a suburban-city girl stumbling her way through central PA.


the mediocrity of valley television service

We're in the market for television. we managed to survive the summer by catching up on Deadwood, Community, Parks & Rec, The League and a few others by means of Hulu and Netflix Qwikster/Netflix.

After much back forth about cable vs dish vs directv vs slingboxing to any number of our friends/relatives, we finally made a decision. I called and set up an appointment and they said they'd be out in three weeks to set it up for us. yes, three weeks. from the date that i called. okay, whatever. you do what you can do, must be a busy time for handing people cable boxes.

But meanwhile, during those said three weeks, we've had some time to think about it and research it a little more and we made the decision to go in a different direction. We sign up for the service (ONLINE! imagine that!) and i'm pretty sure if we hadn't ordered at 7 at night, we'd have been able to get an install date the very next day. alas, we can get installation in two business days (technically one and a half).

So i call up the first service, rehearsing my "i'm really sorry, we've gone in another direction, they were cheaper for more channels and way quicker with the install" bit. And i get put on hold. for seven minutes. and not just "your call is important to us" hold, but "those other services aren't as good as we are! we're the best and have been in business in the valley for over fifty year! we take pride in our service to you" hold AND with every minute that someone does not answer your call, you have to repeatedly press "0" to continue to hold. It's the "are you sure you want to continue to hold to talk to us? Really, are you sure? Just checking. Okay, now? Are you still sure now?" hold.

So after seven minutes of affirming my desire to talk to someone, I finally get a person on the line. I explain that I would like to cancel my installation and the girl checks my phone number, verifies my address and then says, "Okay, i've gone ahead and canceled that for you. Have a good day." Click.

No "i'm sorry to see you go" "is there something we could have done better?" "can i help you with anything else today, like perhaps our internet or telephone service?" or "we're currently offering free HD and DVR for the next three months if you'd like to stay on with us." none of that. just an okay, goodbye, click.

It's like the people here don't even give a shit if you give them business. I'd love to keep my money local, but a three week wait for a handful of channels that are twice as expensive as the other guy, topped with no attempt to even try to retain me as a customer, well, that's just a bad business plan.

And don't even get me started on the heating oil company.


i don't get it. i just don't get it. don't you want me to give you my money?


walmart condos

overheard in the bloom walmart on sunday (the lord's day!)...

near the health/beauty/pet supply area (i was looking for doggy chew toys and mrs meyers hand soap) a mother, her daughter (rough age estimate? early 20s) and her daughter's newborn are walking with the baby's daddy.

the girl says, "and condoms, we have to pick up some condoms."

the boy says, "oh hell no. we are not buying condoms."

girl quickly responds, "well, unless you want another one of these," gesturing towards the babe, "we're getting them."

and the mother/grandmother says something like, "yes, yes, condoms."

the boy continues to assert that he is not wearing condoms and than asks granny, "now let me ask you a question - do YOU still use condoms? no, no. i am NOT wearing a condom. no, never."

grandmammy finally said, "fine. you stay here. we're going to get them and we'll meet you right back here."

lay down that law, grandmommy!

at this point, i decided i had followed too closely behind them for far too long already to attempt to stick around and hear the ensuing debate once the ladies returned with their shopping cart full of rubber. sad. i do so wonder how they will ever convince him to wrap it up.