This is but the latest in my tales of my living in the only place on Earth that was affected by the Y2K Bug.
Last year I wrote about getting a new broadband WIFI dongle from Globe. It functioned well and I was surfing the World Wide Web with glee. Someone in Globe’s corporate higherarcy decided that it was going too smoothly. Six months after I purchased my dongle they went with a different brand, and for the next 4 months things went relatively well for both the new and older dongle owners. Then they realized that they had sold less of the older model (Yes the one I have) and a lot more of the newer model, the type my neighbor Mr. Don Bullock has. Don lives a 30 seconds walk from my house.
Don is on line, I’m on line and one day on 20 August Globe reconfigured their signal to accommodate the newer model. A good thing you might think, unless you own the older model. In the last two months while the engineers were making small tweaks to the signal, my dongle is on a steady downward spiral, working with a 2G signal for the last two months. Then on that day, I notice I can’t even log on. I’m thinking my Puter is doing bad things and is plum angry with me. Then I think to myself, let me check with Don. So I make that 30 second zip to his house and asked how his newer style dongle is working. He told me all was well, and he had a strong 3g signal with many bars listed.
My, I think, that’s odd. So Don being the good neighbor let me borrow his dongle and I return home and plug it in. Wow, great signal, easy connection and it was working just the way mine used to. But alas it belongs to Don, and side by side mine still lacks any signal.
I’m off to the Globe office in Olongapo City, and a service rep. named Belle is attempting to solve my problem. She hooked my dongle to their computer and 3G pops up and she deems my dongle cured. Ah Belle that is wonderful, with one small problem. The problem is I don’t live here at the SM Mall where your office is!
Belle was speechless, and I saw her hand moving toward her head for a prolonged scratch, then I knew I had hit an impasse.
Belle. I said, our Globe contract requires that every month I pay your company P 1,000. And you provide 3G internet. But it seems that your folks at Globe have decided to void our contract. So I’m no longer going to pay Globe and will switch to Smart or Sun and see how they do. I am being kind and polite through this entire encounter as in no way could my problem be Belle’s fault. My goal was to talk with her boss, who seemed to be unavailable at that time. Then I noticed a well dressed young man slide into the terminal beside Belle and he seemed to be listening and not doing anything else.
I believe I have just met “THE BOSS”! No, not Bruce Springsteen, but Johan the Globe guy! All of a sudden he steps in and is ready to argue with me. I called him to a halt and pointed out that I’ve been polite, never raising my voice, and just requesting a solution to my internet troubles. Belle is nodding her head in agreement, and I’m now asking what he can do to help me. He had no idea! So I pointed out that if I had the new type of dongle to replace the one that was not functioning than this problem would go away by itself. Sir that is impossible as your contract is for the dongle you have, and no other. Then it dawned on me it’s a money thing, they did not want to incur the cost of a new dongle. I do live in the Philippines, don’t I!
Johan my friend, I am more than willing to front the cost of the newer type dongle out of my pocket, keep our contract active and just go home and log on line and receive a 3G signal. Johan had that light bulb moment, he could see the logic in my request and a beautiful friendship was budding. The Kano was not an unreasonable man! Belle’s pretty head was moving up and down in the affinitive and a smile came to her lips. Mayang was smiling and the world was becoming a kinder and more genteel place.
It took some time but all seemed ready to move toward solving my problem, but then I did mention where I lived didn’t I? Johan states it will take awhile to order the new dongle! I’m thinking that if I was a first time customer would I be told the same thing. But in the interest of friendship and goodwill we shook hands and I thanked Johan for his help.
It is now the second week, my dongle id still not pumping out that 3G signal, the new one has not arrived, and no text from Johan the Globe guy. Mayang has stopped by their office three times with no satisfaction. I think I’ve been kissed off. So while this is posted this week, I’m off in search of a better way to go online. I’ll sure be glad when my area of Bataan enters the new millennium.
Paul Thompson; Resides in the Philippines, close to Subic Bay. He is married to the wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang). Our to daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen (AKA Ling-ling). Our youngest is living in Singapore, enjoying her life's adventure. I'm a retired Senior Chief from the U.S. Navy after 21 years. Post Navy he lived 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. After Hurricane Hugo told him to find a new line of work, he was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. Then after 30 years at sea he buried his anchor in the Philippines residing now in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt Bataan where he build his home. And last but not least, anything he writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek" if anybody is offended, He'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!