Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sometime Between Noon And 4 PM

My workday usually starts at 8:30am. However, yesterday I went in to work at a bit after 4:00 in the morning. Let me tell you why.

Tuesday night, MY WIFE and I were sitting in the living room, chatting about our respective workdays, when she noticed that it was a couple of minutes past 7. She wanted to see what the topic was on Greater Boston, a local interview show that comes on at 7 o’clock weekdays. So, I turned on the television.

Here’s what we saw:

Yes, the cable was out.

As anyone with cable knows, this sucks big hairy donkey dick. Not only did we not have TV, with the Red Sox-Indians game an hour away, we also knew that we had to call the cable company.

Calling the cable company ranks right up there with visiting the dentist, as far as I’m concerned. No, I take that back. I’d rather have oral surgery than call the cable company. At least when you have your gums sliced open and pieces of jawbone chiseled out, you might get some good drugs afterwards. When you call the cable company, the best you can hope for is that you won’t be driven to ripping out your own eyeballs in frustration. The best-case scenario is that maybe you’ll get TV again, which is what you had anyway – or so you thought, until you saw the snow on your screen.

Anyway, I ring up the cable company. They answered my call immediately, knew exactly what the problem was, and everything was hunky-dory before I could even say “Federal Communications Commission.”

Yeah, and I’m getting a blowjob from Charlize Theron as I write this.

Has there ever been anybody who was immediately connected with a customer service agent when they called the cable company?

(Don’t bother answering. It was obviously a rhetorical question.)

After being answered by a recording, then pushing “1” for English, pushing “1” for “Yes, DUH, there’s something wrong with my cable”, and then pushing “1” yet again for some other stupefyingly inane question, I was informed – via recording – that all customer service agents were busy helping other customers and that my call would be answered in the order in which it was received. Then the damn music started playing.

Understand this – I create those phone messages, all day long. You think you get pissed when you hear one? Try hearing them all day, as part and parcel of your job, and then getting yourself put on hold wherein you have them force-fed back to you while you’re already torqued about the shitty customer service you’re expecting, but pray might not be the case just this once. And then have the same production music that you’ve heard thousands of times, because it’s a popular choice from the music library you use at work, played back at you for an indeterminate and indefinite length of time. And then, just when you’ve resigned yourself to listening to the music – which is not entirely unbearable, since you’ve heard it so often you don’t really hear it after a few minutes, anyway – the motherfucking recorded voice comes back on to tell you the same motherfucking message it told you one minute ago, but since it’s a HUMAN VOICE, you get tricked into thinking perhaps it’s a real person finally answering your call, and this goes on for about ten minutes, and you realize that you have been delivered into your own personal circle of hell.

I was not pleased.

But, OK, just as I’m beginning to think that disemboweling myself with a broken coke bottle might be preferable to hanging on the line, I hear a ringing on the other end. This surely means that I am going to speak to a seasoned professional who will give me exactly what I need to restore my service and thus make the whole experience worthwhile. Thank you, Jesus!

Hey, Charlize! Get back here!

The entirely-friendly-yet-ignorant customer service agent who answered, named Manuel, had no idea what was wrong with my service. He had me unplug the converter box, then plug it back in. When that didn’t restore my picture, he was at a total loss. He suggested I make an appointment for a service technician to visit. Meanwhile, as the converter box was unplugged and we were waiting an appropriate length of time before plugging it back in again, Manuel told me that he could give me a digital converter box at no extra cost and I probably should take it, since an analog converter will only be useful as a paperweight come next year.

What I wanted to do was reach through the phone line and start strangling the son of a bitch, all the while asking him to explain just what in the fuck they could possibly be paying him to make him accept a job where he would be doing nothing but disappointing angry people all night long and have them curse him out and want to reach through the phone line and start strangling the son of a bitch, all the while asking him to explain just what in the fuck they could possibly be paying him to... and so on. What I did, though, was have him make an appointment for the next day, Wednesday. He did so, saying that the service tech would be at my house sometime between noon and 4pm.

(The following will look like a non-sequitor at first glance, but it isn’t.)

I have three vacation days left.


I have three vacation days left, but I’ve already allotted those for use during Thanksgiving week as ACTUAL VACATION DAYS. I had no intention of taking back one of those days to use today so that I could sit here in my living room typing nonsensical rants about the cable company while waiting for the service tech to arrive. So, I did the only thing I could do to make this all work. I went in to my job at 4am so that I could leave at 11:30 and then come home and sit here in my living room typing nonsensical rants about the cable company while waiting for the service tech to arrive.

Since I have invested such an inordinate amount of my time and energy towards this task, and my temper is on a hair-trigger due to the lack of sleep, please allow me to finish this all up with a balls-out rant. Excuse me while I prepare myself just a bit.

(gargles with Drano, while swabbing war paint onto face)

Sometime between Noon and 4pm?!?. What in SATAN’S GORILLA-HUMPING WHORE OF A MOTHER is up with that??? Give me a REAL fucking appointment time, Cable Dickheads!!! No other company on the face of the earth can get away with crap like that, so why do we let these shitsuckers do it? Not even doctors, who are notorious for dressing you up in a gown that leaves your ass hanging out and then making you wait in a little room while they check their stock portfolios, would dare to keep you waiting FOUR FUCKING HOURS. Either you can get someone to my house at Noon or you can’t, you scumsucking douchebag assholes.

(You’re lucky I’m a Christian, otherwise I would have let you know how I really feel.)

So, here I am, waiting. And aren’t you glad that you decided to read this? Didn’t it brighten up your day? Didn’t I just fill your whole life with sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops?

If you know what’s good for you, you’ll say, “Yes.”


The cable tech showed up at 2:35. When I answered the door, he was holding a digital converter box. Obviously, Manuel had just gone ahead and written the order for it without my having said that I wanted it.


I don’t know enough about how cable works to really make the accusation I’m about to make, but I’m going to make it anyway. I think that Comcast DELIBERATELY put my cable out on Tuesday night so that they could get a digital converter box into our house on Wednesday afternoon.

(Don’t you DARE say, “Jim, it’s the 21st century. You were probably the only customer they had who actually wanted to keep his analog converter. They had to do something.” I swear I will come through your computer screen, rip out your esophagus and tie it around your neck for a bowtie.)

Well, this has gone on for far too long, so let me wrap it up. I now have a new drug, which is why I never wanted a digital converter box. The new box delivers about 683 additional channels, plus free movies and concert videos, and it will record up to 80 hours of programs that you’ll have to schedule time on your calendar for the next four years to watch, and it allows me to fast forward and rewind and pause actual live television programs, and it may even let me really dial up Charlize Theron for a blowjob, but I haven’t gotten that far into the tutorial yet. I expect that the rest of my life will now be spent on the couch watching TV, so they may as well have hardwired the thing directly into my eye sockets.

(heavy sigh)

Soon, with more better stuff – unless I decide that, instead of typing a blog, I’d rather watch Deep Purple live from the California Jam in 1974. What the hell - it’s free.


Ericka said...

so, how's the new cable box working? and how 'bout my tribe? yay, indians!

*runs away laughing*

Stu said...

First, yeah, I hear you. I was a cable user for many years and it was donkey dick all the way, so I feel ya.

Second, I can't say enough good things about DirecTV. Great up-time consistency, great (and immediate) phone support (average wait time for me has been about 30 seconds), and the best programming of anything available to us in Los Angeles.

No, this is not a commercial, I'm just a media geek.

Sharfa said...

I dumped Comcast and went with DirecTV too. I couldn't be happier. Although - I should've gotten the free DVR with installation though. If I want it now it'll cos me $300, no thanks.

A friend was told by an employee of Comcast that they don't have enough lines to handle the volume of customers, that's why there are so many problems with cable. I'll bet you're right about the box too. They aren't updating the old analog system - they're going digital, I'll bet you're dead on with being forced into digital. One good thing - at least you're still paying the same price as you were before.

Mushy said...

(You’re lucky I’m a Christian, otherwise I would have let you know how I really feel.) My kind of Christian!

Suldog said...

Ericka - The Sox will... No, I'll wait until they do.

Stu & Sharfa - TWO DirecTV plugs! Hmmmmmm. If I wasn't such a lazy sot, I'd check it out.

Mushy - As I've said to others before, He DID come for sinners, after all.

David Sullivan said...

Mmmmm...Charlize!!! (In my best Homer Simpson voice)

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Aw, don't worry hon, it may have 1,000's of channels, but it's all repeats, honest Guv'!

Still, glad I caught you in a good mood.. any word on that blow-job??

(I'm taking cover for the fall-out if she doesn't come through..)

Suldog said...

David - Yeah, she's hot, but... (see below)

ShrinkWrapped - I'm very happily married. Charlize was used only as an illustration. A very sexy illustration, to be sure, but still just an illustration. If she doesn't "come through", I'm still a happy man.

Chuck said...

At least it didn't take three visits to get your box installed though like it did when I switched to Uverse. :)

Enjoy your new channels!

Melinda said...

hahaha "big donkey dick"?!! awesome!

Thanks for making my terrible day seem like an afternoon at the beach. With ice cream. And beer.

Miss. Von Schtoop said...

I get completely irrational when I start talking about Comcrap but the best thing I ever did was to lodge a complaint with the local Dept. of Telecom & Cable.

In a nutshell (before I begin to foam at the mouth) Comcrap attached a cable box to my house without asking. Not only that, but they didn't get it right the first time so several holes in the brick work later, I had a big ugly box on my house providing cable to all my neighbors (I live in a rowhouse and am the only one with direct street access).

I didn't really care when I had cable but found that I never had service on the weekend and hated having to come home at odd daytime hours for those service calls after it rained, or was too hot, or when the moon was in retrograde.

But I finally canceled my cable after a particularly unfortunate run in with a customer service agent. And since then I've been asking them to take the box off my house and to repair the damage to the brick work.

Comcrap kept telling me how they had the right of way and how they have to put the box there to service everyone else so too bad for me. This went on for about a year or so.

Finally I randomly called the Dept of Telecom and Cable. Guess what? They have to take the box down. And boy is Comcrap pissed.

Anyway those folks at the Telecom & Cable office sure have some interesting information about the cable industry that sure doesn't make Comcrap look so great.

Ahhh, ok I will stop now before the foaming begins!

Merisi said...

I have taken to call the head of the PR department or whomever they are willing to pass me just so that they get rid of me. Monday last, my dishwasher broke (well, it broke down Friday night, of course). Called the service company, could not send me anybody before Friday, between 8am and 4pm (insult!). To make it short: After talking to the head honcho at the company who made my dishwasher, complaining about the third-rate service, not five minutes had passed when I received a call from the service company, meekly asking if their technician could come by within an hour. Dang! :-)
(I had once a technician from Miele travel all the way from NJ to Washington DC to have my washing machine serviced *g*).

Suldog said...

Believe me, I feel for you.

Anonymous said...

"No extra charge"