The following is a real conversation that took place between me & DirecTV.

Recording: Thank you for calling DirecTV. Please say or enter your 10-digit phone number followed by the pound key.
Me: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5 #
Recording: You entered 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, if this is correct, press or say 1.
Me: One.
Recording: You’re response was not understood. You entered 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, if this is correct, press or say 1.
Me: One.
Recording: Para Espanol oprima numero dos.
Me: What the fuck? Operator.
Recording: You’re response was not understood.
Recording: You’re response was not understood.
Recording: You’re response was not understood. To speak to a live representative, say, “Representative”
Me: Representative.
Recording: Please hold while we transfer you to a live representative.
Me: Thank you!
Operator: You’re response was not understood. Kidding.


Never Gonna Give You Up RICK ASTLEY
All That She Wants ACE OF BASE
Barely Breathing DUNCAN SHEIK

I’ve been thinking about having them DJ my 30th.

Me (singing): … but I could stand here waiting…. ooh for another day…go so far, so far, so right so far but I won’t stay-yay-yay yeah. And I’m thinking it ov — Hello?
Live Operator: Thank you for calling DirecTV, can I have your 10-digit home or wireless phone number?
Me: Good jam. I already punched it in.
Operator: Hello, sir? Can I please have your 10-digit home or wireless phone number?
Me: Yes, It’s 555-555-5555
Operator: Okay how can I help you today, Mr. Schneider?
Me: I’m just calling to make sure that someone’s coming tomorrow to hook everything up. I called and setup an appointment 2 weeks ago and tomorrow’s the big day! You guys are pretty backed up, huh?!
Operator: Yes, Mr. Schneider, we’re really busy. You’re appointment is in fact scheduled tomorrow between the hours of 7am and 3pm.
Me: Eight hours, huh?
Operator: What’s that?
Me: An eight-hour window tomorrow? That’s the best you can do? You can’t narrow it down to seven? You know, so I don’t have to sleep by the front door?
Operator: No, sir.
Me: Okay, no big deal. I’ll just spend my entire day waiting around for them to come and install the cable. I won’t do anything tomorrow but wait around. I was gonna try to accomplish something but instead I’ll just wait.
Operator: Yes, sir.
Me: Fine. So just to make sure, they’re bringing me a DVR box tomorrow, right? So I can record my shows?
Operator: Um, actually, no. It says here that you requested a regular box.
Me: That can’t be right. I’m one million percent sure I ordered a DVR box.
Operator: It’s not showing that here. That’s an additional charge.
Me: Okay, well I still want the DVR so just bring it and charge me whatever it is.
Operator: Unfortunately, we can’t do that, sir.
Me: Why? Don’t tell me you’re out of them.
Operator: Oh, no, we have thousands of DVRs. I’m actually looking at a huge pile of them right now.
Me: Then what’s the problem?
Operator: We can’t alter any information about the appointment after it’s been set.
Me: Seriously? You can’t just bring the other box?
Operator: No.
Me: So how do I get the other box?
Operator: You have to cancel this appointment and create a new one with the DVR.
Me: Well, the appointment will still be on the same day, right?
Operator: There’s actually no way of knowing that until we setup the new appointment.
Me: Seriously? Wow. Okay, fine. So let’s do this, if I can’t get the same appointment on the same day, then just forget the box. I’ll live without it. It will be awful but I’ll get a VCR or one of those Beta machines or something.
Operator: We can’t do that, sir. In order to setup a new appointment, you have to cancel your old appointment first.
Me: Wait, I have to risk losing my original appointment if I want a new one?
Operator: Yes.
Me: But won’t there be an opening in the schedule if I cancel my old appointment?
Operator: Yes.
Me: Then can’t I get that opening?
Operator: I don’t know, sir. There’s no way to tell what the system will do until I actually do it.
Me: Why do I feel like I’m in Vegas, it’s 4:30 in the morning, I’m wasted and shaking from 17 Redbull Vodkas and I’m about to play Wheel of Fortune with my last $20?
Operator: I’m not following.
Me: You’re asking me to gamble my old appointment away.
Operator: I don’t gamble, sir.
Me: What’s your name?
Operator: Julie.
Me: Listen, Julie. It’s just you and me here on the phone. Forget about DirecTV for a second. And the “system.” It’s just you and me. You know what the right thing to do is in this situation. I’m a nice guy and you’re a nice girl. Just tell them to bring the other box and no one will ever know. I won’t tell a soul. You won’t tell a soul. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll meet up and I’ll take you out for an ice cream cone. But either way, we’ll never speak a word of this as long as we live. We’ll take this secret to our graves, what do you say? Do me a favor.
Operator: It’s against our policy, sir.
Me: Is it because this call is being recorded?
Operator: No, sir.
Me: You know, I elected to answer the survey after the call is finished.
Operator: Would you like me to schedule you a new appointment?

Me: Okay, Fine! Screw it. Just do it.
Operator: You want me to cancel this appointment and reschedule you a new one with the DVR?
Me: I don’t have any other choice, right?
Operator: Not if you want the DVR.

Me: Okay, let’s go for it. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

Operator: Okay, so I just canceled the old one, and now I’m going to try and reschedule your new appointment….I’m looking…for a new appointment for you right now. Okay…here we go…the earliest available appointment is fourteen days from now.

Me: WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING? How is that possible? I’m pretty sure there’s an appointment slot available on the same day I just had or did some asshole who just ordered service three seconds ago get an appointment the very next day? I want my old appointment back.
Operator: I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do. The old one is gone.
Me: I can’t believe this. This is ridiculous. You can forget about that ice cream cone, Julie. You can forget about everything! Okay… I need you to transfer me to your supervisor?
Operator: You want to speak to my supervisor? She’s going to tell you the same thing.
Me: That’s okay. I’ll take my chances. I’ve been this lucky so far….
Operator: Okay, let me see if she’s available.

Song: Never Gonna Get It EN VOGUE

Oh, the irony….

Operator: Okay, sir I can transfer you to my supervisor now.

I’m thinking, yeah, right. Like her “supervisor” isn’t the fat bitch sitting right next to her who she’s going to hand the phone to right after she asks her to “Talk to this asshole and pretend you’re the supervisor.”

“Come on, Tracy! Just do it!”
“I don’t want to get in trouble, Julie. I’m about to get another service star.”
“I would do it for you, Trace. I thought we were the crazy ones in the office.”
“We are the crazy ones.”
“Then be crazy and do this, girl. Please?! I’ll show you a picture of Mike’s dick from accounting.


“Supervisor”: Hi, this is Tracy, the Floor Supervisor, how can I help you?
Me: Hi Tracy, are you really the manager?
“Supervisor”: Yes. How can I help you today, Mr. Schneider?
Me: What was that noise in the background? It sounds like somebody’s laughing.

I explain the entire story to which she responds,

“Supervisor”: Like Julie said, there’s nothing we can do.
Me: There’s nothing you can do?
“Supervisor”: There’s nothing I can do sir, my hands are tied.
Me: How are you talking on the phone then?
“Supervisor”: What do you mean? I’m using a headset.
Me: I was kidding. Never mind. Is there someone else I can talk to whose hands aren’t tied? Like Jesus?
“Supervisor”: Nope. I’m the floor manager, sir and Jesus doesn’t work here.
Me: So there’s no one else I can talk to that can help me? No one at all?
“Supervisor”: That’s correct.

I wanted to scream. Tracy didn’t give a shit about me. I had no recourse, I was exhausted, angry. I was helpless. I did the only thing left I knew how to do. I asked Tracy what her full name and Employee ID was and I pretended to write it down, hoping to scare Tracy into helping me. But the reality was that both Tracy and I knew that there’s was nothing I could do with that information. Who was I gonna tell? How long was I gonna have to sit on hold to tell it. And ultimately, what was I gonna say? She was doing her job exactly the way she was instructed to do it. And after all of it was all said and done, she’d probably get another fucking service star.


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