Context…..Colors Everything

Now, I don’t deny that I’ve been disgruntled with Bend Broadband long before this most recent round of postings and comments.

Normally, however, I keep my grumbling about them to myself or I grumble to online friends in Canada, The Netherlands, and other parts of the USA.

The night that I received my latest Bend Broadband bill was NOT a good night for me.

My 81-year-old mother–who lives in La Grande– called the police here in Bend when I didn’t answer my phone or return her phone calls. She may or may not have had a stroke, but she is acting delusional, telling lies, and causing problems.

My next-to-last unemployment check was delayed due to a ‘problem’ and I found this out the day AFTER it was supposed to have been direct deposited in my checking account.

I have around $100.00 to my name–in total. ETA: as of Sunday April 18, 2010 I have around $60.00 to my name.

I am unemployed and I receive a whopping $104.00 a week in unemployment.

My space rent is 7 days late (the only reason it isn’t FOUR MONTHS late is a dear friend paid for January, February, and March).

I eat only because I get $200.00 a month in food stamps (I have no children and am not elderly or disabled so food stamps are the only self-sufficiency program I am even eligible for).

I stay warm and my pipes don’t freeze only because a local charity working with a local wood yard delivered 1 1/4 cords of wood to my house as part of my ‘energy assistance grant.’

In October 2009 I  sold my fathers remaining guns to pay November’s space rent, electricity bill,  and other bills.

I also sold three hundred dollars worth of silver coins (that I unexpectedly discovered while cleaning my house) and  I sold some gold jewelry/dental work that belonged to my stepmother and maternal grandmother.

ETA: all of the aforementioned people are long deceased and I was the legal owner of anything sold.

In the last 2 weeks I have applied for 15 jobs and gotten how many interviews?

ONE. That’s right… interview.  And I am not applying for jobs that I am unqualified for either, mostly I am overqualified but I am also not picky (heck, I worked in retail over the Christmas 2009 season).

I have a Bachelor of Science in Business/Economics, an Associate of Science in Hotel/Restaurant Management, 2 additional years of college-level education, and 12 years of experience in my field.

I can’t even get hired as the local dog catcher (no offense to Bend animal control officers intended, I am simply trying to make a point here!)

The bill from Bend Broadband was the proverbial last straw that broke this camel’s back.

Finding out that I couldn’t drop my landline without increasing my internet bill (and vice versa) just made things worse.

Finding out that I normally use less than 20% of my bandwidth allowance every month and that I cannot get a smaller package just rubbed salt in the wounds.

Of the $60.00 currently in my checking account (thanks to US Cellular payment being auto-deducted), Bend Broadband will take $67.74 on May 2, 2010.

Central Oregon Electric Co-op will take $45.00 on May 1, 2010.

Do the math and you will see that unless I get another unemployment check between now and May 1, I will actually have overdrawn my checking account for the first time since September 2006.

So given everything else, I was totally stressed out BEFORE I got the IMO excessively high bill from Bend Broadband.

And since I was already blogging about the situations with my mother, the cops,  and my unemployment check, it just felt natural to also express my displeasure with Bend Broadband.

If John Farwell had taken the time to read any of the posts regarding my mother or my unemployment check before commenting on the first Bend Broadband post, perhaps he would have realized that he was reading the writings of a rather stressed out and clearly upset person.

Perhaps he would have had the intelligence at that point to either NOT comment at all or make a relevant comment and simply leave it at that.

If John Farwell had taken the time to read any of the other posts on this blog, perhaps he would have realized that the poster was a female.

I have to admit that when he referred to me as HE, that set me off even more than his IMO irrelevant comments about high definition, video on demand, and Trail Blazer packages.

His comment after he found out that I was female fell far short of an honest and meaningful apology too.

“I’m sorry I got your gender wrong–I was writing this before work and was rushed and was trying to be gender neutral as I wasn’t clear if it was a male or female poster. My BAD!”

That’s a direct quote without editing of any kind (you can see for yourself if you click on comments related to “Bend Broadband doesn’t READ Either).

Well first off that’s a string of excuses that makes him look like a child caught with his hand in the candy jar.

Hmmm, writing it before work from a work-related email.  I wonder if Amy Tykeson –the CEO of Bend Broadband–would like to know that one of her employees is using company bandwidth and resources to repeatedly harass an unhappy customer.

Since when is HE gender neutral?

HE is masculine, pure and simple.

My BAD! really comes across as more sarcastic than anything.

The comment was submitted at 4:57 am PDST so either ‘poor John’ was at work really really early or he was using company resources while still at home.

Unless he works in the technical area of the company….and why would a troubleshooter be concerned about or have access to a Google alert….Bend Broadband’s hours of operation are 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday (9:00 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday).

While non-technical employees may be at work somewhat earlier than that, I doubt they are there 3 1/2 hours before the business opens to the public.

His repeated refusals to admit that his comments were intended as a free advertisement for Bend Broadband also upset me.

Who was he trying to convince of how wonderful Bend Broadband is?

He already knew I had switched to Dish 7 months ago (that is specifically mentioned in my post) and had a two year contract with them (he even mentioned in his first comment that Bend Broadband doesn’t require a two year commitment.)

So why tell ME all the wonderful things about Bend Broadband including but not limited to HD, Video on Demand, and the availability of Blazer television?

Had I posted anywhere that I wanted any of these things?  Had I posted anywhere that I was interested in any of these things?

I mean read the damn blog for pity’s sake, if I was interested in the Portland TrailBlazers (or any other NBA team) don’t you think it would be mentioned somewhere?

If I had an HDTV don’t you think that would also be mentioned somewhere, particularly in light of the fact that I had posted about an issue with Dish already.

If I was interested in movies and video on demand, don’t you think there would be a post sometime in the last 7 months  saying I watched this or that movie or some video on demand programming and boy was it great!

The last movie I actually saw on tv or in a theater was “The Other Sister” starring Diane Keaton, Tom Skerritt, and Juliette Lewis.  This movie was released eleven years ago.

So we can logically surmise that I don’t much care for movies therefore have no need at all for video on demand.

Those comments regarding all the benefits of Bend Broadband (and comparisons of programming and pricing) were directed solely towards other Central Oregon residents (by that I mean residents of Bend, LaPine, Sisters, Redmond, Sunriver, Black Butte, Culver, Madras, Metolius, Prineville, Powell Butte, and Terrebonne) who might happen to read my blog and who also might be considering switching from Bend Broadband to Dish Network or Direct TV.

Since I am not an employee (yet) of any company I do not have to provide free advertising to Bend Broadband or any other business/organization.

I do not have to defend my opinions of the business practices of any organization unless those opinions would be found to be violating the first amendment of the United States Constitution (to wit, as a resident of the United States of America, I am entitled to express my opinions freely  without fear of censorship or harassment).

I do not have to listen to the other side–particularly when that ‘other side’ includes expecting free advertising and/or posting  insulting/insensitive comments– when I was simply venting  in the first place.

I found his third comment, the one I trashed, to be insulting and insensitive.

Even after I told John Farwell to stop commenting here and/or emailing me, and that I was feeling totally threatened by his comments/actions/posts/position with my ISP, he just had to send one last email.  Some people just can’t let things go, they have to have the last word in any argument.

I hope he’s pleased to know that his email was deleted unread.

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