(Another) Guilty Admission: I am a thief.

by

thief2

I don’t plan to double up my categories. I came clean with a Guilty Admission just last night. And I had a different post planned for today. But alas, I’m so guilt ridden, I must confess and move on with my life.

I’m a thief. There, I said it.

For the past month, I’ve been stealing internet access at my new office.

I’m generally an honest person. Really, I am. Aside from a brief career as a shoplifter in my bad-ass teenage years, I generally toe the line. I don’t even indulge in minor thievery.

Except for one incident in first grade, I’ve never been one to steal office supplies. (Unless they were Uniball pens. Or reporter’s notebooks with the white cover. Or that creamy brown scratch paper you used to get for math to work out your problems… Or the black and white composition books…)

Okay, so I’ve always helped myself to office supplies.

But usually, I’m an honest woman.

So why do I feel like it’s not really stealing when it’s the Internets?

As we all know, dear readers, I was blessed to move into my very own office this year. (I would insert a hyperlink here to lead you to my story on moving into my new office. But every time I insert a link, it takes you away from the page you’re on. And then you have to use the Back button to get back here. And isn’t that a pain? So I’m not messing with links until I figure that out.)

So, I move in to my new office. Yay! And my rent is only $ABC per month. Whoo-Hoo! But suddenly, I’m faced with another bill I didn’t think about: phone and internet access.

I figured I’d use my cell phone since phone interviews are becoming more and more rare these days. (I’m ashamed to say that a lot of my quick interviews are being done via email these days. Is that bad?)

The day I hauled my desktop, printer and all the accessories from home to the office was the day I really felt like I was official. I was hooking everything up and thinking about if I should call Comcast or Verizon about getting the internets.

But then, something interesting happened when I booted up my computer.

I saw my favorite symbol, the one that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

images-12

It was the tiny curves of my Airport scanner letting me know that somehow, I had full Internet access and a strong signal. I typed up Google in my search engine and there it was—lightening fast and ready to…search!

But how? There was nothing but loose wires and holes where wires used to be in my tiny office. I clicked on the Airport icon for details. Turns out that my next door neighbor, Alberto, who also happens to manage the building, didn’t have a password connected to his Internet hook-up.

It was just out there. Free. Mine for the taking. Right?

Well. Have I mentioned that my office, lovely though it may be, is FREEZING? There is  a radiator. But it’s never even the slightest bit warm. And there is a tiny sliver of space at the top of my window that lets in a wicked breeze. I bought a space heater from Home Depot and I’m still always cold, typing posts for this here blog in fingerless gloves and oversized sweats. It’s Alberto’s fault that I’m a fashion victim. (Again, I’d like to link here to my story on being a fashion reject. But I won’t. Feel free to look for it. It was pretty good.)

I digress.

That’s how it began. I tried to justify stealing Alberto’s Internet juices by blaming him for not supplying me with heat. No heat for me? Fine! I’ll just steal your Internets! Take that!

It was supposed to be just for a day or two. Until I got my hook up from Comcast or Verizon.

And then I called both companies and got a rude awakening.

This joint is an office. Not a home. Which means I have to get a business plan. Not a residential plan. When I heard the rates, even for a one-woman business, I wanted to cry.

“But Verizon lady,” I said. “It’s just me in here! I’m no real company!”

“So this company that leased the office, Wisdombody, Inc. It doesn’t have a Tax-Id number?”

“Well. Yes. It does.”

“And are you the President of this company?”

“Yeah. But I only gave myself that title cause it sounded cute. I’m the only employee.”

“So it’s a business.”

“Yes. It’s a business.”

“The business rate for phone and Internet is XYZ.”

“But that’s half the rent for my office!”

“Would you like to order service ma’am?”

“No. I would not,” I said, hanging up the phone in a huff.

And then I got busy. I started blogging. I wrote a story. Got edits back on another story. Got sick with some crazy stomach flu. Got sick again. And I forgot all about my Internet needs.

And yes, I’ll admit it. Alberto made it easy. Cause every morning, when I came to work and turned on my computer, I saw that icon, perfectly curved and strong, telling me…

Use me. I’m fast. I can search for anything. I am the Internets!

And so I did. A day turned into a week. A week turned into a month. A month turned into Monday.

Monday, I went to work. (Yeah. I know, it was a holiday. But my last name is King. Which means I can decide for myself how to celebrate the holiday named after me. And I decided to celebrate and call my back-up sitter since TheOtherGirl’s school was closed and take my butt to work.)

I was feeling a bit under the weather. But I had a story due that I had to get done. And plus, I love going to my office, sick or not. It’s my favorite place in the whole wide world right now.

I usually stick my head in Alberto’s office and say what’s up when I come in. But his office was dark. So I went straight to my door instead. As soon as I walked into my office, I noticed something very different.

It was warm! Really warm! Like bordering on hot! The silver radiator behind my desk was sizzling in that comforting way I remember from my parent’s house when I was a little girl. And the top part of the window was fixed. No more draft! Yay!

I took the space heater off my desk and stowed it in my file cabinet. Stripped down to my tee shirt and even took off my beloved hat. I clapped my hands together and did a little jig.

(See, when you have your own office, you can do things like that. Dance a little jig and no one can see you. Now, I was known to do things like this when I worked from home too. But I always felt silly. And then there was the time the FedEx guy came up on the porch while I was doing my patented I-just-got-a-good-assignment dance. And he looked at me strangely. That doesn’t happen in my new office.)

So I did my jig. And then sat down and booted up my computer.

And there was nothing. No icon. No curves. No reach. No power. Just the word LINKSYS. And a tiny little icon of a padlock next to it. I was locked out. No password. No internets.

And I had a ton of research to do for my story that was due 24 hours later.

No one’s fault but my own. I thought of going to Starbucks for the day. But no, I could not pay rent in an office and still end up working out of Starbucks.

I went to Radio Shack and bought a USB wireless Internet thingie. Looks like this:

Boo. Hiss.

Boo. Hiss.

Sixty frigging bucks a month for unlimited service.

I groaned.

But it had to be done. Obviously, Alberto had figured me out and shut me down. I needed to have control of my own Internets and I knew I had to get caught eventually.

When I got back to the office, Alberto was there.

“Everything okay?” he asked.

“Couldn’t be better,” I said.

I installed my USB internets. Within  minutes, I was online. Whoo-hoo!

Not.

My service is now dial-up slow. Not lightening fast like Alberto’s LINKSYS.

And this makes me sad. But it’s my own fault. I am being punished for being a thief. I stole his Internets for a full month.

I actually feel guilty that I poached his service for as long as I did. How bad was that? Am I the only who has ever done it?

For the record, I’ve never installed a password on my own Internet service at home. Here’s what it looks like if you drive down my street looking for Internet access:

Free!

Free!

Free for one and for all!

I know there are probably a whole host of reasons why I shouldn’t do this. But honestly, I’ve just been too lazy to call the cable company and set up a password.

Before I bought a house, I lived in an apartment, right above my friend Paul. And we both made sure to keep our Internet connections open. If he ever had a glitch with his Internets, he knew he could use mine. And vice versa. I had the nerve to get an attitude if his joint wasn’t working. I’d call him up and say, yo, reset your server. Damn. I’m trying to do some research up here!

But there’s no one in my neighborhood I should be sharing my Internets with. And they all very wisely have their connection blocked against thieves like me.

I ask you Dear Readers, how bad a person am I? How does Internet-connection-thievery measure up in the world of sin? It’s not on the 10 Commandments. Oh. Yeah. It is. Thou Shall Not Steal. But does the Internet—all invisible and stuff—really count? It’s like stealing air. Isn’t it?

I need to hear from you on a few things.

1.    How bad was it that I stole Internet from my neighbor for a month?
2.    Are there any other options for Internet access that won’t cost me a zillion dollars a month or be slow and whack like this dumb AT&T thing?
3.    Have you ever poached someone’s Internet access? Under what circumstances? And did you at least feel bad about it?

Love to hear from you…

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19 Responses to “(Another) Guilty Admission: I am a thief.”

  1. Tremaya Says:

    Hmm… Aliya are you sure you have the USB program installed correctly? I ask because I just got the AT&T Quicksilver USB in December and it was slow as molasses in winter too, but it was because I hadn’t properly (ok, I hadn’t done it all) installed the AT&T Communication Manager. You should call tech support, if that doesn’t work you still have 30 days to send that sucker back, and I agree the price most definitely sucks!

    1. It’s bad but forgivable in my book. I just wonder why he suddenly put a password on it. I can just see him logging on one day and seeing “Wisebody Inc connected” and saying “Oh hell to the naw!” a la Whitney Houston. LOL!
    2. If you have T-Mobile, they have this router that will work with your cell phone. I don’t know all the details but they are always touting it in the malls and on the net. Not sure if that’s a residential thing too though?? I don’t know of any other options??
    3. Never poached anyone’s internet.

  2. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Tremaya: Is there any part of my life that you can’t relate to and dispense valuable advice on?! You’re starting to scare me. Can you also help me get TheHusband to set his alarm clock at night so I don’t have to wake him up in the morning? Any-hoo. I didn’t even read any of the directions that came with the thing. I just plugged that sucker in and started Internetting. So yeah. I don’t even know what communication manager is. Maybe I’ll call tech support tomorrow. And I don’t know why or how Alberto suddenly froze me out. Maybe it was a coincidence? Nah. Probably not.

  3. Tremaya Says:

    Yes, you freak me out too! I’m convinced that you doing that damn interview in Essence with Beyonce was some kind of cosmic aligning of our worlds and it’s beyond weirding me out that you always manage to post something that is relevant to me too!! With that being said, yes call AT&T and install the Communication Manager and you’ll be singing a different song tomorrow, an expensive one still, but hey, it’s a song. As far as husbands, can’t help you. Mine isn’t any better about waking up so my voodoo in that department is a no go. :)

  4. Tremaya Says:

    My bad Aliya, that was Jeanine’s interview! Oops!

  5. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Tremaya: HA! You know, I’ve only interviewed Beyonce once. And she was 15. And she had this look in her eye, (focused on me directly. hands on her hips. While the rest of Destiny’s Children looked off into space, chomping on gum), and she frightened me. Way too steely and reserved….I’d love to interview modern-day Beyonce. Though. I don’t think she has much too say we haven’t heard.

  6. Tremaya Says:

    Nope, she ain’t giving up nathan! She’s going to save it all for a tell-all when she’s like 50 ( I hope, but I’m sure her policy will remain pretty much don’t ask don’t tell when it comes to interviews), then maybe you can co-author that bestseller and finally get that office like Patricia Cornwell (with internet access of course). LOL! Jeanine’s interview was good, but afterward I felt like I always do when I read anything else about Bey, “tell me something I don’t know”. “Let down your guard a smidgen.”
    Dang woman, how many people have you interviewed?I bet you have some serious inside scoop! Ironically, I thought of you yesterday when I saw Mary J. crying at The Inaugural Ball.

  7. Tremaya Says:

    One more thing along the lines of Facebook phobia, I did friend request Jeannine many months ago…I haven’t heard a peep yet. :)

  8. Portia Says:

    I stole internet for a few months after I bought my house…but it was out of sheer laziness. I had internet…I just hadn’t set up the wireless router yet! So I used YankeeGirls…until she (iassume) didn’t pay hercable billor something….the signal was strong…but no internet! That forced me to go and set upmy router. I suspect a lot of people do this. I just caution you on security risk to your computer if you don’t password restrict your router.

  9. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Portia: Really? I’ve known you since I was 12. Had no idea whether your surname was pronounced with a C-H or an S-H. Ya learn something new every day.

  10. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Tremaya: i would never FriendRequest Jeannine Amber. She’s a Big Dog. My phobia wouldn’t allow it. Keep me posted on that.

  11. Tremaya Says:

    @Aliya-LOL! I will, I requested asha bandele (and was approved) and she just joined yesterday and is already friends with Jeannine so I’m well aware that I’m being “overlooked”. LOL! But I totally understand.

  12. Octavia Says:

    LOL @ Aliya, Hello friend. This is the first time i checked out your blog (I know bad friend) but you are hilarious. I think we’ve all stolen internet at some point wether on purpose or on accident, but i”m sure someone has also tapped into yours a time or two without your knowledge. There are definately worse crimes and as long as your not making a career out of it I don’t think anyone is going to burn you at the stake. Congrats on the new office move! xo

    Octavia

  13. Hanif Says:

    I laugh every time I read internets. I keep hearing you making some fake George Bush accent when you say it. lol.

    Stealing the internet helped me get through college. I wanted to live off campus, but you can’t afford an apartment and internet. Stole cable too. Shh!!!

    Unless you hacked into Alberto’s financial records or viewed some of the un-mentionables on his computer, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Except that you got caught, and shut down.

    Did you check out the prices on the internet only services, where you don’t need to have a landline. It’s called dryloop. It’s a wireline but you can get a router to get your own wireless connection, you should be able to get it for about what your paying for that USB, saw some online for about 42.99/mo. with 2 months free. It’s a lot more secure and faster.

    Verizon if you sign up online, you get a better rate. Also. Don’t forget the tax write-off’s…

  14. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Hanif: I know i can write it off, no matter the cost. But still, trying to keep my monthly expenses down. i will definitely look into dryloop. THANK YOU.

  15. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Hanif: I just looked up dryloop. And I saw this. Which is disheartening. Don’t know if I want to go through setting up and cancelling phone service.

    I have no phone service right now. Can I start on a dry loop?

    Eh, probably not without first signing up for a land-line, especially if you’re looking to get Verizon’s dry loop service. Verizon will almost certainly require you to start on a package deal, but you can drop the land-line as soon as the DSL service is activated. As usual, there may be additional fees involved with adding or dropping services.

  16. RAHZILLA Says:

    I was in a situation when I first moved into my loft and had no internet service. I had to decide – TO STEAL or NOT TO STEAL. I had to steal it because I had a deadline to meet for a magazine with tons of research to do. My actions were justified because the money I earned for writing said article, paid the next month rent and got me DSL. Sometimes, a brother got to do what a brother got to do…

  17. Aliya S. King Says:

    @rahzilla: i feel you… did you have a backup plan? What would you have done if one day in mid-research and on deadline, it just shut down…

  18. jeannine Says:

    LOL…. someone called me a “big dog.” Hahahaha….. the only reason I didn’t accept the facebook friend request is cuz i haven’t accepted anyone I don’t actually know (ie talk to on the phone, drink with, have had sex with etc). I have the most random friend requests … people who I KNOW don’t know me. I’m trying to keep it intimate, and in fact I haven’t accepted a bunch of requests from people I DO know. Like, for instance, my kid’s father! So trust, it’s not personal. But now that I see you are talking about me behind my back … you’re IN.

  19. Tremaya Says:

    @Jeannine- I’m too dark to blush but if I could, I would be red! LOL!

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