I had an unusual evening last night. First, I walked from work in a different direction than normal, east up Denny Way instead of first going south on Western Avenue, because I was headed straight for the Xfinity Store. There, I waited probably 15 minutes or so for Shobhit to arrive from work, so we would go in there together to get the cable box I have not bothered with having since I bought the TiVo (which died last year) in 2007.
In fact, it had been so long since I had gone to the Comcast Store to get the cable card that goes into the TiVo that . . . I forgot I had done it. Apparently you are supposed to give that back. It's still in the dead TiVo we dropped off at Goodwill months ago, but the employees there were nice enough not to charge us for it.
And, in the end, we didn't get a cable box either. The young lady looked up our address and told us our building was eligible for a deal package that increased our internet speed something like four times over, included 140 channels (almost none of which will I use but Shobhit will no doubt get use out of it), and has a cost roughly the same as what we're already paying!
Well, except for a couple of inevitable catches. First, our current package includes paying for HBO Go, and this new one does not; they were able to add it for us for only another $10, but still. Second, there's this stupid-ass new stadium broadcast tax that we don't have on our current package just because we've been on it before that tax was instated, but apparently it goes on all new packages. That was over eight bucks. Between those additions and government taxes and fees and all that shit, the monthly package I had been paying about $105 for will now be somewhere between $140 and $150. But, this also includes getting a Comcast Xfinity DVR instead of a standard cable box, so we're getting a hell of a lot included for only $45ish more per month. (I use the word "only" loosely -- comparatively -- here.) With the DVR, we now have the functionality that we lost when the TiVo died. (It was never an option to me to buy an entirely new TiVo, as I would have to pay for the box and pay for monthly service, when I had paid a flat fee for lifetime service on the old box years ago.)
We went back and forth a bit on this, but in the end decided to go with this new package -- a one-year contract and a two-year lock on the pricing, after which we can strip the channels away again if we want.
So, we brought all this new equipment home, to hook up to the new TV, which, with some help calling Comcast again, Shobhit got set up while I also connected the new router we brought home for Internet access. This we did after removing the old TV -- which, incidentally, I bought in May 2010 (nine years ago!), for $419 -- and putting the stereo into that space because the TV we got for fifty bucks (about $55 with tax) at Sears last weekend was too large for it, and now it's set atop the entertainment center. I had forgotten I spent that much on that TV, holy shit, And this one, notably bigger, for nearly an eighth of the cost! Now, yes, there is that "minor defect on the screen," as the sign had said. It's basically a black dot about an inch in diameter where no visual information on the screen comes through. Scott told me yesterday there may be ways to fix it, and I intend to research that still. Most of the time it's easy to look past, even though it's kind of in the middle of the left half of the screen -- but, it's a comparatively pretty small spot on the screen. And who can argue with fifty bucks? When nine years ago I paid nearly eight times as much for a smaller TV?
Oh, and I nearly forgot -- before we took all that stuff home, we went to Shake Shack for dinner, as it was only about a block down Westlake from the Xfinity store. We split a "shroom burger" and cheese fries, and holy fuck were they good. Shobhit was concerned about getting a ticket and almost nixed the idea, but we made it back to the car only one minute after the meter expired and I added another $2 for 45 minutes. This way we could eat at Shake Shack and Shobhit gets his point on the next Social Review.
. . . And now, I'm about to have an unusual afternoon! Unlike other departments who all had select holiday parties of their own last month, Darrell, the VP of Merchandising, is hosting us all for a "Merchandising Team celebration," at Flat Stick Pub over on Westlake. It's going to involve miniature golf, yay! I love mini golf and haven't played in ages. This is going to be the first event quite like this that we've done in our department, and I'm actually rather looking forward to it.
I do have a somewhat tricky situation going on at work today too, though. One of the brokers who really loves me -- there's a few -- and who has lavished me with gifts in the past, came in today and dropped off something off my desk, saying "Happy New Year!" and splitting before I even hardly had a chance to thank her.
It's tequila, which on its own would not be a huge deal; she's given me booze before. I don't think she's ever given me anything quite this expensive before, though, and I still have an email saved from last summer spelling out our "gift policy" -- nothing to an individual with a value greater than $100. Based on a couple Google searches, let's just say, this retails for more than that. I mean, how do we define "value," anyway? What if I'd never get it for under a hundred bucks but somehow she did?
I really want this tequila. I still don't know if I'll get to keep it. For a few moments I actually was leaning toward just taking it and not saying anything, but ultimately that's a little risky, right? I texted Shobhit about it. He asked if Scott was given the same thing. I didn't know, but doubted it. Shobhit said I should tell Scott about it, and in the end, I agreed. I guess you could say I caved in to my sense of moral duty.
I walked the two desks over to Scott and said in a bit of a sigh, "All right, Scott." And he immediately said, "What'd I do now?" I told him, "It's not about you. I'm saying something, I guess because I'm a slave to moral duty." Then I said, "Do you know what Erin just gave me?" At first he thought I was talking about an Erin at one of the stores, so, clearly that was a no. I told him about it, and he said I should email Darrell (VP of Merchandising) and Justine (Center Store Director, Scott's boss), CC him, and ask them how to proceed. "Even if it means sharing it out on the deck with everyone," he said, almost with a wink.
I did tell Scott, "I really, really want it!" But, I suppose I should do the right thing. As soon as I opened the rather striking, fancy-fuzzy box it came in, with the bottle nestled in velvet, I was nervous: this has to be pricey. I bet it's also fucking delicious.
I still don't know what the decision is, although literally as I was writing this, Scott returned to his desk, and at first he said, "Thank you, Matthew." At first I didn't know for sure what he meant: "For what?" And he replied, "For your email." He then told me he still doesn't know what the decision is, but I guess there has been some discussion already and, "You got a universal thumbs up for being so honest." Well, shit. Hopefully that works in my favor!
[posted 12:24 pm]