The last week has been very busy for me. I have had three trips to Galway and I am up against deadlines on a few projects. So I have had to be very careful about pacing, which I am succeeding in, mainly. Yesterday, I decided to write a very short post, so I would not push myself over a point of no return. The skill of learning when to say “No” should be taught in schools, as I have had difficulty with this concept over the years. Now I have little choice, so I have taught myself. With more than one hiccup along the way.

Yesterday I was fatigued. The pool of energy was very low. I attended a meeting for the university and another with IPPOSI. This was my limit for the day, or so I thought. On Wednesday, our broadband was upgraded to fibre, and I hoped this would be the end of variable download speeds, and a clearer signal for the TV. Our old speed was about 50mb download and 20mb upload, which was good, when it worked. Over the last few years several technicians have come to resolve the problem, with little success. My feeling is the cabling between our home and the exchange was bad. Fibre should bring a new direct signal from the exchange to our home, with no line sharing. All good?

When the installer left on Wednesday we had no TV, and a call to the company on Wednesday evening could not fix the problem, and so yesterday they were meant to phone. My 5pm, no contact, so I phoned them. This was a mistake on my side, as I had used all my small amount of energy on the two meetings during the day. The concentration I had to have for this call with tech support exploded my pain. It went into orbit, and of course, I lost all control of my emotions. It was volcanic. Sudden and spewing horrible stuff everywhere. Not good.

I threatened cancelling the contract, implied incompetence of the company, and bloody minded rage. It was not good, and the pain, was so bad. My only choice was to hang up. Give up. Hide away. Can I remember what I said, not really. Later another technician phoned, and we got the TV working, but it is a very temporary fix. However, I had too much at this stage, and I went to bed, for the rest of the day. Dark room, controlled noise and my legs resting.

I titled this post pain is expensive and I am not talking about the medicine, or the time lost due to pain. To live in this world we need to contact different services, like phone, tv, etc, and usually this means phoning a call centre. By the time you actually get to speak to someone, usually 10-15 minutes pass, with waiting on hold, pressing various buttons to get to the section you need, then all the verification questions, warnings and legal disclosures. For me this is half of my effective time. Usually I am then under pressure to resolve the problem in 15 minutes. I do not have the luxury of time.

This means I avoid changing anything once it has been set up. Avoiding pain, lost hours, or even a day, is sometimes too much. Plus, I do not enjoy pain, naturally I try to avoid it. It is horrible and I do not have a medication I can use to kill it. As a result, I avoid these situations. This means I am overpaying for a service. I could get the same broadband from a different supplier for 33% less per month, but the pain, my pain, of changing is too much. I just cannot do it anymore.

When I didn’t have this I would have welcomed the challenge of getting a better deal, negotiating my way through all the complex rules and conditions. I enjoyed that, now I run away from it. Is there a solution to this? I really don’t know. If there was someone else who could do it, or if the call centres could make accommodations for my disabilities, then maybe I could have some more control of my life. I am not sure if the world is willing to level the playing field in this area yet.

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