Posted by tim in Pissed on July 19, 2021

There are certain times that mindlessness is understandable, but here lately I have been getting rather irritated with the complete lack of intellect people are putting into things. Before I get into the details about what's getting under my skin, I'll warn you, some of this may seem very trivial and like a dumb thing to be upset about, but there are some much deeper reasons behind why it bothers me than what you'll see at the surface. If you want to understand those more, feel free to reach out to me and ask.

Working in an internet business, I'm acutely aware of what proper customer communication means, and what the lack of it can result in. When we have to restart a service, apply an upgrade, even if it's remotely possible that it's a disruptive action, we have to plan, review, schedule, notify, wait, then act. Except in the case of emergencies, this is the well understood pattern, and failure to adhere to it can result in customers getting frustrated and leaving.

Where I'm starting to see issues with it are in a variety of things I use on the internet. First and most importantly, my home internet service. Perhaps having been working for a top 5 cloud provider for the last 10 years, I've become conditioned to expecting to be notified when my service is going to be interrupted. I've sat on the other side of the modem and issued those notices, so why am I not getting them on this side from my ISP? Last week alone I had 3 days where Xfinity (I really dislike their rebranding, but that's another topic for another day) had disruptive maintenance during my working day. Given that so many people are still working from home during this pandemic, that's just absurd that they'd take such actions. All they need to do is have a subscriber notification system by which they can send messages (email, text, Twitter, whatever) and give a heads up of an upcoming service disruption. Instead, they play the "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission" game, and start taking the service offline before they even throw an outage notice up. I know that this is how it's going because my cable modem sits on my desk, just to the right of my work computer screen, and when the lights flicker I know they're poking at things.

If my internet service is online, other things suffer. For example, I have been using online Minecraft gaming as an outlet for my fidgety hands during meetings, and as a means of keeping social during a time when the world frowns on face-to-face time, or my own health keeps me from it. There have been a few communities I've joined, and a couple that I've basically left because while they want players to give them money for features (I've paid a couple), they nerf the game, conduct service restarts, or somehow disrupt gameplay in another way. If it wasn't a thing that I put money towards (total I'm at about $30 spend, so it's not a lot to grumble about, I know), I'd expect the unstable service and the Mickey Mouse management. But alas, I can't even expect to have a relaxing time to enjoy what I put money and time towards, and it causes me to reconsider why I even gave them $0.01 in the first place.

At least in one of the communities I've thrown money at, they've asked me to help keep the service stable, so that's worth something at least.

I'm going to probably write another private entry about another case, but for this particular entry I'll just say that I'm starting to see laziness on these topics everywhere, no exclusions.

I understand we're all exasperated at the shape of the World today, and we just want to get back to "normal", whatever that was. I just want people and businesses to use their brains, and to approach things as if they were the customer and what the impact would be.

Maybe the transit providers need to gimp Xfinity to get that point across, and just say "oops, we have a guy working on it and it'll be back in now + 12 hours , be patient." Sure, the rest of us downstream from there will be feeling the pain as well, but I'm willing to bet money that Xfinity doesn't expect that sort of behavior, and they need 90+ days notice before a link is disrupted.

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