India? My name is Jen and I'm a Travelocity addict.
. . . Where's my connection?
By Jen Beasley
Septemer 17, 2007 | I've been doing it again. The Travelocity.
Returning to Logan two weeks ago from my latest Because-I-Can
trip to Sweden and Denmark, I swore I'd changed. I'd
had my fun, climbed my churches, strolled my fjords,
drank more than my fair share of beer in the delicious
company of interesting foreign men, and it was finally
time to introduce my nose to the grindstone. No more
fare searching. No more forsaking homework for road
trips. I was going to repent, go to school, go to work,
repeat, all without wanting to kill myself. Really!
I was not going to listen to the wanderlust anymore.
But I'm with Lindsay Lohan. Entering rehab immediately
after a bender just makes you realize how much rehab
That isn't to say Logan's isn't nice in its way. One
bar, a couple of grocery stores, a handful of theaters,
257 churches. But other than my frequent fast drives
through Logan's wild, vagabond canyon, there is nothing
here to quell my incessant compulsion to keep moving.
It's not even a characteristic unique to Logan, but
a trouble I have encountered my whole life.
Which is why my fingers are back to typing www.travelocity.com
faster than my address bar can register the letters.
Or at least they were until my Internet stopped working
Sunday, and I was forced to go cold turkey.
Did the fare to Lima go down? Cincinnati? Belarus?
I don't know! And it's killing me.
So, like all addicts, acting out of sheer desperation,
I called tech support. Tech support is a sort of trip
in itself. You get to wander wildly all over the phone
keypad. First you press 3 because you're having a problem.
Then, you press 1 because you're not interested in learning
about the new, exciting (and invariably crappy) products
from Belkin. Then 4 because you're frustrated and punched
the wrong key, and then finally, a chance combination
of numbers--probably the mathematical equation for time
travel--because pushing 4 elicited a contemptuous "Not
a valid selection" from the robot on the other end,
and you attempted to strangle your phone.
Which means you have to start all over again, dialing
1! 3! 2!, completing the battery of button presses,
until you finally reach the tech support waiting room,
where crackly Rachmaninoff is playing so loudly the
dog upstairs begins to howl. And you wait, and wait,
and wait, for at least four spirited movements, until
finally you are allowed to reach your destination.
Welcome to India.
I know the route better than Marco Polo knew the Silk
Road. I did it countless times. I would punch the numbers,
listen to ridiculously uncathartic classical music,
then speak to outsourced customer service representatives.
Then I'd ask them to repeat themselves because I didn't
understand the technical jargon veiled beneath the impenetrable
accent. So they'd repeat themselves, and I'd do what
they said, and nothing would happen.
The language barrier is not entirely their fault.
I'm a technology idiot, and am unlikely to understand
technical jargon in any form, whether spoken in perfect
American English, or written down, or acted out through
interpretive dance. But it certainly wasn't very user
friendly, and coupled with the fact that nobody seemed
to be able to tell me anything that actually fixed the
Internet, and therefore my Travelocity, it was downright
maddening. By the time I was speaking with "Derrick,"
my third techie with a new and improved Americanized
name for customer convenience, I was exceedingly crabby.
Withdrawals, I guess. I decided to make snotty small
Me: "How's the weather in India?"
Derrick: "Hot actually. It is the rainy season here,
but it did not rain today so it is very hot."
Hmph. I couldn't help but cheer up a little. It was
a small fix of the Somewhere Else I was craving. I congenially
jumped through the next lengthy and fruitless series
Ultimately, though he was friendly and made a good
weather man, Derrick was completely useless when it
came to reestablishing my wireless connectivity. After
about 30 minutes of fumbling and goose chasing, making
my daily total now three hours of wasted time, Derrick
gave up and vowed a "Level 2 Tech Support Expert" would
call me later at a time of my choosing. Apparently that
guy would know what to do. Or pawn me off on someone
else who might.
But my past experiences sitting around waiting for
someone to call gave me little faith in the process,
and I was unsurprised when a representative from Belkin's
India HQ called me not at the agreed-upon time, but
at 7 a.m., right before my Pilates class. I could not
take the call, and they got off the hook with an insincere
So now I guess it's back to the old switchboard, and
I'll have to call again. But if that doesn't work, I'm
vowing to fly to Mumbai to make them fix the problem
themselves. They say the first step is admitting you
have a problem. I do. And I swear I'll get a trip out
of it yet.