Each week, we'll sit down with a member of the Eagles to discuss something you may not know about him. This week's subject is cornerback Cary Williams, who spent some time working as a cable guy for DirecTV in between his college football stops at Fordham and Washburn ...
Bo Wulf: I want to talk about your brief career as a cable guy. What is the biggest misconception of a cable guy?
Cary Williams: Probably that you walk around with your butt hanging out, like plumber's butt. I don't know though, I think there are a lot of smart guys out there, intellectual guys. Just because you're doing a job that doesn't necessarily need a degree to have, I think there are a lot of smart people there. I met a lot of great people, even when I was a call technician, met some great people, had some great times. I can't remember really what it was like, but I remember being in people's houses and it being kind of uncomfortable to go to a stranger's house and they don't know who you are, you don't know who they are and you try to be as nice as possible, just handle your job as quickly as possible. Sometimes it's difficult to deal with people, especially if people feel like DirecTV has wronged them and you go to an irate house. You just hope that everything goes well, you say, 'Yes, sir' or 'No, ma'am.' You try to be as nice as possible and as respectful as possible. Sometimes you meet some very wise older people. Sometimes you meet some young individuals who are really upset and it's hard for you to complete your job but you still have to go in and that's a part of what you do. When I was there, a lot of people loved their job, they loved what they did, they took their job seriously.
BW: So what is the deal with the 'Be home between 10 AM and 4 PM' thing?
CW: Shoot, sometimes you get caught up with other deals. You have one appointment that has run late and sometimes traffic is included and the drive is longer than you expected or they needed more work or something is wrong with something and you have to take that piece off, get a new piece, test it out. There are a lot of things that you have to do. I don't know, I think the time windows work. It's not a big deal, you just have to be patient with those guys, patient with us because at the end of the day it's not our fault. We're not trying to be late but sometimes a job requires more work than what was anticipated and it affects the window.
BW: Did you guys ever joke about that? Like, 'We'll be there from 8-to-8, sometime between then.'
CW: (Laughs) I know I've had some issues with DirecTV even when I got it at my place now. 'Yeah, we're going to get it done …'
BW: Wait, you don't get the hookup for life as a former employee?
CW: No, I don't actually. I don't think they even remember me doing any of this stuff. I never even tried to get a freebie from anybody.
BW: It would be such an easy sponsorship too.
CW: Yeah, I guess.
BW: You could be the spokesman, from DirecTV to the NFL.
CW: To this day, I still love DirecTV. I'll take DirecTV over (anyone else) just because they have more HD channels. If you're not within a brother or sister service, then DirecTV does a pretty good job. But sometimes, in my case, I recently had a storm come through. It messed up the satellite and it was out of whack for like four of five days and they were saying, 'Yeah, we're gonna get it done, we're gonna get it done, we're gonna get it done, we're gonna call you.' Nobody called. It's like, 'Dang,' so you call and you're like, 'Hey man, y'all said you were going to get it done by this date. What's going on?' 'Yeah, we're working to fix it.' 'So are we going to get compensated?' The one thing I can tell you is we compensate and when I was there, when I was a call taker, I made sure that our customers were right and I tried to compensate as best as I possibly could, especially if it was something that wasn't in either of our control.
BW: So you're a little rusty? You can't fix this stuff yourself anymore?
CW: Oh, no, it's an apartment complex so I'm not authorized to go back there and fix the dish. Plus, I think it was something huge anyway, so a lightning strike might have hit it and the dish went out. Whatever it was, you have to replace the whole dish so I think that's what happened. We got it fixed. It's alright. It's not that I'm rusty. If I was ever put in a situation, I'll still climb up there on the house, put (the dish) right there facing South and I'd be good.
BW: Did you ever give anybody the free hookup?
CW: Heck no. The reason why is because I was only there for a limited time and I wouldn't even want to give anybody freebies anyway. DirecTV, the owner, worked hard for his money to get to this point, you know what I mean? At the end of the day, I wouldn't want that on my record. That's against the law. I try not to go against the law as best as possible, every day. I may speed a little here and there, but that's as bad as I'm going to get.
BW: Did you guys ever joke about the movie The Cable Guy? Have you ever seen that?
CW: I've seen it a long time ago.
BW: Yeah, I don't remember much about it actually. Just the scene at Medieval Times.
CW: Yeah, I don't remember much about it but I do remember this one scene where the guy's peeping through the peephole and you see Jim Carrey with that mustache … and I just think about that because when I was in Baltimore, Joe Flacco had the mustache during one of the playoff runs and we used to say he looked like the Cable Guy. But that's it.
You know, I've worked in several different places. I've worked DirecTV, I worked building, helping remodel playgrounds, Target, Frito-Lay.
BW: What's the best Frito-Lay product?
CW: The best one? I like the spicy nacho Doritos. Those are nice. When I was on the job, I used to eat all the Funyuns.
BW: I used to love Funyuns.
CW: Back in the day? Yeah, I used to eat all the Funyuns. Cool ranch Doritos. What else is there? Some sweet hickory barbecue. The Lays. I haven't had those in so long. Shoot, I haven't eaten chips in a minute.
Where else did I used to work? I used to word at FedEx. I used to be one of the fastest unloaders, broke a couple records of my own. I unloaded a truck in maybe like 35 minutes, that's crazy. People downstairs, the loaders were upset.
All those jobs are fun jobs. I got fired from Target, I remember that.
BW: Oh yeah? What for?
CW: I had a run-in, I remember it was in Topeka, I was calling my roommate because I didn't have a ride. Then, in college (at Washburn), I didn't have a car. So I made a call, I was like, 'Hey, man, I need you to come, I've been calling you, what's been going on?' And I'm doing this on the sneak. He's like, 'Yeah, man, I overslept.' I said, 'Alright, I'll be ready in 30 or 45 minutes, man, make sure you're here on time.' Because it was cold, I think it might have been 15 (degrees) out there, and I didn't want to be waiting outside in the cold, so I wanted to call him ahead of time. So one of the managers, or I don't if he was a manager, he might have been, but he was like, 'What are you doing on your cell phone?'I was like, 'Uh, making a phone call real quick.' And he told the store manager and I don't know if they really didn't get along with me anyway or whatever the case may have been.
BW: So it was just for making a phone call?
CW: Yeah, and also there was an incident. They used to have these guys come in late at night, like a bunch of high school kids or middle school kids, whatever they were. They used to come in and they would just run through the toy aisle and knock everything down at the back. Then they would just leave. So it was my night to do the toy aisle and I'm almost done. I'm at like aisle 7 or something like that and there were like 34 aisles. They were like, 'Cary, did you complete the toy aisle?' And I'm like, 'I'm on aisle 7, I'm almost finished.' They're like, 'OK, cool, whatever.' Three minutes later, the same dude calls up on the walkie-talkie, 'Hey, Cary, have you completed the toy aisle?' I said, 'Yes,' and I'm on aisle 5 or something like that.
BW: You start at aisle 34 and you work your way down?
CW: Yeah, or you could do it either way, however you want to do it. He said, 'You didn't touch anything in aisle 32.' I said, 'Yes I did, I cleaned up.' They were like, 'No you didn't.' I said, 'Aw man.' So I go back there, there's a bunch of stuff and I still hadn't finished my one section. He's just all on me every five minutes, calling, calling, calling. I'm like, 'Dude, if you don't get off my walkie-talkie, you keep calling me every five minutes, there's no way I can get everything done if you keep calling me every five minutes. I've got like eight aisles left. Like, what are you doing? Get off me.' He got mad that I said that. I said, 'Look man, stop calling my walkie-talkie.' The next day, I come into work. Well, really they called me to come into work because I was off. They were like, 'Uh, Cary, we're going to have to let you go.' I said, 'For what?' 'Well, you weren't in compliance with one of the managers' and this, that and the other thing. I said, 'I didn't do anything to this dude. I mean, do y'all even want to hear my side of the story? It's his word against mine.' They're like, 'Well, he's been with the program for like 15 years.' I'm like, 'OK, that's fine.'
So I didn't do anything necessarily wrong in that situation but that's just the life we live and I moved on and went to the next job. I think I worked at FedEx after that and I didn't get fired from there. So that was cool.