Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here are some experiments following my inspiration from the remarkable colours and geological features seen in Broome. These prove to me and the world that I have not just been sitting on my bum this last week and a bit. In between my usual babysitting commitments and dabbling in the garden, I have been doing some stuff!
And, of course, our winter in Perth seems to be officially all but over. It is supposed to rain today, but the past week has been gloriously spring-like. Lovely temps in the low twenties and
everything bursted into full bloom already. It has been so ideal for gardening that I just had to get out and remove the 20 bazillion weeds that sprouted whilst I was away and it had poured. (Hah! Good timing, what?) I also lumped over 2 tonnes of black mulch over the garden beds which just about killed me, but looks fabulous and will really help if we end up getting not so much more rain. (Meteorologists are so excited that the dams are at 35% capacity for the first time in yonks and yonks, but looks a bit like follow up is going to die in the arse.)
Now, be prepared for a scorching blast at communications companies! A few months ago I changed my ISP - a general hoo hah in itself - and, as directed by the new people, filled in and sent back a form to have the monthly bill for my broadband direct debited from my bank account. Fine. Next thing, I get back from Broome to discover ALL the mail from that week stuffed into my letterbox and completely soggy despite the fact that my youngest daughter was staying at my house, supposedly to collect the mail each day. But that's another story in itself about her irresponsibility etc. Amongst the wet mail was a nasty letter from said ISP to say they had not received money to pay account and unless they did within seven days, service would be disconnected. Needless to say, that seven days had passed by the time I got the letter in my hands and I had no phone and no internet. The letter went on to note that if I had any questions, I could call a number - BUT FROM A LANDLINE!!!! or I could contact them through their website. HOW????????????????? So. that day (a Friday) I was busy doing 59 loads of washing that had to get draped all over the house because it was still raining, re-stocking my pantry and fridge that had been completely emptied by said daughter and changing my bedlinen after removing all the WET towels off it (every single towel in my house was draped somewhere around the place in some kind of damp state) - all of which led me to a strong suspicion that this young lady had not been here on her own!! (Hence the urgent need for fresh bedlinen) On weekend, no phone, no internet and no way to contact company who keep 9-5 hours weekdays only. On the Monday, I had to drive to my daughter's house (the eldest, married one) and sit on her phone in a queue for 45 minutes until I got some person who really copped it from me, as in "I have done all the right things, blah blah, what the hell....?" She calmly stated that everything was now sorted - the direct debit had been processed and I should go home, turn everything off for 10 minutes, turn back on and everything would work. Which it did. For four days. The next Friday, I try to ring someone - no phone. Try turning on computer and accessing internet - no go. Furious, I go next door and sit on neighbour's phone for 30 minutes in queue and finally have to give up as she had to go out. So this process of using other people's phones and sitting in queues for periods up to an hour at a time continued all week long. Finally, yesterday (Monday) I decided I was just going to wait on my daughter's phone (all day if necessary) until I got hold of a human being. Being cheerfully informed at constant intervals that they were experiencing high volumes of calls and if my call was non-urgent, perhaps I could call back later or maybe try contacting them via their website, was more than merely annoying. Hence after close to an hour when I finally got hold of some poor soul - did he cop it!!The worst part of the whole thing was that he tried to lie to me about the reason for being disconnected. He said it was for non-payment of my account. I explained that was just so much bullshit because of my previous contact with the company. Then he tried to tell me it was probably the fault of the bank. I told him that I very much doubted that, as we were talking about the biggest bank in Australia and I have never had a problem with other direct debit arrangements through them before. He got quite snarky with me when I told him to inform the accounts people that they better not have the audacity to charge me for the week and a bit they had cut me off. "Why is that, madam?" he asked. Because, you moron, none of this is my fault and you did not even have the courtesy of telling me before cutting me off the second time. He insisted it must be a bank problem. I think steam was emanating from my brain by then, but of course, I just wanted my phone and my world back again, so I told him I would be writing to the company about the atrocious customer service, etc, etc. and hung up. At least I have my lifeline reconnected, I suppose and realistically, I guess they probably will charge me and I will get furious and that will take another year off my life expectancy. This might sound melodramatic, but I said to my daughter "Sometimes, I just feel drained by the fact that every single aspect of my life seems like a huge struggle. Why does it have to be that way?" Let's hope there's a payoff somewhere in the future.
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