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One cable guy said like below. 'from seven to four'... it looks like about time, but I don't get it. If someone understand, please let me know.

I got a cable installation. My client was given a window from seven to four. It’s five fifteen. Ride with me…and I'll fill you in on everything.

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    Yes, it's about time. Knowing that, what do you think from seven to four means? Could it mean from seven in the morning to four in the afternoon, do you think? – Alan Carmack May 8 '16 at 10:35
  • @AlanCarmack I think i am confused because of this expression- My client was given a window- what's the meaning of this? – julialee May 8 '16 at 10:49
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A window is a period of time. It probably comes from the main meaning of window: an opening. An "opening" in a schedule is called a window.

A window of seven to four means that the cable guy should arrive to install or repair the cable between 7am and 4pm.

Note: if it's five fifteen pm (5:15pm), then the cable guy is over an hour late.

See also Oxford dictionary, definition 3

window

An interval or opportunity for action.

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  • Worth noting is that seven to four is a rather "big" window, and cable companies are notorious for not-so-friendly customer service. A company more conscientious about their customers' time would try to give a narrower window, such as between 1PM and 4PM. There might be some humor going on in the original quote. – J.R. May 8 '16 at 11:29
  • Yes @J.R., this is true. Decent cable companies have started giving smaller windows (8 to noon, one to five, etc), and mine recently gave me a two hour window (complete with live phone notifications to confirm), so I think it's become more sensitive to the customer, or at least to the recognition that it is better for its bottom line to not keep customers tied down to unrealistically long windows. – Alan Carmack May 8 '16 at 12:09
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As has been pointed out several times, a "window" was originally an opportunity.

The source of the metaphor was probably a service window: a teller's window at a bank, a ticket window at a train station, a betting window at a horse track. While it was open, business could be conducted, but once it shut, you "missed your window".

It was easily extended to situation where circumstances -- particularly weather -- allowed a stretch of time during which a mission or project could be undertaken; too early, and especially too late, the mission or project would fail.

If you imagine a calendar with all the unfavorable dates and times blacked out and the one suitable period left as an unmarked rectangle of blank paper, the idea of a "window" of time becomes unmistakable.

Sadly, the idea of a window has been rather disgustingly reversed by service companies, most notably cable companies. The company declares a "window" that you must keep open, in the hope that their representative will deign to arrive. A window of seven to four (i.e. 7am to 4pm) has gone beyond arrogance to outright insult: the cable guy will arrive sometime that day.

If you're lucky.

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