Written by James on 26th Nov, 2005
Welcome to what seems to be becoming a weekly round-up of my exciting life. This week breaks new barriers in exciting and tension, so much so that I am negotiating the rights to the screenplay of my life with several major Hollywood studios.
Let’s begin with work. Following the e-mail catastrophe of Monday calm has been restored. Unfortunately yet another oversight on my part, involving the convoluted way that records were imported from the old database to the new, means that 1,600 e-mails were generated (but not sent thankfully) to all the people in the database, rather than a select few (around 300). Easily fixed, but still irritating.
On the business front, I have come to a major realisation. I hate programming. I really am thoroughly lacking in motivation for working on the new billing software that we NEED in order to move anything forward. I just end up writing two lines of code then getting distracted by something else. That’s not to say I’m not enthusiastic about the business generally, I enjoy pretty much every other aspect. But this particular project is driving me mad – I hate wasting time, and that’s what I feel I’m doing. From one week to the next I make so little progress it’s almost not worth bothering.
Hopefully I’ll have a breakthrough soon and it’ll be finished in no time, then I can get on with the interesting stuff.
The other reason for work grinding to a halt was a slight hiccup on the ADSL front. On Wednesday I was supposed to be getting upgraded to 8Mbit, which was rather exciting. It didn’t quite pan out like that though – they managed to disconnect me from the old service, it was just connecting to the new one that posed the problem. Following four calls to Freedom2Surf on Thursday (each time I was promised someone would call back within an hour, nobody did), they sent me an e-mail (did they think this through?). Here it is verbatim:
It is with regret that I must inform you that your regrade to our `MAX` speed
service is currently delayed.
This product is currently supplied via a different wholesaler to your current
service and thus we must transfer the connection to the new wholesaler.
The reason for the delay is because there has been `Asbestos` found within the
Acton telephone exchange meaning it is not currently a safe environment for
engineers to work. BT Wholesale has disconnected your current service in
readiness for the change to the new speed due on the 23rd, however this connection
could not be made as engineers cannot access the Acton exchange.
You are thus left in Limbo. We appreciate this is a very unsatisfactory position to
leave you in but currently we cannot reconnect either your previous connection nor
the new connection until around the 30th November when the asbestos should have been
Please accept our sincere apologies for this, we will aim to reconnect you to our
`MAX` speed service as soon as possible.
You can imagine my joy at this. So I sent a fairly abrupt, perhaps even rude, reply back to them explaining quite clearly that “unsatisfactory” was a huge understatement. And then, unannounced, it all started working at 8MBit late yesterday. Interesting. Still, I would have to say Freedom2Surf are to be avoided – they’re not that cheap, they’re support staff are useless (constantly promising to call back and then never do), you have to wait in a queue listening to panpipe moods for 20 minutes every time you call (what is the point of panpipe moods? All they do is wind me up, which is the complete opposite of their intention!), and evidently they’re dealing with wholesalers and BT which means nothing is ever their fault.
While I’m on the customer service rant, Orange can have a slap as well. Anticipating just this kind of ADSL nightmare, I bought one of their 3G datacards for my laptop. Which would be great – but it doesn’t bloody work. Finding any kind of 3G signal is nearly impossible, and given I’m in London I would have thought if I can’t get it here then it’s pretty much doomed. Meanwhile the software is so poorly written that it only works one time in ten, and you end up constantly restarting and reinserting the card until it finally works.
It’s a fantastic piece of technology, but it just doesn’t bloody work! And all Orange ever say is “well 3G is still very new and is being developed” – so why are they getting people to pay for it?!
It just really winds me up (or grinds my gears for Family Guy fans) when companies provide poor products and poor service. For some reason consumers in this country can regularly expect to be treated like crap and just take it. I’m not talking about outright cons or rip-offs, just rubbish service that makes life that little bit harder and more complicated. It’s no wonder nothing ever gets done.
I would normally now move on to the weekly “More reasons not to shop at Morrisons”, but I couldn’t face it this morning so I can’t comment. But in today’s Guide magazine in the Guardian they have their own little rant about the supermarket from hell, so read that if you need a fix.
My other rant this week is George Best. Whilst it’s obviously a tragedy when anyone loses their life, the hysteria over this one is ridiculous. This is someone who drank themselves into their own grave, and given his numerous drink-driving incidents it’s a miracle he didn’t kill anyone else. Yes, he was a footballing legend (and in a time when they weren’t so grotesquely overpaid), but frankly I have very little sympathy for the situation that he got himself into, not least because there are probably plenty of people who could have made much better use of his donor liver.
Rest in peace, but why on earth should we care more about this alcoholic than we do about, for instance, the policewoman who was killed last week. I’m hesitant to blame the media as I hate it when people do that, but I think there are some serious errors of judgement on this story.
Moving on…. oh, that’s it. I just need to decide what to do with myself for the rest of the day. I could do some work (at least the lack of ADSL was a good excuse for not doing that), but I think I might end up just reading the paper and watching TV. Not terribly productive, but what the hell – even if I try to work I probably won’t be productive, so why bother pretending.
There, wasn’t that exciting. You probably need to have a lie down now to recover.