Everything is broken

Not working is fab. I’m deep into a detailed study of pottering and associated day filling without vocation. I could honestly continue such important work until I retire, but have yet to find a way to fund that lifestyle.

But it’s not all beer, skittles and binging on ˜orange is the new black’ boxsets. Oh no, I am now the man about the house dealing with things. Important things. Since my last proper day in an office. most of the utilities under this roof appear to have stopped working. For some reason, I feel responsible although my contribution appears only to pay experts to explain that they don’t know why it isn’t working either.

Firstly the ground-source heating system ground to a halt. It’s all very complicated. And expensive. So far one man came out and charged me a whole load of money to tell me he didn’t know what was wrong with it. Thankfully a more local and rationale fella has it in hand and shall hopefully bring it back to life through plumbing skills/sacrificing a chicken this Friday. Until then we’ll all smell a bit. Or in my case a bit more.

Still we’ve got the Internet so all is not lost. Except it is. The Internet that is. I spent nearly twenty years immersed in the world of digital communications, successfully hooking up far flung outposts of the world with fibre, copper and satellites. I tell you this only to demonstrate some competence at diagnosing this sort of problem.

Showcasing that knowledge to BT did however in no way short cut the hour long monologue, switched between three departments who’d obviously never spoken to each other before. And that doesn’t include the 15 minutes being harangued by the automated system which finally diagnosed the problem as me, and terminated the call.*

After another indeterminable number stabbing extravaganza, I was surprised to be connected to a real, cheery human. This is the short edit of a very long and painful conversation which followed.

Me: The problem is at the exchange. Let’s save us both some time by failing to find any issues whatsoever in my house.

BT: Yes Sir, can we just check the 937 settings on your router first. And then turn it off and on again. That’s what it says on this sheet.

Me: They are digging up the bloody road, there are men in trenches wielding large plier like tools. The are cables being chucked onto our road with apparently wild abandon. They must be fighting a tiger in there such is the violence of destructive activity.

BT: Really sir, do you have a spare DSL filter?

Me: I appreciate you have to go through this script, but statistically five blokes standing by a trench looking concerned is more likely to be the root of the problem wouldn’t you say?

BT: Thank you sir, there’s a fault on your line, you’re being transferred to the correct department.

Me: What to the department that told me an hour ago, there was no line fault and I had to call you? That department? Right. Good.

Hold Music, silence and then:

BT: Hello Sir, are you having a good day?

Me: Honestly, not really

BT: Very good sir, glad to hear it, now can you explain the problem to us FROM THE BEGINNING

Me: It’s anger issues, I’m going to set fire to the exchange if I have to go through it all again. Don’t make me do it

BT: Excellent Sir, the line isn’t very good. Can I call you back on your mobile?

Me: This is my mobile. The landline is kaput, that’s why you’re speaking to me on the mobile

BT: Very good sir, good point, we can tell you there is a fault on your line

Me: Really, wow, what awesome diagnostics you have there

BT: Yes Sir, we do, now we can send an engineer to look at the cabling in the house

Me: No please don’t do that, go and send someone with an nail-y stick to beat the crap out of trenchmanâ„¢ and his amazingly lackadaisical cable splicing regime.

BT: Ah humour sir, very good. In fact we don’t need to send anyone to your house as the fault is between you and the exchange

¦. Silence¦

BT: Are you still there

Me: Yes, yes just penning my suicide note

BT: Very good sir, well our SLA is 3 days so we’ll have you back up and running by Thursday evening

Me: <Horrified> I have teenage children they will report me to Childline or demand we move to a hotel if I plunge them into media povety.

BT: Ah hah sir, very good but don’t worry we’ll have it all fixed up for you by Thursday

AL: Well that absolutely marvelous. Stunning service. Just the 65 minutes on the phone to be told something I already knew, after performing a list of pointless tasks worthy of some kind of reality jungle TV crap and now you’re telling me it’s going to take your three days to de-trench the cretin at the exchange and get someone in with half a brain and a crimping tool <and breathe>

BT: Thank you sir, we appreciate your call today, would you like to complete a short survey?

I didn’t. In case the receiving software exploded. So now we have no hot water and no phone and no broadband. I expect the electricity to be downgraded to all the equipment you need to stand under a lightening storm*, the postman to be eviscerated under some fast moving farm equipment, and the remainder of the house undergo some kind of ˜we’re not in Kansas anymore’ transformation.

At least the fridge is currently still working. And in there is a bottle marked therapy. I’m starting to think this is God’s way of making me get another job.

* The ramifications of selecting the ˜lowest cost bidder’ are here for all to see. It may be all technology driven digital services but firms like BT seem to forget the customer is still entirely analogue.

** bucket of water, old television aerial, last Will and Testament, identifiable shoes

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