"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Sunday and Monday

So off we went again on Sunday, forth into the wilds of north west Wales, where Radio 4 and Radio Cymru battle it out for supremacy of the airwaves and, luckily for me, Radio Cymru wins. We got to listen to a couple of hours of Welsh language radio, which is useful for me because, even when I only pick up a word or two here or there, I can get the gist of what is being said a little more easily these days.

And thence to Monday, when I seem to have spent the whole day doing battle with one 'jobsworth' after another.
I have a ongoing feud with Direct Line car insurance, who have insisted on seeing written proof of the immobiliser on the car, refused to accept it when I did send it and are very dilatory in returning it and the other documentation I sent them. This is the very short version of events and has been ongoing since the end of April.
It took me most of the day and several attempts to speak to someone at Direct Line because they were 'experiencing very high volumes of calls' and, it being an 0845 number, I wasn't anxious to hang on waiting for too long.
Next was a letter from Bosch. Would we please check our dishwasher as they thought it could be one of those which is in danger of spontaneously combusting. (We've had it for nearly 10 year, so it's taken them a while to discover this). Tried to book an engineer's appointment of the website but it wasn't having any, so I had to phone. "All of our operatives are busy at the moment but we will get to you as soon as possible," the voice intoned, but at least it was an 0800 number, so free. Oh, and the website wouldn't let me make an appointment because it didn't recognise the address. It's North Wales, for Pete's sake, not Outer Mongolia!
But the best encounter of the day was good old Royal Mail.
Keith had bought me a camera from an Ebay seller (nice man that he is!), which hadn't arrived. On emailing the seller, he was sent a tracking number and, lo and behold, the postman had apparently tried to deliver on the expected day. 
I rang the local office. I worked hard to convince the man on the phone that, no we hadn't been left a 'you were out' card and no, it wasn't possible that someone had hidden it, eaten it or otherwise disposed of it. Well, he couldn't understand that at all (and he certainly wasn't going to apologise) but, yes they had the parcel there. I arranged for delivery today and then mentioned the ongoing problem I have with persuading the postmen to take advantage of the new option of leaving parcels with neighbours rather than taking them back to the depot.
"Oh well, it's not up to the postman to find  a neighbour to take it it," he said. 
"Well yes, actually it is under the new scheme." I replied.
"Oh well, I'm not sure if that's actually in place," he said.
"Yes, it is," I said. I tried to tell him that I have mentioned it a few times recently when having to collect parcels from the depot and one lady even made a note of my complaint to pass on to the manager. However, he insisted on talking over me.
"I'm not going to argue with you," he said, "Your parcel's here and we'll deliver it tomorrow."
I am left thinking, not for the first time, that maybe privatisation of Royal Mail can't come soon enough!


Cro Magnon said...

If I behaved like most of these bloody 'jobsworth' people, I'd never sell a thing.

Jennyta said...

Beggars belief, doesn't it, Cro?

ZACL said...

Oh dear Jennyta... all of that is really trying.

I declined to insure with Direct Line because of their heavy risk averse requirements. The operative was left trying to negotiate how I might reach their requirements at my great expense (more than the annual insurance fee) during the time the quote could be left open for me. Reading your experiences, I am glad 'fate' stepped in for me.

Your local P.O. is odd. I know that there are variations in how areas work. Generally though, our experience of the Post Office is very positive, they beat nearly all the couriers - there's one excellent courier - hands down. We'd fare really badly without the post office.

David Oliver said...

For some reason I had missed this post and sorry I did because I can relate. All our numbers are free to call, at least I've never run across one that wasn't. Even so, the last four digits of all the numbers could be 9248


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