Getting Cable

The single greatest experience of moving is having the cable guy come and hook everything up. Now some people might insist that I use the term “greatest” in a way other than its intended meaning, but really I do enjoy having a stranger come into whatever place I am just moving into and treat me like I have punched a sweat shop working orphan in the face instead of paying them money to do their jobs.

Now I do understand that it is probably not true that it is a hiring practice of charter to only employ people who were let of a previous job due to anger filled incompetence but from my experience it does feel like that. On the off chance that one of the people who shows up isn’t either pushing me into calling my landlords to appear so they can drill another hole in a wall or telling me that I have to set everything up because one of the wires is going to “cross a doorway” and pretty much does their job the way that they are supposed to I always feel the urge to thank them.

This urge is wrong. Every time I go to McDonald’s I don’t thank the guy who grilled my burger for not spitting in it, that is just silly. You thank someone for either being really good at what they do or going above and beyond what is expected from their job. Being a dick to the person who is paying you is on the same level as spitting in a burger in that if you get caught doing it you should get in trouble for it.

Side note: Veronica is probably going to scream from the other room “You’re a dick Daniel!” after she gets to the part about not thanking people.

I should probably start the story, seeing as how this is roughly twice as long as anyone wants to read already. In starting this I do want to say that the guy they sent was pretty cool, but totally had no idea what he was doing.

The entire experience started around 9 am when the guy called Veronica for directions to another call. I really have no idea if we were the only people that picked up the phone that he was going to hook up cable for that day or what as there was no explanation of the this just him asking where something was then saying he should be around in another 3 hours.

2 hours later he showed up. Awesome, I think, this guy is an hour early he must know his stuff. In hind-sight I have now become sure that he drove around for two hours unable to find his other call and just came and found us.

After the initial greeting and making sure this is the right house and he has the correct paperwork he states “Alright, just going to turn your cable on and I will be right back!”

Half an hour later I become worried and go looking for him.

If you can picture a guy at the box in the lower right looking confused, that is what I saw

I don’t wander far seeing as how the cable box is seemingly found directly below the street side door to my apartment. I see him instantly looking confused into the “box of cable” or whatever the magical device is properly referred to. Noticing me just as quickly he turns and waves. “Hello!” I manage before turning back inside, convinced that I needed to make some kind of noise but completely unsure whether it was a grown or a laugh or some new hybrid that would merge disappointment with the knowledge of a future joke.

Roughly ten minutes later he appeared at my door with the digital cable box and modem. Upon seeing me something clicked in his head that these devices require both power and things to connect to them. “Woops!” he states “I forgot all the wires!” and happy wanders off again. When he reappears with all the wires he handed me a long cable to run through this weirdly shaped closet that connects two rooms. This wasn’t a big deal as we had discussed this before, even though then it did seem kind of odd I was doing his job for him.

“Um… I need the connector for the other cable.”

My comment is greeted with a blank stare that seemed to slowly lead him to drift back to his truck and get the connector. When he returned I not only have the cable run from the room but all of the devices hooked up. “Cool man,” he states before sitting down to enter whatever gypsy code the cable box needs before it will turn on. After a second it slowly clicks on, goes through the boot cycle and then nothing. We both wait for several long seconds before he looks down at the cable and says, “I should probably make sure the cable is on, huh?”

Letter to my neighbors who probably don’t read this: Dear neighbors, You may have noticed that your cable was turned on for a period of around five to ten minutes yesterday. Sorry about the false hope, the cable guy said he “spaced it”.

Seeing as how all of this seems to have run on entirely too long I am will try and finish without any great detail.

Bonus: For reading the entire article you get proof Frankenberry is alive!

On his return my cable is indeed on, but it isn’t the package that we ordered. He is confused but there isn’t a lot that he can do from here. We then start to set up my computer for Internet. On hearing that I was a computer tech for the last five years he comments that “I have it” and proceeded to do paper work. We get the modem activated but not before my computer decided that I had had enough and politely shut down. On his insistence that we “aren’t done” I fetch my laptop, there is this site we have to go to, he continues to insist. There are several steps I am walked through, including typing in his personal login to his job’s site. There is a test, the test involves checking to make sure I can get on the web. I don’t explain that I fail to see why the cable company needed to make a website devoted to making sure you could access the internet as the internet itself is fundamentally based on that concept.