January 6th — Oprah. It’s true. Brad and I are appearing on Oprah. Stuff of dreams, right? Well, we didn’t get to Chicago, so you can dispense with your questions about the weather, the Green Room, the make-up chair and seeing O up close and personal. Sad to say, none of that, friends.
Instead, B, the producer, sent us a huge piece of Samsonite luggage that housed a Skype system. A Skype system, for those NOT in the know, is a camera, a mike and a laptop that is so super EZ to assemble/connect that even an idiot who is scheduled to be on Oprah can set it up. NOT. The way it works is this – you set up your Skype in your living room, snuggle down on your couch, adjust the camera so it captures your best side in the most flattering light and have a test run with the really cute producer from Oprah. NOT.
Instead, Betsy Thorpe (my co-author) comes over and we mess with extension cords and hook ups and shadeless lamps and tiny little cameras and we’re both sweating and grunting while we crawl on the floor looking at routers and cable boxes and take calls to our cell phone from the really cute producer from Oprah. to figure this whole thing out. It’s a lot harder than the laminated one-page instruction should would suggest. Just as we see the little producer appears on the screen and we can see AND hear him – Betsy accidentally unplugs the system and it crashes. Just like that, Oprah producer guy is gone bye-bye. She and I look at each other – no words are necessary. If there was a hole in my den, Betsy would have crawled in it. There wasn’t time to pretend that this isn’t as bad as it appears…so we keep working at it. We never get it back up that day and the producer suggests I call my internet company to tell them I don’t have enough high in my high-speed internet to make this baby work.
So I talk to about twelve customer service reps with Time Warner Cable. For the love of Gayle, I’m nearly undone by the whole experience – I mean, who blows their once-in-a-lifetime chance to appear on Oprah because of faulty technology? Not me, that’s for dang sure. So I talk to at least a dozen people in India, who, if you can believe it – HAVE NEVER HEARD OF OPRAH! They don’t understand my panic, my pain and my pathetic need to increase my internet speeds so I can televise straight from my den to O perched in her leather chair.
Finally, oh finally, I connect with someone in Charlotte – the nicest, most wonderful customer service rep the world has ever known. Tim. I will save you the details and only say that Tim got us back up and running on Skype so that we could do our test run and make the cut for the taping. I told Tim the whole story of Oprah and apologized for being so panicked and freaked out. “That’s okay, m’am,” Tim said. “I walked another lady in off the ledge last week. She was doing a Skype interview for some show on HG TV.” Bless you, Tim, and bless that lady who’s going on HG TV.