Fun with the cable company

There will be a harvest soon
There will be a harvest soon

It could be that the next time I drive out to photograph this field, there will only be stubble. I’ve been checking on it once each month, but I may start going more often.


I had planned to take a few days off from posting, but things happened and I felt I should report on them before some of the threads of memory fell from the full fabric. You know how that goes.

A few days ago we had the cable company come to our house to upgrade our service and to install a home security system (burglars beware!). I wouldn’t have signed up for those changes, but due to the deal they gave me, we’ll be paying around $25 less per month, getting more stations than we could ever watch, upgrading two cable boxes, and the aforementioned security system.

Two personable, tech savvy young men came and did the work. I would tell you all about their work, but that would take more words than I care to keyboard. Suffice it to say that they were here for about four hours, and I was satisfied with their work. Cindy and I watched TV until around midnight.

When I woke up the next morning and turned on the TV there was a message on the screen that said the new cable boxes needed to be activated before we could watch anything. That seemed strange since we had been watching one of the televisions the night before. The message on the screen had a URL or alternately a telephone number. I tried the website and couldn’t get past the sign on page to access our account. The telephone number took me to an automated voice that announced that the office was closed and that I should call later. So much for call centers scattered around the world.

By the time I had tried the phone number twice, thirty minutes between attempts, Cindy woke up. After another short wait I tried the phone number again. This time I got as far as the automated voice that said all of the lines were busy and that I would be waiting at least ten minutes. Then they started the most godawful recorded music. It sounded like thirty years ago someone had taken a small tape recorder into an elevator where the Muzak was playing Kenny G on a bad hair day. It also sounded like a thirtieth generation copy of the tape recording.

At one point Cindy said that I should turn on the speaker phone. I told her that I didn’t know to do that. She told me that she could turn it on. I handed her the phone and she did turn the speaker on. She thought it was cool that she knew how to do something that couldn’t do. I told her that I never used speaker phone and mentioned that people who use speaker phone sound like they are talking from the bottom of a pail. I also said that I was creature of habit. She said that she knew that. I said something along the lines of, “That doesn’t surprise you?” At that point she gave me a look that was a mixture of humor and disgust.

After a twenty-minute wait I was finally connected with a young man named Troy who had an unidentifiable accent. I explained our situation and after he had confirmed that I was who I said I was, he started to work on the problem. It didn’t take him very long to re-activate the first cable box, so I went upstairs to turn on the second TV and let him work his magic on its cable box.

I came back downstairs and got on our laptop. As I was checking our email, Cindy asked me the password to the Apple account. I didn’t know. I had originally set up an iTunes account, but Cindy was the only person who used the account to buy games. She said that the password had to be changed so that she could download upgrades to her iPhone. So I took care of that for her.

I told her that I wasn’t sure, but I thought there were supposed to me more upgrades to the cable box upstairs than were manifesting themselves. I said that I was going to call them back. She told me in that case I needed to ask about On-Demand because that hadn’t worked for her after I had retired the previous night.

I called the cable company again, and this time I was directed to an automated voice that was female with a Hispanic accent. It was a shorter wait to be connected to a live person. I didn’t catch this guy’s name, and I detected no accent. I explained the situation to him, and since I was downstairs he decided to start with that cable box. I told him that would be fine, but that I had a Doctor’s appointment and would have to leave in about half an hour. He assured me that it shouldn’t be a problem. Twenty-eight minutes later he said that he had to put me on hold. I put my phone on speaker (I can be a fast learner) and put on my shoes for a fast getaway.

As I was tying my shoelaces the TV screen came up, so I checked to see if I could pull up a program On-Demand. I could! Leaving my phone on speaker, I went into the garage, got into the car, and started backing out of the garage. That’s when the tech came back on the line. I told him that I would call back about the other cable box when I got back home. I didn’t have to call back. Whatever he had done to fix the downstairs cable box had also healed the one upstairs.

This is where I should tell you about my doctor’s appointment and all of the interesting people in the waiting area. But not today. I’m going to turn on the TV and watch some Orphan Black On-Demand.

4 thoughts on “Fun with the cable company

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