Health and Fitness

Breaking up with your TV provider is hard to do – The Irish Times

Herself hates dust. Really hates it. As far as she’s concerned, it’s a war, and she’s at Defcon 1.

But lately, she’s started to slump with defeat. She’s sighing a lot. Even this mighty dust warrior has had to accept that, at least for the time being, there is little she can do.

It’s because of the work we’re having done. The house is encased in scaffolding. Men came and drilled large holes into the walls, creating powder clouds inside and out. Then different men came and encased the house in what looks like purple polystyrene. Flecks of it break off and have scattered in a wide circle around the house, like a purple snowfall. Maybe that’s where Prince got the idea for that song. And despite all the windows and doors remaining resolutely closed, it’s impossible to keep it out. Clumps of it keep turning up in random parts of the house. Every time we discover a new one, Herself sighs.

Still, the men doing the work are efficient. In the mornings I sit at my computer doing my job while they work outside, and I envy them a bit: what they do is logical and straightforward; a series of practical problems that need to be solved. Opinion or gut instinct doesn’t come into it. You get it right or wrong.

They are affable too, and have managed to deliver each new amendment to the plan in a user-friendly way. The side gate had to be removed, Daughter Number Four’s swing untethered from the ground and the satellite dish taken down.

The last change re-ignited a discussion we’d been having off and on for a while. What with all the streaming services we already subscribe to, do we really need satellite television? Its absence provided the answer. We didn’t miss it at all.

Afterwards, I told Herself about the encounter and she expressed sympathy for the man

So, while the purple polystyrene men worked outside, I braced myself for a long and difficult phone call. I’d heard that breaking up with television providers can be tricky: and when I finally got to speak with a human, he seemed unable to accept that we had taken this decision. Rather than a functional conversation, this man adopted the sort of tone you’d expect to hear on a counselling hotline. He kept telling me that he was trying to help me, and that we had to go through a process.

He wanted to know what kind of television we watch. He pointed out that someone had ordered a movie in the recent past, so perhaps satellite TV has more of a place in our lives than we realise? There was even a vague tone of pity in his voice when I told him about all the other streaming services we subscribe to: like I was an errant child, unaware of just how rubbish those services are, and oblivious to the foolish, life-changing decision I was about to make.

I eventually got frustrated; even a little snippy. He told me there was no need for that. He was only trying to help me. We had to go through a process.

The process consisted of him offering me various deals, all of which I refused: and again, he had to ask me not to be so sarcastic as I did so. I could hear the hurt and bafflement in his voice now. He was only trying to help me.

Afterwards, I told Herself about the encounter and she expressed sympathy for the man. He was probably working from a script. He may have had a supervisor listening in on the call, to make sure he pushed hard enough. My sarkyness wouldn’t have made it any easier.

As another flurry of purple exploded outside the window, Herself sighed and I pondered the kinds of jobs that I would hate to do: sitting in a cubicle somewhere, daily absorbing the frustrations of other people. The purple polystyrene men and I don’t know how well we have it.

Source link