The Near Electrocution of the Cable Guy

By: Frédéric BISSON

I an attempt to lower my phone bill, I signed up for the Triple Play from my cable company.  What this means is that the cable company now has possession of my technology soul. They bill me for my phone, internet and TV.

Converting to the cable phone service did not come without glitches.  The installation process which they promised would be painless resulted in the near electrocution of Cable Company’s technician. He was drilling into the wall of my house when his drill hit the main power feed. Yes, you would have thought they would have trained him how not to electrocute himself, but apparently he cut classes the day they were teaching this lesson.

Luckily, my husband was home for the installation and pulled him away from the power before it was too late. There was smoke, a flash of light and the smell of burning rubber and then a very shaky cable guy.

I started to call 911, but the technician said that he was fine and just needed to lie down.  For two hours, he lay on my sofa with a cold compress on his head.  I made him a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch and gave him my favorite PMS cookies for dessert — Pepperidge Farm Milanos. I figured his hormones were probably in worse shape than mine since 200 volts of electricity had just coursed through his body.

I don’t mean to sound uncaring, but his near death experience caused a few problems for me as well. The electrical surge blew out my power which required the services of an emergency electrician who had to repair the damage before the cable company could dispatch another technician to install the new phone system.  So, I had no power, no computer, no phone and a traumatized cable man who was making himself at home and now calling me Donna. I guess he thought we bonded.

Eventually, everything was repaired, and the power was restored. The new technician put in the long awaited phone system, and we were on our way to enjoying our Triple Play features. When the service was up and running, the wounded technician decided to leave as well.  Since the hour was so late, I did invite him to stay for dinner since we were now on a first name basis, but he had to get back to work and check in with his supervisor.

Do you know that I never heard from that cable guy again?  I thought he would have called to say he was feeling better or to thank us for our caring hospitality, or for eating my favorite depression-lifting cookies or for saving his freaking life, but nothing. I thought he would have told his supervisor that we were nice to him, and they would have given us a free month of cable service as a reward. Okay, that was a hefty fantasy, but that’s me, I dare to dream.

Anyway, the near electrocution incident soon became a distant memory.  I repainted the back porch wall where his burnt skin left big scorch marks. The cable service has worked almost exactly as I hoped.  I embraced all the features–until I tried to leave a message for my dogs. Yes, I am one of those people who will call and leave a message for my dogs when I am away. I work from my house, so they are used to having a stay-at-home mom.

I was at the beach with my husband; I took out my cell phone to call the house so they could hear my voice. I heard my voice message and when I heard the beep, I started to speak. “Hi Girls. It’s Mommy. I miss you and I will be home soon.”

My husband gave me what I would describe as a quizzical look. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Leaving the girls a message.”

“We have Comcast. The dogs don’t hear the message. The phone rings and goes to voicemail.”

And just like that the light bulb went on in my head. For months, I have been leaving messages for the dogs – messages they could not hear. They could not retrieve my messages unless, of course, they know my access code and can push the buttons on the phone.

So, with this new revelation that my dogs are all alone without my voice to comfort them, I told my husband that I was not sure if I wanted to keep the cable phone service.

“You want to switch because the dogs can’t hear your messages?” he asked incredulously.

When he said those words aloud, I realized how ridiculous the idea was. Honestly, the dogs seem to have adapted nicely to no messages. They do not look as if they have suffered at all. They are quite independent. Is it possible they don’t need me anymore? I think I need a new puppy.

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