I’m so Pissed at RCN

There’s an object lesson in this. Bear with me, and I’ll explain.

First of all, I’ve been looking forward to this for a week, ever since I noticed that it was going to be on TV. As you may recall, I’m a huge fan of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s work. Well, Amy got started in her career by working on Roseanne, back in the day. And Oxygen is running a whole block of episodes today, including a number that Amy had written. So I’ve been planning for a over a week to sit down and turn on Oxygen and catch up on email and such. But…

At the appointed time, I turned on my TV, tuned into channel 32. And what do I see? MTV2.

Now, occasionally, RCN will rearrange the channels, to put them in a better order. MTV2 used to be at 76. Now, channel 76 is broadcasting white snow.

Frantically, I go to RCN’s website to try to find some word on what’s going on. The only information I could find at all about their channel lineup confirmed that, indeed, Oxygen is channel 32 and MTV2 is channel 76.

And now I’m missing what I’ve been waiting a week for, and I don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch Oxygen ever again. And that’s why I’m pissed at RCN.

Now, you might think this is a pretty insignificant issue. So the one cable channel I wanted to watch isn’t on my TV anymore. So they didn’t properly announce the changes they are making. So I don’t know what to expect. So what?

But isn’t that the point? If such an insignificant point can piss me off so much that I feel the inexplicable need to write a blog post about it…

If RCN had just posted an announcement to their website. (Or for that matter, if their website were navigable. Or if it worked under Firefox. That’s another story.) If RCN had just told me what was going on so that I knew what to expect, I probably wouldn’t feel this way. I probably wouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. And I probably wouldn’t feel betrayed. And I probably wouldn’t be thinking about that guy that keeps coming around asking if I want to switch to Comcast.

The object lesson is simple: People will put up with almost anything from you–almost any policy change, almost any goof, almost any gaffe, almost any risk– They’ll put up with your foibles and your egocentricity and your humanness and everything else, if they know what to expect.

Or as I tell my daughter–and if you’re a parent, you’ll surely understand this– I tell her, “Most of what you want to do, it’s okay with me. Whether you’re visiting a friend, or staying late after school, or whatever. You just need to tell me, because I need to know where you are.”