Before I got to work on Monday, Janet called to me to give me a heads-up that the internet was not working. When I arrived, she got me up to speed on all she had done to try to fix the problem. I checked a connection that is under the steps where the line comes into the building and still, nothing.
I went to plan B, which was to make sure I had paid the bill. Anyone who has been in my office knows my desk is a mess, so it wouldn’t be too hard to overlook the statement. I found the Shentel bill and it had been paid.
Out of desperation I called Shentel’s customer service number. They are one of two internet providers we use here in the office.
It took a while to answer the questions in the prompts, but after a short wait a gentleman named Eric got on the phone. He was very attentive. He verified that I had in fact paid the bill. He performed a “reboot” on his end, but it didn’t help. He continued to work on the problem. During that time, we were disconnected. Still desperate, I started the process all over again and was about halfway thought the prompts when my cell phone rang. It was Eric. He apologized for the disruption and added that it appeared that a connection on my end must be loose as everything else was in order. With the help of Jennifer, who can get under the desk where all that stuff is, we checked the connections and found nothing. Eric didn’t give up. He continued to ask questions until he narrowed it down to the hub that controls the Wi-Fi and hardwired connections. He had us unplug the contraption. When we powered it back up… sure enough it worked, and my blood pressure dropped 30 points. Needless to say, Eric saved the day! Even with the lost time, our production day went rather well and we finished on time.
In conclusion, I want to talk about a note I received this week from a reader. Here is the content… “Mr. Given, Please refrain from using your family’s life events in your column. It is not editorial material. I find it to be an annoyance.” After all these years, the note caught me a little off guard. While I have no problem taking on import issues in this space, it has never been intended it to be traditional editorial writings. I certainly understand that often newspapers write editorials as if they are the newspaper’s opinion. I have never taken that approach. Our papers, which are important to the community, are inanimate objects and therefore do not have an opinion. I don’t want my staff to take the blunt end for my opinions which they may or may not agree with. That is why I have always written this column under a byline and in first person.
I appreciate the feedback. We have always welcomed comments as well as criticism. However, this column has always been what I consider a conversation between me and the readers who wish to read it. I am certainly too old to change my ways now. So, with all due respect, if this reader don’t like me talking about my family, which I am very proud of… most of the time, I hope they can find something else in our newspapers that they want to read.