Just Work, Dadgummit

I am a tech geek. I love technology and all the wonderful and efficient things you can do with it.

I love technology … right up until the point it doesn’t work. I accept the occasional glitch and hiccup, but when A + B = C and you do A, then add B, and you get Z; that’s when I tend to lose my mind.

Enter my recent upgrade to FiOS Quantum, the premium level TV and Internet offering from Verizon. I’ve loved FiOS since it was launched, and for the most part the product has been great. With Quantum, my three separate DVR’s are replaced by one media server that has more than double the capacity than I previously had, and can record six programs at once. In addition, it makes every TV in the house operate the same (pause live TV, access DVR, etc.) Previously, the TV’s in my kids’ rooms had only standard set-top boxes.

So I receive the new hardware, set it all up, and ….. my Internet is working. A not-so-quick call to customer support and the problem is resolved. I move on to the media server setup and …. my premium channels aren’t working. Not that big of a deal, but still a problem that needs to be resolved. Back to customer support.

The resolution was Verizon sending me a new media server (it was a hardware issue). I unpackage the new device, connect it to my TV, and …… I run into another problem. Back to customer support.

By this point, I would normally be yelling and/or speaking very condescendingly to the poor soul on the other end of the line. My frustration is not with them, but rather with the fact the darn thing I expect to work isn’t working. I would also be reaching for a beer to help me calm down, with the bonus of having something to throw in case the issue goes really, really bad.


This behavior, however, does not align with my personal month of discipline. More importantly, this behavior does not align with my life as a Christ follower. That’s not to say Christians never get angry. Even Jesus went a little ape doodoo when he saw the temple turned into a marketplace.

But the lesson with my recent frustrations is patience. It’s also a reminder that God uses situations like this to mold us into better people. I’ve asked God to help make me a better man, and this is a trial He is using to do so. I am proud to say my conversations with each of the tech support representatives with whom I spoke were cordial and constructive. Well … I did end up hanging up on one rep who was, for lack of a better phrase, clueless. I look back on that, however, knowing I should have handled it better, and that it is all part of the learning and growing process.

You can’t walk a thousand miles and not have sore feet. You can’t get from here to there without some bumps along the way. The next time you feel you’re having a “poop has hit the fan” kinda day, ask yourself if perhaps God is challenging you to grow in that moment.

James said it best:

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:2-5 (NIV)

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