Saturday, September 28, 2013

Doll Room Conversations with Uverse and Cable Guys

(This is a lengthy post.  The conversations with the Uverse and Cable Guys are in blue text for those who want to skip ahead, but you might want to read a paragraph or two that precedes the dialogue text.)

My doll room office used to be our patio before my husband converted it into a room  for me in approximately 1990.  As a result of the enclosure, the cable and phone hookups are attached to the exterior wall of the room. 

Until recent weeks, I had been a relatively satisfied, 30-year customer of Time Warner Cable.  After TWC's blackout of CBS-owned stations and steadily rising rates, I switched to AT&T Uverse, which recently became available in my area.  My Uverse bundle includes home phone, Internet, and TV.

The Uverse guy needed to make his connection from the exterior wall of the doll room in order to place the router inside the room.  He also required the use of a phone jack attached to the interior back wall.   Not realizing until he arrived that access to the phone jack would be needed, I hurriedly moved 50-some-odd  large dolls, both free standing and boxed, that were in front of the phone jack.  My back, though no longer hurting, is hurting with the thought of this rushed and rigid activity.

This line had to be run to the opposite side of the room where an antiquated TV sits on my childhood desk.  I keep the desk for sentimental reasons.  Dolls that range in size from 9 to 16 inches usually stand on both sides of the TV.  Playscale dolls are also displayed on top of two rolling storage carts positioned to the right of my childhood desk.  To ensure that the Uverse guy would have enough working space, the day before his arrival, I had already moved these dolls.  Most were placed in a box, while others stood haphazardly on the floor or in separate piles on top of other dolls. 

The following pictures are the dolls I moved for the Uverse guy the day prior to his arrival. 

What a doll mess I was left to clean up for the sake of a Uverse bundle.
The following conversation ensued between me and the Uverse guy:

Me (before Uverse Guy entered the room):  Don't freak out because of the dolls.

Uverse Guy:  Man.  You sure have a lot and they're all black, too!

Me:  Yeah.  I have a few.

Uverse Guy proceeded to do his work and didn't seem too affected or bothered by the dolls' presence.  His final statement about them was:  I bet your husband doesn't have to wonder what to buy you for gifts.

Me:  Um... he can't buy dolls for me.  No one in my family can, unless I tell them the doll I want.  Only a doll collector can buy for another collector.

He completed my bundle package of connecting three TVs, digital phone service, and migrating my AT&T DSL Internet to Uverse Internet in about 3 hours.  He ensured that everything worked properly before he left.   Oh but before he left, my daughter arrived to pick up her boys who my husband had picked up from school earlier that day.  She always rings the doorbell repeatedly until someone opens the door.  Uverse Guy was completing the bedroom hookup when he heard the multiple rings.  He rushed to the doll room where I was and asked,  "Do I need to drop and roll?"  I laughed and said, "That's just my crazy daughter coming to pick up her boys" (who were both conked out on the den sofas).


I waited two days to ensure that Uverse continued working properly before calling Time Warner Cable to inform them I no longer desired their cable TV service.  During the call, I inquired about the cost of keeping cable Internet only (just as a backup in the event that Uverse Internet goes down, because I use the Internet to work).  I was told my monthly Internet fee would be twice what I was already paying and that none of my service would be disconnected until I returned their equipment.  So along with the cable converters, I returned TWC's Internet router the following day where I was offered Internet for the same amount I was paying; so I agreed to keep it.  The woman at the TWC office also informed me that a technician would come to my home the following day to disconnect the cable TV service.  Does he have to come in? I asked.  She replied, "No.  His work will be on the outside only."

The outside cable guy came the next evening to complete the cable TV disconnection.  The following morning I noticed my VOIP work phone that was connected to TWC's router was not working.  Long story short, the outside cable guy disconnected cable TV and my cable Internet!  TWC sent another technician out later that day to reconnect the Internet.  This is when another conversation about my dolls ensued.

Me to Inside Cable Guy:  Excuse the condition of the room, I had to move some of my dolls around.

Inside Cable Guy, inspecting the TWC router and noticing my Uverse equipment:  You have Uverse Internet, too?

Me:  Yes, it was just installed with Uverse TV, which is the reason I disconnected cable service, but I want to keep your Internet as a backup because I use the Internet for my work.

Inside Cable Guy:  Oh, I see.  You sure do have a lot of dolls.

Me:  Silent.

Inside Cable Guy:  I guess the ones in the boxes are the most valuable.

Mostly boxed dolls on shelves on back wall of doll room; the shelves are from ceiling to floor; these are uppermost shelves.

Mostly boxed dolls line both walls of doll room entrance
Me:  (leery of this statement/question, 'cause why does he want to know about my dolls' value, I wondered?):  Oh no... not at all.  Most of those were purchased when I began collecting years ago.  Back then, I rarely removed dolls from their boxes, especially if the doll was visible through it.  Now, I do.  I collect dolls, not boxes.  I'll toss a box in a minute now.
(Call it paranoia, but this young man's question regarding my dolls' value is why I do not like to have repairmen and other outsiders in my home.)

He completed the router testing, went outside to reconnect the Internet, and came back inside to check the connection, which worked fine.

Earlier that day I had called TWC to get an update on my current charges because my new statement had arrived two days prior to requesting the disconnection and did not reflect the actual amount owed.  During this call, I discovered I was being charged a disconnection fee -- a fee for the first guy to come out and disconnect cable and inadvertently disconnect the Internet! 

Before the second cable guy left I asked:
Me to Inside/Outside Cable Guy before he left:  So since I've been without Internet all day (not really because I had Uverse) and use it for work, can that $39.95 disconnection fee that I was not informed I would be charged be waived?
Inside/Outside Cable Guy:  I'm sure it can, but you'll have to call the office and ask.

I called with that request and the disconnection fee was waived.

Below are photos of my sentimental childhood desk after the dolls were removed along with photos taken as they were positioned back on it.

Childhood desk, minus the dolls that usually flank the sides of it.  The framed item is Vol 1, Issue 1 of Ebony Jr!.  Published in May 1973, Ebony Jr! is referred to as “the largest ever children-focused publication for African Americans.”
Diana Ross and Crissy family dolls returned to their positions of standing,

I had to stop and admire Tiffany Taylor's beauty and play with her hair that changes from auburn to black when her skull cap is swiveled.
Here is Tiffany with black hair - this side has bangs.  Isn't she gorgeous?

Before placing her back on display, I turned her skull cap to the auburn, side-parted color.
Tiffany stands out among the crowd.  Three shorter grow-hairs (Velvet) are now back in place in the above image.
The smallest dolls, including the smallest grow-hair family doll, Cinnamon, are now squeezed into position.  Other 8 to 10-inchers are placed on top of the TV.  I need to discard that VCR.  Who uses those anymore?

The last two pictures were taken at different angles and using different camera modes in an attempt to improve the image lighting, but that failed.  The images do illustrate that all dolls are back in place on both sides of the TV as well as on top of the two rolling file carts.  As a final touch, I hung the July 1973 issue of Ebony Jr! that I won on eBay several months ago (that I do not remember why I wanted.)    


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  1. Yay, you finally got your UVerse! I love mine. I'm always discovering new things that it does that the other cable doesn't do. Multiview, all the tv applications, and the multiple show recording features are the best.

    I can't imagine having to move all those dolls for them to. My back was hurting just looking at the pictures. I don't blame you for being leary of people seeing all your dolls. I'm sure if someone tried to break in and steal them, the dolls would come alive and fight back. Sorry, I've watched Toy Story a few too many times.

    1. Yes, I finally have Uverse, after the installation delay they caused and then one I caused after not being sure I wanted to make the switch. It's hard to break old habits, but I am glad I switched from TWC to Uverse. My only worry is that if Uverse goes down, and it has once already, I will be without my home phone since it is digital and connected to my Uverse account. I do have other land line phones and my cell phone, but people who call, use my home phone #.

      The playscale and 16-inch dolls were not the ones that caused my back to hurt because I moved them at my leisure before the Uverse guy arrived. It was the not pictured ones that are an average of 24 inches tall and other large manufactured dolls still in their boxes that I had to swiftly move after the Uverse guy arrived.


  2. I always love seeing photos of your doll room, Debbie. How are you feeling after moving all of those dolls around? I would've been leery about the guy's question, also.

    I just got my phone service bundled with my internet service to save some money on the monthly bill. The cable guy had to come into the master bedroom to install a new modem yesterday. I have a few dolls displayed there, so after reading this post, I went and asked my husband if the guy had said anything about my dolls. He was not amused that I interrupted his football game to ask that question. :) The answer was "no".

    1. Thanks, Roxanne, I enjoy sharing angles of the room. A wide view will probably never be shared because sections of it are always not as organized as I'd like.

      I have always enjoyed the interactions between you and your husband that you've shared. Don't you know never to come between a man and his football game?


    2. LOL Debbie - I'm still learning...

  3. Love seeing your dolls out ;-)

    Regarding the cable guy seeing your stuff - and commenting about the value, I would have been uncomfortable. But I have this fantasy where a utility or other visitor stops in and asks about doll value. In that fantasy, I would pick up the nearest doll and ask him/her - what are you worth, X? Then in a gender appropriate voice, I would "answer" for the doll, "Priceless, baby." Then I would give that visitor the broadest, most guileless smile I could muster. Maybe if they think we're crazy, they'll think twice about an unauthorized visit ;-D

    And of course, I have never done that. Been tempted to, but have not.

    Congrats on your new Internet system!

    1. That dialogue should scare off any would-be return intruder, D7ana. It had me frightened. :-)


  4. LMAS! Yeah D7ana. That would teach them! I would love to see a video of that!
    I tend to move my stuff to get things done but I don't have as many as you do. My hubby has a stuffed Alf that gets a lot of inquiries. I always check to make sure it is still there! BTW, what is UVerse?

    1. Hi Ms. Leo,

      I bet Alf does get lots of attention.

      Uverse is digital TV through AT&T. Other Uverse products include digital phone service and high-speed Internet. The TV product is similar to cable, but U-verse offers much more than my local cable service and for less.


  5. I tried to get UVerse but when I asked about it they didn't have it in my area yet, just basic DSL which is slower than what I now get from the cable company. When I dropped cable from my cable/internet bundle, they also told me it would be double now for the internet alone. I swear, one way or the other, they get you. With Hulu and my Kindle, I cant say I miss cable, but I never know what new movies or shows are out since I cant see the commercials anymore. Oh well.

    I have several VCRs that I will never get rid of. I have so many VHS tapes that I gotta watch them on something even though I probably haven't touched them in 15 years so they probably don't work, lol.

    I've had the maintenance guys comment about my dios, but no one has ever said anything about my doll collection. Then again, I don't have the impressive volume of dolls that you have. They really do like the dios though and will ask a million questions and stand there and stare when I just want them to hurry up and get the heck out.

    1. I waited for at least three years for the technology in my neighborhood to be updated or whatever AT&T had to do to provide U-verse to my address, Muff. I kept calling and checking online intermittently. Last May an AT&T sales associate called to offer me an upgrade from AT&T slow DSL to U-Verse Internet. At the time I had AT&T DSL as a backup to my cable Internet. He said AT&T's DSL was being phased out. I accepted his offer because the price of U-Verse at a faster speed was about the same as their slow DSL. During the call, I just happened to ask him if the TV piece was available in my area and he indicated it was. So I ordered it then.

      As it turned out, the TV piece was obviously not available yet. The initial appointment was supposed to be the 1st week of June, but AT&T cancelled it because of "technical difficulties." I eventually rescheduled and had it installed at the end of August.

      It's far better than cable but it comes with a price... not the monthly price, but they have so many fee-based stations and if you are not careful and click "okay" (Mr. G.) you might wind up incurring up to $7 extra on your bill for a movie! I rectified that matter by removing all listings that are fee-based from the Guide and placing a parental code on Adult content and items that cost extra. At first I thought it was my grandson's who use On-Demand religiously to watch their silly cartoons and other kiddie shows over and over and over again and LOL in the process. But after recalling that the morning after U-Verse was installed, my husband asked, "Does Bug (our daughter) have parental controls on her TVs (she has had U-Verse for quite some time in her area)? I watched a movie last night and they were actually having sex?" Hmmm (me thinking... why did you watch it?). Anyway, he must have clicked "okay" on an Adult Content movie. I am not sure he watched the entire movie, but that situation has been rectified with my code that no one knows except me!

      I also let AT&T know that they should warn customers that some of their packages include fee-based and Adult content junk.


    2. Muff - I just got cable four months ago after not having it since 2003. Wow, 10 years! I must say, I'm happy to be back on board, mainly because of Oprah's new network. Her Lifeclass and Super Soul Sunday are worth every penny I pay. It's on line, too. I DVR (record) most of the shows I want to watch and look at them in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.

    3. Debbie, your husband is old enough to watch people having sex on TV. Who knows, he may learn something new. Give that man the code!

    4. Yes, he's old enough, but U-Verse doesn't offer it for free. Besides, he doesn't need any help.


    5. Plus... I can always share Halle and Diego's recent experience with him if he needs motivation (and it won't cost $7). :-))))

    6. Oh, I didn't know he paid for it! LOL.

    7. He/we didn't know he paid for it either until we received the bill, which is the reason I put the parental codes on each receiver (and you have to do it on all receivers in the house). Without the code, if you don't pay attention before you press "OK" to watch something when you're flipping through the regular channel line up, the On-Demand line up, or the other channels, you might miss the displayed amount it will cost to watch those fee-based programs.


    8. Vanessa, it was earlier this year when I thought about getting cable again, but only because Uverse was appealing to me for their battery backup modem and the cable/internet bundle was cheaper than what I pay for internet alone. Then I found out it wasn't in my area.

      Debbie, the AT&T guy could not give me any time frame at all when my area would get Uverse, but to check the regular flyers they send in the mail and they would tell me. I also don't have a land line but that's not something I'm interested in and have been without for at least 17 years.

      Good to know about the tricky pay content if I ever get it.


Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!