That combination is no coincidence.
“2 of the TVs in my house have lost their signal.” I said woefully.
“Well ma’am, I can help you with that,” said Heather, the helpful customer service representative. Her voice had a nasal ring to it that grated slightly against my senses.
She asked a myriad of identification confirmation questions. Then she got to the page on diagnostic questions. “Are there any obstructions on your satellite dish? Leaves, branches, snow?” She asked.
I walked out and looked. “No obstructions.” I answered dutifully.
She asked several more questions.
“Well ma’am, I’ll have to look at the weather system in your area.” She said, almost despondent. “Yup it looks like there’s a storm coming in and that’s causing interference with your signal.”
“A storm?” I countered, “It’s supposed to clear up here and be close to 80 degrees for the next 2 days!”
“Is it cloudy?” She asked.
“Yes it’s cloudy.”
“That’s what’s blocking the signal. You won’t get reception till the clouds clear,” she informed regretfully.
“This is September in Oregon. The clouds won’t clear till June!” I said, incredulous.
“I’m sorry ma’am,” her pitch in voice was getting higher. “I can’t roll a truck to you. Even if I do, they’ll just cancel it because we have to go through several steps before a truck is sent out. Call back in the next day or so if it hasn’t changed.”
“I don’t even know what to do with that information right now. I am dumbfounded.”
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” She asked impatiently.
I hung up thinking that that implied she had so helped me with the first matter that she couldn’t wait to help me with another.
I pushed buttons on the remote for a few minutes my patience getting more frayed by the minute. I called back again. This time I got a dear Indian agent named Sam. We interacted for 45 minutes, the earlier ten of which I was certain I would get results. I could tell she was following the instruction manual very carefully. Between each section she said a determined “okay.” I could visualize her leaning into the manual resolutely.
Presently, she instructed, “unscrew the cable from the wall. Okay. Now unplug the cord from the box. Okay. Vait a couple of minutes. Okay. Now screw the cable back into the vall. Vhat signal is it giwing you?”
“Acquiring signal 535,” I said. “It says this may take up to 5 minutes. It’s been saying that since last night.”
“Okay, let’s give it 15 minutes.”
“15 minutes?” I balked, unbelieving. My first thought was, ‘are you going to call me back in 15 minutes or are we going to sit here for 15 minutes?’
“Or we can do 10 or 5 minutes.”
“Okay. Let’s do the same thing on the other TV. Unscrew the cable from… Okay. Push the home button on the remote 2 times.”
She might as well have said now stand on your head and do the hokey pokey. It had been 45 minutes and we were still doing the same horse and pony nonsense. What’s that line about repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results? I was going to lose my mind.
“Sam, it’s not working.” I said flatly.
“Alright, I can send a technician out to you but that will be $95.” I could visualize her cowering as she said that.
“Wait, you are going to charge me $95 to send a technician out to fix your system that I’m paying for and getting nothing?”
“Yes. Because you don’t have insurance.”
“I have home insurance and health insurance. I’m supposed to have TV insurance too? Am I on camera?”
“No ma’am. I can sign you up for $6.99 a month but you have to keep it for at least 6 months.”
This, my friends, is why people commit acts of terror. So help me God.