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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