This cable guy has a story to tell. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride filled with cable conundrums and confrontations.
The Cable Guy
Let’s transport ourselves back to 2016, a time when Ernie was a Field Tech, known as the cable guy, working for the esteemed Time Warner Cable. Little did he know that one encounter with a customer would test his patience and resilience like never before. This particular encounter involved a customer who would later earn the moniker “Cable Kelly.”
Ernie’s task was simple: install internet-only service for a customer whose house had already been serviced multiple times in the past. When he arrived at the customer’s house, he introduced himself and started the site inspection. He inquired about the desired modem location, and she led him to the son’s room in the front corner of the house. It seemed there was already a cable coming in through the wall, but something seemed amiss.
She Gave Him Her Orders
Expressing his concerns about the cable’s condition, Ernie suggested the possibility of replacing it. However, Cable Kelly was having none of it. She shouted a protest, stomping her foot and declaring, “NO DRILLING IN MY HOUSE!” Ernie reassured her that drilling wouldn’t be necessary. He explained that he could use the existing hole and run a new cable through it, all at no additional cost. But Cable Kelly remained firm in her opposition.
Undeterred, Ernie proceeded with the external inspection while Cable Kelly observed from the porch. He set up his ladder on the telephone pole, ensuring the connection from the pole to the house was intact and signal strength was good. Satisfied with the external setup, Ernie moved on to the house box to check the signal once again. It seemed everything was in order.
To further assess the situation, Ernie asked Cable Kelly if she had satellite TV service, which she strongly denied. With that information, Ernie began the process of identifying the cable in her son’s room. Armed with a handy tester equipped with different colored probes, he carefully searched for the correct cable. Room after room, he tirelessly checked every potential connection point but came up empty-handed.
Something Didn’t Add Up
Growing increasingly frustrated, Ernie traced the cable from the room, through the bundle, and into the house box. To his dismay, the cable still failed to yield any signal. It became apparent that the cable was damaged and needed replacement. Ernie explained this to Cable Kelly, emphasizing that he could use the existing hole and even install a wall plate to improve the aesthetics.
However, Cable Kelly exploded in a fit of rage, claiming her house was already in perfect condition (though he didn’t think it was) and insulting Ernie’s skill. To make matters worse, she demanded that Ernie hook up every TV in every room, hoping to exploit the situation for free television service!
Ernie’s inner alarm bells started ringing. With a calm voice, he firmly replied, “No. I will do everything I can to fix your internet, but I won’t be providing you with free TV.”
She Wanted Free Cable TV
As tensions escalated, Cable Kelly threatened to have Ernie fired if he didn’t comply with her demands. Ignoring her empty threats, Ernie repeated the need to replace the damaged cable. They had reached an impasse, and Cable Kelly refused to budge. So Ernie decided it was time to leave.
With a polite “Have a nice day,” Ernie made his way back to his van, ready to leave the scene of this frustrating encounter. Just as he settled into the driver’s seat, his phone began to ring. It was his boss calling, and the timing couldn’t have been more suspicious. In a matter of minutes, from bidding Cable Kelly farewell to his phone ringing, something seemed wrong.
Ernie answered the call, bracing himself for a dressing down. Luckily, to his surprise, his boss was calling about a different matter entirely. Seizing the opportunity, Ernie quickly filled his boss in on the ordeal he had just experienced. He explained the details, answered his boss’s probing questions, and provided a summary of the awkward encounter.
Ernie’s boss, being an understanding and supportive figure, appreciated his employee’s honesty. Although the call was not directly related to Cable Kelly, Ernie’s preemptive heads-up had served its purpose. With the call finished, Ernie seized the chance to take an early lunch break.
Arriving home, Ernie sat down at his computer, typed up a detailed email recounting the entire episode with Cable Kelly, and enjoyed a leisurely lunch.
Maintaining Composure and Professionalism
As he reflected on the incident, he realized that some battles simply weren’t worth fighting. In dealing with difficult customers like Cable Kelly, it was essential to maintain composure and professionalism while prioritizing one’s own well-being.
Ernie learned that it was okay to stand firm in the face of unreasonable demands, recognizing that he shouldn’t let others take advantage of his expertise and time. Sometimes, revenge wasn’t necessary, and it was better to take the high road and disengage from toxic interactions.
Have you ever encountered a customer like Cable Kelly? How did you handle the situation?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / pathdoc. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.