The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same


ACME Communications


Over time my communication and entertainment preferences and needs have changed as have the offerings of cell, satellite, internet and cable companies. For my current circumstances a combination of cell and cable was the way to go.  I signed up for cable and the friendly customer service automaton informed me they could install my new service tomorrow and asked. “Will two to three pm work for you?”  I confirmed, hopped in my pickup and started the short drive back to the office. Before I arrived my cell rang. Across the stereo a robocall from ACME cable company informed me I had a cable installation scheduled at Catcus and Birdseed for tomorrow sometime between two and three pm.

Later that evening, I was watching the movie “Whitless Protection”; my phone rang.  Of all things, it was ACME Cable reminding me I had a cable installation scheduled for tomorrow between two and three pm.

The following morning I sat down at the computer with a cup of joe and picked up my EMAIL.

Dear ACME Cable Company Customer, This is your appointment reminder for today. Our technician will arrive between 2PM-3PM. Note that appointments typically take between one and three hours to complete after the technician arrives. An adult over the age of 18 with a government-issued photo ID must be present during our visit.

When the phone rang and blurted out over the speaker at ten am, “Are you a US citizen?” Oops! That would be another story.  “This is ACME Cable Company calling to inform you our technician will be arriving between two and three pm to install your modem and router.” I felt reassured. 

Now one would think with all the appointment reminders ACME would have had a technician standing on my front porch waiting for her/his alarm to go off so they could punch the doorbell. That would be wishful thinking. So would be thinking someone would arrive by three pm.  At a quarter to three my phone rings:  “This is the dispatcher from ACME Cable Company. All our technicians are running behind schedule. I can’t get anyone to your location until five pm. Will that be alright?”  What are you supposed to say? “My boy has a ballet recital this evening so let’s play this game again tomorrow.”

At five pm I get yet another robocall.  “This is ACME….Our technician in in route to your location.” He finally showed at 5:30 PM.

All the fancy technology in the world can’t prevent you wasting at least a half a day getting cable company service.  It’s been that way since cable was invented in the 70’s.  Jerry Seinfeld devoted an episode to cable service in the 90’s and some comedian named his act after it.

I’ll fondly remember this adventure next time I spend an hour waiting in the lobby of my doctor’s office.