Living Retired #211- September 11, 2017
WHEN A BUNDLE IS A PILE OF STEAMING YAK DUNG
I was gobsmacked!!!
For the life of me I don’t know what got into my wife.
We were standing in the kitchen. Right out of the blue Jan suddenly blurted: “Gary, you have to call the cable company. You need to negotiate a big reduction in what we pay each month for our cable bill.”
Before I could scream “Are you friggin’ nuts!!” Jan added, “Our friends have done it. Why can’t you? You just have to be really mean and threaten them. Pretend you’re Trump.”
OMG! I knew in Jan’s mind this wasn’t fake news. She was serious.
I did what all middle age men in relax-fit jeans with onset postnatal drip do when confronted with such a demand: I passed out. Smack!
When I regained consciousness, Jan was wiping the blood where I banged my head on our kitchen granite countertop with under-mount double sink and single pull down tap!
Those two words– cable television– coming from your spouse are the worst thing middle age men want to hear. The other most popular two words are ‘upgraded appliances’ that homeowners say on HGTV remodelling shows.
It’s common knowledge that a household cannot be run these days without the cable company– and an easy-pour ketchup bottle. The cable company provides the connection for our telephones, television, and Internet. The marketing guys at the cable companies promote this as ‘a bundle.’ Homeowners have another name for it: ‘a pile of steaming Yak dung.’
It is this pile of steaming Yak dung that North Americans rely on to conduct their online banking, their online monitoring of the thermostat, and online distribution of dirty jokes to their friends.
Bundling the television, telephone and Internet service together, means the cable company has a stranglehold on customers. Sort of like how the postal service enjoys a monopoly on snail mail.
Cable subscribers have the intellect of a box of Brillo pads. So we agree to pay the cable company a monthly fee and even agree to hand over our confidential banking information so they can make ‘easy and convenient withdrawals.’ We sign a contract that states: ‘The subscriber, heretofore called ‘dipstick’ agrees to never yank the cable cord from its outlet EVEN after binge watching Say Yes To The Dress.’
So let’s examine how the cable guys go about packaging the television channels together…
First, they identify which channels consumers absolutely MUST HAVE. These include a channel where we can watch a log burn in a fireplace 24 hours a day, another channel that has colourful tropical fish that appear to be bred in post-Chernobyl waters swimming around in an aquarium, AND the channel that routinely scores high ratings for the slowest death among television viewers: the parliamentary channel. Experts have determined these television channels contribute to our kids low math scores.
But every so often they shuffle things up and create new bundles. It goes like this…
Some guy sitting in his cubicle in a skyscraper staring out of glass windows will scream to his coworkers…
“I’ve got it!”
At this point his coworkers will suddenly scramble from making their Sunday football picks.
“Let’s create a bundle for cable subscribers who enjoy watching the politicians on the Sunday morning political shows. We will package it with something else that would appeal to their level of intelligence. I’m thinking Duck Dynasty.”
With that even the coworkers who have been busy at their computers going through the algorithms they developed with the IT nerds for the office weekly lottery picks, get excited.
One of the coworkers will say, “Before we present your idea to the brass upstairs, we’d better run it by the guys in the cable company orchestra.”
FYI: The cable company orchestra is all the musicians who used to play ‘Feelings’ and ‘The Copacabana’ in hotel bars–until they got a regular gig with benefits playing the instrumental music we listen to when we call in to complain about our cable bill and have to wait to speak with the “next available agent.”
Just like that the cable company has a new bundle. Next, the marketing department develops a plan to promote it. Then it’s over to the customer service department who dispatch an email to the customer service agents in India.
And the cable company orchestra prepares to get busy. Very busy.