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I guess almost everyone has seen the TV show where people with problems are visited by angels who take care of all their troubles. Today, an angel came through my front door and took care of a situation driving me to the brink. He wasn't in a white suit and he didn't have wings. He was dressed in working clothes and carried his cable equipment.
Ever since I became connected to the digital cable system I've been plagued by equipment shenanigans. No surprise to me, considering my difficulties with all things modern and electronic. As my daughter points out, machinery and I just don't hit it off. On too many occasions my TV set has gone berserk, and so have I.
When it was first connected digitally, I was told I had to use two remotes. One, a tiny thing with infant finger sized controls was to be used only to turn the TV on and off. The only was emphasized. The second, larger remote was to be used for all other functions.
The VCR was hooked up somehow, with a fairly complex set of instructions for use. The wall switch, which controlled the two outlets for the complex wiring behind the three sets, was duct taped in the on position so it could never be inadvertently shut off.
When I was left alone with the machines I had a hand written set of bewildering instructions, a cable system offering over a hundred station options, and a large monthly bill. I only wanted ten stations but learned I had to pay for everything else whether I wanted them all or not.
This was a year ago and much anguish later. The first glitch was trying to use the VCR. The instructions I had been given didn't work. Family members proficient in such matters had a little difficulty figuring out what to do. It didn't matter. I just couldn't manage to have any movie nights.
When I called the company hot line, I received yet another set of instructions, which didn't help at all. I just gave up trying.
The second screw-up was turning on the system. The "on" switch is placed very close to the tiny channel buttons and, on several occasions, my fat thumb would lap over and hit something. Pure chaos resulted.
The company hot line would try everything to get one back on line. We would spend at least an hour pushing everything, unplugging and replugging everything and nothing would bring back reception on the TV. Finally, and we never seemed able to know what had worked, the set would finally function.
Yesterday, I had to call again for help for the who-knows-what time. Everyone to whom I ever talked was infinitely patient and kind. Once, my daughter called for me, explaining to the person on the line that she was not "electronically illiterate" like her mother. After a fairly long session following instructions, things went back to normal, but even she couldn't figure out what the problem had been, and neither could her electronics pal on the other end of the line.
Yesterday, another extremely patient and helpful young man, tried everything he knew, and nothing worked. My TV set was frozen on a pay per view channel of a football and hockey ad, and wouldn't budge.
Finally, he asked for the code number on my big remote. He then asked for the brand name of my TV set. It was a name with which both of us were unfamiliar. He went away and checked something and came back. "We're not able to give you one remote including the on/off switch." He then said he would send someone out with a different remote for everything else.
At 2PM today, enter my angel. He knew immediately what was wrong. My remote was wrong. According to him, it was not user friendly. He went out to the truck and came back with one that was. Moreover, he hooked up the VCR and all I have to do is push the VCR button on the big remote, put in the film, and voila! It plays. Not only that, he activated the FAV button and set up my seven most used channels on it.
Not only did he fix my TV, he restored some badly battered self-esteem. No one ever suggested I had an equipment problem other than far thumbs. I'm not the only electronically illiterate one in the bunch.
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