Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sometimes we need to wait

When the Voyager RV Resort (the park where we live in the winter) came into being back in the 80s, internet access was not an issue. But in recent years, adequate internet service has been an ongoing problem. Before wireless internet was available, we were told that faster internet would require the installation of eight miles of T-1 lines, which would be prohibitively expensive.

For many of the 3,000+ snowbirds who live here in the winter, slow internet service is almost a deal breaker. The service in our park model (trailer) was pretty good for our first three winters here. But we're most likely in a fortuitous location, because I have friends whose service was so bad they had to take their laptops or tablets to the lobby of the on-site restaurant to access the internet. The situation was especially difficult for those who work from their RV or park model.

When we arrived in December there was a lot of aggravated chatter in the park's email and Facebook groups about the inadequacy of the internet service. Some unkind remarks were directed at the park manager and the internet provider, Jabba Communications, because the Voyager currently has a contract provision with Jabba that no other company can install equipment inside the park. Several people threatened to notify the FCC. Finally, in early February, a competitor, Bluespan, was allowed in the park, because they were not installing "equipment" as defined in the Jabba contract. Now we have a choice of two wireless internet providers - Bluespan and Jabba - and people are happy.

Sometimes we need to wait for technology to catch up with our needs.

We called the Bluespan people and they installed a device on our roof. The technician, Steve, told me we needed a new router to optimize the service to the two laptops, two Kindles, two phones and one television in our 620-square-foot park model. I set off for Target to acquire a Netgear 600 router.

As usual, I wandered around in the electronics section, hoping for a knowledgeable employee to appear. A young woman approached. "Can I help you?" I told her what I needed and she led me to the correct shelf. She told me what a router does, and the differences between the various Netgear models. I understood exactly what she said, in contrast to what the tech guy, Steve, had told me, which sounded like a long, rapid string of some indecipherable language ending with "you need a Netgear 600 router."

I asked the young woman her name - "Jessica" - and told her I was impressed with how well she had explained the technical stuff to me. "Well," she said, "I am a geek at heart." I told her I'm always impressed when I'm helped by a knowledgeable woman - especially in electronics departments and hardware stores! She laughed. "I have a troop of young Girl Scouts, and I'm introducing them to STEM so they can learn to be independent."

(My Google search tells me that "STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. We focus on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively.")

I was impressed and gratified that Jessica will have such a positive impact on her Girl Scout troop. And glad she consented to have me take her picture as she sold me the router.

Jessica

I'm feeling very good about the Voyager and Bluespan. And I'm feeling great about Jessica and others like her who are guiding and encouraging girls to become competent, independent women.

I'm thinking we've waited long enough.

13 comments:

Judith Bell said...

Good post!

Meryl Baer said...

I admire your taking control of the situation, and admire Jessica for being so pro-active for women. Great post!

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

I'm so pleased to hear about your good experience with Jessica. Good for her for working with the Girl Scouts too. She is to be commended and I'm glad you shared her with us. Hopefully this has indeed solved your internet problems.

Terra Hangen said...

Nice you have the wanted improvements in your internet access.

Olga Hebert said...

I have been aware of STEM for some time thanks to my librarian friend Donna and her very talented and Jessica-like daughter.

DJan said...

Hooray for Jessica and STEM! I enjoyed this post very much, and I'm glad you're happy. :-)

Eileen said...

I so wish our Walmart hired bright techno geeks like Jessica! I rely on my son for advice but by the time I get to the store I no longer remember what he told me.

It is so wonderful to hear the emphasis on science and maths for young women. I loved math classes but disliked sciences...good thing I got into accountancy.

Arkansas Patti said...

How nice that you gave such a deserving sales person a shout out. Too often they go unrewarded. Love that they are opening up the minds of young women to the sciences and math. Kudos to the girl scouts.

Tom Sightings said...

A great find ... not so much the router, but Jessica!

Jessica Avery said...

Thank you, everyone for all the wonderful comments! It was a pleasure to help Linda! I am quite passionate in helping my daughter unlock her full potential and I am very happy that Girl Scouts recognizes all the different things that girls can excel at and gives them those opportunities! I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead!

retirementreflections said...

Thanks for the great post, Linda! Our world definitely needs more Jessicas!
Donna
www.retirementreflections.com

Linda Reeder said...

Jessica sounds like a treasure!

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Great post! I think young girls are getting messages about STEM from various places including toys and games, but it takes someone like Jessica to get them engaged and confident. Good for her.