A Serbian Cap & Cyclonic Action From The Telus Home TeamWednesday, April 06, 2011
It was just a few months after I arrived in Mexico City with my mother and grandmother in 1955. We were renting a house in a very nice area of the city called Tecamachalco. I remember the day in question vividly. The doorbell rang and a man holding a vacuum cleaner and big smile told my mother, “ I am your Electrolux salesman and I have something here that will save you from lots of work.” He came inside and within 30 minutes we were the proud owners of a mostly aluminum (it was snazzy) Electrolux vacuum cleaner. The salesman used the time tested trick of vacuuming our sofa and showing us how dirty it was by emptying the vaccum bag. No woman shown this can possibly not feel guilty and ashamed! The Swedish device served us well and I don’t remember when it finally made it to the Electrolux Bin in the Sky.
Sometime around 1976 the doorbell rang in our Burnaby town house on Springer Avenue. Rosemary opened the door to a portly and short Italian who said to her, “Hi, I have here a cyclonic solution to your problem. There is no obligation to buy anything and whichever way you decide I will give you a nice set of steak knives.
The man went through the sofa test. The vacuum cleaner was a beautiful art deco sculpture with an odd tangerine colour. It had cyclonic action, a sort of Whirling Dervish-like whooshing operation in its core that sucked it all gently and efficiently. Half an hour later we were owners of the most expensive steak knife set we ever “purchased” in our life.
The lesson then was to never open the door to anybody you didn’t know. The lesson in our present times is never to answer the phone (particularly if you have call display) if you do not know who is calling.
Until a month ago we had a perfectly serviceable Sony Trinitron TV (not the thin type) and a limited Shaw cable connection. With the TV we could watch the BCC News Channel, TCM, Bravo and PBS. For unknown reasons the folks at Shaw had not charged us for getting TCM and a few more channels up. It all changed when the phone rang and Rosemary answered. A week later we were paying more for the TCM channel (Sorry, madam we made a mistake and we should have charged you for it). We also had an ominous box with a blinking green light on top of the DVD player. We now could get (so they told us) a Latin channel that Rebecca could watch and practice her Spanish. Whenever we subsequently tuned to it they were always speaking in Italian.
Worst of all our three remotes (one for the VHS, one for the TV and one for the DVD player) were now under the the direction of a Shaw remote of dubious efficiency. To watch TV or play a DVD involved higher mathematics (" Tune to channel 3," they kept telling us). It was a mess. I informed Rosemary that if a solution was not found soon I would seek an attorney and file for divorce.
The phone rang and Rosemary answered. It was a pleasant Telus man based in India. He had a proposition that would save us money. Rosemary could not make up her mind. Whenever the phone rang, and it was unlisted one, Rosemary would say, “Don’t answer it. It could be the man from Telus.”
Rosemary made some numbers and realized that if we switched to a Telus bundle (and dumped Shaw) we were going to save at least $25. She called the man, but alas the man from India was not available. She insisted and yesterday Matt and Miki (a Serbian) arrived at the door. Matt had called to say he was coming. I told him he was going to have to deal with my wife. I told him I was pulling a Pontius Pilate. Matt laughed on the phone. He seemed okay.
The two men rang the door. Matt looked like a handsome computer geek and wore a baseball cap. Miki was tall, serious and a wee bit on the defensive when I asked him where he was from. “I am from Serbia.”
The two (Matt's card read Service Technician - Home Tema) confessed that this was their first job together without a supervisor. We were sort of (I suppose) Guinea pigs.They told us that a new heftier cable had to be strung from the back lane into our house and I looked at Rosemary with damning eyes! I was thinking of my emerging hostas they were going to stomp on. They didn't.
I am happy to report that not only does the Telus remote work seamlessly but that the new Telus box enables us to copy anything we watch (if we want to) and store it in a huge hard drive within the box. The boys installed a new router that gives us now a faster DSL. Matt, with the “paciencia del santo” told Rosemary which Telus channel numbers corresponeded to TCM, etc. Both left with smiles after making Rosemary sign a document that enabled Telus to call Shaw to tell them that they were dumped.
Before they left Mikki asked me to photograph him (he lent me his telephone) wearing the Serbian hat I had purchased so many years ago in Belgrade. I told him, “Nema problema!” and obliged.
Addendum: Telus these two guys are great! And any vacuum salesmen out there keep away when my wife is home!
Tito's Blue Bathroom
A Day in Dubrovnik