Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Half Assed

After spending a long time with very slow and sometimes nonexistent Internet from Indosat M2, I decided to make the big plunge and get Speedy home Internet. Upon arriving home from work, I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that the Internet was very fast by Indonesian standards. For once, things worked out just perfectly. A few friends told me that they had Speedy and that it was very slow. How well your Internet works seems to be geographic and there is no rhyme or reason to it. Lo and behold, things were not as perfect as they seemed.

The "technician" ran a wire from where the phone jack in the living room to the room that has the computer. He did a great job of neatly attaching a phone jack to the wire and plugging it into the modem. What he didn't do such a good job with was the placement of the wire. It is common practice here that wiring gets neatly attached to the wall/ceiling from it's source to where it is needed. This applies to telephone wires, cable or air conditioning wires. He decided that it was too much work and simply left it on the floor. It went from the phone jack, behind the fridge (source of heat and fire hazard), across the entrance to the kitchen, around the back of the television, under a couch, across the back door entrance, into the office (couldn't close the door without crushing the wire), and into the modem. In the initial excitement of trying out my new Internet connection, I failed to notice that I had almost tripped over the wire when entering the office. This really blew my mind, it set a new precedent for incompetence that would be hard to ever beat. I knew it was too good to be true.

When I asked the maid why the technician hadn't attached the wire properly to the wall. She said she asked him the same thing and that he said that it was "susah" (too difficult) and left. There isn't even an analogy that I can conjure up to put in perspective how ridiculous this is. Western standards of doing things are hardly ever met in this country but this was just plain stupid even by local standards.

I got on the phone with Speedy who told me I had to call Telekom (phone company). I called Telekom and they told me that I had to call Speedy. I refused and started throwing a fit on the phone (it was all an act to get something done). The operator then agreed to help me and said that all she could do was file a complaint with my local Telekom office. She said there was no promise of when (or if) they would come to fix it. I asked for the local Telekom office number so that I could call them directly and she told me that she didn't have it. I then went off on a tirade about how incompetent the whole Telekom company was and said that I was going to cancel all of my services with them. Once again she said there was no promise of what would happen. This country has taught me great patience but there are rare times when the only way to get something done is to yell. This, in my opinion, was one of those times.

After I got off the phone, my lady started giving me grief about how I had to be nice to people if I wanted them to help me . One hour later, 2 technicians appeared at my door. My lady didn't say a word but definitely saw the sinister grin on my face and knew I was right for once. These 2 guys were top notch, they couldn't believe that the other technician had left the wire as it was. They promptly fixed the problem by using a table with a chair on top as a makeshift ladder. It is not uncommon for somebody to show up at your house to let's say fix your roof and not have a ladder. Note to self: buy a ladder. Anyways, they flawlessly finished the whole job in 15 minutes and one of the guys even helped me with a computer problem that I thought was an Internet problem. To their pleasant surprise, I gave them both some "uang rokok" (cigarette money) and thanked them for doing such a great job.

Despite the incompetence, I must say that speedy Internet is great and that I highly recommend taking advantage of their current promotion if you happen to live in Jakarta. If a technician named Rizky shows up, tell him that I said that he is the laziest bastard on the planet. If you live on the other side of the world, screw you and your lightning fast Internet! I tested my connection today and it can download at 0.86 Mbps and I am absolutely thrilled with this speed.

P.S. Upon doing spell check, I learned that "Internet" is spelled with a capital I. I have no idea why, it's not a person's name or a country. Maybe it's just really important.

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