“Why I Hate The Cable Company”

Yesterday was a special one for me—full of wonder and surprise. That is, I wondered and was surprised that I don’t hear more news stories about cable companies being burned to the ground. Well, maybe with everything else going on in the news, this is extreme and inappropriate. OK, I’ll “rework” that one…let’s just say, I wonder and am surprised that more folks don’t talk sternly in low tones behind inept cable sales “professional’s” backs. My mother raised me right…when one has a certain level of refinement, one never says bad things directly to the stupid person, but instead, opt to show some scruples and do it behind their f’d up backs. Only then can you swear freely. Unless you have Tourette’s…my favorite disease. Anyway…

Mom and I dropped Mitzi, her Shih Tzu (not a real swear word but I enjoy using it abundantly all the same) at the groomers and paid a leisurely visit to the local cable company. Cox cable was a hoppin’ and Mom was ‘jonesing’ for a dose of Turner Classic Movies and being the loving, sweet, devoted daughter that I am, I was there to makes all her dreams come true.

When I arrived in beautiful Leisure World in sunny Mesa, I was confronted with a major dilemma. No, not road rage inducing golf cart traffic jams or even blue “rinse” run off in the pool, but deeper social issues. WHY THE HELL CAN’T YOU GET MORE THAN ONE CABLE GUIDE? Let me set the scene up for you, my loyal readers…

You see, Mom and I reside in separate ends of the “manor”, as they refer to the homes in Leisure World (this is a form of “leisure-speak” for those of you unfamiliar with the local language and I am all about education). So this brings me to my quandary. It appears that every household can only avail themselves of one (1) cable guide. Translated, I’m shit out of luck. More angst for me and I already have middle child syndrome. Our 1 (one) cable guide is an insert in the newspaper that mom subscribes to and she pays an upcharge for this (obvious) privilege. Being the pimp that I am, I request that my parental unit “double the pleasure, double the fun” and ask for a second insert and I’ll cover whatever extra incurred expense this may cause—because that’s how I “roll”. Seems simple enough—right? Oh contraire! This is an impossible task, according to the newspaper and not their policy. I am reminded of the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld only this time it’s “No guide for you!”. So I evoke my educated mind (American School of Beauty 1979) and figure that there’s more than one way around this. So after a quick facial and deep conditioning, I avail myself of TV Guide Magazine from the local Wally World. 

I hate TV Guide Magazine and here’s why—It only lists the programs that come on after 8:00 p.m. and the grid provided ends at 10:30. Apparently, no one should actually be viewing anything before this time and it’s “lights out” at 10:30 p.m.. AND, it doesn’t give you the actual station, just the channel name. What sick minds formulate this magazine? I don’t feel “guided” at all and take exception with the title of said mag. Shouldn’t it be something like “TV Glimpse After 8 and Then Go To Bed”? And what subliminal message are they sending out to the masses here? Sure, in Leisure World this theory may apply, for before 8:00 p.m., folks are in their golf carts, rearranging the stones in front of their “manors” or playing Pickle Ball…I “get” it. And everybody knows that my “hood” locks up tight at 9:00. Even Barney Fife with the bullet in his pocket at the security entrance is finally allowed to punch out and use a real bathroom which I’m sure he appreciates as he is 95 and probably has limited kidney function. But what about the world outside the stone fortress that surrounds my little bit ‘o heaven? And what about ME?

So this brings me back to this tale of woe and inconvenience. Wait, I know…I’ll call the cable company directly and offer to pay them for a subscription to this elusive treasure trove of viewing information. That’s the ticket!

I hate these people too. I felt like I was asking them to cough up an organ or assist me in knocking over a 7-11. This request was DENIED due to the fact that I only have BASIC CABLE. I felt as if I was labeled “remedial” and sent to the special gym class for this. I went around in circles with the Hun on the line and finally retreated defeated like the time I dropped out of the American School of Beauty. But I still felt very smug about how fabulous my hair looked as I hung up the phone and that the woman that I spoke to was probably a big loser with split ends. But there was that one question lurking in the recesses of my mind…WHO DO I HAVE TO SLEEP WITH TO ACQUIRE A CABLE GUIDE?

OK, so now Mom and I are at the very busy Cox Cable and Mom is worked into a frenzy over the promise of Turner Classic Movies and I have an ulterior motive. First, I will charm the crap out of them with our upgrade from basic cable to a costlier package…then I will “pounce” like freakin’ Donald Trump and the “art of the deal” and hit them with the procurement of an additional cable guide to make this transaction “happen”. What I didn’t count on was the little bit ‘o sunshine that “greeted” me with her stone face that looked like it smelled something bad. And, I can’t be sure, but I think she wheezed “fresh meat” under her breath…her mother obviously didn’t raise her as well as mine did, so I mentally flipped her “the bird” and smiled just to please my mother.

Miss Congeniality and I never made direct eye contact as I asked various questions regarding the different packages and she instead chose to incessantly hit her keyboard. A vision of Paris Hilton came to mind. You know, how PH appears to be on her cell phone when she doesn’t want to lower herself to interact with the commoner that is trying to engage her in conversation? I’m still not clear what we signed up for, but there should have been a consolation prize offered for this purchase, whatever it was, or, some counseling/therapy. However, I am delighted to report that for $16 dollars more a month, I am entitled to ONE (1) Cable Guide. Although Mom pointed out to Brunhilde that one of the channels was called TV Guide. This was a mistake as demonstrated by the tongue lashing we received for such a stupid observation. Apparently, there isn’t any actual guiding on the TV Guide Channel in our viewing area…but it’s an upgrade all the same.

We were then presented with one of those eco-friendly shopping bags with a large Cox advertisement on it and it contained two cable boxes and various other instruments of torture for us to install and formulate ourselves. This puzzled me and I inquired why we were expected to do our own installation and also requested her business card. She scowled in that cute way that only she could emote and said it was self-explanatory and even simple…just like us. Dracula’s daughter then scrawled on a piece of paper (no business card offered) the number to Cox Customer Relations and made a parting statement that Cox had nothing to do with TV Guide. I’m sure that somewhere in the “Cox Files” I am on their permanent record by now as a terrorist, as this sales associate probably noted on her “screen o’ death” and identified me as a dissident and now my future movements will be closely monitored from my cable box.

And it was two hours later after Mom had her carafe of wine chilled and was brimming with excitement over becoming up close and personal with Ted Turner that I tackled the simpleton installation of her cable box…and promptly lost all sound to her television set. Mom is now lying down in her room with a cold compress with Mitzi the Shih Tsu (who is freshly groomed with a beautiful bow in her hair…the dog, that is, NOT mom).

In closing, I am asking myself the question, “What will arrive first—my $16 dollar a month Cable Guide or the cable repair guy?” I think we have a better chance of actually meeting Ted Turner.

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