Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

I'm in internet hell!

Can lightning strike in the same place twice?

I am speaking metaphorically this time.  And yes, it can.  The zig zaggy jolt of electricity surging through my house the other night was nothing compared to the shock I got while dealing with the cable company today. 

Comcast Cable…I’m talking to you!

I was sent on a wild goose chase of epic proportions today by my friendly neighborhood cable provider. 

“Just bring the broken equipment back to the closest cable store and swap it for new.” I was told.  I didn’t want to drive across town to the closest cable store.  “Can’t you just send someone to me?” I begged.  I do that when I’m trying to get my way.  They weren’t having any of it.  I had to drive.

I hopped in my car at ten-thirty in the morning with the broken bits and headed in the general direction of the cable store.  I didn’t bother to write down the address, because I have navigation in my car.  I hit the nearest drive-thru window for sustenance, and continued on while eating fries and listening to satellite radio.

It was a long drive.                    

When I got close, I pulled out the navigation and discovered this location does not exist.  But of course, it had to exist.  I was told to go there.  Apparently, no one told the navigation equipment about the existence of the cable store.  I wasn’t concerned at all.  I just dialed the number I had memorized after several calls that morning and the night before, and clicked through the endless choices in the automated system until I reached a live human being.

“The cable store is directly across the street from the Big Chicken.” The man said. 

Everyone in Atlanta knows where the Big Chicken is.  It’s a landmark!  I hung up and headed straight there. 

When I got to the intersection, I didn’t see anything resembling a cable store.  There was a tire shop. A Mexican restaurant.  A vacant lot.  A rental car office.  No cable store.  I turned down the cross street and went several hundred yards before circling back around and went the other direction.   Again, I drove about a hundred yards before circling around again. 

I was livid and hit the speed dial.

I didn’t call the cable company, I called my husband.  He needed to know I was mad.  I don’t know why, he just did.  Then I called my mother.  She needed to know this too.  My sister called me out of the blue, and I clicked to take her call so she would know how mad I was too. 

She knew where the cable store was…a mile down the road…way past the Big Chicken.

I scarfed the last of my fries in the Comcast parking lot before taking a deep breath and charging into the cable store to swap out my equipment.

The line was to the door.  And not just any line.  I have been in line at the DMV, the social security office, and even at the mall to see Santa on Christmas Eve.  This was worse. 

The women working in the office were separated from the customers by bulletproof glass.  We didn’t even have bulletproof glass at the bank where I used to work.  There were children screaming and crawling along the dirty floor and no one seemed to notice but me.  The man in front of me had three teeth, and arms filled with enough cable equipment to supply a prison.  He was laughing hysterically at something no one else could see.  This was definitely worse than the mall line waiting to see Santa.

This was the receiving line in Hell and we were lined up to meet Satan.

I clutched my cable boxes a little tighter and tried not to make eye contact with anyone as I waited my turn. 

A baby crawled closer to me and I wondered if I would have to run to get away from it when a woman finally noticed her child was missing and scooped it up. 

Time stood still while I was in the cable office, but I did finally manage to reach the front of the line where I was told they didn’t swap out internet boxes.  I would need someone to come to me.

“But…I asked for someone to come to me and they said no!” I told her. 

“Oh, they do that all the time.” She said laughing.  They do that all the time?  And no one stops them?  It must be the same “they” who told me the store was across from the Big Chicken. 

“Can I at least get a new HDTV box so I can watch TV?” I begged again.

“It looks like there’s an open work order on your account already.  We can’t help you at all here today.”

Three hours after arriving there, I got back in my car with my broken cable pieces and drove for forty-five minutes to get home.  I called the cable company from the car, suppressing the urge to share all the bad words I’ve learned over my many years as a sailor/pirate/truck driver.  They said I would have to wait for someone to call me back to set up an appointment to fix my internet because I’m just a residential customer.  We don’t need internet.

So I’m using my “borrowed” connection again tonight.  Apparently, it was left over from 1995, and no one was using it.   

Supposedly, someone will call me in the morning to set up a time to decide if they want my business as a “residential” customer.  We’ll see about that.

Until the next time…I’ll be waiting four hours to download pictures with my dial-up speed connection!

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.