Friday, March 02, 2007

A Little Humor For Mom

My mother has informed me that she always reads my blog before she goes to bed at night because it either makes her laugh, or else it's something very inspirational that inspires her. Since it's been a while since I've posted a blog entry, I thought that I'd take a moment to share the events of my day --this is just for you Mom --I hope you smile!

For reasons upon which I won't elaborate, Brillo Man has been working out of his office in our home all week. He has been frantically trying to 'lock in' mortgage rates for several of his clients all day. The interest rates have dropped a bit, and in order to get better rates, he's got to 'lock' them in with his lenders so that in the event that the rates rise again next week, his clients will still have the opportunity to take advantage of the lower rate.

Locking the rates requires that he fax a lock form to the lender. Brillo Man has just 'installed' a new fax machine which he brought home from the office. (because we couldn't get the one which was here to work). Since he's asked me to help him process a few loans, he hands the job over to me. Not a problem. I've got access to this fancy schmancy state-of-the-art laser fax machine. It faxes, copies, scans and even does the dishes too. I'll simply have to punch the phone number into the fax machine and press the 'start' button. Problem. The fax machine dials the number, but we repeatedly receive a transmission error which states that the transmission didn't go through.

I poured over the user's guide for the fax machine --reading it practically cover to cover --twice. All 160+ pages. Nowhere can I find a hint as to what is happening. We can't receive faxes either. Eventually, I determined that the ring pattern assigned to our fax line isn't compatible with the new fax machine. So...I get on the telephone with our phone company and ask them if they can please change the 'distinctive' ring from 'ring ring' to 'ring rrrriiiiinnnnggg ring'. They readily agreed, however, to be in compliance with the FCC and tariffs and the rules set by members of the Society for Making Our Lives Miserable, the representative informs me that we will have to add an additional fax number to our line. It's impossible to change the distinctive ring for the first number. (?!) Okay. Add the second number --for an additional $4.75 cents per month.

Great. It's fixed now. Commence faxing. ....still....not working....mmmmm? Next, I pick up the phone and call the tech. support line for the fax machine. The rep. assures me that I have all the settings correct. She attempts to send a fax. Nothing. At this point, I'm convinced that the phone company has somehow screwed something up and the distinctive rings are off --or something. We grab the cell phone and dial the numbers and listen for the ring tone...'ring rrrriiiiinnnnggg ring'. Okay--it's one short, one long, one short. Check the fax machine. Yep, it's set up correctly. Still --nothing would fax.

Oh, wait. Brillo Man glances down and sees that the phone line isn't connected to the fax machine. Kind of hard to send a signal through a line if it's not plugged in. But, ah...what relief! We've solved the problem! not. Still the machine would not send a fax.

At this point, Brillo Man is getting nervous - knowing that his time limit for locking the rates on his clients' loans is quickly ticking away on the clock. By this time, it's nearly 5 pm. The rate lock requests MUST be received by the lender before the close of the business day. (btw, he WISHES he had that much hair on his head...)

I called the tech. support people again. This time, the rep. asked if the fax machine phone line was plugged directly into the wall jack. ummm...yes. Then we realized that there was an 'extension' on the line --meaning it wasn't one continuous line to the jack, but two, connected together by an adapter. Thinking that the rep. was nuts, nevertheless, we agreed to get one looonnnngggg phone line and connect the fax directly to the jack (which was in another room). The only length of line that we had which was long enough to reach from the fax machine into the other room wasn't working. No dial tone. Bad line. So now what? Plan B. Go to the store and buy more line.... nah....we're convinced that the rep. is mistaken or perhaps we're misunderstanding her or she's misunderstanding us because we do get a dial tone when we plug a phone into the line with the connector adapter attached --therefore, we know that the line is functioning.

We call the tech. support people once AGAIN. This time, the guy on the other end walks us through some of the settings. No problem --all is set correctly. He attempts to send a fax. nothing. Then he asks us if we're sure that the phone line is plugged into the fax machine. Of course we're sure --we had found it on the floor earlier and plugged it in. He kept asking, "are you sure it's plugged into the "line" connection?".....wait...there's MORE THAN ONE place to connect a phone line? Sure enough --on the back of the machine --in a different spot altogether, are two more spots for connections. One of them clearly labeled "Line". Duh. Move the phone cord from the Cat5 connection spot to the "Line" connection and voila...the fax machine now works. Did we ever feel like idiots.

At this point, it's way past the 5 pm deadline to lock the rates, so our only hope is to pray that the rates stay stable until Monday or Brillo Man is going to have some 'splainin' to do to his clients. Or else he will have to "eat" the difference.

Relieved that we have solved the problem....I said to Brillo Man....too bad 'we' didn't think to look at the diagram which illustrates the set-up process. Directions? Who reads directions? Not Brillo Man.

If any of you lacks wisdom,
he should ask God, who gives generously to all
without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
-James 1:5


Call me Ben, Ben Bernanke said...

Good help is so hard to find.

Don't call me Mr Greenspan, call me Allan. said...

Nerds, you have to love them.

Sara said...

oy-vey. will pray for those interested rates to stay stable until monday!

Pat said...

I hope Mom enjoyed this because I sure did. Know why? Cuz the same thing could have just as easily happened over here! In fact I think it has only with the DVD player - we don't have a fax machine like you people that live in a state park!
I don't know what Brillo man would do without you ~ and I don't what you'd do without his comments!
No one is buying homes here - you could take forever to find out where to plug that fax machine!

Jada's Gigi said...

ditto to what ben,ben and yeah you just better be thankful anyone is buying where you are! its rough in some places ya know..

KayMac said...

ha! altho i do think it was amazing that you were able to figure this all out so patiently....I would have given up much sooner.

Arlene said...

Amazing. I am so not a person that figures these things out. I would have been right there with you. Glad you got it to work!

char said...

I love the cats, but WHERE ARE YOU?
Hope all is well in your world. :-)