Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Pre-programmed By Their Computer

Q. What is your favourite colour?
A. Sausages.

And so at 8 a.m. I sat at Big Yellow Storage in Finchley, faced by two pleasant young assistants who were hopeless at maths and had to phone someone else who didn't answer their phone to find out how to calculate how much to charge me because their computer couldn't do it.
You see, I had left the rails of normality, and I hadn't ticked a box they'd learned at their training day.
I tried not to faint with anxiety and frustration as they gradually worked it out after the phantom phone was answered.
It took 45 minutes.

Here I am at work, having received what looks like a standard email from Barnet Council after I'd tried twice by phone and twice by email to suspend the parking bays so the removal lorry can park outside my house.
It looks like a standard email because they haven't answered my question- an easy one. I have got visitors parking permits: can't I use those?
Instead, most of the email tells me how awkward I am to leave it so late and they are not sure if they will be able to do this within five working days.
Four working days ago, I phoned them and emailed them, and I'm moving in two working days.
That makes six, I think.

I do hate so much to moan, patient readers.

However, I have spent two years sailing in unfamiliar territory and I live in eternal hope that people who answer the phone at the different organisations I have to contact might feel confident about what they do for a living, and also listen to the questions they are being asked and answer them.

At the  moment I'm savouring half an hour of guilty bliss; my student has not turned up for his tutorial and I should be upset that he has not contacted me.
Instead, I am delighted!
I spent from 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. packing yesterday and there is more to do this afternoon.
This peaceful moment is wonderful.

I have a gig in Leicester with Martin on Saturday, at the Donkey.
I am REALLY looking forward to it.
Something normal, something fun, nothing to do with moving house, nobody will want me to pay them hundreds of pounds and then get whatever it was I paid them for wrong.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's like the character from 'Little Britain', who keeps saying - 'the computer says no'!! I once stood in a shop, proffering 98p, while the assistant wrote down a sum - 49 plus 49 (and yes, she marked the one when she carried it to the next column!!)