Yesterday I had to make a load of phonecalls.

For reasons that I won't go into now [or in the future, for that matter] I had to phone a load of banks, gubmint departments and my old employer.

Whenever I am about do embark on such a dangerous endeavour, I always prepare myself in advance.  I had a notepad with all the questions and figures relevant to each call, a full pipe and a steaming mug of tea.  I began my quest.

I decided to get the gubmint one over first as they are always a pain in the hole – endless menus before you eventually get to someone who tells you you're on to the wrong department and you have to start all over again.  This time however, I got straight onto a very helpful person without going through any menus.  She knew exactly what I wanted and said she'd post me the information straight away.  A fucking miracle if ever there was one.

I had two calls to make to my ex-employer.  The first one was to an extension where I knew the number.  The phone was answered straightaway by a very helpful girl who did my bidding with no problems at all. 

The second call, I didn't know the number so I had to phone the switchboard.  They didn't have a menu as such, just a long dreary message of about five paragraphs which essentially told me how I could phone directly if I knew the extension [and if I knew the fucking extension I wouldn’t be phoning the main fucking switch] and that RTE were sponsors of the Arts or some such crap [like I care?].  Then the whole message was repeated in Irish. Sigh!  Anyhows I got through to the girl who instantly connected me to the right department.  A fucking answering machine!  I phoned the switchboard again [and had to listen to all that bilingual shite again] and told the girl what had happened and could she give me the extension number.  She did, and then said she'd try a different extension for me.  She promptly cut me off.  Fuck that.  I tried the number she'd given me but they must have been on a five hour coffee break.  I left a message for them to phone me.  They never did.

My next call was to my bank.  I got straight through without any hassles, warnings about calls being recorded or keyboard menus.  I got onto a very nice chap who told me I could get what I wanted on-line.  I told him I knew about the online shit but could he please send me the stuff I wanted by post.  He muttered something about emailing me my request and that was that.  I never got the email.

My last call made my day.

I had to phone Rabo Direct which as you probably know is one of those on-line banks.

I dialed the number, got a short message, got straight onto a bloke who dealt with my query almost instantly.

What cheered me most was the message when I first rang.

I am well used to the old crap about "all our calls may be recorded and may be used for training purposes" and I frequently wonder if anyone ever listens to those damn tapes.  I think it's mainly to stop me swearing at people down the phone [not that it does].  Either that or it’s to stop them swearing at me [a fact which I use to great advantage].

Rabo had a slightly different approach though which cheered me greatly.  I can't remember the precise words but the message was short and sweet  It was along the lines of..

"Please be aware your call may or may not be recorded.  We like to keep our staff on their toes".

Nice one!

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A phony afternoon — 12 Comments

    • Heh!  I wasn't sure what you were on about until the last bit.  I'm flattered that you use the site as a speed comparison!  A lot of work went into reducing the load time.  You have also obviously robbed my feed-reader list?!

      I just clicked a link in Farcebook, went for a pee, made a cuppa and the damn thing is still blank and loading!

      Linux Mint 7.2!

  1. Sounds typical. But what really is praying on my alleged mind is what the hell is the dangerous endeavour that won't you explain…ever…anyway?

    • The dangerous endeavour is sitting down to make a series of phonecalls.  It usually results in massive hair loss, a clear and present danger of a heart attack and copious quantities of Prozac.

  2. Sorry if I robbed your feed-reader, but the intention of the video is that farcebook is the only site (of hundreds I use) where the cursor 'seems' to suggest that something (probing?) is running in the background. Linux 17 is an operating system within, or from, the development of the Linux kernel, as used by 'A Pipe and a Keyboard' in your other blog list. By "I hope you approve", I meant that I hoped you wouldn't be upset with my using of your blog page in the video. I have put a 'disclaimer' under the video for this reason. Thanks Headrambles.

    • Heh!  What I meant [about the feedreader] is that we keep track of the same sites. 

      I have no problem whatsoever with you using Rambles for any purpose.  It's a public website and anyone can use it for any purpose [even in their list of 10 Worst Websites?].  The only thing I might have a problem with is plagiarism, but then who would want to claim my content as their own?

      As I said, it's an added bonus that you use the site for speed comparison as I am constantly aware that slow sites are very irritating and off-putting.  I have spent considerable time streamlining the site to remove unnecessary crud.  One tool I use is Website Speed Test which currently reckons that the site loads in 1.04 seconds.  I'm happy with that.  I tried running Facebook through it, but the test failed!  Personally I think Facebook is a nightmare and avoid it where possible.

      My crack about Linux Mint was in reference to your comment saying [I assumed] that you ran Mint 7.0.  I had just upgraded my machine here to Mint 7.2.  Running sweet as a nut!

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