One of the weirdest things I was stressed out about was not my decided lack of coffee mugs or my inability to properly assemble furniture, but the idea that I’d have to somehow get Teh Internetz into my new place. It’s not that I can’t make phone calls or decisions – if I ruled the world, I’d make texting illegal, and not just while driving, though it baffles me that people actually DO that, but because text conversations remind me of the notes I passed in high school, sitting in the back row with the Metal Heads. I’d prefer a phone call most days.
I was terrified of dealing with Comcast in the same way I loathe dealing with Jiffy Lube. Because I’m not smart enough properly know whether or not my air filter needs changing, for example, I’ll listen to them, have it done, and then realize that I’ve just dropped 40 bucks on some bullshit thing I don’t actually need, only to Rage Against (not, I should clarify, LOUNGE Against) The Machine, because being duped by the Jiffy Lube guys makes me want to taco punch both Captain and Tennile (which, frankly, is the way I feel most of the time) AT THE SAME TIME.
I figured that dealing with Comcast would be similar, our phone call something like:
Becky: “Hi, I need to set up new internet in my apartment.”
Comcast: “For that you’re going to need the Linux box modem coupled with Windows 92, plus a router box made by a Scandinavian company that starts with the letter C.”
Becky: “I just want the email box to make emails for me.”
Comcast (smelling a sucker): “Well, if I upgrade you, at a cost of 92,748,272 dollars a month, your “email box” will work.”
Comcast: “I’ll set you up with an appointment for next Tuesday between 1AM and 8PM.”
Becky: “Um, oooookay.”
I fretted awhile before I called them, first because I’d just gotten another NEW apartment number and wanted my keys to ensure I’d actually be living in aforementioned apartment rather than kindly hooking up the cable for another tenant, but by Tuesday of last week, I realized it was time – I’d be moving and I need an email box to do “work,” and Comcast, well, after my inability to make OR receive phone calls using AT&T’s network, was the best option, which made me die a little inside.
Besides, Comcast SAYS they care about me. ME!
I was delighted to see that I’d be able to do the whole thing online. Because while texting is bullshit, being able to take care of shit without the pressure salesperson is like a lil slice of heaven. I even managed to get all the way to the point where I was to chat with an online representative without needing a nap to continue.
Comcast Robot: “So you want to have XYZ set up in your new apartment at (address).”
Comcast Robot: “You can’t.”
Comcast Robot: “The former tenant put his account on hold so he could keep his email address. We can’t hook up two lines to the same apartment.”
Becky: “Wait – he wants a COMCAST email? What about GMAIL? It’s FREE! Shit, I’ll give him one of my zillion addresses.”
Comcast Robot: “You’re going to have to go to the business office and show them a copy of the lease proving you live there now.”
Becky: “Um. Why can’t I scan it and email it to you?”
Comcast Robot: “Good Day.”
I closed the chat window, fuming. I still had a boatload of packing, not to mention a couple of saved videos of cats playing the piano to watch. I decidedly did NOT need to be driving an hour to show Comcast that I, in fact, was the new tenant. Instead of throwing things around or kicking the box fan, I put on my “fuck shit up” pants and drove over to the apartment complex.
When I informed the lady at the desk that I was, in fact, going to need thirty-seven types of proof that I’d be living here, she goggled at me, which was approximately the same response I got whenever from the rest of the world. “Woah,” she said. “That’s nuts. I’ve worked here 7 years and NEVER seen anything like it.”
I nodded, unhappily, clutching a ream of papers on official letterheads that all claimed that I was, in fact, going to be moving into the apartment on October 1.
Driving out to Comcast’s business center was fine, excepting the whole, “this road is closed” thing going on in front of their business office. I ignored all signs, crossed my fingers and drove on it anyway – I needed my email box to work. The woman behind the counter was nice enough, I guess, although she said maybe ten words to me the entire time, including the fateful, “do you want me to set this up for you?”
“Nope,” I replied breezily. “I’ll do it online.”
And like that, I sealed my fate.
Back home an hour later, I tried, once again, to order Comcast online. The conversation was identical to the first, and ended with, “let me look into this and call you back,” which, of course, never happened. Robots, man, they’re unreliable.
The following day, between packing and trying to find my keys, I decided it was time to put an end to the bullshit and call Comcast for the 8,373 time, hoping this time I’d actually manage to find the one person who had more than two brain cells knocking around their skull.
A funny thing happened.
After dealing with Comcast for three days, I finally found someone with properly firing synapses. Quickly she disconnected the previous account and set me up with my own account, even managing to get me an install on Saturday, the day I’d rented the U-Haul and planned to finish moving. She was so kind that I actually began crying on the phone with her, which got HER crying, and we both ended up a soupy mess, which these days, not as uncommon as I’d like.
And now, I have a working email box.
Those damn cat videos have been waiting.
I haz a guest poster here talking about making your own cleaning products. Which, of course, scares the shitnuts out of me.