One of the errands I’d been putting off was returning a couple of retired cable modems to the cable company, on the basis that they’d been sitting in a box on the floor for close to a year, and besides, they’re too slow to support my current service tier.
The first thing I discovered was that their retail operation wasn’t where it used to be: they’d moved a couple of miles east, because — well, actually, I have no idea why. One thing they didn’t have in this non-suburban zone was parking up front, so I parked on a side street about a block away.
The next thing I discovered was that there was no point in my returning the modems to them, since they’d never owned them in the first place: as far as they were concerned, the devices belonged to me. I gave the chap a look like “I have to haul these damn things back?” He offered to have them recycled, whatever that may mean in the current vernacular. About a quarter-century ago, I had had a temp job “recycling” cable boxes, which consisted of destroying them by setting them inside cars that were about to be crushed and sent away to be reprocessed into non-automotive uses; I figured this story was probably not something he needed to hear.
And then he offered me 30 percent off my TV service, because — well, actually, I have no idea why, although he did note that I’d been a customer for twelve years. It’s a promotional deal only, of course, but he added, almost conspiratorily, “Come back in six months and see what else we can do for you.” The most rational explanation for this is that with a $20 drop in the monthly bill, I could presumably add another tier of channels or something. Then again, the one channel I could use has only one show I need to watch, and it’s completed its current season and has gone on indefinite hiatus.
Still, this one little trip down to Uptown made me about $120 and got two superfluous pieces of hardware out of the way. A win all around, even if it was a bit discombobulating.