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It’s important to revisit from time to time the proper sequence of who to blame when something goes wrong. Last week’s Charter outage provided a perfect opportunity:

Denial – At 9:15 p.m., I kept getting a DNS error on my computer. I rebooted the computer. Still no connection. Whatever it is, I know it can’t be my fault.

Pain – After 15 minutes of denial, other family members announce they don’t have an Internet connection. Let the blaming begin.

I notice the router was askew, like it had been knocked over. Aha. That must be the children’s fault. One of the cords looks slightly frayed. Did the pet bunny chew it? That would again be the children’s fault. I reboot the router, which appeared to be working just fine, but still no Internet connection. I try to think of ways to blame my husband, Gov. Walker, and Obama. Then I finally call Charter.

Anger and bargaining – I get a busy signal when calling Charter. Internet problems are the only thing in life that make me desperate enough to want to place a phone call. I call again and again and still a busy signal. On the verge of completely losing my cool, I log into my Charter account and notice the bill was due a few days ago. Oops. I quick pay it in hopes that will placate the Charter gods. Still no Internet connection. This is obviously Charter’s fault.

Depression – I was in the midst of a writing project for a client and am depressed that I now can’t finish it. I had set aside the evening to do so. What if the problem never gets fixed, and I’m reduced to being one of those people who sits at the picnic table near the library in the late evening and mooches off the free WiFi? I’ll always be behind on my projects. What will I do?

The upward turn – I do a Google search for “Charter outage.”

Reconstruction and working through – I find a Tweet that shows a Charter outage map, and there is a nationwide outage. People on Twitter are complaining. I feel comforted.

Acceptance and hope – I find a Facebook post from Charter saying they are working on fixing the outage. Why didn’t I think to check Facebook right after getting a busy signal and spare myself 90 minutes of anxiety and stress? That’s not my fault, of course.

This Humor Me column originally appeared in the Herald-Independent on May 19, 2016


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