A Pox On Virgin
28 October, 2011

Well, what a fabulous couple of days.

My modem blew up on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently an incoming call… my “landline” is sort of VOIP… was all too much and the phone rang a couple of times and then the modem went an ominous shade of black.

Virgin – my ISP – couldn’t have been less help if they’d come around and sabotaged the thing themselves. Apparently they’re trying to get out of the wireless broadband business by a process of attrition. The help desk bloke had two solutions:

(1) Plug it into a different power point – thanks mate, I tried that before I called

(2) Get a new ISP.


I was pretty sure it was the power pack, not the modem… I happen to have three Virgin modems, let’s not go into why right now… and none of them would power up. Still, I thought, if Virgin can’t be bothered helping me, I might as well change service providers. Perhaps I might find one who, oh, I dunno, might actually provide me with some service?

I have to leave town to buy socks, so signing on with someone else meant a trip down the motorway. Thursday morning and the Optus bloke couldn’t get anywhere with his computer. It seems that Terriblestra rules the phone lines in my part of town, and the only way I could get service from Optus was wirelessly. All well and good, but his computer was telling him to give me a modem and he had no modem to give me.

Short trip to Major Computer Retailer where the more dynamic bloke at their computer desk was quite confident Optus would post me out a modem… but he couldn’t find the plan listed. In their brochure or on line. It took so long I had to leave to get to a lunch date back home.

Returned to Optus Bloke #2 this morning where it turns out the only way to get a phone and broadband bundle from Optus is via some complicated scheme whereby my mobile becomes my landline and my computer connects to a new mobile phone and gets data that way.

Me to Optus Bloke:  “No, thanks. It’s entirely too Machiavellian. What you’re suggesting seems to me like plugging in a double-adaptor, attaching it to an extension cord and then wiring in a power board, just to plug in a kettle.”

Optus Bloke:  “I don’t really understand what you’re saying. But I can tell you, if you go with Terriblstra, they’ll want your first-born child as a down payment.”

However, I can’t knock Optus Bloke #2. He tried his best, and when asked if he could refer me to a shop where I might buy a new power pack for the existing Virgin modem, he was right on the money. $12.95 later I am back in business… until the modem itself fails, I suppose.

Telstra handbook Chapter 2: Consolidate the Inconvenience
24 May, 2011

A 'pre-inconvenienced' member of the public (PIMP) is like copper wire: malleable and well worth recycling

Turns out they have the Internet in the Seychelles.

Through a complicated comms system,  involving encoded SCUBA and many, many bribes I have cleared the following excerpt with my legal team. Oh, and Justin? You can run, but you can’t hide.

So here’s another excerpt from the telstra handbook:

When dealing with a PIMP, incremental increases in inconvenience may be applied. In no time, they’ll be making you a cup of tea – unless, of course, your workmates cut their electricity supply &/or damage the water main.

Case Study:

The illustrations for this section of the workbook come from the logbooks of a master inconveniencer, now sadly lost to the front lines owing to a secondment to the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“Simmo” was so skilful in the application of incremental inconvenience in this case, that he ended up sleeping in the master bedroom of the residence pictured during the work week, with full board and beer on a slab/shift pro rata supplied.


A Ditch Witch should be:

  1. unloaded just prior to the commencment of earthworks
  2. on site whenever – it’s tough and hard to hotwire
  3. parked on a solid footing – driveway mouths are optimal
  4. tested by ducking or Trial By Fire.

Where to park a ditch witch: a handbook for Telstra employees
19 May, 2011

Ensure maximal incovenience to members of the public (MOPs) at all times.

Just call me Madam Assange.

A top-secret in-service training document, issued only to Telstra employees, was leaked to me yesterday in the cereal aisle at Woolies.

There are entire chapters devoted to causing noise pollution and service disruption, and a customer service chapter called “The customer is always right? No, mate – we’re with Telstra”.

More to come, once our lawyer gets back from the Seychelles.