We have lost it. Finally, as we staggered dimly groping our way into the 21st Century, we lost. Too many Sci-Fi films have made mockery of an age where machines take over. They go from passive, but useful lumps of metal, plastic and silicone, forever tasked with spending their existence serving mankind, to Masters of the Planet.
My WebHost is a case in point.
Some time ago I purchased an additional domain, for a woodworking project. The WebHost (1and1 Internet, the biggest in the world) refused to accept my Debit card details. Specifically, it was having trouble with the address. This is a card they have had on file for two years, and have happily charged a not inconsiderable sum to.
Now my websites are locked .... poof .... they are no more. Try one of the links, and you get the infamous Error 404 page. It's a pretty blue and white logo, with nice hints of red and yellow, but of the info you were looking for, nuttin'. The picture is missing from my profile here because it is hosted on my webspace. So, if you are reading this, and there is a picture, then it's fixed.
I do what all self-respecting customers do when their service is suddenly interrupted .... I call, and politely enquire as to why. I am informed, equally politely, that I am pondlife, with no care or concern about the welfare of this giant corporation, because the bank declined my card, and only vermin who don't deserve food, let alone a website, ever have cards that are declined. And it couldn't possibly be for any reason other than that I am the lowest of the low socially, I probably live in a trailer, almost certainly am a criminal, and if not my kids probably are, and they wouldn't be at all surprised if I was an illegal immigrant as well.
Of course, they didn't put it quite like that.
That was my interpretation of the sneer, when I tried to suggest their system was broken. Broken because it now seemed to have indegestion swallowing a card it had happily snacked on before, not because there were insufficient funds, but because it didn't like the address! Well Pardon Me!!! We can't all live at an address with a personal approval rating from 1and1 Internet.
So, patiently, and with great forebearance, I lead this hapless girl through the timeline. We managed to agree that I wasn't an axe-murderer, that I had indeed attempted to inform the company of the correct billing details; that I had even managed to contact their billing agent direct, and pay the bill (they had less trouble running the card than an Olympic Pole vaulter would have hopping a small creek), and that all was *hunky dory* with my account.
So, I persisted .... Why don't my websites work, and why is my Blog bereft of it's picture?
Well the system, apparently, takes 24 to 48 hours to unlock accounts. Ahh ... so it's the *system*. Ok, how can we ask the system to be closer to 24 hours, than 48 hours? .... We can't, it's the system.
At this point, I inform this young woman (who really was trying to help once we had punctured the sneer), that the company runs the system, and not the other way around. There must be somebody in the company who can tell the system to open this account.
Apparently not ..... the system is the system .... All Hail the System.
So, it's off with the shoes, Margarita in hand I'll kick back on the porch of the trailer, and enjoy the view of the cars on bricks, the loose dogs and litter for 24 more hours, while I wait for my probation officer to make his weekly call, and for 1and1's System to put my picture back.