My home system crashed last night -- at least I think it has. All that shows when I turn it on is the screensaver -- no icons, nuttin'.
And what was I doing when it crashed? Trying to install my new Symantec Norton Security Upgrade (to be precise, the 'Ghost' CD they provided). It seems (to me) that somehow installing their software cut off my internet access, which made it difficult for me to 'activate' their program (I think this may not have happened if I'd disabled their old security program first or something). Reading through their more comprehensive notes (which I of course didn't read beforehand), it seems you can activate the program by phone, but you still need internet access to do this step.
I rang Symantec this morning and was greeted by a pre-recorded message spoken in an American-Irish accent (Symantec appears to be based in Eire). I then waited about half an hour, during which time I read a Quarterly essay (so it really was a long wait). I was finally answered by a voice with an Indian accent. I didn't want to make snap judgements, but when she stumbled over my phone area code, I said wearily, 'Better put '618' then. I'm in Australia. Are you in India?'
She was. We then had a long and fairly baffling telephone exchange with a lot of 'what, what?' on both sides. I couldn't work out if the problem was a language/ESL difference, an international phone line connection or if she was just a customer service drone who didn't understand technical problems in any depth (or all of the above). It resulted in a fair amount of mutual frustration (I was already frustrated with their product) with me ultimately asking to be put through to their technical support dept, upon which another lengthy wait began, and I hung up.
At this stage, my computer was just frozen on 'activate', but it seems to have crashed since then, so I'm going to take it to some technical boffins to see what they can do. I'm really annoyed with Symantec, especially because I tried so hard to Do The Right Thing and upgrade in time, but everything seems to have fallen in a heap. And I'm frustrated with myself for not handling the Indian Call Centre thing better, but after messing around with my laptop then waiting so long, I was, well, 'frustrated', the word I keep on repeating in this post, or 'frustrannoyed', as my mother would say. 'They're a big company, couldn't they employ more people so the queue moves more quickly?', was my first frustrannoyance, followed by, 'if I was speaking to an technical support person of whatever ethnicity based in Australia, this conversation would be a lot shorter and clearer.' Because I felt intuitively, despite all my best PC intentions, that somehow the Indian 'customer support' woman was struggling with any kind of dialogue that went off the cards she had to read from in front of her (at least, that's what it sounded like). I don't want to find myself thinking so negatively about this exchange, partly because of the implicit racial bias but also because I wanted to be respectful to the call centre woman as a person, and we've all been there, in shit-kicking jobs on poor conditions. 'Don't shoot the messenger' and all that. The other main frustannoyance here is receiving poor service from a large multinational corporation who seems to be relying on cheap labour sources and Could Do Better for their customers (and their workers?)