Friday, April 20, 2007

Yet Another Reason I'm a Bad Person

(Though, when all is said and done, one of the lesser ones.)

My new apartment is in the basement of a house. In the house live five or six graduate students, most of them foreign. One of the students upstairs has a wireless router for which the monthly bill is split between those who use it. He invited me to join in, so I went out and bought a wireless card for my PC and the other night he came down and entered the code I needed to access the network.

My first mistake was to not write that code down. My second mistake was to shut off my computer this evening, not having written the code down. My third mistake was the worst:

Having realized that I now had no internet connection and feeling somewhat panicked by that fact, I went upstairs to ask Wireless Guy for the code. He wasn't there. His girlfriend said he wouldn't be back until late. I tried the cell phone number he'd written down for me the other day, but one of the numbers was indecipherable and as it turns out you need all seven to complete a call. So I went back upstairs to take a look at the wireless router and figure out if the code was written somewhere on it. It wasn't, but there was a Secure Easy Setup button that matched the Secure Easy Setup button on the software that came with my wireless card. I thought that maybe pressing this button would send a signal to my computer telling it what the secret code was. This was not quite the case; rather, pressing that button reset the code, then sent said new code to my computer. So now my internet works fine, but if anyone upstairs is trying to get online tonight, they're out of luck.

I don't really know any of the people upstairs, and I certainly don't know which of them might be using the internet tonight. I don't even know which of them are home, as everyone tends to stay in his or her own room with the door shut and locked. And I would feel rather silly knocking on every door in the house to explain that hi, I'm the new guy downstairs and I accidentally changed the access code and I'm sorry, but here's the new code which will only help you tonight because surely tomorrow morning the Wireless Guy will reset it again when he realizes what happened. Especially considering that most if not all of these people speak English as a second language, so all they might get from my longwinded and confusing apology is "Hi, I'm Master Fob, and I'm a big jerk. I broke your internet."

So instead I'm letting half a dozen people be frustrated tonight that their internet connection doesn't work and hoping that tomorrow morning Wireless Guy will fix everything, and that maybe he'll give me the new new code when he re-resets it.

In the meantime, I got what I wanted--I'm connected tonight--albeit at the expense of others. That seems to be a recurring theme around here.


playasinmar said...

Oh NOES you broke the internets!
In my house I am the internet fix-it guy and that sort of thing happens al the time. I often come home to find a note on my computer screen explaining their latest misadventure.

John said...

Master Fob, you're a librarian. You need to leave the tech stuff to the IT guys.

Amy said...

Have you thought of just leaving a note on the door telling them what happened? And the new number?

JB said...

Whoops. Stuff happens, man. Doesn't make you a bad person. Really!

TK said...

I'm waiting in suspense for you to post the outcome of all this! Please don't leave us hanging! :)