Friday, December 29, 2006

Time Warner or Big Brother?

I might be becoming paranoid. Now before you jump to the conclusion that I’m just paranoid about being paranoid, hear me out.

Lately I have been having problems signing on to the internet. My modem just can’t initialize… In fact, my computer can’t even find my modem! I have to unplug the whole mess and reboot the computer and then plug it all back in and then maybe I will be able to connect. I struggled with this for a week before finally coming to the conclusion that I was going to have to call the *cue ominous music* cable company!

With trembling fingers, I dialed the number on my exorbitant bill. After a severe warning that they were experiencing a larger than normal amount of traffic (did I call for the traffic report?) I was goaded through several hundred prompts where I was required to press 1, 2, 3 or 4. None of these numbers led me to a real, actual human being, of course, and god forbid I press the wrong number because I could end up listening to a recording informing me to hang up and dial again (in Spanish). After refusing to conform to their evil menus, I pressed “O” repeatedly, allowing me a momentary rush of satisfaction at the sound of ringing before I was placed on hold again.

When at last I spoke to a customer service representative, I was surprised to find him so happy. I guess I was the only person who found their way through the Maze of Menus so I was relieving his loneliness and monotony. I explained my problem and he pleasantly informed me that, while he empathized with my plight, he could not help me. He could, however, transfer me to someone who could. Yep, you got it. More holding.

The next customer service agent was not quite as content as the previous one. Perhaps he was unable to escape outside calls and was jealous of those protected by the Horrible Menu of Death by Boredom and Frustration. At any rate, he listened to my dilemma and… pay close attention, now, I’m getting to the paranoid part… he said, “Let me just check on your hook up.” At first I thought that sounded a little personal, but before I could point out that we hardly knew each other, he said, “Hmm… yes… Your modem signal is weak coming in and going out.”

I was struck by two things. First of all, I was insulted on behalf of my modem, because I am certain it tries very hard and could improve given the chance. Second, how the hell could that guy tell what my modem was doing?

Mechanically I set up the service appointment, but my mind was otherwise engaged. I couldn’t get past the fact that, within seconds, a stranger from the cable company could reach out with wireless fingers and insult my modem. What else was Time Warner checking on? Could they see the condition of my hard drive? I would hate to think that they were all sitting there laughing at the mediocre imaging package I was using; snickering at the variety of children’s educational software installed but rarely used; guffawing at my inferior processor. What if they were checking out what web sites I had visited? Really, it was my youngest son who clicked on the “You are the one millionth visitor” banner!

This same cable company is probably monitoring what I watch on television too! Honestly, I only watched about 15 minutes of that sappy Life Time move and I accidentally left the TV on when that reality show about Hulk Hogan’s family was airing. South Park?! Okay, well, yeah, that was me.

By now you get it. I’m concerned. I hate to rush off but you will have to excuse me while I run out to make a few purchases. I will obviously have to sweep the cable guy for bugs when he comes over. Paranoid? Riiiight. That’s what they want you to think.


1 Comment:

TomCat said...

Big Brother is watching. ;-)