Lessons I Learned my 39th Year on Earth

Lesson 5:  The amount of stress you experience in life can be greatly reduced by assuming  everything will be ten times harder than it should be.

Spoiler Alert… Fairy tales are not real.  I know that’s going to come as a crushing blow to some of you, because I too spent a large portion of my life, thinking someone would sweep me off my feet, and provide the happily ever after.  At the very LEAST, I figured I’d become the independent career women who could take care of herself.  What a harsh dose of reality it was to discover both scenarios are fiction.

In fact, think of life as something more aligned with a mechanical bull.  The best you can do is train hard, saddle up, and hold on for dear life.  Even then, there’s a decent chance you’ll wind up with your arm in a sling somewhere along the way.  I was recently reminded of this fact with something as simple as my phone service going out.

It should have been a fairly simple problem to resolve.  Your home phone isn’t working… so you call the repairman with your cell.  Little did I know that what should have taken an hour would usurp my energy for the better part of two weeks.  It all started with (wait for it) a call to Comcast.

I use this provider for my phone, internet, and cable for “convenience”.  Don’t even get me started!  This is the second time in a month I’ve had to reach out to them, and just scheduling an appointment is worse than a root canal.  I’d rather be punched in the throat by a mixed martial artist than place one of these calls.

The first hurdle is just getting a human being on the phone, but even after you do, he or she will spend the next half hour having you run around the house jiggling wires and unplugging cables before coming to the conclusion that you need a professional, which is what you told them in the first place.  After the customer (poor) service rep and you are on the same page, you’ll need to identify a 3-hour block of time that’s “convenient” for the repairman to show up.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a three uninterrupted hours free the entire month of September, let alone in one day!

Less than two minutes after making the appointment, I got an automated call on my cell phone from Comcast asking me to confirm that I still had a problem.  Really?!  How much could my situation have possibly changed in 120 seconds?

The day of the service call, the robot checked back in to make SURE my stuff was still broken.  I patiently pressed two, left a detailed list of instructions for my girlfriend who had agreed to babysit the cable guy, and left for work.  Imagine my surprise, when I got off the news set to a voice mail from the repair man saying he wasn’t showing up because I didn’t answer his call.  Apparently, I’m supposed to keep my ringer on during a live broadcast and put our viewers on hold for the cable guy.  I’m not kidding when I say that this message was the grown up equivalent of being told there is no Santa Claus.

I frantically dialed the number on my caller ID to beg for mercy.  Of course, instead of reaching him, I was re-routed to the robot and eventually a human being who informed me that if you don’t answer your phone you’re basically dead to them.

How can this be?  What if I were a heart surgeon?  Do they expect me to put someone’s transplant on hold to chit-chat with the cable guy?  What about when President Obama’s cable goes out?  Does he say, “Pardon me Mr. Netanyahu… it’s the cable guy.  I absolutely must take this call.”  It’s preposterous!  Have a little faith Comcast.  I’m already begging for help and giving you a three-hour window.  Do you really think I’m going to stand you up?

After debating this for several minutes with the nice guy from Comcast, I finally booked another three-hour window of time I don’t have to get it fixed.  The sanity of the world was restored.  The phone was working.  My internet was lightning fast.  I actually found the cable guy to be quite endearing.

My daughter spent the weekend with her dad, but on Monday she bolted up to her room to watch a little Spongebob.  Imagine my surprise when she said, “Mooooooom… my t.v. isn’t working.”  Anyone know a good mixed martial artist?

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3 Responses

  1. If I were an on-air personality and that happened to me, I’d be giving Comcast some free publicity that they wouldn’t like too much, perhaps even a news story detailing their shortcomings at providing repair service.

  2. Very good for reading as long it’s not you Jennifer. Fortunately my wife takes care of that, and she has a way of getting things done, and it seems to be easy. That may be because I’m not envolved. Thank you for shareing you experences with us, Please continue.

  3. Love the blog, you write so well, very entertaining!

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