#125 – A Signal of Discontent

There’re a number of things I don’t like about my satellite TV provider, but the attitude of its service technicians isn’t one of them. For instance, the guy who resolved our issue this morning couldn’t have been nicer, nor his advice more appreciated. I only wish he’d gotten here sooner.

We’ve been without satellite reception since early Sunday evening, when all our receivers simultaneously lost their signals at 7:45 p.m., in the middle of “Football Night in America!” As on every football Sunday, I’d parked my behind on the media room couch since 9:00 a.m. that morning to watch every pregame show and available game, and to monitor my fantasy team. I had every intention of watching my beloved Falcons take on the Packers that evening too.

When the error message suddenly replaced the HD picture on my 55-inch screen, I didn’t immediately panic. I calmly rebooted our router, fully expecting the reboot to resolve the issue as it had in the past. But despite those efforts, the “unable to receive satellite signal” message remained the only image on the screen. I went ballistic, calling the satellite company names that’d make a sailor blush. 

After ranting several minutes, I summoned my wife and alerted her to the catastrophe. She sounded less than sympathetic to my plight:”You interrupted my ironing to whine about the TV? Look Richard. I’m sure the DVR has plenty of taped shows to entertain you until we get back our satellite service tomorrow. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have chores to finish!”

Just my luck, the only shows I found on the DVR were Sophia’s collection of Real Housewives. I consequently spent three cringe-worthy hours viewing spoiled rich women bitch at each other, instead of witnessing the blood and guts gridiron battle I should’ve enjoyed! And contrary to the wife’s optimistic prediction, our satellite provider couldn’t send a technician until today. Not only did I endure two more evenings of housewives’ trials and tribulations, but I also missed Monday Night Football in the process!

It took the satellite technician all of five minutes to remedy our problem this morning. As he discovered, our issue had nothing to do with the satellite reception or the receivers. It turned out a GFC outlet in our basement had tripped – the same outlet which powered a small but critical piece of satellite equipment. Once he pressed the reset button on the outlet, our satellite box functioned again. 

The technician offered two helpful gems while showing me the easy fix: “You know, before spending fifty bucks on a service call in the future, check to make sure your outlet hasn’t tripped. Also, if you stop plugging your dehumidifier in the same outlet as the satellite equipment, the circuit won’t overload in the first place.”

The thing is, I already knew better than to plug the dehumidifier into the same outlet as the satellite equipment. In order to avoid tripping a circuit, I’ve always powered the moisture remover from an outlet on the opposite basement wall. My wife, however, apparently doesn’t know as much about circuit overload as I do … or so she claimed, when sheepishly explaining why she switched the dehumidifier plug to the satellite outlet on Sunday, so she could iron her blouses in a more convenient location near the outlet on the opposite wall. 

A small, but critical, piece of satellite equipment

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