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No Cable in Beckyland

A shocking confession: I have neither cable television nor a satellite dish. Yes, I do watch television; plenty of it. While having really good reception for broadcast stations and being enough of a couch potato without paying for the privilege may be the prime reasons I don't have cable now, neither are the first reason. That goes back a few years.

When cable service first came to my town, the company (long since bought out) made plans with all the apartment complexes to come in and wire all the apartments, whether or not the residents planned to subscribe. It made a lot of sense to do this, since it would ultimately hold down cost.

Our management duly notified us of the dates, and told us to have furiture moved out from certain walls, and the closet floor left empty, so the cable guys could do their thing. I was happy to comply. My apartment was to be done on a Friday.

I dutifully moved the furniture that needed moving, and went to work. I was in for a surprise when I got home.

It was immediately obvious the guys didn't get finished in my apartment. There was a small hole in the living room wall where the connector was to be placed, and a gracious amount of sawdust in my carpet. There was a similar amount of sawdust on the other side of the wall, in my bedroom (with corresponding hole, of course). But no cable was anywhere to be seen.

Until I opened my closet door. The cable guys had left unrolled cable draped all over my closet, scrunching clothes all sorts of wrinkly ways. I had known the closet would be part of their work area, of course, but since they hadn't drilled the hole for the cable to come through the closet wall, I hadn't expected to be confronted by what appeared to be enough cable for several apartments, coming from a hole in the ceiling.

I was almost angry enough to take a wire cutter to the mess, but decided that making the cable take up less of my closet by winding it around itself and parking it on the shelf would suffice. And would also cause me less trouble, since technically they did have a right to do as they had done.

But I decided at that moment there was no way I would contribute to the salaries of people who had caused me that much unnecessary work.

A couple of weeks later, I got a call from a salesman for the compamy. I told him in excruciating detail (including what clothes got wrinkled, I believe) about the installation, and that I had no desire to subscribe.

I think he must have realized I had no plans to change my mind, either. From that day till the company was bought out several years later, I didn't get called again.

Text © copyright 2000 Becky