I Should Really Learn To Keep My Mouth Shut.

Over the last couple of months, we have been having problems with our DVR, which is fairly new after getting our old one replaced due to similar problems. Our satellite provider has been less than helpful for the most part because each time I call, I am on the phone for twenty to thirty minutes, only to be walked through tech support steps that are clearly band-aids rather than a complete fix to the problem. The perkiness of each person I have spoken with is overdone, I imagine for the purpose of balancing out the irritation of the customers on the other end of the line.

I have worked in customer service. I know it’s difficult. It is for this reason that I always make sure to tell the company representative that I realize this problem is not their fault personally, and my frustration is not directed at them.


I just don’t appreciate being told things that will “take care of” my problem only temporarily, requiring that I call again the following week when the intermittent problem rears its ugly head again.

I’m not a big, important person in the world as a whole, but I do have a life (okay, and patience level) that doesn’t accommodate sitting on the phone with tech support for twenty to thirty minutes on a regular basis. Not too many people do.

That’s why I was relieved when I was told that the satellite provider was sending a repairman to the house. Finally! It was looking like I was going to get a permanent fix!

Then I realized that, because the DVR wasn’t acting up constantly, this home visit would be similar to taking the car into the shop because of one of those mystery noises that you only hear when nobody else is riding along.

When the repairman arrived yesterday, I met him in the driveway as I had just returned home from an appointment. He introduced himself with a smile and the presentation of his company identification card. and then I ruined the mood.

“You know, you’re not going to be able to fix this problem,” I said.

“WOW,” he said. “Wow. Really? I just got here!”

“Well, I just don’t think you’re going to find the issue.” My frustration at dealing with this was oozing through, but I still shouldn’t have said it. If someone had said that to me in regards to my job, I would’ve been insulted as well.

He said, “Why don’t you just let me give it a shot?”

He got started, doing what those satellite repair people do, and as he worked he described what he was doing.

After about twenty minutes, “A-HA!”

He discovered that the person who installed our satellite system (years ago) put the splitter in the wrong place, had unnecessary wires in weird places, and in fact only had one wire attached to our DVR instead of two, which is why, for the last ten years, we couldn’t record one thing while watching another, something I thought was “normal” for this satellite company. (No wonder my friends would look at me with their mouths dropped open when I told them I had to watch whatever was recording.) Basically our whole connection was jacked up, and the problem was not with the DVR itself after all.

It took him two and a half hours to reroute, reconnect, and get everything in order. I was telling him how much I appreciated his fixing the problem when he said, “You know, when I got here you stated that I wasn’t going to be able to fix it.”

I smiled and said, “I KNOW! I motivated you, didn’t I?”

He shook his head and frowned, causing me to feel even more embarrassed at my lame attempt at joking around, and then replied, “Nope. In fact, if I had been a different guy I might have just fiddled around with some wiring and then left. You shouldn’t underestimate someone else’s abilities, especially if they know more about something than you do.”

Gah. I felt terrible. I felt like I should bake him some brownies or something.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that to you. It’s just that my annoyance level with this was up to HERE.”

“I know,” he said, “No problem.”

He got back to joking around and finally he finished and drove away in his van, leaving me and my family to play with our problem-free DVR and its new recording capabilities.

Note to self: Next time the repairman is coming over, tape up mouth. And bake brownies in advance.


  • Tara R.

    Would you like a side of fries with that foot. Oh man… I would have done the same thing. It’s good that he was good natured and professional about it. Sad that it still took years to get the problem resolved. Maybe a letter of thanks to the company for the work this guy did would help ease your ‘foot in mouth’ symptoms.

  • Heather

    I really cannot believe you said that to him. My mouth is like, wide open. hahahahahaha. But you are lucky that he was a cool enough guy to get it done for you- I am with Tara- I’d write a letter to the company, stating that this was your issue with the satellite, ” but so & so got it done after years of issues & you wanted to thank him,” kinda thing maybe?

    I understand your frustration tho- when I call my cable company, they always ask me if it’s plugged in. Umm, really?!

    • Melisa

      You? Are a genius. That’s a great idea, and is yet ONE MORE REASON why I like you so much. You’re always thinking.

  • As Cape Cod Turns

    Oh bummer! I can totally see that happening though. Maybe you should bake brownies and then stalk your neighborhood for a van from that company and see if you could find him. I can picture that and it is making me laugh a little bit. Glad that it is fixed though!!!!

  • Patty @ A Day in My NYC

    Wow is right! Dont sweat it Melisa it happens to all of us. We have those days & I’m more impressed with your patience level…years of recording what you are watching. I would have dumped that cable company years ago.

    Heck you should call for a dvr credit…improper installation & praise this guy for finally fixing it.

    • Melisa

      I’m just happy that it’s fixed, to be honest. I don’t even care about getting anything else! 🙂

  • domestic extraordinaire

    I will have to show this to my hubby, he works for a major telecommunications company and loves to hear of good techs and things working out for the best. I am sorry that when your tech installed your system that they didn’t do it correctly, sadly that is the case many times when bad things happen. I had a point to all of this, but I can’t remember what it was…..so I am going to leave it with, so very happy for you!

  • Lynn @ Walking With Scissors

    Eh. You didn’t drop any eff bombs on him! No harm, no foul. I agree with Lisa though. One should always be eating a brownie when the cable guy comes over. Actually, the cable guy is coming to my place on Thursday because my DVR is acting up. No joke. Maybe I’ll start warming up the oven…

  • Kim @ This Belle Rocks

    This is why I talk as little as possible to repair/delivery people while they’re in my home. Only I get chatty when I get nervous because new people are around, and I NEVER manage to sound sane. I don’t think you should feel bad….you’re a paying customer and it wasn’t your fault their last repairman screwed up. I’m sure the repairman has probably heard far worse! But I hope he felt better when you apologized. It’s not like you did it specifically to undermine his abilities.