When I originally moved into the Chowderpad, I was a bit hasty in signing up for a cable TV package; one that I quickly discovered was heavily enriched with channels that have no business being on TV. I never realized that local Government had so many unimportant things to say, and with so many distribution outlets to say it through.
So, last week I decided to visit my local AT&T retailer to schedule a Cable Guy to come out and host an installation party that would hopefully waste my entire Saturday afternoon.
While in the store, going through the endless paperwork stack, and trying my best to comprehend the sales pitch that I was not really listening to, I once again slept through a vital information exchange opportunity:
The address on my license was not my current place of residence.
Because of my dur moment, I put poor store rep. Andy, through a heap of trouble preparing a work order for a cable package installation that was now scheduled to take place at a house that I do not live in.
CH: “My apologies for the hassle, Andy.”
Andy: “No prob, bobski! When the installer calls you next Saturday, just give him the correct address.”
CH: “I’m sorry, did you say something just now? I was busy scratching my hand.”
Andy: “Oh, yes. I was just saying that *WOM WOM WOM WOM*.”
CH: “Oh, ok. Check ya later!”
So there I sit the following Saturday morning in a hangover state, wearing nothing but a pair of boxer briefs and moccasin slippers, eating a bowl of Raisin Bran, when the phone unexpectedly rings. On the other line is the cable guy that I forgot about, en route, to the wrong address.
Steve: “Hi this is Steve with AT&T. Just wanted to give you a heads up that I’ll be at your place in about twenty minutes.”
CH: “Oh hey, can you make it thirty? I totally forgot that we scheduled for today, and I need to clear a path from the computer to my entry door for you.”
Steve: “You got it, boss.”
CH: “Hey Steve, are you allergic to filth by any chance?”
After hanging up the phone, I immediately turned into Martha Stewart on caffeine pills, trying feverishly to create an environment that would hopefully not inspire my Cable Guy to call the Department of Health on me. I finished quickly, and even had time to light a few Hawaiian Ocean Scent Glade candles.
I hope Steve didn’t get the wrong impression.
Steve: “Hi, this is Steve again with AT&T.”
CH: “Hi Steve.”
Steve: “Guess where I am right now?”
CH: “In the parking lot?”
Steve: “I’m at the wrong address.”
Fortunately Steve was blessed with many virtues that I don’t possess. He very kindly understood the lack of responsibility on my part to inform him that he was headed to the wrong address, and arrived shortly after ending a very distressed-sounding call.
Steve quickly made himself at home on the couch, telling me a personal story about every CD in my collection, with his dirty boots being comfortably propped up by my ottoman. He then put in a phone call to Technical Service Team Member, Flo, employee number 1.3.6.alpha.niner.2.8, and the two proceeded to ping pong the same piece of information back and forth for approximately an hour on speaker phone..
Steve: “I think we got your work order set. The install’s happening today, my man.”
CH: “Hey, who’s that guy pullin’ into the parking lot right now?”
Steve: “Huh. Someone else in your building must be getting AT&T U-verse installed today too? Weird!”
I then proceeded to lead AT&T mystery installer Jim into the Ranch and introduced him to current AT&T installer Steve. The two then spent forty five minutes making small chat about the double scheduling, and trying to figure out whether or not they both shared any common blood relation.
I didn’t realize that Cable TV was this fucking complicated.
Installer Jim eventually relieved Installer Steve of his duties, and after showing Installer Steve out the door, I then went on an hour long phone jack hunt with Installer Jim and his magic wand. It took me approximately three minutes to search my forty square foot apartment and come to the conclusion that it’s absent a jack. It took Jim and his magic wand a lot longer.
And then a revelation sent from God:
Jim: “Looks like you don’t have a phone jack in here.”
CH: “How much did you pay for that wand?”
AT&T installer Jim was a very polite dude. He did an admirable job of keeping me posted throughout the entire process of not getting anything done.
Jim: “Just gonna head out to the truck real quick for a screwdriver.”
Jim: “Just gotta call my Technical Support Adviser before I can connect this wire here.”
Jim: “Just gonna put my carpet booties on real quick.”
Three hours later, Jim informed me that there was a complication:
Jim: “I’m gonna have to call the energy company.”
Jim: “Well, it looks like there’s no phone jack in here.”
Soon after my head rolled off my shoulders, Energy Specialist Larry arrived to join the phone jack hunting party with me, Jim, and Jim’s magic wand.
Larry the Energy Specialist showed up looking like Rambo but with less grenades, and with more sets of pliers and wires strapped to his chest and legs. He pulled out his wand, which was much bigger and more expensive-looking than Jim’s much smaller, cheaper-looking wand, which immediately caused Jim to experience magic wand-envy.
An hour later, another revelation sent from God:
Larry: “There’s no phone jack in here.”
Jim: “That’s what I thought.”
CH: “Larry, how much did you pay for that wand?”
After a grand total of 6 hours, 35 minutes, and roughly 19 and a half seconds, it took three technicians to come to the conclusion that I need to have a quarter-sized hole cut into the drywall of my linen closet before Operation Cable Installation can be executed.
Needless to say, I spent the rest of that evening with a stiff drink, watching a zoning debate on Local Government Access Channel 2.
See you next Saturday, JIM…
– Take a look; It’s in a book, Chowderheads \m/