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Cable Guy

I hate Time Warner Cable.

I’m sitting on my couch typing this blog post on Day 4 of living without a home internet connection. I have to wait until the morning to upload this at work.

My laptop has become a glorified doorstop.

I went to bed on Friday night at 2am -- I suppose that’s actually Saturday morning, but whatevs. I know for a FACT that my internet connection was working then, because I was online doing extremely important business (managing my Netflix queue).

When I woke up, around 9:30am, I immediately noticed an orange light flashing on my modem, inexplicably. That’s never a good sign.  So I went through all the typical troubleshooting steps – I rebooted the modem, and the cable box, and my computer. Blah blah blah.

No dice.

So I called the number on the original installation paperwork (I keep it handy in the TV cabinet for situations such as this). Miracle of miracles, I got a guy who picked up immediately! And then he put me on hold...


After about 30 minutes, it became a game – guessing which pre-recorded message was next. It was a battle of the wills. I had too much invested, I couldn’t possibly hang up now. Then delirium set in, and I actually started to BELIEVE my call was important to them (silly me). Then came the anger. I would never get these 93 minutes back. Realizing I could literally die on hold, I hung up the phone and drank in the silence. Ahhhhhh…

I let my ear cool off for a minute, then phoned the number on the back of my bill. I spoke to an automated voice who’s cheerfulness just fueled my pissy attitude. Eventually, a technician came on the line and she quickly put me on hold to check my signal. In doing so, THE MOTHER EFFER DISCONNECTED ME.

Oh sweet Jesus! At this point, I was livid.

I called – AGAIN – and shouted at the robot. When I finally got another technician on the horn, I explained how incompetent the last one was and said I hoped she could actually DO her job. I can see now that probably set us off on the wrong foot.

She needed to test the line, at which point I BEGGED her not to put me on hold. She obliged, but couldn’t find a signal.

No shit, Sherlock.

She couldn’t tell me why it wasn’t working, or if someone else on my floor got cable installed and accidentally knocked mine out. She stated very matter-of-factly that a technician would need to come to my apt to investigate the root cause. Her calmness was aggravating.

The earliest I could get an appointment was on Wednesday from 11am-2pm. FIVE days later!?! I clenched my jaw and explained that in order to pay my bill in a timely fashion, I have to be gainfully employed and therefore could not take time off in the MIDDLE OF A WORKDAY to wait for the cable guy.

Equally unhelpful was her suggestion that I have someone over the age of 18 wait on my behalf. I explained I live alone (and thanks for rubbing salt in THAT particular wound).

Can I please just take a moment to say how much I DESPISE that we are all at their mercy? The cable company, the phone company, the electric company, the plumber. Utilities have the power, and they know it.

I took a deep breath and asked for an evening appointment. She didn’t have one. I asked for a weekend appointment. She DID have one of those. In two weeks. Unacceptable. I begrudgingly settled on an appointment for this Friday -- in the 8am-11am window – which just happens to be my day off. Excellent.

At this point, I couldn’t WAIT to get off the phone and slam my head in the freezer. I don’t care that it’s not her fault. I now hate this woman AND the company she works for. But apparently, she was not as sick of me as I was of her.

She proceeds to try and sell me whole house DVR services. Huh. First off, I live in a 550 sqft studio. I already HAVE whole house DVR on my ONE television. Secondly, ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?

Now I’m a lunatic. I let out a crazy squeal of a laugh I don’t think I’ve ever heard before and ask, “Are you seriously trying to SELL me something right now?! You know you want to get off this phone as much as I do. Let’s end this nonsense.” She informs me that telling customers about the variety of services available is part of her job, and then says that if I receive an automated call asking me to take a survey on our conversation today, I should rate her service a 5, with 5 being the best.

Maybe she was a robot too.

I could take no more.  I hung up on her mid-sentence, wishing I had a corded phone so I could slam the receiver down on the cradle. (Pushing the off button really hard on a cordless phone just doesn’t have the same dramatic effect.)

The whole thing makes me want to scream! Life without an internet connection is like life without a nose. Sure, you can breathe out of your mouth, but who wants to??

Thank God for my beloved iPhone so I have at least some connection with civilization. While I wait impatiently for the cable guy, you’ll be happy to know I’m making the most of my analog lifestyle:

• I’ve labeled all the spices in my magnetic spice rack
• I read 7 months of back issues of Food & Wine and Bon Appetit
• I alphabetized my cookbooks (since my DVDs were already in order, naturally)
• I made homemade pesto
• I shampooed my throw rugs
• I shredded my 2010 credit card statements
• I cleaned my hairbrushes and unclogged my shower drain

I suppose this time offline has been productive. But the NANOSECOND that I get my internet service back, the FIRST THING I’m googling is whether or not Verizon Fios is available in my area.

So… have YOU ever had a temper tantrum over your cable company, or am I the only infant here?

tags: city life


Jill Z. said...

What I love about your blog is that you make the most mundane things funny. We have all been there with the cable company but never before has it made me LOL. Keep it up!!!

Anonymous said...

So did they fix it????

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Jill Z: Thanks! Glad to hear I'm not the only one to lose my mind on the phone with the cable company.

Anon: They did. Two minutes after walking in, the guy switched out the power cord on my modem and it worked fine. Seems it burned out and that's pretty common. Don't get me started on why they continue to use modems that have powercords that burn out...