Friday, January 22, 2016

The Cable Guy

I am convinced if there was a survey of the most trying entity in the universe, Cable Companies would come in first, just above those impossible plastic packages that cause the consumers to get serious cuts and gouges from either the sharp object they use to free the purchase (they have spent their hard earned dollars for) or the package itself.  Third would be those annoying phone menus - and that goes along with the cable companies. But, I digress.

Naturally one needs cable or the internet to watch TV. The WiFi provided in my building was no where strong enough to support WiFi TV (which was naturally my first choice - that being of no additional cost). Therefore I had to deal with the cable TV company.

I got an appointment scheduled within 3 days which impressed me. They had a 2 hour "window" which I felt was reasonable. And, the price was not outlandish. That was where the fun stopped and the insanity started.

At the appointed time the cable guy showed up. And, yes, he was a "cable guy" from central casting. Upon looking all over my apartment he determined that there was no cable hookup. I found this odd given that the apartment had just been gutted, redone, and certainly they would have dropped lines for cable. Luckily, the landlord's IT guy was in the hall (ironically updating the WiFi to make it stronger). After a quick discussion with him, he came and looked for the cable. There was none. He was surprised also, given he knew how the remodeling work had been done.

The cable guy announced the only thing he could do was drill through the wall (which was brick) and he would need permission from the landlord to do that. I looked at Mike, the IT guy, in desperation. He picked up his phone and called the landlord, discussed the situation with him, ended the call, and told the cable guy to do whatever it took to get the cable installed.

Then the cable guy went into my bedroom, announced that he would bring the cable in there and run the cable through my bedroom, the bath, the guest bedroom, then around the corner into the living area, threading it around baseboards up corners and above the door frames. Mike looked at him, "I don't think so. Why don't just come in here," (he pointed to the guest room that is next to the living area) and run it around this corner into the living area and make it as inconspicuous as possible. They spent too much money making this apartment look nice to have it ruined with a cable wire."

The cable guy scratched his head and said, "Well we could do that." Mike stood behind him shaking his head to confirm my feeling that we were not dealing with a rocket scientist. So the two of them decided where the cable would come through the wall and went outside to see how it would be run from the main cable box. The cable guy came back in and ran the cable from the wall around the base board into the living area (using maybe 12 feet of wire vs a good 60 or so if he had done it his suggested way.)

The three of us walked outside. "One problem," the cable guy said. (What now I thought?) "To reach the cable box I need to use a ladder and that parking space (pointing to the space just outside the front door of the building) has to be empty." 

Naturally there was a car there and I had not a clue who owned it. I quickly ran back into the building and knocked on all 11 other apartment doors. Only one other tenant was home and she did not know who owned the car. Great! 

It was determined that he would have to return at a later time to run the cable from the inside out to the box. He set-up an appointment for Monday afternoon. "Now all you need to do is make sure that parking space is empty." (Seriously?) "And I will need written confirmation from the landlord to drill that  hole through the wall. I thanked him and he left. I thanked Mike also and he went back to what he was orginally doing.

About 10 minutes later Mike was at my door with his drill and a huge bit. "The Hell with permission. I know what Alex (my landlord) would do, so I am going to save all us the aggravation." He proceeded to the guest room and drilled the hole through the wall. "There," he said, "now they have no excuses." 

I thanked him profusely. After he left I thought, OK that is done, now all I have to figure out is how to make sure a public parking space is either empty or has my car in it five days from now. Not only that - it just happens to be the prime space everyone wants - the one just outside our front door.

Geez, what did I do to piss off the gods. I am beginning to think TV is so overrated or that Dante missed another circle of Hell when he did not include dealing with the cable company in his Inferno.

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