOL on you. Thinking that I’d already been upgraded to the fibre optic network, I was surprised to hear from Telstra, the national telephone provider, that they’d be coming to usher me into the 22nd century via a fixing of my line.

On Friday, one of Telstra’s technicians came and within 2 hours, hey presto, I was OFFICIALLY on the fibre-optic network. I was chuffed; so chuffed that I gave the Telstra technician one of the grapefruits from my fruit bowl as a thank you gift.

Now that everything was running at warp speed I was free to peruse the pages of eBay, where I have developed a habit of buying woollens from the Aussie brand “Metalicus.” I bid on a couple of items and was happily surfing until Sunday for more Metalicus when I suddenly went off-line. I waited and waited for the damn thing to right itself but it didn’t.

By Monday morning, I knew that a call to Telstra was in order, so from the house of my friend whom I play translator for, I played the waiting game that is calling a behemoth like Telstra. Their personnel were all very courteous and extremely helpful, except that since mine was one of dozens of similar calls, I had sweat coming out of my ears by the time the end person, presumably a technician, assured me that my connection problem would be righted by midday. Fine. I went home.

At home I discovered that not only was I still off-line, my home phone had since joined my broadband in the land of non-working technological appliances. I was back in stone age, with His Royal Highness barking at me a list of things to do for our move to Perth.

Meanwhile I remembered I had to pay for a Metalicus top I won on eBay. Because I usually do all my banking on-line, I was unable to send the seller money. I was also unable to contact the Brisbane Marshall Arts Academy in Hamilton, where Amanda goes for jiujitsu grading, to book, as well as pay for her grading this Saturday.

Plus, His Royal Highness wanted to add to my to do list for our move to Perth. You can just imagine the stress. Before this, I thought myself free of technology. After all, I don’t check my facebook updates compulsively. I quite like the weekends when I don’t check anything at all. But this experience has shown me how reliant on technology I am. Without a working mobile phone, a home phone or broadband connection, I could get nothing done.

I raced to my good friend Tania’s house after dinner on Monday night and called Telstra again. They promised me they’d answer my call within 24 hours, as per government regulation and solve my problem within 48 hours, again, as per government regulation. They asked me for a contact phone number and because I didn’t have one, gave them His Royal Highness.

Big mistake. They called him while he was in a clinic, with his boss glaring at him and a nurse screaming her head off in the background. He came home in a foul mod accusing me of laziness.

“But I had no phone!” I insisted. This was ridiculous.

Fed up with being a sitting duck, I ripped the battery out of my mobile, took out the SIM and refitted everything. It worked! By God, am I a genius. I should have done this earlier.

The Telstra technician turned up this morning and I can tell you, I’ve never been happier to see anyone. Apparently my white box was faulty.

“Can you fix it?” was all I asked him. That’s all I wanted to know.

“Are you kidding? I’ll be done in under half an hour,” he laughed.

Good to his word, he had me up and running in 30 minutes. God bless Jason the Telstra technician, God bless Telstra and God bless the Australian Government for your wonderful “service regulation.” I’m glad to be back in the land of the living!