Monday, May 7, 2007

Curly, Moe, and Larry the Cable Guy

Ok, there were only two of them, and they were probably very competent, but it was hard not to laugh at the very earnest cable guys who came yesterday and today. They were each vying with the other to explain the intricacies of our new high-speed Internet/tv/phone cable system and why my computer was in danger of blowing up with the stress of the new connection.

They came because my husband had called with a question about wireless Internet. The cable people discovered that we had weak service, and sent not one, but two, trucks out to help.

"Too many splitters," they said. "weakens the power of the signal going to your computer. Do you have to have a tv in your office?"

"Well, yes, I do." I spend many hours in here, and, late at night, need Comedy Central and CNN to help me through yet another deadline.

They disconnected the tv anyway. The lead cable guy gave me a little lecture, and then the other cable guy told me I could have my splitter back (to connect the tv), and re-install it myself, in secret, after they left, but they would be really, really mad if problems resulted from that arrangement. (Or words to that effect.)

I asked if there was any way to deal with this issue, other than with splitters.

"Yes," they said. "You could install a dedicated line for the Internet connection."

Ok, I said. How much?

It turned out to be $26.99. Sheesh. You'd think they might have mentioned that in the beginning. They couldn't install it that day because they had another customer to go to. We'd have to call service.

So we called service, and the lead cable guy showed up again today.

He looked angry. "What's the problem? I was just here yesterday," he said.

Well, I said, you said you could install a dedicated Internet line.

"That would be an Install Call. I'm here on a Trouble Call. I can't install a line unless I am here on an Install Call"

Ok, I said, should I call the cable company?

"No, I'll call them," he said.

So, finally, minutes later, we had our dedicated Internet line. And my office tv. And there seems to be little likelihood that my computer will blow up. You never know, though.

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