Yes. I’m sure my house is brown.

Towards the end of June, I called the Dish Tech Dept. to report my satellite television service was not working properly.  I told them that I couldn’t get more than half of my channels and asked if they knew why.  Indeed, they did.  Hurricane in Florida. Or maybe that time it was because it was raining.  One or the other.  I called again.  Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.  Or maybe rain. One time they asked me if it was cloudy.  I told them I live in Ohio Valley and that it’s often cloudy but that my satellite dish has always worked when it was cloudy before.  I also told them my neighbors had Direct TV and had no problems with clouds, rain, hurricanes in Florida, or yellow waxy buildup on their kitchen floor.  I called yet again.  I talked with a nice woman.  We did some diagnostics and re-booted the receiver.  I had a working satellite for about 2 hours. 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I’ve called every couple of days since June 29th.  Monday, I talked with a techie who knew what he was doing.  After about an hour on the phone with him, he concluded either my receiver had a bad connection point or something was wrong with the dish.  He scheduled me for a service call today after asking my preference for either 8 to noon or noon to 5.  I complained about the window.  He apologized, but…  I called customer service and complained.  I was told, essentially, “Fine, lady, how about noon to two?”  I agreed.  Someone called last night to confirm my appt. for noon to five.  I said, no, noon to two.  We went rounds.  I talked to supervisors, etc. etc.  Noon to two.

I arrived home at 11:55.  At 2:10, I called and was unceremoniously told my window was noon to 5, but the tech was running late.  I burst into flames.  (This will prove prophetic, later.)  No good.  I called Customer Service and ranted about a month of no service, general dicking around, and now this.  Eventually, I wrangled a $49.99 service call credit.  I made my beach packing list.  At 4:40 I called.  The tech was on his way.  I should call back in 20 minutes if he wasn’t there.  Yeah yeah yeah.  I decided to cook an early dinner.  The phone rang in the midst.  It was not the Dish Network, it was Putnam General Hospital who is perturbed at me because my ex-husband had not yet paid a lab bill.  I wished them well and hung up just as the frying pan burst into flames.

Fortunately, I have a handy, dandy kitchen fire extinguisher.

Unfortunately, in removing the safety cap provided thoughtfully by the manufacturer to protect me from unwanted discharges, the mechanism that causes the foam to release came off.  Thinking quickly, I found a lid and covered the pan.

Flames erupted around the rim and ignited the napkin I had thoughtfully placed next to the stove to wipe up splatters.  I tossed salt.  Grabbed some more lids.  The kitchen filled with black, acrid smoke.  I ushered the dogs outside while I tried to reassemble the fire extinguisher.  At some point, the oven mitt thoughtfully placed near the stove, burst into flames due to spattering oil drops.

Eventually, I managed to reassemble the extinguisher and apply foam to the salt, lids, oil, cloth, and paper mixture on fire on top of my stove.  I cleaned up the majority of the mess. This does not include the large, roughly semi-circular blotch of black, smoky grime on the kitchen ceiling.  I’m so glad I have procrastinated the repainting of the kitchen.  I’d be really ticked. 

It’s now 5:30.  I called Dish.  Yadda yadda.  I say, “Unacceptable.”  Will you hold?  Yes, I will.

Alex comes on the phone.  From the Executive Offices.  I tell Alex the whole sad story, not including Putnam General Hospital and the fire.  Alex apologizes.  He gets my phone number and gives me his.  Including his extension number.  Alex calls me back.  Tells me where the tech is and that he is leaving.  Alex asks me if I know where that is in relation to me and if I know how long it should take him.  I say yes.  Twenty or thirty minutes.  Alex says call me if he’s not there by 6.

At 6:20, Andy calls me.

Andy is a fine young man from, I think, the Indian subcontinent.  His British English is far better than mine.  Nonetheless, understanding him was a tad difficult.   Andy wants to know why I won’t open my door.  I tell Andy my door is open and, as a matter of fact, I’m sitting in my front doorway.  I didn’t tell Andy this was because I was still trying to get the smoke out of the house. 

Andy tells me he is in front of my house and no one will answer the door.  I tell him that I’m sorry, but he’s wrong.  He is not in front of my house.  He says he is.  I ask him what color the house is.  He says that it is blue and gray.  I tell him my house is brown.  He asks me if I’m sure.  I tell him that I am.

While I am trying to persuade Andy that he is not in front of my house including details such as “You should see a black Chevy.  You should hear 3 dogs barking. You should see me sitting in my doorway” – the inhabitants of the blue and gray house pull into their driveway and ask Andy what the hell is he doing in there.  Andy says, “I must be at the wrong house.”  He says that to them.  And then to me.  I say “Yes.  You are.”  He wants to know how to get to my house.  I tell him I don’t know, because I don’t know where he’s at.  Andy seemed perplexed.  After some negotiations, we agreed Andy should return to the main road and start over.  I would talk him through it.  The Dish truck eventually lumbers up my hilly dirt road. 

Andy bounces in laughing and says, I guess I was at the wrong house.  Not laughing, I say Yes.  This one is brown.  Andy quits laughing.  Andy looks at my test screen.  He goes outside and looks at my dish.  He comes in and tells me it’s the tree.  I said, “How can that be?  I have 3 satellite feeds, two of them work.”  Andy tries to explain.  I’m not really listening to him anymore.  So, I say, “If I cut the tree down, all these problems will stop?”  Andy says yes.  I say that Dish network installed that dish in front of that slow-growing evergreen last year about this time and that until June there has not been a problem and a problem only with one satellite.  Andy nods sagely.  Andy then notes that I do not seem happy.  I agree this is true and I tell Andy the whole story (excepting, of course, the hospital and the fire).  Andy nods. Andy says he doesn’t know why I was told noon to 2.  The techs have meetings until 10 and then they have to go to all the people who were told 8 to noon so they’re always two hours behind before they even start.  Andy laughs.  I do not.  I tell Andy that Dish Network’s inability to run an organization effectively should not cause me the problems that it has.

Andy asks permission to sit at my kitchen table and fill out his paperwork.  I say yes and move the fire extinguisher, the salt canister, and the remains of my formerly-favorite frying pan.  Andy asks me to initial there and sign here.  I add – in the comments section – that the tech has advised that if I cut the tree down all of my satellite problems will end.  I sign there.  I initial there.  And I sign here.  Andy is annoyed and asks if that makes me happy.  I stare blankly at Andy and gesture toward the door.

Andy has been gone about an hour or so.  My satellite dish is working fine.  All of the channels.  The tree is still standing.  It is still raining.  It is still cloudy and there’s probably a hurricane or tropical storm somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

I’m looking for hidden cameras.

NOTE: This is an oldie, but a goodie from years ago. I no longer watch television. It just isn’t worth the hassle.

4 thoughts on “Yes. I’m sure my house is brown.

  1. I’m new here, but I am wondering why the techs even schedule appointments before 11am when they know in advance they will be in meetings until 10am. Seems to be a really sucky service in my opinion. Can you suggest paying them in a window oh, maybe between July and New Year?

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