Cleaning Up A Mess

In the most desperate days of my long stretch of unemployment — I mean freelancing — I drove all the way down to Dominguez Hills in the summer of 2007 and applied to be a dependent contractor for DirecTV, installing their satellite TV systems.

In fact, perhaps the only reason I didn’t take the $10-per-hour shit job when they called a couple weeks later and offered it to me is that even though I had gone out of my way on very short notice to wait in line for almost two hours without an appointment to pull my DMV record so that I showed up with it for the application/interview process, the young lady who’d called said the job was mine  as soon as I provided her with a current DMV printout.

“But you have the one I gave you two weeks ago,” I said.

“Yes, but a lot could have happened since then.”

“Are you kidding?”

“Unfortunately, no,” she said.

Well, the thought of waiting around at the DMV for another couple hours and paying for another driving record  just so I could have the privilege of driving around town in a van installing dishes and receivers for $80 a day proved too much for me to bear so I said to the young lady she could take that job and shove it and thus ended any opportunity to be professionally affiliated with that outfit.

This week when DirecTV showed to upgrade us to an HD dish and receiver, the better with which to take advantage of our new TVs high definition capacity, I realized I’d made the right choice. I wouldn’t have lasted a week on the job because I would’ve insisted on quality installations, not quantity.

dishb4When the DirecTV dude showed up, he was on time, affable and knowledgeable and in a few minutes was  at work installing the requisite new dish atop the rear dormer. Between then and a couple hours later I’d put a $20 in my pocket to tip him with, but later when he powered everything up and  we were in the living room admiring the crystal clear picture coming out of our Sony Bravia, my joy at the beautiful image was tempered by the absolute crap job he did laying the cable on the roof.

As a result, the $20 in my pocket wasn’t going anywhere near the guy, and I invited him into the backyard to see what he had to say about the wickedly unappealing display of thick blazing white cables running down the dormer wall and oozing along the roof where he then ridiculously wrapped it around the outside of the rain gutter, as shown at right (click for the bigger picture) before tucking it under the eave and nailing the excess to the wall.

He shrugged somewhat sheepishly.

“If this were your house, would you be happy with that?” I asked.

He said he understood my disappointment and gave me some song and dance about not having enough black cable with him and that with free installations it was pretty much the best he was allowed to do.

IMG_4994The reason I didn’t call bullshit is that I’d already figured out how to make practically all of it invisible and decided to DIY it where DirecTV was unwilling to tread. Sure I could have stomped my foot and demanded to talk to his supervisor and bitched and moaned until things got made right, but I hate doing that almost as much as I hate dealing with people who have to be harassed into doing anything more then the least amount of work, so I thanked him for his marginal efforts, bid him farewell and then suffered the shoddiness until this morning when I got busy undoing his deeds and redoing it right: by drilling a small hole through the wall under the eave, dropping the cables through that vent to the right of the dormer and moving it all under the roof to connect up inside into the crawlspace off the master bedroom. I’m sure you’ll agree the end result (at left, click for the bigger picture) is as it should and could have been in the first place.

In addition, as you are just able to see sticking into the right side of the picture at the roof line, the installer didn’t see it fit to remove our old dish, so I took that down too, along with all the old coaxial cabling that ran down the north side of the house. While I was up there I also removed the dish unseen on the south side of the roof formerly connected to our upstairs tenant’s TV.

Our roof hasn’t been so uncluttered in years.