Waiting For Microsoft

“Yes can I help you?”

“Please! My server is down and I’m trying to get my Exchange connector service-”

“What is your name?”


“How much time do you have to wait?”

This is never a good sign. I knew it was going to be bad when I called but I had put it off long enough. I had read through my manuals, and scoured the internet newsgroups. I had done everything I knew to do. I had no choice. I had to call Microsoft.

Calling into the largest corporation in the world and asking them for help, has all the makings for a very bad dream, or maybe the good start of a joke. I had run out of options and so I took the plunge. I have logged countless hours on the phone with Microsoft over the years, and it was mostly because some boss of mine insisted. Generally I come away with more questions than solutions, and about $245 less in my pocket.

Calling and expecting instant service is like walking into Wal-Mart and expecting it to be empty. This just isn’t going to happen. So I wait. Some waits are hours, others are days. I called on Nov 21st, and by Nov 27th I still hadn’t heard any word back. So I wait. In waiting I had to justify not working to my boss.

"I can’t leave." I said, "I have to wait or I might miss my call and then I’d rotate back down and have to wait all over again."

There is something about coming into work each morning and realizing your entire productivity for the day is dependent on your faith in a multi billion dollar corporation to call you back and help you. I got impatient. I did one of the dumbest things you could do. I called them back.

“What is your name?”

“Peter Brown.”

“What is your case ID?”

“Look I need some help. It’s been near a week since I paid for this case and I still haven’t heard from a tech. I’ve just been waiting.”

“Sir. You can wait or I could transfer you to our support team in India.”

“No. Please don’t do that! Please. I need the connection department. My users have been down for a week. Do you know how many people I have relying on this server?”

“Sir you are a light mist is the raging sea of software commerce. We will call you when your number comes up. Is there anything else I can do for you?”


“Have a nice day and thank you for choosing Microsoft.”

This is the way it goes when trying to leverage support from a company so large that nearly everyone in the world has at least one copy of a software package that they sell. I ended up getting called yesterday and after about three hours the issue was resolved. All in all I’m happy not because my issue is solved and my boss is happy but because today I will not have to be waiting for Microsoft.


J Crew said...

That sounds like fun. Maybe tomorrow you can top it off with a root canal

kludge said...

J Crew-


Roberta said...

Ah, yes. The joys of megacorporations. Trying to get SBC to even consider helping you with a telephone problem is almost as bad. I waited three months and several hours on the phone (mostly with someone who sounded like they were in Bangladesh) before they figured out that there really was something wrong with my phone line. Gee, I really wasn't lying just to get attention. Go figure...

kludge said...


I hate validating my trouble to someone who lives 6000 miles away. They just don't seem to care...

Being in networking, I spend a lot of time talking to phone companies. I will literally call SBC three or four times in a row until I get the person who gives me the answers I want.

Ando said...

When I first had my DSL hooked up, it had all kinds of problems and I had to keep calling SBC. Everytime the first level tech would have me run through the same procedures I'd already done about 900 times. I became quite an expert on modem rebooting.

kludge said...


Having worked for an ISP, you would be amazed at how many people call who HAVE NOT rebooted their DSL modem/router. 88% of my calls were, "Hello. Reboot. Have a nice day."

jenylu said...

You must have been praying for patience or something! :)