Previous jobs can come back to haunt you in strange ways

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Previous jobs can come back to haunt you in strange ways


When I was in high school, my first job was preparing food at a local Taco Mayo. I didn’t last long there. Soon afterwards, I began working at a local ISP doing tech support. I still remember all of the problems that brand new 56K modems had, because the v92 standard hadn’t really been standardized yet.

Anyway, all that to say my first real job was tech support at an ISP. Tonight, I was practicing my troubleshooting skills on my internet connection. I got home from work and couldn’t connect to anything except my router.

Here are the steps I took:

  1. Opened Outlook and IE and tried to go somewhere. Nothing happened.
  2. Recognized there was a problem.
  3. Pulled up a command prompt and tried to ping www.google.com and then my ISPs website. No dice.
  4. I rebooted.
  5. I pulled up an admin command prompt (UAC) and tried pinging again with no success.
  6. I released my IP address and then renewed it (ipconfig /release and then ipconfig /renew - this is why I needed an elevated prompt).
  7. I tried pinging again without success.
  8. I unplugged my cable modem, waited for 15 seconds, plugged it back up and then tried again… without success.
  9. I navigated to my router’s page in my browser which came up great.
  10. I released and renewed my IP address from the router. Then I tried pinging… once again without success.
  11. I bypassed my router and connected my ethernet cable directly to my cable modem.
  12. I unplugged and then plugged back in my cable modem and tried pinging without success.
  13. I got frustrated and tried most of the above things in random order to try to get it to work.
  14. I called tech support.
  15. I got more frustrated dealing with the automated answering system.
  16. I got FAR more frustrated dealing with the automated tech support - that had me do everything I had already tried.
  17. The automated tech support finally asked if I’d like to speak with a real person - I said yes.
  18. The real tech support picked up quickly (thankfully) and had me power off my modem and bypass my router (already done) and then try pinging which didn’t work.
  19. Then he asked me to reboot.
  20. Knowing that this was my second reboot, I was skeptical but I went ahead with it for the real tech support guy’s benefit.
  21. It starts working.
  22. I look and feel like an idiot.

Moral of the story - rebooting always fixes the problem. Just try it over and over and over again. Until it starts working.