“M’am, we are only responsible for the television so if you are having problems with your DVD player, that is not something I can fix, said the calm, but practiced voice from SHAW Cable.
“Ok. I’m not sure I was clear enough, Raj. I am trying to say that I had a very helpful woman the other day reconnect my Shaw cable with a new black box and it all worked out, but I wonder why my DVD isn’t playing now. I am calling to see if we missed something.”
“M’am, if your DVD is not working then we are only responsible for….”
“No, I get that,Raj. What I am trying to tell you is that maybe a supervisor can help me because I am not sure we are communicating clearly.”
There was a pause and then, “ It will take some time to get a supervisor, so I can try and help you now…”
“Ok. Maybe last time we missed doing something when we connected everything?”
Quiet from the other end; then Raj agreed.
Note: My TV is the last one out of the Antediluvian Electrono—Mart before the internet - so imagine trying to move a TV the size - and weight - of a small refrigerator. As I grunted into the — yes, hand held land line telephone receiver— the TV remote was in one hand and the DVD remote in my teeth. I couldn’t help but laugh when an image jumped into my head.
“You have to be a monkey to get back here to look at all these wires, just a minute, let me try this.”
Raj was very quiet on the other end of the phone.
“What am I trying to do again?” My legs were wrapped around the front of one sculpture plinth holding the TV.
“There should be yellow, white and red cables coming out of DVD player.”
“I don’t see anything on the back of the DVD, but there are three rows of sprockets on the back.”
I was still squirming between two plinths, a huge TV set, a director’s chair very much in my way and a stack of books not yet put away in the last three weeks.
“God, this is heavy…I wish I WAS a monkey!” I grunted in between more laughing.
Another quiet resonance from Raj on the other end.
“Ok, ok, now, I see the sprockets with the things attached and there is a white wire thing that has a…well, a thing in the middle that pokes out …is that what I am looking for?”
A longer pause from Raj, then a quiet ‘yes.’
“Ok, now wait a minute. I have two of these red, yellow and white things I was going to send to you. Is one of those mine?
“Yes. You almost sent us one too many sets of the composite cables.”
“The what? Is that what those thingies are called? Hmmm…composite cables huh.”
No sound at the other end.
“Men are better at this than women aren’t they?”
“Yes,” said Raj.
“Thanks. I am very grateful for having a human being lead me through this. I couldn’t have figured it out, so thank you very much for your time. But there were two of us women who did try to do this.”
My veiled attempt to justify the sometimes weaker sex electronically went unnoticed, until I heard the somewhat crafty Raj-Meister say, “so you see, we didn’t really need the supervisor.”
This time I was the one who was quiet at the other end of the phone until I said, “You’re right.- You’re smarter than me. Again thank you!’”
As I hung up, I was reminded of something a guy told me at a Thanksgiving party the other day about how aging men change — sort of a Man-o-pause situation which warmed my heart.
He said, men mellow as they get older. They get into cooking and gardening and, get this, discover a sudden liking for cats.
While I couldn’t quite believe my ears, it was still heartening to know…I can only hope they’ll completely forget what composite cables are for.