One Plus One Equals Twice as Nice


A mommy walked into a real estate office.

Her agent greeted her with a smile, a coffee and an apology.

“Good morning, Mrs. Cadabby! It’s so great to see you. Thank you so much for stopping by to discuss listing your home. Would you mind relaxing in my office and enjoying your coffee for just a minute? We’re dealing with some Internet problems and I have my assistant on the phone with our provider trying to get it back up so we can pull some numbers for you.”

“Of course, Ben. No problem.”

Mrs. Cadabby worked from home and had some major problems with her provider until recently.

“For now, yes. But I don’t think it will last long. We are spending way too much time calling them every week and going through their exhausting funnel of recordings and outsourced support people. Our service has been going down pretty often since we opened this office.”

Ben tried to hide his frustration as best he could, but Mrs. Cadabby could sense the stress in his voice.

“Trust me, I get it! I had the same problem for six months until my sister hooked me up with an awesome phone service for my home office. Their system is on the cloud and they actually helped me fix my Internet problems. Since I’m on video calls daily the internet downtime was causing major problems in my business.”

“Really? We were actually talking about signing on with a local phone service provider. I wonder if they could help us, too. I get so frustrated with these big corporations who make you jump through so many hoops for customer support,” said Ben. His voice was going from pleasant to stressed again.

“We’re probably talking about the same company. They’re downtown, right? They literally answer the phone immediately and fixed my one and only problem within an hour because they control almost everything remotely.”

“Really? So they handle the phone system AND they fixed your internet?” Ben was surprised and intrigued.

His assistant was also listening in as Mrs. Cadabby raved about her new home office setup. She told Ben all about how her voice communications are hosted on the cloud and how she, her virtual assistant, her partner, and their bookkeeper can all send and receive calls from the same business number with customized routing based on the caller’s need, time of day, etc., even though they work in different time zones.

Ben was smiling and so was his assistant.

“Yeah, and the internet thing just kind of happened when the guy was here discussing the phone setup. I had to pull up their portal to set up my login and so he could show me how to do things, but thanks to that internet provider being so unreliable I couldn’t get online. He actually ran out to his car, grabbed a cool little router thing and came back in with a solution,” said Mrs. Cadabby, who also mentioned that she didn’t know what it was called and wasn’t a very technical person.

“He said he was just setting up a redundant connection with something called ‘auto failover’ so that my incoming calls wouldn’t be affected by my other provider’s lack of, ahem, quality. I guess I now have a backup connection – or maybe it’s a bonded connection,” Mrs. Cadabby was surprised she was able to remember so much terminology.

Ben smiled. “Ha! I’m not very technical either. But it sounds like you have multiple connections now? And the phone guys control it?”

“Yes! He actually explained it to me very simply, and I just watched Sesame Street with my son this morning so I have the Count’s voice fresh in my mind…”

Ben was laughing. His 2-year-old daughter loved the Count.

“So here’s what I understood: I started with only one internet connection. So if one went down, one minus one equals zero, right?”

“Yeah, like the number of listings I can pull up for you right now,” said Ben, who felt bad that he had sent her on a tangent.

“Haha no problem, I understand how it is. I’m in no hurry for once today so no big deal. Anyway, I basically started at zero when the voice guy arrived. But he added an additional, wireless connection at the same speed, so one plus zero still equaled one at that point – or you could say two minus one still equaled one. And when my internet provider brought up the failed connection the next day, I actually had two. He said the thing he brought in bonded the connections and doubled my speed while also adding a backup for the next time that other provider failed me.”

Mrs. Cadabby was clearly not as articulate as the Count, but she was pretty proud of herself for understanding more than she gave herself credit for when it came to internet connections.

“Wow, that’s awesome! Maybe I should call those voice guys right now. It seems to make pretty good sense to have our phones and internet in the hands of a local company with real people answering the phone.” Ben was smiling his signature realtor smile and so was his assistant.

“Oh yes, Ben. They’ve made things so much easier for me in so many ways. Let me count the ways…ah, ah, ah.” Mrs. Cadabby and Ben laughed at her impressive Count von Count impression as they finally got down to the business of listing her home.