Wednesday, 16 January 2013

What A Dodo




OK, so yesterday, I didn’t exactly show my best side…

The reason? Well, I spent five hours on the phone to my Internet provider trying to resolve a connection issue. Namely, I didn’t have one. To fill you in: I’d just signed up for a new Wi-Fi contract but for some reason the modem wouldn’t connect.

I pretty much lost it.

Before I start this blog, I’m going to begin by giving myself a massive break here. I’m going to presume that spending five hours on the phone to anyone, let alone to a phone or Internet provider, (with most of it being on hold and forced to listen to elevator music), isn’t going to be on most people’s list of Top 10 Most Fun Things To Do. So, permission granted for me to be a bit pissy. But it’s fair to say I went a bit over the top and used up a few more stress tickets than were necessary.

Yes, my new Internet modem wasn’t connecting, but did I really need to act like a spoilt teenager when the very helpful tech support guy told me I would have to test the modem at another location? Um, no. Instead of being grateful that that Mr Tech was troubleshooting my problem, I reacted as though he’d told me I had to run a three-legged race to Perth while carrying four small children on my back and get there under an hour, with nothing more than a Mars bar to keep me going. And I had to do it today.

If I didn’t? Well, then my Internet connection would remain as it was: idle.

Hmpf.

I felt outraged that I – the paying customer – after already spending hours inputting ISP numbers and passwords into my Mac, was now being asked to call a bunch of friends and potentially log them offline (during the work day) while I plugged my modem into their computer, insert more passwords and see if it was the modem that was the issue, or whether it was my connection at home.

I’m sure the neighbours heard my internal barometer screech its way up to What A Load Of Tommy Rot!

Adding to my huffing and moaning, I was then told that if it was the connection that was faulty then I’d need to pay $120 to have it fixed.

Whaaaaaaaaaat?

Why should I have to pay extra money to get the stupid thing working? I’m already paying (for nothing, so far) and have spent all day on the phone as well as been running around town with a modem on my back seat and now you wanna charge me extra? Wow, I didn’t realise I’d signed up for the F.U. package.

Love. This. Life.?

Not. So. Much.

It’s now 24 hours later and as I steal a peek at my modem to check if the little red light has turned green (which would indicate that I am connected), I’m actually feeling surprisingly calm, despite the light still being red.

How the turnaround?

Well, I realised – after I did test the modem at a friend’s house (wafting in and out in a ball of huff), that the only thing the internet company had done wrong was, well, nothing.

Yup. Nothing.

I realised that the only thing that really created such a day of frustration and stress was Me. That’s right – Me.

I’m actually not bemoaning my Internet provider (who if you’re interested is dodo.com.au). Everyone I spoke to at Dodo (and there were a few), remained calm and patient and were extremely supportive. They were the epitome of support and professionalism. The real issue was my reaction to Something Not Going My Way.

Before retiring for bed last night I reflected on my heightened stress response and asked myself why I reacted that way. I figured out that at the seed of my little hissy fit was the fear that I was going to have to pay more money to get my Internet connected. Money that I would rather spend on something more exciting than getting my wires fixed.

But then I considered that troubleshooting is part of everyday life, and if I had chosen to collaborate with the Dodo team instead of choosing to believe they were rubbish and not fulfilling their side of the contract, I would have probably been able to remain much calmer and had an altogether more enjoyable day. Granted, it wouldn’t have made it onto my Top 10 Most Amazing Days Ever, but I would most certainly have enjoyed feeling more Zen.

And so, having come to peace with the fact that Dodo actually were giving great service, I called them this morning to follow up.

I opened the conversation by apologising for getting stressed during the many conversations (all recorded due to monitoring purposes), and explained that the tech team had been fantastically helpful throughout. The guy on the phone thanked me for the positive feedback. What a nice man.

And the $120 fee? Well, would you believe, that got waived. So not only was my gratitude warmly received, but they even went so far as to offer a financial exception – because they value me as a customer. Amazing!

Which I guess brings me to the moral of this story and one that I am very happy to share, even though it involved almost a whole day on the phone listening to insipid on-hold music. And that is, that no matter what situation I find myself in, I have been reminded that it's up to me to take 100% responsibility for whatever is going on for me at any moment in time.

If I’m feeling stressed then it’s because I’m feeling stressed. If I’m losing my sh*t, that’s because I’ve lost control of my emotions, and the only way I will ever regain composure is by calling myself on it and pressing the reset button.

So now, with another 24 hours until a technician calls round to solve the problem once and for all, I kinda feel like I was the dodo. But with this new insight (and a bit more practice over time), I also feel confident that I will be able to extinguish any future exaggerated stress responses until I can look back and see that they are a thing of the past.

As from now, I deem the time for any unnecessary stress to be 100% extinct.