Jennifer Kaufenberg's Assignments and Exercises Fall 2014


Balcony View Exercise


Personal Perspective
Recently at my home, the modem from the local internet provider was not holding the signal. With my urgent need to keep working on school work, my frustration quickly reaching an all-time high. Having dealt with this problem previously, I just need the modem reset and a new signal sent. Now I was forced to call in to technical support and have someone recent the modem. Seemed simple enough, just wish I did not feel so impatient. I dialed the providers number, just to listen to a computerized system tell me the average wait would be approximately 18 minutes. “Really? You have got to be kidding me” I said under my breath to myself. I continued to work on my course project while listening to the absurd electronic version of elevator music. After 8 minutes of the computerized voice interrupt the music with the automated message, “your business is very important to us. Please continue to hold. Your approximate wait time is ,” I was feeling more annoyed than anything. I just needed the modem reset, two seconds of their time to send a signal. The wait time decreased with every annoying announcement by a minute or two. Finally, the message changed and I am the next customer to speak to technical support. After explaining the problem to the support person, sharing the trouble shooting that I already tried, “Yes, I unplugged the modem, disconnected the cable and router.” She wanted to send out a technician to the house to check our wiring. The conversation seemed to be me defending and rebutting everything she had to say. We just had new wiring put in a few months ago and they checked it after that. There is no problem with the wiring and lady said there was no reported outages in the area. I asked (as politely as I could muster) if she could, please just check the signal strength/speed and then send a signal directly to the modem to reset it. Of course, there was a little discourse on her part but she eventually sent the signal, after I explained that we lived in the middle of nowhere and this was something I had to have done in the past and it solves the problem. Because of our location, there is nothing else they can do until fiber is put in… So, finally she sends a signal and everything seems to be working fine. Finally, after 30 minutes on the phone I hang up and get back to my course work. Before I can go she transfers me to a customer service survey, I hang up and never answer any question, and I do not have another three minutes. The modem works fine after this point and there have not been any other issues.

The Other Perspective
Today has been the craziest day. The number of people calling in with modem and inability to connect to the internet is the most I have ever had to deal with. After having been on the phone constantly for nearly four hours, without a break, I get another call about a modem that will not hold its connectivity. The one thing I dislike the most about my job, is this binder of procedures we have to follow for each issue or problem. Because we are not on location, we have to ask very specific questions and follow a checklist. If I do not do this, then I will have to talk to my supervisor at the end of my shift. Of course, I cannot even tell the customer that I have to follow this book of procedures because it will make us all look like we are not trained professionals – at least that is what my supervisor told me. So, here is this lady on the line trying to tell me how to do my job, this is very annoying. I have a difficult time remaining professional. I finally get through my list of questions, try to setup a technician, and then last thing reset the modem and send a signal. Which I would just love to do right off the bat but I cannot because I have to eliminate all of the potential problems first. Finally, after over 30 minutes the modem seems to be holding connectivity so I transfer the line to the customer survey. I really hope that lady does not say anything awful, I really was just doing my job.

Balcony View
The fulltime teacher, graduate student and mother of five, finally has a few hours to herself to work on college course projects. The unstable internet connection creates obvious frustration. It is apparent that she is annoyed that she has to stop and make a phone call to the company to get the problem fixed and the long wait to speak with a person does not help the situation. The young lady, an overworked college student herself, from the service provider is very busy with calls and has a difficult time completing her troubleshooting checklist. Once the two ladies are going over the modem connection problem it is easy to see that both parties are easily frustrated but remain very polite and professional. Neither person uses poor language or is inappropriate; in fact, with all of the annoyance and frustration they are both very cordial. Once the lady finished her checklist she is able to accommodate the caller by sending a signal to reset the modem. As the lady from the company transferred the call to the customer survey she looked relieved and concerned all at the same time. She would probably feel better knowing that the customer never even completed the survey because she hung up and went right back to her studies.
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