Monday, 15th August, 2022

[Day 882]

Today was meant to be the day when the temperatures moderated and the possibility of a smattering of rain increased. The weather app on my mobile which is generally quite reliable put the probability of rain at 12.00pm at 90% but it didn’t happen. Thereafter, the time at which we might get a shower was a moving feast being first 6.00pm and then 9.00pm and then, perhaps, tomorrow morning. But the weather is definitely on the change and we look forward to whatever rain we can get, when it comes. This morning, I had intended to pop along to our local branch of a high street bank in order to make an appointment for me to conduct some financial transactions but I thought I would make a quick telephone call to them first in order to make sure that I could make an appointment to make an apppintment. However, the number provided on the web was a national number and instead of getting through to the branch to make an appointment, I finished up doing a lot of the preliminary work over the phone. After waiting for three quarters of an hour on the phone, I was then on the phone for at least another half an hour where basically before I could make the appointment that I wanted, I had to supply a lot of the financial details (not to mention security questions) that would be discussed in the appointment even before I could make an appointment. This sounds excessively cumbersome and I am sure that the banks are trying hard to cover themselves. However, Meg and I were successful in getting through preliminary checks and we now have an appointment made by a real live person in Worcester in about a fortnight’s time. This took a certain amount of pushing but eventually everything worked out the way that I wanted but I do need to supply a lot of the documention that the bank requires several days before the appointment itself. At the end of the day, though, and although it took the best part of a morning, Meg and I are fairly satisfied that when we do have our meeting with a ‘real’ person (instead of doing everything over the phone) everything will be sorted out in the way that we would wish and intend. Meg and celebrated this minor triumph by going down to Waitrose for a cup of coffee and to pick up our copy of The Times, as our regular newsagent is on holiday for a week. Then we had a quick lunch and it was time for telephone marathon Number 2. First thing this morning, I got the correct credit allocated to my new tariff on Tescomobile (whose praises I have been singing recently) with the operative informing me that had been a ‘system error’ But the reaction I got when I wanted my second phone regularising could not be more different and the operative insisted that I had lost my credit by changing tariff, that his colleagues who had put things right for me in the morning had made a mistake in my favour. I asked to speak to a supervisor but none was available and although I kept my cool, basically I got nowhere. So I phone off, phoned in again and got a customer care staff member who could not have ben more helpful, made lots of reassuring noises and then eventually put the credit where it belonged in one or two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Who was actually ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in all of these transactions, I would not to speculate but again, at the end of the day, by being insistent and polite but getting a different operater, I achieved the result to which I think I was entitled. I think I draw no particular lessons from this story unless it is that if you draw a blank with one particular ‘customer care’ assistant,then you can always try another and you may well get a different result. I do resolve, though, not lose my temper despite the evident frustrations and try to not antaganise the person at the other end who is no doubt following a script and does not have the discretion to depart from it.

Meg and I got some washing both pegged out and also taken in which was a bit of a bonus for us. Whilst we were outdoors, I popped down into Mog’s Den and staked up a large buddleja I had purchased last year and half forgotten about. This has now grown to eight feet tall and I think it was sold to me as ‘tri-colour’ plants. Anyway, there are certainly purple and white flowers on it but what the third colour is meant to be, unless it is a type of pink, I cannot say. But it has certainly thrived on neglect – is that why you see it all over railway sidings when you are approaching a train station, I ask myself.