Saturday, September 27, 2014

A cable guy avoids more bumps on the head: A ludicrous behavioural analysis.

So the internet cut out and Verizon took ten minutes to answer the phone after they put me on hold and after I pressed so many wrong buttons trying to find someone who could answer my question.* A computerized lady interrupted the lovely music and said they were recording the call. Then the tech-support guy answered and I told him I would also be recording. He said, "We don't allow customers to record our calls," and he hung up the phone.

Then I called back and waited again. As soon as I reached a live human being I read her a litany of complaints. She remained calm, apologized, trouble-shot the troubles, and told me to go outside to reset the box or else they would send someone to do it the following week.

So with tools and flashlight in hand, I went out to the windswept rain, unscrewed the lid to the cable box, tugged the inner box from off its receptors, reconnected it, secured the lid, went back inside, removed my clothes, hung them to dry, climbed into my pajamas, and returned to the internet to watch the Simpsons.

The next day it rained again and the internet went down on Verizon for the very last time. I fired them and hired the cable company, the only other home-based internet service provider in this town.

Within a few days the installer arrived in the company van. He stepped inside our two-man, bunk-bed efficiency and bumped his head on the chandelier.

I said, “I’m sorry. My goodness, you’re tall.”

He said, “Don't worry. It won’t happen again.”

I said, “You have learned to avoid that thing after just one bump? The handyman kept hitting it.” I don’t know why he laughed. I was only asking a behavior-analytic question.

* (Is the first sentence here cool or uncool? Against my better nature, I'm trying something new. Maybe I’m a fuddy-duddy, but I get annoyed when progressive radio talk-show hosts interview these young intellectuals and the first word they utter is "so." I lie in bed wondering if their opening statement is a conclusion or a transition. If so, it's a transition from what? As it always turns out, it's neither. They use it as some kind of queer introduction and it takes my grammatically-correct concentration away from the message they're trying to communicate. What am I missing here? Maybe I'm pathetic in copying their style, behaving like someone I'm not, like the chubby-old-man I happen to be stuffing himself into young men's surfer-dude shirts rather than wearing the outfits from Frank's Big and Tall Men's Shop which he really should do instead.)

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I am an advocate for people with disabilities certified to teach special education with a Master of Arts in Teaching. I am not a Licensed Psychologist or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. When in doubt, seek the advice of an MD, a PhD, or a BCBA. My ability to analyze the ethics of ABA stems from the fact that I am disabled and ABA interventions are often done to people like me, which I voluntarily accept, but only when I alone am the person granting consent, and not a parent, sibling, guardian, or institution.