NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Email will only get you so far

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Email will only get you so far

When I told Rob the bartender about the new juicer that Amber got me, he pointed out the obvious, which I had overlooked. “That juice goes really well with vodka or gin,” Rob said. Berries, berries, here I come.

Speaking of berries, one of my spies received an error message on his Enterprise BlackBerry, the one designed to work with Cingular Wireless LLC. The message said the he was denied network access. After a bunch of information exchanges with a “BlackBerry specialist”, the spy was told that Cingular does some batch changes “every now and again” and there are always a couple of errors. Well, this time it was my spy’s account that was purged, despite the fact that he had a perfect payment record, and they couldn’t get him back to wireless nirvana until six days later. Oh yes, and one more thing, when he asked about paying for services he was not getting, they told him the only way to resolve that was to call back — no emails, no faxes, and no automatic check on his account to see if he was back online.

Another of my spies recently got a disparaging email. This one came from Red Hat and it said that his subscriptions were about to expire. He knew he had several months to go, so he tried to log in to Red Hat Network to check it out. It said his password was wrong, so he used the “forgot password” button to have them email his password. Well, he received the password in about 10 minutes. The username was correct, but the password didn’t look familiar, so he used it to log into the account. To my spy’s surprise, the account was someone else’s and, what’s more, it had detailed configuration and account information for about a dozen Linux boxes. “My attempts to contact Red Hat to solve the problem have gone unanswered,” my spy said.

Hello, goodbye

Winstar, the long-distance data carrier, has been mysteriously deleting the provisioned circuits at another spy’s company. When he contacted tech support, they informed him that his company had not been paying its bill. But when he faxed them proof of payment, Winstar offered to reimburse the money from the time they dis­connected the circuit or reprovisioned the circuit — but only if my spy was willing to wait three to four weeks. How are his branches supposed to operate in the meantime?

“Cringe, you will never make it through the marathon if you spike every juice drink with vodka,” Amber said. Alas, but every juice drink will be that much more fun.

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