Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The No TV Week

A former co-worker of mine and her family engage in a certain annual ritual that leaves me somewhat aghast. It's called No TV week. For one week, they watch no TV, no DVDs or video games, and do not turn on the computer. The thought of this alone drives me nuts. I wonder if I could do it and I know the answer is no.

However, sometimes circumstances dictate that we learn to deal without these things anyway. Yesterday afternoon, while I was at work, my wife called me and said that she had an emergency. When I asked what the problem, she commented the cable was out. By itself, this isn't a big deal. The cable has gone out before and it is usually a system-wide issue. "Not this time!" she said. It only affects our TVs and the cable company says it will be a week before someone can get out here.

A week? Are they nuts, I wondered. I could have a new cable service installed in a week. This was insane! So, I did what any self-respecting, loving husband would do. I called the cable company to see what the heck the problem was.

It turns out the problem is there is no one there who can give you a good answer. I got three different people who gave me three different answers, all of them different from the answer given to my wife. One promised I would get a call back within an hour to set up a time to get someone there sooner. One said I would get a call back wihtin 24-48 hours. One actually claimed that I would get a call back as soon as a technician was available. I am not sure which answer made me laugh the hardest.

Finally, I got someone who gave me the right answer. The person said that things get booked up when there are system outages and that the best thing to do was call when the office opened at 7:00 a.m. Sure enough, my wife called at 7:00 a.m. and all of the blocked times through the next week had disappeared, offering us more than one option on the following day.

So, tomorrow (hopefully), the TV will be back on and we can go back to the way things were. I have to admit, however, losing the TV for a couple of days proved to be a blessing in one respect. Given the way my Atlanta Braves just played in their three-game series at home against the Cincinnati Reds, I was almost better off not being able to watch at all.

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