Posted by on May 14, 2019

I really don’t like being a complainer, but, come on.  Some things just seem to exist in order to upset me.

Recently, we switched our phone service from Verizon to T-Mobile.  Our reasoning was simple enough: Verizon’s cost was exorbitant.  When we visited their local store to explore other, less costly options, they had nothing to offer us.  It was: “This is what we’ve got.  Take it or leave it.”

So we left it.  On the suggestion of our daughter we visited the T-Mobile store in our local mall.  She had heard about a great deal for new customers, so we looked into it.  The good news was that it would cost us a bit less than Verizon’s service.  The bad news was that I now cannot make calls from our house.  Of the five bars on the phone, only the tiniest speck of the tip of the triangle shows, which is often not sufficient for making an outgoing call.  (I can receive calls, but not make any.)

So, back to T-Mobile I went.  No prob, said the cheerful salesclerk.  The fix for that is called a “CellSpot,” a signal booster that is placed in the home to help add bars to the phone.  

Sure, why not?  The CellSpot was delivered a few days later, and I wasted no time in setting it up.  Very simple process, really: you connect the CellSpot and your router with an ethernet cable, plug an antenna into its socket, and the power cord into the proper jack.  Then you sit back and allow anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours for the mechanism to program itself.

The only problem is that, even after it was running all night, it still hadn’t completed the set-up process.  I found T-Mobile’s setup video online and watched “Rob” carefully as he showed me how to do everything I had just done.  The only thing he mentioned that I had not done was to place the antenna as close to a window as possible, so I draped it over my office window.  Still nothing.

Maybe the CellSpot didn’t like being plugged into a power strip, I thought, as my mind raced to try to find some explanation for why something so simple still wasn’t working.  I moved the power cord from the power strip and directly into a wall outlet.  Nada.

As I now look at the green light blinking (to let me know that I’ve actually plugged the CellSpot in) I am also seeing a yellow light next to the “Internet” stamp.  Even though I have very limited knowledge of such things, I have to wonder if there’s something about our router that’s incompatible with a CellSpot.  I know the ethernet cable is correctly connected to each machine (I’ve checked it numerous times.  Even “Rob” says I did it right).

I see this as yet another example of how we continue to create machines to make our lives easier, and, in the process, complicate them beyond imagining.

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