Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nick Was Having a Tough Night

Why does everything have to be so damn difficult?!

My cable TV remote has been on the blink for a while now. I called the cable company's customer service line, and they advised me to bring it in and get a new one. The old one had to be at least ten years old, so hey, it was time.

So I take in the old one, and the customer service gal gives me a new one, and of course it had nine million more bells and whistles on it than the old one. Technology marches on, and all that. BUT! It also came with approximately ten poorly-photocopied pages of instructions. And I noticed whoever had been running the copier was apparently not paying all that much attention, because the bottom two lines of type on each page had been cut off. So it was all, like, "enter your three-digit TV code number once the component LED......" and nothing. The rest was cut off.

So I pointed this out to the gal at the counter, who did not seem at all surprised. I don't know if it was because she hears it all the time, or she's never heard it before because nobody ever actually tried to read the instructions. She just said, "Oh, it's already programmed for our converter box. You're all ready to go!"

Yeah. I mean, no. I was not "all ready to go". I got home, and the remote would turn the system on and off. And that's it. No channel-changing, no volume control, nada.

So I monkeyed and monkeyed and tried to imagine what might be in those missing lines of type at the bottom of the pages, and I finally got the cable portion of the system to work, i.e, I could change the channels, access the setup menu, blah blah blah. But I could not get the TV portion to work, i.e., the all important volume control, because God forbid I have to get up off my lazy butt and walk over to the TV to adjust the volume.

I called customer service and got "Nick". Nick was obviously not enjoying his time at work last night. Nick was not a happy camper, and I guess I can best charitably describe him as "surly". Now peeps, I was just as polite to this guy as I could be. I explained my problem, and he started walking me through the TV setup system, the same setup system I had done all by my ownself before calling customer service. And I was kind of laughing and joking, and I could practically feel the frown vibes emanating through the phone from Nick. This dude was NOT HAPPY.

So! We tried A, we tried B, we tried C, and nothing worked. No volume control. I explained that the volume control had worked with my old remote. I asked if the age of my TV (fifteen years!) could be the problem. I asked if they could send out someone to look into the situation. Nick's answer was "No." No, the age of the TV shouldn't matter. No, they would not send out someone for a volume control problem. It was kind of one of those, "Well, you're shit out of luck - too bad about that" situations.

And really, I'm ok with that! It's just the flippin' volume control, for Pete's sake. I'll either get it figured out, or I won't. Although, for sixty-plus bucks a month for BASIC CABLE, I really think it would be nice if volume control was included.

But I wonder about Nick. I mean, I called, and I was all polite and pleasant and just had a stupid technical problem to try and work through. And I didn't even get upset when we couldn't fix the problem. And this dude sounded like he wanted to tear my damn head off and spit down my neck. I can't imagine what would have happened if the next caller was some irate jerk infuriated that the picture was snowy during "The Price is Right". Although I would have liked to have listened in on that particular conversation. Grudge match: Surly Nick vs. Irate Customer!

Wow, so that's it. My five thousand word essay on my TV remote. Sorry about that. Phew.

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