Since we replaced our prehistoric TV for Christmas, yesterday there was some guy in our basement, his jeans obscenely low (I imagine - I wasn't actually here), muttering obscenities while he installed a high-def line. I'm not sure why we decided to do this, since we don't actually watch that much tv, except that by our tally it would leave us with less switching of cables when we wanted to play the Wii or watch a DVD.
(What it actually did was leave us with one MORE cable to plug and unplug. Which is fucking annoying in the pre-dawn hours when you want to switch it so the kid can watch PBS and not Ice! Age!, because Curious George is less interesting and finite and Ice! Age! just goes on and on and gawd help you if you want to get his coat on before the credits roll so you can get to work on time. And you probably just should have spent the extra 5 minutes fumbling around with RCA cables because now you have a full-blown meltdown AND you're late. Again.)
After dinner I felt chilly so I went to turn up the heat and, lo, the thermostat was completely blank. It no longer had any power, and therefore was no longer telling my furnace to keep me from freezing.
I poked a few buttons and the thermostat did not miraculously start blinking, so I plunked the toddler in front of Ice! Age! (I'm trying to fast track that Mother of the Year award) and spent 15 minute on hold with the cable company. Because surely the wiring and snipping and drilling their tech had been doing, followed by the immediate demise of my thermostat, was not coincidence?
They said they'd look into it and call me back. So I spent the next half an hour peering at the bewildering array of wires and cables that appear to be growing through my basement. This house used to be two obviously very small suites and there are phone cables and wires everywhere that lead to nothing. Which is exactly what I came up with.
Cable dispatch dude called me back and said the tech had declared himself not responsible. Which I didn't really buy, and neither did the dispatch dude, but he said he couldn't dispatch someone on his own say-so, he'd have to escalate it to a manager.
"Okay," I said.
"It probably won't be until tomorrow," he said apologetically. A tiny pointy creature made of Panic popped up in my chest because, hello? My furnace hasn't been running in hours and it's effing cold outside, guy.
"Oh," I said. "Um, okay."
"Is your furnace running?" he queried.
"No," I said in a small voice.
"Oh," he said with more concern. "Is it cold?"
"Not yet!" I chirped with false bravado. And he kind of laughed and promised he'd have someone call me as soon as possible, and I told him I would have someone come and look at it in the meantime and not to worry.
And here is where I'm really glad I remained polite and didn't give in to my Panic and demand "better service" or shriek "My baby could FREEZE, you asshole!!" or something. Because then I called hubby at work and snivelled a little and he came home to see if he could fix it.
Turns out? My thermostat runs on batteries. Which I considered, but apparently you have to be 6'3" to be able to see how the fucking thing actually opens up. Nobody considers us shortasses when they're designing thermostats. Paul changed the batteries and - cue the angels singing - they're not going to find my frozen corpse curled around a Bic lighter after all. The timing of the tech dude was sheer coincidence.
And I'm okay with telling you guys what a dumbass I am because now I'm used to it. I called the cable company back and sheepishly explained that no, their wonderful tech guy with his proper-fitting pants did not, in fact, cut the wire to my thermostat. In fact, there IS no wire and I'm just not that bright, so they don't have to 'escalate' the matter to management, let's all just forget it didn't happen, ok?
Except I guess the message didn't get passed on, because this morning someone in Management called me and I had to explain AGAIN that, in fact, it wasn't their fault. Their tech guy walks on freakin' water, even, and I'm just an idiot. Thanks for calling.
So, yeah. Lesson learned. Always be polite to service companies in the face of a potential frozen fate, lest you turn out to be not dying after all and look like an even bigger asshole.