Satellite TV: Seeing the Big Picture
This Friday did not go quite as I had envisioned it. The morning started off well. Birds were chirping as sunlight filtered through the curtains. A gentle breeze quietly moved through the trees. Then, out of nowhere, dark clouds appeared, the birds fell silent, and the wind gusted up violently. But it wasn’t the weather that had the biggest impact on my plans.
In his wisdom, the landlord of our duplex called the local cable provider. He had decided to have all the excess telephone and TV cables, belonging to previous tenants, disconnected. For some reason, he also ordered the removal of all satellite dishes from the property. As the technicians completed the removal, we received a knock on our door.
“Is your TV working?”
We hardly ever use the basic satellite service we pay for, so I had to turn on the TV to check. Sure enough, it was out.
The technicians assured us that they would get it working again. It didn’t bother me. If we weren’t told that it was disconnected, it may have taken us a few days to realise it wasn’t working. But as the afternoon progressed, something in me stirred. I became more than annoyed.
How could the landlord have a service that we pay for disconnected? And now we have these technicians walking through the apartment, parking a fleet of vehicles in our driveway (seriously, three vehicles for three technicians is a little excessive, isn’t it?), forcing us to park on the street! Fortunately, our internet connection wasn’t affected. In a fit of rage, I emailed the landlord, letting him know how upset I was. (Contacting him by any other means is futile … and takes too much effort.)
But to the technicians, I was as friendly as a politician on election day. My reasoning was that they were just following orders. The landlord was the one deserving of my wrath.
It took over three hours for the satellite service to be reconnected, but once it was fixed and the technicians left, the TV was turned off. When it was turned on again, it wasn’t to watch the very limited programming we subscribe to. Why did I allow myself to get so worked up? I was then hit with a horrible realisation: I had become like those customers I complained about – the ones who would act like it was the end of the world if their kids were without TV for a whole week.
If we had kept the TV on after the issue was resolved, we would have seen an ad featuring homeless kids in Africa, who live off less than a Dollar a day. In the grand scheme of things, our troubles seem trivial.
I did not handle the situation well. I don’t regret telling the landlord off – in my opinion, the complaint was valid. But I do regret allowing this simple problem to get under my skin to the extent that it did. The issue all but ruined my day because I allowed it to.
With the sun set and the wind howling, I cannot undo the mistakes of today, but I can try to learn from them. Tomorrow may not turn out how I hope it will, but I will do my best to react more judiciously to the situations that present themselves, trying to keep the big picture in mind.
But why is it that the small, insignificant things can have such a big impact?