Alaskaaaa

Readers, be prepared for a rant. A rant on technology, because fuck technology.

Was that an aggressive start to this? Lemme start over.

So, fuck technology, right?

Technology is the bane of my existence, not in the ‘this is slightly inconvenient’ kind of way, but in the ‘I legitimately want to throw things deep into the ocean after crushing them’ kind of way. Technology inspires in me a deep seated rage against all things I don’t understand, and all things I can’t fucking make work.

No one told me life was going to be easy, so I don’t know why I expect things to work when I have instructions, follow them, and, oh yeah, pay for them to work. Is it too much to ask to minimize my suffering, here?

Right now my rage against technology is solidly focused on my wifi router, or rather my lack of wifi router. This fucker was supposed to be easy to set up (according to two different people, neither of whom worked for the company I got the router from). I went in, got my router, and trotted home contented that I had so far been productive and started setting up the foundations of my Alaskan life.

Yeah. Don’t celebrate your success until those little internet lines pop up on your computer, dumbass.

Of course my little backpacker-friendly computer/tablet doesn’t have an Ethernet cord, so I borrow the computer of my ever-patient Mormon housemate. We then all proceed to gather around the magic wifi box that, lo and behold, refuses to produce any connection whatsoever.

Recent instances involving my phone and a particularly shitty phone company (and, previously, a really shitty bank but that’s not really a tech problem, they were just incompetent and horrible) have led me to believe that real, honest and true customer service simply doesn’t exist anymore. I would happily talk to someone not located in the United States of America if it meant having them actually listen to my problem and offer me solutions to solve it. What I’ve gotten lately has been a lot of, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you…’ ‘our system isn’t registering your phone, despite the fact that you literally bought it and activated a phone plan from our fucking company in the first place,’ and ‘um, yeah, you’re going to have to call (insert different department, overseas management facility, or regional summoning the demons of technology here).’

And so I repeat myself. Fuck technology.

One call to an unhelpful customer service rep for the internet company and much unsuccessful googling later, the result is that I have to go back to the store and ask them what the fuck is up with this thing that was supposed to be so easy and self-explanatory to set up. When I asked them in the shop if I needed any extra instructions to do this and they both cheerily responded, ‘of course not!’ I don’t think they fully comprehended just how much technology hates me, and just how incapable I am of dealing with it.

I hate that I feel incapable of easy shit, like finding a bank that doesn’t suck or a phone company that will actually work or a wifi connection that will allow me to do my job (the writing one) easier, since there are no cafes where I can get coffee and lurk within 2 miles of here. It took me a month and a half to get my phone actually up and running (see above personal technological incompetence) and now it’s going to take a couple more days to get back to the shop and sort this nonsense out, which will mean more money and more inconvenience. Feeling like you need someone to hold your hand and walk you through all this dumb shit is really annoying, especially for someone who has lived in other countries and travelled the world and has generally accepted that she’s an adult and sometimes remembers to act like one, too.

Of course, I could be a Syrian refugee trying to rebuild my life in another country or, you know, one of thousands of homeless people in the streets of the world, but that kind of perceptual reasoning is slightly out of my emotional range at the moment. Right now I want to sit, stew in my righteous anger, and simply leak hatred over the internet, my lack of it, and technology in general.

Other than that, life in Alaska isn’t too bad. I’m surrounded by mountains, most of which still have snow on them. I have an awesome roommate (which is legitimately one of the first times in my life I can say that with no trace of passive aggressivity or sarcasm leaking out of my face) and my housemates are generally pretty cool, when they remember to do their dishes *cough*. Work so far has involved taking my CDL tests, which I passed on the second try, and cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning.

Aside from some mild poisoning from Clorox and 409 (poop is not supposed to be green, y’all) I have actually been pretty content with how this summer is going to go. Unfortunately the work buddies I’ve made, including my roommate, are all shipping out to other cities in Alaska once our training is done, so I don’t know who I’ll be living with or working with. We got a ‘furnished’ apartment which is located on an island across from Juneau, which is a cool location minus the fact that we have no transportation (one ish bus system) and are about 9 road miles away from the office.

The office is located in the same building as the local rock gym, which I haven’t climbed in yet because I haven’t started getting paid yet and I have blisters on my feet from walking to and fro between work and home. And work and the coffee shop. And home and grocery store. And roller derby and home. Maybe mentioning that a car might be helpful for those of us in locations like this may have been something this company could consider for the future.

I may have solved my transportation issues not by buying a car, but by buying, that’s right, a kayak.

Booyah.

My housemate found a cheap two-person kayak on Craigslist which I snatched up like a hot potato (after walking 12 miles round trip to see it. It’s a big island). That was dropped off today (score!) and all I have to do is grab a couple life jackets and paddles and we’re all set to paddle. Official Transportation Vehicle of the Douglas Island 409ers.

When I showed up our apartment was under construction, as in there was a toilet in my bedroom. Cool. Now, I’m not opposed to a little renovation, but sticking people in a house that isn’t even finished? Maybe we could have been a bit more organized (and now I am being sarcastic and passive aggressive). My paperwork to come up here was late, people have been left at the airport, and generally things just aren’t as well organized as you’d like to think they would be settling into a new job in a new state. My personal stress levels are lower than they were when I arrived, but that’s because my roommate and I have epic bitch sessions over beers to keep ourselves sane. That, and I have basically nothing else to do this summer that would make me money (I can’t go back to a coffee shop, man, I just can’t do it).

My room has a sauna (epic), a walk in closet (I still live out of my suitcase) and mattresses on the floor, because apparently the definition of ‘furnished’ has gotten looser in the time I’ve been away from the USA. I live in a nook off the master bedroom which may have been designated as some kind of arctic mud room, but is now my humble abode and at least a bit more private due to the roommate situation. At least I have a real pillow now and not just a pillowcase stuffed with my clothes.

Juneau is a cute little city. It’s smaller than Anchorage, which seemed hectic to me, and people seem to be really genuine. A lot of it is touristy, but there are spots that are normal. The views are great on sunny days (few and far between). Groceries are mad expensive. There is a nice pizza place near my house as well as a somewhat respectable pub, where my roommate and I made the acquaintance of the guy whose sons started the company I work for, and whose nephew is the president. Small world.

So far I’ve been here a week and have joined the local derby team, visited a bookstore and generally got my bearings and haunted all the coffee shops. Work seems ok and we’re starting to drive the buses this week (honk honk, move out the way!). I tentatively will say that I like living here, but I also like knowing that I don’t have to stay.

Whoosh. Well, I suppose that’s all for now. I’m going to forget any ambitions I had to be productive for the rest of today, my only day off, and vegetate.

Update: I now have a router, which is different from a modem, but of course the setup for the router is a CD system which isn’t compatible with any of our technological devices. My trainer was sick today so although I’ve started driving the bus (and am not half bad at it, either) I had an unplanned day off, which is always more fun when everyone else you know isn’t working. Oh well. Sans wifi and sans getting paid today, I guess nothing’s changed in the last week.

 

 

 

 

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