A Cinecle View – Melancholy and the Xfinite Sadness, Episode 1: The Phone Tech Menace

Tony Marion

Tony Marion

I have been a dissatisfied Comcast customer for a long, long time. Like, since before Xfinity and all of the times that various surveys and incidents had earned them the the title of worst company EVER. But now, I’m no longer willing to call customer service.

Now, I’m calling for a revolution.

I guess it actually started in 2005. I had been living with one of my best friends, Jeremy, in his house for a few years. In a coincidence of epically-convenient proportions, his relationship with his then girlfriend Jennifer had reached the cohabitation stage at almost the exact time that my relationship with the then future Mrs. Marion did the same. Jen was moving in, I was moving out and Jer was Even-Steven.

With my exit from Jer’s house to shack up with Danielle came the “should have been easy“ task of having my Comcast email address removed from Jer’s account and added to the service that Danielle opened for us at our new apartment. I was at Jeremy’s picking up the last of my stuff when Jen entered my old room and said to Jer, “We have no internet and no TV.”

With a laugh I said, “Sweet, YOU get to call and deal with them now!” as wrangling Comcast had always been my domain.

I continued to pack and chat with Jen until Jeremy returned, phone in hand, “They’re saying that you requested all services here be moved to (ADDRESS REDACTED).”

I was mortified. I felt like I had gotten caught leaving Jer and Jen a Clinton-esque parting gift even though it was just a misunderstanding between me and the incredibly competent techs at Comcast. I took the phone …

    “Hi, there seems …”

    “Who am I speaking with?” the Comcast tech asked.

    Sigh. “Anthony Marion …”

    “And what address are you calling about?”

    “Did Mr. (LAST NAME REDACTED) not just tell you?”

    “I have to ask,” she replied sweetly.

    I repeated the address, my temperature rising.

    “Okay, Mr. Marion, we’re showing that the services for that address were transferred to (ADDRESS REDACTED) …”

    “Stop … that’s why we called today. I requested only that the email address (REDACTED)@comcast.net be transferred to the new account, not all of the services. I need my friend’s TV and internet reinstated, like, now, please.”

    “Okay … I don’t know if that’s possible.”

    “What? Which part?”

    “Transferring just the email addresses because they’re …”

    “NO! STOP! Not both email addresses, just mine, (REDACTED)@comcast.net.”

For some reason I was looking at Jen and Jer as we spoke. Jen’s expression was one of almost disbelief but Jer’s was more of a satisfied, knowing smile; he realized what was about to happen even if I wasn’t yet conscious of it.

    “I think that is going to involve a level three tech, I’m only at level two so I’m going to put you on hold for a moment while I consult a level three …”

    “Why don’t you just transfer me directly to the level three tech?”

    “Because I’m helping you, sir.”

And BOOM went the dynamite.

    “NO, YOU’RE REALLY NOT. WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS AN INCREDIBLY PERSUASIVE COMMERCIAL FOR SATELLITE TV, SO STOP READING YOUR SCRIPT AND TRANSFER ME TO SOMEONE THAT ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK THEY’RE DOING, OR GET YOUR SUPERVISOR ON THE LINE BECAUSE I’M IN THE PROCESS OF MOVING AND I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT!”

    “Hold please.”

I sighed again. Jeremy was laughing; Jen was staring at me, mouth agape.

“Can I give you a list of people to call for me? Fuckin’ aye, killer,” she said and laughed.

The phone line came back to life, I was now conferenced in with the tech and her supervisor.

    “Good afternoon, Mr. Marion, my name is (NOT REDACTED, I JUST DON’T REMEMBER) and I’m a tech supervisor, I understand that we’ve made some mistakes and I want to correct them so if I understand the situation …” As she recapped the problem, I could hear soft, muffled sobbing in the background; I made the tech cry.

    “Yes, that’s where we are. And please, call me Tony.”

    “Okay, Tony. Mr. (LAST NAME REDACTED)’s service should be coming back on within the next five minutes, so if he hasn’t yet, have him switch on his television so we know that it’s back. I’m going to put you on hold for a few minutes as I have to make some coding changes to Miss Mosier’s (Danielle’s maiden name) new account.”

I switched the phone to speaker as we waited and continued to gather my belongings.

“TV’s BACK!” Jeremy yelled from the first floor.

The phone sprang back to life and Jen listened with me …

    “Okay, Tony, you are all squared away with the email address…”

    “Thank you very much. Mr. (LAST NAME REDACTED)’s service is working, too.”

    “Great, thank you. Is there anything else that I can help you with?”

    “No, thank you, you’ve been very helpful.”

    “You’re welcome, have a great day and good luck with your move.”

She hung up just as Jer reentered the room and before I could end the call, we heard a faint, sniffly, “Thank you … for calling … Comcast”.

Jeremy turned to me, ”You made the Comcast chick cry? Diiiiick!”

“You’re my fucking hero.” Jen said and laughed.

Yes, my friends are mostly assholes, too.

I felt like an absolute conqueror that day; like Caesar, William or Hannibal (original, Smith, Lecter, take your pick). Little did I know that this was just the beginning of my Comcast Saga …

Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.

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