Sunday, September 15, 2013
BT Phone Home - Sunday
‘Don’t start that now.’ Urges my wife. ‘We are going out shortly.’ And a voice that must be my own, because it’s coming from me, replies.
‘It shouldn’t take long.’
What am I thinking of?
I’ve suffered the ridicule of the younger members of my team for months now, over the laughable antiquity of my mobile. I was one of the first, in the eighties, to have a car phone. A big brick of a Motorola that sat in the centre console and made me feel like a smart-suited yuppie. I had more hair and less stomach back then and wasn’t embarrassed to be driving a Ford Orion Ghia. A motor that screamed Estate Agent, even before sign-writing the sides with a company logo became a marketing man’s wet dream. Times change, but not my phone apparently. Upgrade required.
‘You know you’ll only get agitated if you talk to a call centre in India.’ Warns my wife, tapping her wristwatch.
‘The website says you can change phone and tariff, quickly and easily.’ I say doggedly, knowing even as I spout them, the words are a nonsense. I must have the memory of a goldfish.
‘You can’t.’ She says, walking away. I think I hear the kettle go on.
As I stare at the computer screen, my resolve is wavering with the raft of options supposedly available, if I can just get past the automated answering service. Then a little box pops up. Would I like an instant messenger style chat with an advisor? Damn straight I would. I click on the link. Probably won’t have time for the cuppa now, I think, smirking towards the kitchen. Oh hubris, you cruel avenger.
Hi this is Sunny here. May I have your name? Announces a distant keyboard. I don’t like revealing that sort of information readily, out of hours, but I accede.
Thank you (inserts my name) Now how can I help? By not using my first name when you don’t really know me, I snarl under my breath.
‘What was that dear?’ Comes a disembodied voice, before adding. ‘Tea or coffee?’
Trouble is I know how costly divorces can be – and the bloke never gets to keep the house.
I inform Sunny – yeh right – of my need to upgrade both phone and call plan. I’m going to need some sort of data allowance too, according to sons and staff alike.
Ok (inserts my name) can we start with some security questions? The regret is burgeoning and my ancient Nokia beside me is looking a little wounded.
Ten minutes of time-lagged questions and increasingly irate answers and I crack.
‘For f***s sake. I don’t know the first and third numbers on my bank sort code you Mumbai minger!’
‘I hope you didn’t send that.’ Cautions my wife, appearing at my side with a steaming mug, to match the one sitting by the computer. I tell her no. I can’t type that fast.
‘Only it’s unfair and racist.’
‘I didn’t type it.’ I plead. I’ve been on enough courses to know what you can’t say.
‘They are only doing their job.’ Continues my wife irritatingly. You don’t want the truth - or logic - when you are raging at the machine.
Are you still there? Asks Sunny. Yep, no rope available and probably couldn’t fashion a noose anyway. I failed my knot-making badge at Cubs. Still not sure if a hitch-kick is a high jump technique, or a way of ensuring your canoe doesn’t float away in the night.
JUST TELL ME MY OPTIONS. I type with keyboard breaking ferocity.
Thank you (still inserts name).
Don't thank me just answer.
What phone do you have now?
‘Jesus. Surely they know that? I’ve given them my sexual orientation and shoe size.’
‘Calm down.’ Says my wife before adding – rather unnecessarily. ‘I told you that you didn’t have time for this now.’
I punch end call with relish and Sunny sinks below some distant horizon.
‘That was rude.’ Chides my wife.
Not as rude as the satisfaction survey that popped up for me to answer, seconds later.
New phone yet?
Put it this way - don’t try to Face Time me….
Old school writing with new-fangled ebook download. Trust me, it's easy: