12/21/09

Still in the quiet.

So we got the new office phone in today. Of course, as you do, I tested it before getting excited and setting it up properly.

Dead.

Oh dear, not again. So off I went in the testing and re-testing phase to figure out whether or not it was a wall jack issue, a phone issue, a line issue, a handset issue, or something else entirely different. I know nothing about phones, but I do know about troubleshooting fairly well. You start with the most obvious, and then work your way down the list till you figure out the root of the cause. Sometimes, it's easy, and you're in and out in minutes. Other times, it's more ... challenging, and you wrestle with the elements for hours on end before screaming in frustration and crying that nothing ever works like you need it to and why do you hate me so much, insert-deity-of-choice-here. And then you decide that it's just easier to drink until it's not a problem anymore.

Stop looking at me like that. You know you've been there.

So first, I started with plugging the phone into all the existing lines we have, that I know to work perfectly well with the existing phone line. No dice. Nothing. Zilch. Then I figured, maybe the phone needs to work only with the cable they shipped it with. Again, tried all the jacks available. Nothing. Then, I figured "Maybe the handset is wonky, and the phone itself is fine." So I start in my testing of the speaker phone, and pressed various and sundry buttons. Nothing. Yup. The phone's busted. Brand spanking new out the box, and it doesn't work.

I quietly called the nice man at the company who set this all up. "Hi Doug. I think the phone's busted." He very nicely asked me if I'd done any troubleshooting on it. To spare you the boredom of reading through all those things I tried, I carefully explained all the steps I'd taken thus far to diagnose the problem. "Wow. You've really done your homework." I laughed and said, "Oh. And I also checked if I could use the speaker phone in case it was just a handset issue. On all the lines that I tested, of course." "Wow. You really did try to resolve it." "Yes." I laughed again, and explained, "I used to work in tech support."

Suddenly, everything fell into place for Doug. He wasn't chatting to someone who's totally clueless, and I'd done 99.99% of the work for him long before picking up the phone to call him. All he had to do was send out the replacement. What could have been a long drawn out call ended up being a 5 minute chat, and a "Thanks so much, Doug. We'll be in touch."

Please make this next one work. That's all I want. A working office phone that you can't buy in any retail spot and that has to work with our weird existing phone system that's plugged in already. Is that so much to ask?
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