As I was waiting for my dog to “do his business” this morning, I found myself noticing all of the clovers in our grass. I guess I was feeling like I was in need of a random stroke of luck this week, so I started looking for a four-leaf clover. I am awaiting reactions on two of my projects from their respective networks and another one of my projects remains stuck with legal stuff. So, technically, I have three projects that I am waiting for answers on. I don’t like waiting. I am not very good at waiting. I think I might have mentioned that I have an issue with “patience” in general...
So there I was looking for some kind of sign. As if finding a four-leaf clover would “greenlight" my television projects? Solve all of the legal concerns on my reality show? Or, at the very least, inspire me to write something quippy today? Do four-leaf clovers actually exist? Or are they one of those mythical Irish things like Leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of a rainbow? Speaking of which, there was another rainbow in the sky this morning. So maybe the veritable “pot of gold” is that I am in my own backyard, living in Hawaii, with enough time on my hands to be looking for four-leaf clovers while waiting for my dog to poop?
Unfortunately, while I was navel-gazing, rainbow watching, and clover hunting, I didn’t notice that my little dog disappeared through one of the fences (again). I didn’t see which way he went, so I went from end to end of our property and then up the street and down the street. I was yelling his name and waving his favorite dog treats. 45 minutes later, I heard him yelping for me. He was stuck in another neighbor’s yard and couldn’t find his way back out. I coaxed him back through a part of the fence where the shrubbery is less dense. He had no remorse… just a big shit-eating grin.
It started me thinking about the notion of “luck.” Was it unlucky, while I was looking for luck, that my dog went missing (again)? Or was it lucky that I found him unharmed and happy at the house next door?
Perhaps “luck” is simply more about “perception.” The glass half full vs. half empty.
I was so busy lamenting about the time I wasted looking for my dog, and how I needed to get busy working, that I couldn’t get settled to focus on my work. So, instead, I decided to “double down” on my bad mood and call my cable company to complain about the latest increase in my monthly bill. WARNING: Do not try this at home... or ever. It only leads to more aggravation.
For what it’s worth, my current cable bill is $232 per month. Yes, this includes cable, internet, a landline, high-speed internet, a modem, a DVR and two premium cable channels. But still. Doesn’t that feel a tad outrageous? I am pretty sure that was the monthly cost of sending me to UCLA as full-time student. NOT kidding.
When I finally got a customer service rep on the phone and asked about the increase, they just gave me their stock response, “Your promotional rate has expired." I just went through this a few months ago with the cable bill for my apartment in Los Angeles, which I reduced down to the Internet only. I still pay $84.99/month for that privilege. Ridiculous.
But this $232 bill is not about the actual dollars. It is the principal of the situation. How can it be that much? Why does every category on the bill seem to repeat itself for additional charges?
There is one line item for:
TV, Digital Variety Pack, Box, Extreme Internet and Phone - $115.99
I am actually ok with this.
But then there are additional line items:
Box w/remote - $8.45
Shouldn’t that $115.99 package that includes “box” take care of this box?
High speed internet - $20.00
My question is what is “extreme” internet, if not “high speed” internet? Then there is a rental modem. This adds up to another $30.00.
This went on and on. It turns out that I’m also paying an extra $5/month for one of our two DVRs to be “enhanced.” I don’t need “enhanced.” I just need a “regular.” But somehow un-enhancing my DVR only saves $2/month. It also requires me to return the equipment. Pick up new equipment. Set up the new equipment. And for some crazy reason, the new DVR won’t have a clock. So, uh, no thanks.
Four operators and an hour later, I hung up the phone. Frustrated. Annoyed.
I tried to find the silver lining. I go and tell my husband that we’re going to at least be saving $22.90/month because I decided to cancel HBO & Showtime. I’m feeling good that we cut the bill a little after spending an hour on the phone. It’s something.
I thought he would be pleased with my executive decision. My cost cutting efforts. My restraint. My standing up for the principle of the matter.
But no. Instead he said, “Why would you cancel HBO and Showtime? And why is our bill still over $200 a month?” If looks could kill, he would be dead and buried under all of the THREE-leaf clovers in our backyard.