This is another of those conversations that I overheard myself but still can hardly believe to be true. I was sitting in a pub, and there were two couples at the table closest to me. The one couple was speaking so loudly that it was impossible for me not to overhear them, while the other couple said almost nothing. I only started jotting their conversation down after a few minutes, and they were still sitting there when I left, so there was much more of it even than I am sharing, but I suspect that what there is will be more than enough for anyone. It is pretty much verbatim as I heard it, but I have condensed it a little and removed identifying references to the television provider in question.
– No, really, Jason, you’ve got to get HDTV. It’ll change your life. And it’s easy. Took us no time at all.
– No time at all? Rick, they forgot to give us the adapter. We couldn’t even hook it up the first day.”
– Yeah, yeah, but they gave us one when we went in the next day.”
– They gave us the wrong one the next day, remember? The wrong one.
– But then they got us the right one.
– Sure, after they sent us home to call the toll free number to get in the system or something.”
– Well, that’s not so tough, right? And everything’s been great ever since, right?
– I guess.
– So, you guys had to go into the store three times just to get the TV set up?
– See, Rick, he thinks that’s stupid too.
– Okay Molly, I’m not saying there weren’t a few screwups, but these things happen? And the service was good. I mean, they fixed things for us, didn’t they?
– Seriously, Rick? This is service? The first time we go in, to buy the stupid thing, they have to take all our information. Which is fine. That’s normal. Then we go in to tell them they forgot the adapter, which is their fault, and we have to give them all our information again. Something about two different departments. Then we take back the wrong adapter, and they won’t make a simple exchange. The same guy who saw us the day before, the same guy who made the mistake in the first place, he can’t make an exchange, he says, because we haven’t registered with the service department yet. And then the people on the phone at the service department have to take all our information again, for the third time in two days, and then we have to wait twenty-four hours to be sure our account has been activated across the whole system, and then the next day, to top it all off, the same guy at the store makes us fill everything out again on this exchange form and makes us sign some statement that basically implies we might be trying to scam the store or something. This is not good service, Rick. Not.
– Come on, Molly, you make it sound like some kind of fiasco.
– It was a fiasco, Rick. That’s exactly what it was. A fiasco.
– But at least it’s hooked up now, and the HD is totally worth it.
– So you guys notice a big difference?
– Oh yeah. It’s like being in the stands, man. Hey, Molly? Just like being there.
– Sure. I guess. Most of my shows aren’t the kind you’d really notice one way or the other. Are my shows even in HD, Rick?
– Oh, I’m sure they are. I’ll check for you when we get home. But the sports is for sure. You really notice it in the lighting. It’s like the light is, I don’t know, crisper or something.
– Crisp light?
– Yeah, something like that. You’ve gotta switch.
– I don’t even have cable, so it probably wouldn’t do me much good.
– Really? How do you see the games?
– I don’t usually.
– Well, you know, cable isn’t that expensive. You can get the sports package pretty cheap.
– Are you joking, hon? Your HD package is plenty expensive.
– Well, that’s because we’re in Canada. They gouge us on things like that. Cable, cell phones, mobile internet. You know. In the States it’s not like that. Half the price.
– But we do live in Canada, hon, so prices in the States aren’t really the question are they?
– I’m just saying, cable isn’t expensive. They’re just overcharging us.
– And this changes the bill we have to pay how?
– Come on, Molly. It’s worth every dime. I’d pay twice as much.
– Sure, so you can have another excuse not to get off your butt. You won’t even get the phone or answer the door if there’s a game on.
– It’s only ever salesmen anyway. Right? The only people who call me or come to my door are trying to sell me something. And that includes your parents.
– You guys never have friends just drop by or call to go for coffee or something?
– If I want to talk to people, I’ll go find them. If they come banging on my door, they can deal with the dogs like everyone else.
– Yeah, my girlfriends never come over anymore. They’re too scared of the dogs.
– See? Win-win scenario.
– Rick, you’re an asshole.
– I’m okay with that.