Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Service Etiquette

I am a service technician for DirecTV, meaning when your technological piece of plastic junk doesn't work, they send me to fix it. I go to 4-6 houses a day, five days a week, troubleshooting and repairing all the way. I got a beef with you.

Now, the following applies to just about any service person, be it a satellite guy, the phone repairman, or a mattress delivery guy. Basically anyone who comes to your house to do something for you. I'm going to use my experience with DirecTV (2 years now) mainly, but also from stuff I've heard from others.

With DirecTV and probably many others, you get a pre-call before I arrive, usually the day before. Ours is automated, and tells you to please make sure someone over 18 is there, TV's are moved out where we can get to them, pets are put away, and several other useful tips. I repeat, you get a PRE-call. For crying out loud, try to clean your house, at least a little bit. I've been in some nasty places. Everything from from general clutter to dogshit on the floor. I don't expect maids coming in or the big TV's moved. Hell, I don't even care if you have clothes lying around. But at least tidy up around places I will be working. You know, move pictures and PRICELESS KEEPSAKES off of the DirecTV box and TV, so there is no chance that I might break your shit.

Also, if your dogs bite or MAY bite, keep them away. I love animals, and will always take a second to scratch behind a dog's ears. But if it does nothing but bark or possibly bite, stick it in a room where I will not be working, so you don't have to move it around.

Kids. Ugh. Especially the 2-5 year old kind. We have all seen them. They're pretty much inescapable. That's fine. Your kids are cute, for about 2 minutes. But then they keep asking what I'm doing, try to play with my tools (like drills and other potentially HARMFUL ones). I've even had a 7 year old go halfway up my fully extended 28 foot ladder, with his mom just standing there looking at him. That is a bit of an issue. Of course, that in itself is a whole 'nother rant. Keep them corralled somewhere. Heck, maybe you can stay with them instead of talking to me!

On a funny side note, please put away anything that could be deemed embarrassing to you. I was at a house the other day where I had to go into the customer's closet. To get there, I had to go through their bathroom. Hanging beside the closet door, next to the shower, was a nice big strap-on! With another vibrator sitting prettily beside it. Doesn't offend me (does raise some questions about your husband) but don't really want to see that. Thanks. but no thanks. Ditto for your outstanding library of porn sitting on your dresser next to the DirecTV box and a bottle of Jergens. Just not that into you. Don't wanna know.

I know that you're angry because your shit doesn't work. Please don't take it out on me. I work for a living the same as you. Just because you do ______ and I'm a common laborer, don't think that I'm your dumping ground. I am there to fix your problem, not hear you bitch.

Staying with that idea, don't sit there and bitch about my company. How they charge you too much, how it never works, etc etc. Really, I don't care. Even if I share your opinion of my company, or agree that the prices are outrageous, I still don't give a happy (or unhappy) rat's ass. I am there to do a job. You're wasting my time and yours.

And more on that subject, I also am not interested in your personal life/troubles/kid's trouble/yada yada. While occasionally something you say may be interesting, generally, you're boring me to tears, and I say again. You're wasting my time and yours.

Actually, once I get done getting the information I need about the problem, go away.
I understand if you want to keep on eye on us in your bedrooms and stuff. I'm ok with that. You may not always trust me, that's fine. I got that. If I'm working outside, especially up my ladder on your roof (or even in your attic) don't stand or sit there watching me. That is just fucking annoying.

Back to when I first get to your house. I will try to fathom what your problem is. Let me do the asking, don't tell me what you think the problem is. You do your work, I do mine. I seriously doubt if you know what the problem is. If you did, you'd probably be working with me. There are multitudes of things that may be wrong with your system, and I just happen to be trained to fix those. You, on the other hand, are not. Plus, for an inexperienced technician, you just confuse him by giving him pre-conceived notions of solutions. Which are probably wrong. So just answer my questions and get out of my way.

Why is it you want me to give you free stuff? What makes you think I would even if I could (which I can't.) Hey, think you can get me some free HBO? If I pay you on the side, will you upgrade me to a DVR? No. Not a chance. Besides the fact that I can't change your channels and my equipment is tracked, who are you to me? Why would I give you anything when I stepped in dogshit IN YOUR LIVING ROOM!

While I'm working, it is perfectly ok to offer me water, coffee, or soda. Heck, you can even offer me food if you like. While I may or may not accept, I really do appreciate the gesture. Sometimes I have had to rush between jobs and haven't had anything to drink in several hours. It's nice. Thank you.

Do not offer me beer. It's not funny when you do. Personally, I don't even drink beer. But I'm on the job here! Unless you work at a beer company of some kind, I doubt if you can have alcohol while working, so why would I? And no, I don't want one for the road. Plus, what if someone has a drinking problem? You enabler!

Please, if the tech does a good job, feel free to tip. Of course, that's if they did work. If a delivery guy drops off that new bed and leaves, no tip. But if they set it up for you, slip them some cash. Sure, they're getting paid already, but you didn't have to set it up, did you? If I'm in and out of your house if 10 minutes and never even put on my tool belt, I don't expect a tip. I didn't really work. But if I spent two hours fixing up your system so you can watch your football games, in and out of your attic in the summer, up and down a ladder 15 times, I deserve more than thanks. $5 isn't going to break you. Not even $20. (hehe) If you're going through hard times, I understand. That's when a water or soda for the road is nice.

If someone does a good job, call the company and compliment them. It's nice when the boss knows they're doing something right. If they do a bad job, call the company and complain. If you don't, they will keep doing a bad job, and no one is happy. Better to catch them early and retrain them or promote them to customer.

Last but not least, learn how to work your system. I have countless service calls for stupid shit like the damn thing is unplugged or dead batteries in the remote. Really? Seriously? C'mon. Is your life so hectic that you can figure out the channel is changed on your TV from 3 to 7?

All done.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hell Explained

The following is an urban myth/tale (see for background) but is still damn funny.

"The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and t he rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls
are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you, and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has
frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."