Monday, December 22, 2008

if you give a mouse a cookie

...soon he'll be knocking down your door expecting reliable internet. Or something like that.

One of the reasons I was attracted to the school where I am teaching in Shanghai (other than it being an IB school) was the on-site housing and supposed dependable internet connection. Now, I've come to loathe the fact that I live on campus (way too much coworker/student interactions) and have been disenchanted in regards to the internet situation.

Sometimes it's fun to have a technology-free day or two, y'know, turn off your cell phone, leave your laptop in its cute little Kate Spade case, unplug the TV, and curl up with a good book while pretending we're not being bombarded 24/7 by the electronic world. That's by choice, though. When you're forced to have technology-free days, it's not so fun. Especially if you're in the last 2 weeks of your internet-based graduate coursework.

Finally, the internet problem here got so bad I decided to talk to my supervisor. He is definitely The Man, as it were. One phone call from this dude and problems get solved, if you know what I mean. So I went by his office, expressed my concerns, and he assured me he would get to the bottom of the situation "Maybe I will call the computer technician..."

Five minutes later The Man shows up in the office and informs me that, yes, there is an internet problem, and that the problem was students were draining too much server power (I don't really even know what this means) during the daytime so they just decided to shut the internet off in the dorms between 8AM-4PM.


At this point I did what I do best: threw a fit. Really, it's the only way to get things done in China. The Man said he would work on the problem, and had me bring in my laptop the next day for the IT guy to look at. I don't know what this guy's qualifications are, but judging by the horrified expression that came across his face when he saw that Romy had a Mac, I'm guessing he's not very experienced in the world of computers.

He "fixed" the problem. And by "fixed" the problem I mean he made it so I couldn't connect to the internet at all. Which, if you know China, you know is such a Chinese way of fixing something. Oh, you have a problem? Here, let me make it 100 times worse for you. No, no, don't thank me. Inconveniencing you is thanks enough.


Frank said...


I'd send you some of my internets if I could.

The same thing happened when I lived in the dorms at college. We had internet in the evening, when all the students were using it, but we had maybe 1/10 of our normal bandwith, which slowed our supposedly speedy broadband internet down to something closer to slow dialup. Made me sad, especially when some of my research involved watching internet videos.

Andy said...

Ouch. I was doing research for my university in France, and apparently, they do give you internet in your room, but it's only 64 Mb. That's like slw dialup. Gladly, that's only during your frist 2 years. Then, you move to different rooms with high-speed wi-fi.