Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | July 18, 2011

“You’ll Have to Excuse My Husband” – Part One of the Joys of Television

Prepare to be shocked.  We recently switched our cable subscriber.  This is not too shocking except for the part that I really miss the exclusive news crew weather reports every ten minutes of our former company – now I have to look outside to see if it’s raining or not.  It’s like the dark ages, except when it’s daytime, which I like to call the light ages.  Bob does not understand my love for weather every ten minutes, but he indulged me enough over the last several years and didn’t switch cable companies until we realized that we were seeing the cable repairmen more than any of our family and friends.  It was time.  Good bye weather every ten minutes.

With our new company they want me to believe that I have the universe at my fingertips.  Obviously they don’t know my fingertips.  My fingertips are not that savvy.  They are creatures of habit and rebel by pushing wrong buttons on the remote just so they can mock me.  I hate them, though they are behaving fairly well today as I type.  Anyway, we have been having problems with the new DVR in our family room.  My son is convinced that it’s an operator problem because it only happens when I am operating the system.  I don’t think that’s a fair assessment (even though there’s reason to believe it is).

Finally, after having the new system for 16 days and experiencing my DLB (dumb little box) freezing up 5 times, I decided to call the company.  This was challenging because on the other end of the phone was a dreaded automated voice.  The only good part about that is that I can yell at it and it does not get offended.  The conversation went something like this:

Automated Voice – “State what the nature of your problem is.”

Me – “Box malfunction.”

AV – “Did you say, ‘Sox Luncheon’?”

Me – “No.”

AV – “State what the nature of your problem is.”

Me (louder and angrier) – “Box malfunction!!!”

We went a few rounds of this until it finally understood me.  Then it ordered me to use my remote and push certain buttons and tell me what it said on the screen.  This about put me over the edge because MY BOX HAD MALFUNCTIONED.  I kept pushing for the Operator on my phone and at last I made it up the evolutionary chain of automation to a real live person, who thrilled me by understanding my problem and never asked me anything stupid.  He told me that it appeared that I needed a new box and he sent a repair technician out.  He arrived in two hours.  This, combined with the fact that my husband had come home from work before the tech arrived, was almost too good to be true.

It gets better (for a minute).  The tech was testing things and quickly diagnosed the problem.  Bob was watching him the entire time and was almost giddy.  I had to tell the tech, “You’ll have to excuse my husband.  He’s not used to having anyone work on our system who actually knows what he is doing.”

He smiled and said, “If it makes you more comfortable I’ll put it this way – See this here blue thingy?  It and some of these wires are bad.  They’re hurting your TV.”

Wow, a service tech who knows what he is doing and gets my sense of humor.  We hit a home run, or so we thought until he told us the whole story and our homer turned slightly foul.  Our TV was putting out voltage where it was not supposed to and interfering with our DVR (or something like that).  We had most likely been hit by one of our Florida electrical storms and something from the TV was messing with the cable box.  He gave us a new box, but he wouldn’t connect it to the television because of the problem with the TV.  So, off to Costco.

Part Two will be published tomorrow.  Hey, this is Day 18 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post every day in July.  It’s time to stretch stories out a bit!



  1. Lesson learned: Never read Bonnie’s blog while on a conference call without putting the phone on “mute.” Laughed out loud just as the project leader said the project was in danger. “Something funny?” “No, I just cough weird…”

    Is this the same TV with the bad bulb?

    • Now you have me laughing out loud, but I’m alone so it’s not as weird (or is it?). Yes, it’s the same TV!

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