Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Power of You

Well it's day 10 of no internet or cable TV in my new SoCal home. I can just hear it now: "Cry me a fuckin river, Lee" or "Holy shit! How have you survived, Lee?" Let me tell you, if it weren't for Project Runway (Lily) and SportsCenter (me), I think we could do without the TV part for a while longer. But when football season starts, I'm gonna be climbing on the roof installing a satellite dish.

In our last apartment, I plugged the cable into the TV and it worked. Free cable for four years. In fact, the cable worked just by plugging it in (for a short while anyway) in 3 out of the last 5 places I lived. I highly recommend trying it out before calling your local cable company, so's to avoid any experiences like the one had by yours truly.

The Time Warner cable guy came over on Tuesday, arriving an astonishing 1 hour into the 1/2 day window they gave me over the phone. I pointed him at the outlet nearest to the TV and started him moving forward on getting the hell out of my apartment. After about 15 minutes, he asked for another outlet, and being that there are 4 outlets in my little living room, I pointed him at the next one. He drilled and poked and prodded, went outside and did something at the box outside, came back in and poked and prodded at the outlet some more.

He came back in and asked for another outlet. I asked "What seems to be the problem?" The cable guy said "I'm not getting enough signal. There's nothing strong enough to give you both cable and internet, so I'm looking for the main outlet." I showed him the outlet in our room. He drilled and poked and prodded some more. It was at this point that I began to wonder if he knew what the hell he was doing.

10 minutes later he asked if there was an outlet in Judah's room. Judah was taking a much needed nap in there. I reluctantly said yes and we went in. In accordance with Murphy's Law, the outlet was behind a dresser. We move the dresser and Judah wakes up and starts crying. The cable guy drills and pokes and prods at the outlet. Nothing but a "weak signal".

He asked me if there was a splitter box or a panel inside the apartment. "Like this one?" I ask as I point to the electric switchbox. He told me yeah but not really. Judah was still crying and I was really getting tired of his making me do more work than he was doing, so I said I don't know where the box was, nor did we have any more outlets for him to play around with. I stood there like a dipshit and he soon realized he had to do more than just stick a cable into an outlet and check for a signal. He went outside to call his supervisor, and I could hear every word of his ineptitude.

A few more minutes later he comes into my living room with his gear slung over his shoulder and he tells me I have to get the cable company to come back another time. Right. I tell him he needs to hook up my cable and not just give me an hour of his time and then bail. That seemed to get his attention because his line of bullshit turned to the questioning line of bullshit: "What you want me to do?" "You think I'm not doing my job?" "How am I supposed to hook your cable up if I can't find a strong signal?" Um, I've slung a few cables in my day and I think it's pretty basic: If you can't find the signal - you trace the goddman line back to its source. He told me that was impossible and left.

I called his supervisor and basically got the same line of bullshit. I'll spare you the details.
Now I'm in the market for a satellite dish. If you can't beat 'em, ...go climb on the roof.

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