EMPOWERMENT IS SWEET!


There are certain moments in my life that have given me a savory sense of accomplishment, a feeling of personal power. Giving birth to my strong, handsome, and kind sons ranks in the top two. Earning two degrees, surviving brain surgery, and assembling Star-Wars Land Cruisers on Christmas Eve made the cut, too. Most recently, though, is installing a new receiver box for my t.v.

I’d like to blame a recent thunderstorm for knocking my DirecTV reception cattywumpus. But you and I both know mashing every button on my three remote controls — two for the t.v. itself and the one remote for DirecTV — was the kiss of Death. When no amount of button-crunching did the trick, I bit the bullet and called Tech Support. After working with me for an hour, Ardella was as stumped as I was.

“Sounds to me like you need a new receiver, Ms. Terry, ” she finally admitted. “We’ll be sending you one with a new remote and access card by Tuesday. Simply follow the directions in the manual and then call this number I’m going to give you to finish the activation process.”

Uh-oh, I thought. There’s that word: Simply.

Understanding those manuals is no simple matter. Reading them requires a Master’s degree.

Hold on, I reminded self. You have a Master’s degree. This is do-able.

Still, at that moment, I yearned for a good old black-and-white Motorola like my grandparents had. You know the kind. One with rabbit ears, a fistful of local channels, and no remote? Yeah, one like that.

Just as Ardella promised, I found a humongous box at my doorstep in less than a week. So, around 7:30 in the evening, after bringing Russet in from her walk, I grabbed my toolbox and managed to remove the cords and wires from the old receiver. I was off to a good start. My arm ached from patting myself on the back.

But installing the new receiver burst my bubble. I had replaced the cords and wires that I had rubber-banded together. For most, it was simply a matter of screwing them in. But the worst part — the tangle of black cords that writhed and twisted around each other like mating Black Mambas — still lurked in the shadows behind the t.v. stand. Each one I touched slithered out of my hands and back to the twisted den below.

At that point, I looked around for a hidden camera. Surely someone was recording this YouTube-moment-waiting-to-happen. Tired, sweaty, and frustrated as all get-out, I  grabbed a flashlight and contorted myself this way and that to plug one of the cords into a wall outlet.

Nothing. Blotto. Zip.

Okay, Kim, ol’ girl, there are only two possible places and umpteen-gillion black cords. One of them will be the lucky winner.

After trying one black cord after another and muttering a few choice words my mother taught me never to say, I finally saw a heavenly blue light flash on the receiver. Grabbing one remote after the other, I pushed the t.v. input button and looked at my watch. It was 10:30 p.m. when I called the number for activation instructions.

An hour later, thanks to another Tech Support rep named Brittany, I once more had t.v. reception.

As I put away the tool kit and moved the t.v. stand back in place, I felt delicious.

Today, I managed to replace a t.v. receiver. Tomorrow, who knows what I’ll take on? Changing a tire? Figuring my own income-tax return? Possibilities abound!

So, gentle readers: what accomplishments have given you a tippy-taste of power?

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4 thoughts on “EMPOWERMENT IS SWEET!

  1. Tech Support? Argh!! I gave up on all tech support years ago. I’ve spent hours with tech support, only to ascertain that I do plug my stuff in before I use it, that the the first hour of the call will be spent allowing the technician to realize I am not a casual user who wants to know where the “any” key is and that when I’m in doubt I should reboot! Glad you had better luck!

  2. Yeah, Jane, I know what you mean. I was so glad I didn’t get hold of someone from Bangalor reading off a script. These gals were actually helpful! Even the first one was helpful, though stumped.

    BTW, once again, I’m not getting out in this weather to do anything! The group can miss me again, tonight. Maybe next week. Just got in around 4:30 p.m. (after having given a final exam from 8:30-10:20 a.m. and signing off for the semester.)

    I take it you haven’t heard anything further from your queries?

    Stay dry, tonight! It’s a booger-bear, out there!
    Kim

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