Friday, June 23, 2017

Go back to sleep?

So last night I returned home late, around 10 pm.  I flipped on the tube and saw that on some channels I could get sound and no picture.  It was only mildly annoying since there was nothing special I had intended to watch.  I figured it would be fixed by the morning or I would call Comcast then and remedy the problem.

Yesterday morning I went out to get the newspaper as I typically do. There was no newspaper. I went out again a few times later before I left for work. Still no paper.  Okay, it happens that there are delivery problems.

After I noticed that the tv was not working last night, I went out with a flashlight to see if the paper had eventually arrived. It had not. No big deal. I had things to read and do.

When I woke up this morning, just an hour or so ago, I flipped on the set and again saw that there was no picture on certain channels.  Before I went to call Comcast I checked to see if today's paper had been delivered. As is typical there was my wrapped in plastic--so it won't get wet-newspaper on the lawn. I brought it to a chair, parked myself, and called Comcast.

The robot that responded thanked me for calling Comcast.

Is anyone pleased when a robot thanks them for calling? I am not, for the record.  Not displeased, not annoyed--at least not immediately--just find it meaningless.  I begin to get annoyed when I have to answer several questions that, had there been a person responding (preferably one that had not recently had a lobotomy) I could get to where I needed to go in a hurry. Finally after a couple of minutes of responding to a series of unnecessary questions, I am put on hold to speak to a technician. I got to the technician "quickly" because at one point I just pushed zero several times.

A happy woman from India answered. She thanked me for calling Comcast.  It is a little more tolerable when a person, not a robot, thanks me but still clearly obligatory and, therefore, not very meaningful.  I explain my problem, clearly. She thanks me. She tells me she can help me with this. These are standard responses. She can't help me--as it turns out.

I was at my eloquent best this am. Not always the case, but I clearly articulated the problem. She told me there was a power outage in my area and the technicians are working on the case. Would it make sense, I inquired, if there were some channels on which I had video and others where I did not?

Oh yes, she responded. This happens regularly.

I asked when the problem began. She put me on hold. When she got back, she thanked me for my patience. She told me the outage began at 104 am.  I told her that then this could not be the problem since I had experienced the problem at 10 pm.  She put me on hold.

She came back and thanked me for my patience. She then spewed something that I could not quite follow but had to do with the possibility that even though the source of the problem began at 104 am, it was possible I could have experienced it earlier.  I asked when the outage would be fixed. She put me on hold.

She returned. Thanked me for my patience. She said according to her notes the problem would be fixed by 5am.  I noted that it was now 630 am. She asked me if I wanted to trouble shoot, but told me, patronizingly, that sometimes when there is troubleshooting one can lose the video on all the channels and perhaps I should wait until the outage was over.  I mentioned that, according to her, the outage was to be over at 5 am.  She put me on hold.

When she returned she thanked me for my patience.  Before she could go further I conjectured that perhaps the problem was unrelated to the outage. I had mentioned that Comcast had sent me a box a while back for updating my equipment. I had not had problems with my set and am not technically savvy so I had not installed the update.  Could that be the problem? No, she said. I asked if someone could come out to install the equipment not, I made clear, to resolve the current situation, but because I see notices on the screen periodically indicating that it is time to install the box.

This was a big mistake. I now had irreparably conflated the issue with video with the box, and she could not separate out the matter. I decided to do the separation for her. I said that I would not do the troubleshooting regarding the current issue. We would leave it for a day since I am not going to be watching television until tonight anyway.  Period. On another matter--entirely--since we were on the phone, could she schedule a time for the technician to come out and install the box (as had been a service promised when the new boxes were sent out).  She said of course she could. She put me on hold.

She thanked me for my patience when I returned. No need. I no longer had any patience.  She asked me if I thought the technician could remedy the video problem. I, with a little more volume, reminded her that I was asking for the technician for another matter. She put me on hold.

She thanked me for my patience.  She asked again why I wanted the technician. I told her and asked why I could not just schedule an appointment.  She said she was getting the schedule now and put me on hold.

I decided to start reading the paper while waiting. I took it out of the wrapper while listening to music that could be soothing in another context but is annoying when you have been waiting interminably for a response.  I cut to the sports section and read the headline. There is a box score and article about the Red Sox game. The Red Sox did not play yesterday; they had the day off. I look up to the top of the paper and see that today they delivered the paper I was supposed to receive yesterday.

The woman from New Delhi gets back on the phone and thanks me for my patience. She tells me she is ready to schedule an appointment for me, but she tells me there will be a charge.  I lose it.  Not even 715 in the morning.

I should not have, but nonetheless do then, call the Boston Globe delivery service.   A robot thanks me for my call. A robotic message tells me that there were some delivery snafus yesterday which could cause a delay in delivery.  And some newspapers may not be delivered until the following day.  What possible good is Thursday's paper delivered on Friday--especially if Friday's paper is not delivered. Sure, tell me what the weather is going to be like yesterday.  That will be helpful.

The robot tells me that they are sorry for any inconvenience.

Should I go back to sleep?

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