The problem with the sheer quantity and quality of various technologies we all enjoy is that the people who make and install each item, whatever it is, can handle only their product and their product alone. Strangely enough, this rash of specialization spreads even within the same company.
For instance, Time Warner, apparently, doesn't install their own wiring. It's contracted out to cheapish nincompoops who end up spending more time slapping each other in the ass with the cables than worrying where any of said cables actually go. Because, who cares, right? It's not MY apartment building. Months later, when people sign up for cable service, befuddled installation specialists stare at the jack, throw up their hands, and say "looks like you're fucked."
Indeed. Indeed I am fucked. So, what's the next step? Well, the befuddled installer makes a call to his foreman, who he doesn't know, by the way ("Clarice, who is my foreman? Can you patch me through to him?"). All the while you wait for the foreman to call back, the installer puts on a jaded, frustrated tone as he complains about the foreman.
Time Warner Guy: Make sure you tell him that it came on for a minute and then went out.
Me: It didn't do that, though.
TWG: Yeah, but you have to tell him lies or he'll try to reschedule.
TWG: I mean, as far as I'm concerned, it went on (WINK WINK).
Then, you're regaled with stories about how all foremen suck and THIS GUY is the cog that REALLY makes this shit spin. He leaves with an air of "good luck," and you're left wondering if you'll ever see television again.
By now, the foreman, in your head, has reached mythical proportions. You begin to wonder "is he a criminal?" and "if he's as useless as this man said, will my apartment be on fire by the end of this day?"
Of course, the foreman strode in and fixed the problem in two minutes. TWO MINUTES. The problem? The original guy hooked up the wrong cable. YUP. After you personally watched the guy check, double-check, and TRIPLE-check the wire, it turns out, he wasn't even looking at the right one to begin with.
Tomorrow, my thoughts on my new gas and electric accounts, which according to their respective companies, do not exist in this realm.