Mar 20, 2009


WARNING: What you are about to read is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent and prevent the author from being sued by a huge multi-national conglomerate.

SCENE: Midnight in the state of Indiana, USA. A lonely spinster and her little dog settle in for a night of "Sex and the City" reruns and some serious stitchy time. Suddenly, the cablevision goes out for no apparent reason whatsoever.

SPINSTER: *#&$^%!!! Stewey, hand me the remote. Did you change the channel again? Stop doing that! We're going to watch these episodes on regular TeeVee and there's nothing you can do about it. I'm NOT going to get up and go find the DVDees just so you can watch all of the dirty parts unedited.

(The Spinster snatches the remote from the little dog's perfectly manicured paw and then proceeds to hit every button on the damn thing in the hopes of switching on the thingie. This, of course, is a purely technical term, and should not be used by non-professionals from outside the cablevision industry.)

After several futile minutes, the spinster decides to call the cablevision company. This seemingly easy task is complicated by the automated menu selections that tell her to "Press One for actual live girl-on-girl customer service" or "Press Two if you'd like to scream profanity at us for screwing up your evening TeeVee viewing plans."

The Spinster decides to "Press One" and in a mere eighteen minutes, she is connected with Tamika (spelling is assumed, of course, because the spinster is not at all familiar with the proper spelling of the name, and since we're burning daylight here people, she doesn't feel compelled to clarify.)

TAMIKA: Thank you for calling blah blah. This is Tamika speaking, may I have your account number please?

SPINSTER: Why yes, hello, Tamika. My name is Coni blah blah and I am calling in reference to account number blah blah.

T: Thank you, Mrs. Blah. Now can you tell me the nature of the problem?

S: Oh, please call me Coni, Tamika. I'm actually a Miss and not a MRS. For reasons that escape me at the moment, I seem to have forgotten to get married and have kids like I always wanted to. Sorry. I regress. The nature of the problem? Well, it seems that my cablevision has gone out.

T: I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience.

S: You're welcome, and thank you for your apology. Can you fix the problem?

T: One moment please.

(Six minutes of silence ensues.)

S: Tamika? Are you still there? Did I lose you?

T: I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience.

S: Whew. For a minute there I thought maybe I had been disconnected.

T: One moment please.

(Another eight minutes of silence ensues during which the spinster attempts to fix the cablevision herself by banging repeatedly on the side of the TeeVee armoire. This, it would seem, is not the proper method by which one restores one's service.)

S: Tamika? I tried to fix it myself, but it doesn't look like it's working yet. Are you having any luck on your side? Could it be an outage in my area? Is it possible that a neighbor is playing tricks on me? Has an opossum found its way into the big thingie outside and disconnected something?

T: I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience.

S: Well, it's not so much as an inconvenience as it is a (the spinster pauses here to mimic the Miranda Priestly character from The Devil Wears Prada)...disappointment. I mean, you pay your bill on time, you forego groceries and gas in the car in lieu of a movie channel or two, and it seems that when you need it most, the cablevision just isn't there for you. Do you know what I mean? Can you feel my angst?

T: I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience.

(This time, the spinster sings show tunes while waiting patiently during the eighteen minutes of silence that ensues.)

S: Tamika? It's going on 2am here and I'm afraid that I will need to think about going to bed soon. It's not that I'm tired actually, but if I don't go to bed now, I am likely to sit up all night stitching, and then I will most definitely not be worth anything tomorrow. Or the next day. Did you ever notice that as you get older you have a harder time recovering from an all-nighter, and it takes you twice as long to get back to normal than it did when you were, oh, I don't know, say eighteen and in college?

T: I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience.

S: Tamika? I swear I hear you doing a Sudoku over there. Are you even trying to fix my cablevision, or are you so entertained by my rambling that you've forsaken your task at hand and are now updating your Facebook page with a story about some crazy woman from Indiana who had the unmitigated gall to call you because the cablevision that she pays for stopped working suddenly and without reason?

T: I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience.

S: OK, this is ridiculous. You're obviously not listening to me, or you'd at least giggle a bit over my sardonic wit and ability to be cheerful at this hour of the morning. And! Based on your canned response, I am assuming that you have a big fat binder in front of you and that it says "When confronted by disgruntled spinster, repeat the phrase "I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience" until said spinster hangs up on you in disgust and pokes herself in the eye with a knitting needle repeatedly." Well, let me tell you something, missy. Not all spinsters knit! As a matter of fact, I tried knitting once and didn't like it at all! And I don't wear cardigans or sensible shoes either. I wear hoodies and clogs! I drink wine and martinis! I go on adventures and I ogle men with impunity! I am single handedly changing the face of spinsterhood everywhere, Tamika, and I won't be mocked because of it. Do you understand me?

T: I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience.


T: Mrs. Blah? I am a supervisor. How may I help you?

S: (astounded silence ensues)

T: Mrs. Blah?

(The connection goes dead at the precise moment the spinster hurls the telephone across the continent. The little dog sighs in disgust and puts himself to bed, making sure to close and lock his bedroom door so he won't have to listen to the four and a half hour rant that is sure to follow.)

SCENE: A darkened front yard in the state of Indiana, USA. A spinster stomps to the cablevision box clutching a screwdriver and some duct tape, while her nightgown billows about her "considerably sturdy" frame. Profanity and loose soil litter the air as the cover is wrenched from the box and the delicate wires are exposed. They are carefully considered before the spinster takes a deep breath, jams the screwdriver into the center of the mass of wire, and returns to the house. A primal scream resonates throughout the neighborhood. On the television screen is a simple, yet utterly tragic message:





  1. Don't blame you. I hate to be cut off from Sex and the city too.
    Again another great entry for an enjoyable laugh.
    Stewey and my Sam need to meet, think they would steal remotes together

  2. LOL... I'm sorry for getting great amusement for your pain, but that was possibly the best post ever!

    Hope your weekend gets better!

  3. Another great post - and we thank you for your patience....

    Have a great weekend!!!

  4. I just spent 2 hours on the phone with our cable company. It finally is fixed but I wish I'd thought of the screw driver!

    Great post. You always make me laugh.

    Jan R in Maryland

  5. tamika
    tut tut

  6. This morning I had a very similar experience. I had to register my new health insurance card with a computer. The insurance # begins QCB.

    The computer says: say your number now.
    I say: QCB blah blah
    Computer: I heard QBB blah blah
    I say: No, QCB
    Computer: I heard QPC
    I say: Operator. Operator. Get me the operator
    Computer: This is not a valid number
    I say: QUEUE SEA BEE
    Computer: I heard QDE (and substitutes 2 for the 0 in the number--WTF?)
    I say: No. queue...sea...bee
    Computer: I heard QGB
    I say: No.
    Finally, it switches to the operator, where I am asked to leave a message.
    I say: If you're going to have a G**D*** computer answer your f*(*&ng phone, make sure it can understand the f*(*&ng letters in yourcard numbers! This is card number QCB blahblah, call me back when this card is registered.

    When I finally talked to a human an hour later, I learned I'm not the only person to complain. Imagine that!

  7. You're killing me! I swear, Diet Coke just came out of my nose because I couldn't stop snort-laughing (TMI?) while reading. Obviously, Tamika and her supervisors are in desperate need of a bitch-slapping.

  8. Coni, I am so sorry you are having such troubles with the cable company in your area, but I have to say YOU CRACK ME UP. You just made my day grand--and it started out so bad when there was NO paycheck to be deposited since it took Hubby twice as long to fix the truck as it should have, and he took all the savings--even what I'd saved for my next stash order--and we can't even get milk and bread, and I was so bummed out, down in the dumps, wanting to scream--then I read your post, and screamed with laughter. You are the best, thanks so much.

  9. Uhmmmm do I think it's fair to send you my dry cleaning bill to remove the tea stains I now have on my white blouse? YES!!! Because your post made me "sputter" the tea as I was drinking it and trying not to laugh at the same time!!

    Thanks for the laugh!!!

  10. I'm sorry for your inconvenience, thank you for your patience!

  11. Sorry about not being able to see your shows.

    What kind of customer service is that?

    LOL - sounds like my call the American Greetings e-cards, you know, 30-day free trial & find a charge on the credit card bill??? Yeah, just you try to cancel -- automated automated automated & a hang up.

  12. I hope Cablevision gets in gear and restores service before the weekend. I shudder to think what might happen to Tamika et al if you & Stewie are forced to forego an entire weekend of TV viewing.

  13. Here's the thing....if the economy continues on in this a very short few months you will have nuclear physicians answering these phones OR better yet, you will be able to speak with previous AIG employees who will be named Jennifer or Andrew and they will be of no additional help BUT you will have some sense of satisfaction that they are working in the middle of the night....You bring a smile of joy to my day and I thank you for sharing the most simple and common of our agonies in a way that makes us able to cope. Give Stewey my love.

  14. heh... that was absoluty too funny.

    Sorry for the, heh, inconvience....

  15. I have a secret to tell you...Tamika is a recording that is generated from India.
    Of course she can't help you, she doesn't really exist!

    Welcome to the Twilight Zone...dee dee dee dee.

  16. You just crack me up :D The truly said thing is you wasted all that stitching time :o(

  17. OMG Coni, that is too funny. Not funny that you were on the phone so long with customer no service, but you story. Tamika needs to get a sense of humor!! :)

  18. Oh the f r u s t r a t i o n !!
    You've done us customers a service...the next time I'm on the phone with a 'customer service representative', I'm pulling up this post and re-reading.
    Hopefully my laughter will help to alleviate my stress!

  19. I love it!!!! Thanks for a total scream once again, Coni!! I SO got a visual of you stalking out to the cable box, LOLOL!!! Here's hoping your service has been restored my dear!

  20. LOL! That has got to be one of the best posts I have ever read. Pardon me now, while I go through the rest of your blog, starting from the beginning. :)

  21. Coni, I've learned to not be drinking my Pepsi when reading your blog. My computer screen can only take so much!

    Once again, you've jump started my day with a lot of laughter. I'm sorry that it is at your expense, but I don't know of too many other people who can translate a totally aggrevating experience into such a funny story!

    I hope that you are able to enjoy the nice weather that is expected today! (I'm your neighbor in SW Michigan, and do too much shopping at Erica's)

  22. I love reading your blog and when Stewey posts for you. I sed a little bit of your idea on my blog yesterday and my son got the biggest kick out of it.

  23. Isn't customer service great! You & Stewey are a hoot. Your sardonic wit amazes me. Thanks for the laugh you made my day.