Gang Wants Grandma’s TV Fixed

Century Cable: Eagle Rock, East LA, mid-'80s

Mid-morning and all the installers and techs were already out in the field, and I was shuffling papers on my desk when the back door opened, and these three guys walked in.

These three guys got my attention right away because all three of them were hardcore gang members. And when I say hardcore, I really mean hardcore.

Physically they were in top condition and scary. They had all the correct assortment of gang tattoos, including some black teardrops under their eyes.

But it wasn't so much their appearance as it was the intensity of their anger. These guys were pissed.

My first inclination was simply to run. I'm not kidding I was ready to hit the road

I stood my ground and asked him how can I help you guys? I had intended that my voice be deep and raspy and tough. It came out sounding like Mary Poppins.

The apparent leader of the threesome leaned over my desk on his knuckled fists and told me he wants to know who just disconnected the cable at his grandma's house yesterday. He went on to say that whoever disconnected the cable screwed up Grandma's TV and he wants it fixed and he wants it fixed right now.

I dug out yesterday's route sheet looked up the address and found out who was there doing the disconnect.

The tough guy wanted to know the name of the guy who disconnected his grandma, but I sidestepped and just promised him that Grandma's TV was going to get fixed today. No lie, today!

He told me in very graphic detail what was going to happen to me, the tech, my company, and on and on and on if Grandma was not happy today.

I kept my mouth shut and just nodded my head like one of those wobble heads on the dashboard of a car and these three guys disappeared as silently as they appeared in the first place.

I called the disconnect tech in to return from the field I wanted to talk to him about this disconnect. He showed up about 15 minutes later.

He explained that when he disconnected the cable it was impossible to get up on the pole to the tap because of dogs in the yard. So, he cut the cable outlet on the outside wall where it went through the wall into grandma's living room.

Oh yeah, and just to make sure that they didn't splice it back together again he pulled the cable out of the wall as far as he could and as fast as he could and cut it all off cut the outside wiring out, and took it all with him. He feels like he did a real excellent job of disconnecting the service.

But he didn't realize was that the cable was hooked up to a 19-inch portable TV on one of those cheesy roll-around TV stands and when he pulled the cable, the stand crashed and the TV hit face first and broke to pieces.

I went until my boss, The general manager, and he said that we could fill out an accident report and maybe he can get insurance to pay for this TV. I told him I would do all that but in the meantime, I was going to Walmart and buying another TV right now and taking it over to make Grandma happy.

And that's what I did. And I'm happy to say I never saw those three guys again.

I'm telling you those guys are really bad news.