I call them “technicians,” but all yesterday in speaking to the customer-service people for several hours after they had left my apartment in disarray, I was referring to them “that asshole” and “the other asshole.” (Isn’t it an awful job, cus-serve reps, to have to deal with people who have completely lost their shit all day, every day?) I actually held on to my shit for quite a while under difficult conditions, but somehow being on hold (and being reminded for up to an hour how valuable I was to T-W C and to please stay on the line) got me into screaming at the recording for therapeutic purposes, which in turn made switching back to “dealing with humans” mode much more difficult.
Anyway, this all started about two years ago, when I first got cable installed, and the tech did three things I needed repaired yesterday, the last one being my issue, the first two being theirs:
they managed to hook up the phone service so that my phone no longer worked as an intercom, which is the only way I can admit people to my high-rise building. I get visitors so rarely, and they always knew to call me on their cels so I could come downstairs and physcially admit them. But when I finally mentioned this to the super of my building, he said that the cable company could usually do a re-install and get the intercom working again. So I placed a call and the rep said they could send someone out on Friday to deal with this problem, and the other two:
The original tech installed my TV service so that I could record off the TV but only if the TV was actually playing. The first time I tried recording after the installation, the recording would end as soon as I turned off the monitor, which puzzled me. I figured out that the installer has done something wrong, but I don’t record that much off the TV anymore, so I placed this as a fairly low priority to be addressed whenever I needed them to come out here for something else. The intercom issue was “something else,” as was:
I’ve been renovating (installing cabinets and such) in my dining room, where I had them place the phone and cable receptor boxes, and I need the wires (which were installed for maximum ugliness, stapled to the walls very crudely) moved to the living room for logistical reasons, and re-installed more neatly, after which I’ll probably repaint the dining room to cover up the mess they made.
So the tech gets here, and promptly informs me that he don’t know nothin’ about no intercoms or phone lines and I’ll need to put in a separate call to get a tech who does that stuff (Thank you, dispatcher who assured that all three jobs could be done by the same tech). Ok, so I figure I’ve lived with the malfunctioning intercom for two years, I can go another week. But then he says:
“The TV is SUPPOSED to be playing when you record.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“That’s how it’s set up.”
“You’re telling me that everyone who has a DVR or a VHS recorder who wants to record a movie playing on the TV in his living room at 3 AM must have the TV set on at top volume to record the movie?”
“Okay, that’s complete bullshit. Do you have a recorder? Does YOUR TV need to be playing in order to record off it?”
He then explains to me how the original tech set it up, and how DVRs work, which I interrupt to remind him that I am simply requesting an installation of my cable service that allows me to record off the TV without the TV being on–if he can do that, fine, get to it, and if he can’t he needs to leave. He walks to the back of the TV set to point out various cables and what they do, and in the course of doing so, bumps into some wooden shelves I have standing up in my living room and knocks them down, where they fall on my glass-topped coffee table, shattering it into a thousand shards.
Long story short I ask him to leave (which he does finally but only after promising me that he didn’t knock into the shelves on purpose, as if I give a shit about his motivation for clumsy and incompetent service, and telling me that a foreman has been dispatched to file a damage claim.) So I wait around all afternoon, either on hold or waiting for various reps to show up and take pictures of the shards of glass all over my living room. I missed an entire day of work (I had been planning to miss the morning, but it stretched into the late afternoon) and now I’ve got a sore throat from screaming at the various obtuse reps (there were four), all of whom asked me to explain the problem in my own detailed language four separate times (and asking me to repeat myself to each of them, which just made me turn up the volume and slow down my enunciation, so by the last one I was barking in-di-vid-u-al syl-lab-les at top vol-ume.)
I’m not sure what, if any, reimbursement I can expect for the shattered coffee table, but I do know that I don’t enjoy shopping for furniture, and I don’t enjoy spending a few days without a table in my living room.
I have a hard time believing that technicians can really be that dumb about such simple things as installing cable service so that the customer can record off the TV–I mean, they must have had a few million such installations over the last few decades. I think I began to lose it when I realized that this incompetent asshole probably got some customers to buy into his line of pathetic bullshit. It’s like I showed up at my job and told my “customers” (I teach in a university) that I’m sorry, but I don’t actually understand literature but their lives will be just fine if they never study it anyway, as a means of getting through the more challenging aspects of my job. I’m really not sure how they stay in business.