very british problems

So I ordered a batch of Glitterlands with the new cover and my publisher arranged for them to be shipped and, of course, I was out at work so UPS diligently bore these things across an ocean, stared at my door for a while, and then took them away again.

This is basically happens every single fucking time I ask for books from my publisher so I’ve got the strategy honed to a fine art:

  1. UPS take my books away from me
  2. I use their website to ask them to bring my books back
  3. Nothing happens for about a month
  4. I eventually crack and phone them
  5. They agree to deliver my books to my PA during working hours
  6. I finally get my books
  7. There is a small amount of rejoicing because yay books

However, the latest iteration was fraught.

Essentially I live a few roads away from Pigwiggen Road (this is not the name of the road, although now I kind of wish it was) which runs between the city where I live and the town of Pigwiggen, about 8 miles away. The problem is that goods-deliverers tend to react to the name Pigwiggen Road rather than the actual city that is right the hell there, and treat Pigwiggen as if it’s the closest urban centre.

Which is just a pain because while it’s on a direct bus route there’s something slightly bitter-making about taking what can easily amount to a couple of hours of journey to get some stuff that belongs to you that should have been brought to you in the first place. I know this sounds whiny as hell and it’s not like I’ve been sent to Mordor but I don’t have a car and getting to Pigwiggen and then across Pigwiggen genuinely troublesome.

So there’s a kind of on-going tension between UPS and I when it comes to this issue: they believe I should go to a depot in Pigwiggen and I believe I should not.

A month or so ago, I picked up the usual “you suck so we’ve deprived you of your goods” notice for the GL shipment.  The note itself was, err, notably scribbly. I could definitely make out the dreaded words ‘Pigwiggen’ and something else that looked like Aki-something? Aki-what? Oh, whatever. I wasn’t going to try figure out some random UPS drop-off in Pigwiggen.

I sat down at my desk and entered the tracking number and arranged for the parcel to be delivered to work.

I don’t know why I bother going to the UPS website at all, to be honest, because whatever information you put in there just leads them to declare that they are ‘processing’ your package and then they bury it in somewhere in a pit near the centre of the earth. But at the same they’re really insistent you use the website and if you phone them up they subject you to a lot of passive-aggressive “hey valued customer, you know you could do this more quickly and more easily by using our website!” crap.

Which means there’s a kind of tension there as well in that I am almost using the website out of some bizarre form of self-harm so that when I’ve undergone The Ritual of Eternal Processing I can be gently disappointed at the point of communicating with an actual human being.

The worst of it is, there’s … God … I’m not sure if it’s a me thing or a British thing (if it’s a me thing, I should probably retire from public life as of now) where honour and politeness and habit demand you wait through various stages of irritation—on account of not wanting to make a fuss or hassle anyone—until you are way, way beyond what any sane human would recognise as a sensible time frame. Which is why I always end up sitting around for about a month (rather than assuming something has gone wrong at the ‘handful of days’ stage) which means I’ve become increasingly consumed by what is really an incredibly minor issue. Every day I’ll wake up and see ‘processing’ and flip out a little more—which means, of course, being in no way able to express the overwhelming UPS-based rage that is building up inside me like sewage around a dead gerbil trapped in the u-bend.

This in turn means that all my interactions with UPS are so polite it hurts:

Me: I hope you don’t mind me saying, but the thing is I’ve been waiting for this change to address to be processed for rather a long time and I’m just a trifle peeved about it.

Them: Yes, of course sir.

Me: I don’t think you quite understand. As you can see from the computer system, the parcel was initially meant to be delivered on the 11th April and I put through a change of delivery address on the 13th and it’s now the 23rd of June.

Them: Yes, of course sir.

Me: You see what I mean it about it being rather a long time?

Them: Yes, it is a long time.

And then I have to go and have a cup of tea.

Anyway, on Friday I realised I’d crossed the imaginary line in my head, whereupon a service has failed to deliver the barest rudiments of its remit so recognisably and abysmally that it allows me to take action about it. But when I phoned up they were actively shirty with me. Normally, they just—hah hah—process the change of address and agree to re-deliver. This time they ended up ringing the depot and ringing me back and it took the best part of a day in which I received several phone calls, from various people in increasing states of what seemed to be genuine annoyance. In particular, a Portuguese gentleman who spoke to me with frankly bizarre familiarity.

But, y’know, I was super proud of myself. I was very calm but also very firm. I felt almost alpha-like as I refused to let them bully or guilt-trip me into going to Pigwiggen. They were a courier service: it was their job to deliver to me, not mine to come to them.

And, after a day of this, they broke. And very grudgingly agreed to deliver the parcel to my work address, which is on the opposite side of the city to where I live. But way closer than fucking Pigwiggen.

I walked home, steps sharp, head held high. Imagining how I would tell this story to my partner and how impressed H would be with me in my merciless conquest of UPS.

Probably there would be admiring sex to follow.

How could anyone resist me.

And then I passed the paper shop on the corner where Pigwiggen Road turns into mine. (By the way: I’m not sure paper shop means anything to those outside the UK so I believe a more descriptive title would be … convenience store?) It’s a tiny place and quiet, and serves basically an intimate pool of local customers. The Portuguese gentleman who runs it—and with whom I have always been on good terms—was standing in the doorway, arms folded, a scowl on his face.

Gosh, thought I, he must have had a bad day.

At which point my gaze drifted up to the shop sign. Like most paper shops it says things like “tobacco” “papers” “groceries” – one doesn’t really learn the name of one’s papershop. It’s a papershop.

Except in this case I would have done well to because the first thing I saw was a large sign reading AKI.

They weren’t trying to send me to Pigwiggen at all. My parcel was waiting for me at the bottom of my own street.

And I’d spent pretty much the whole of Friday convincing UPS and the nice man who works in my local paper shop to re-deliver a package that was being stored literally one minute from my home to a location about an hour’s walk away.

They must think I’m insane.

Or worse: some weird delivery autocrat who cares more about making some kind of arbitrary point about courier services being the ones to do the delivering than being even remotely sensible.

I am the Christian Grey of UPS.

I am so … hideously embarrassed I do not think I will ever be able to leave the house again.

[hr]

In happier news, I’ve tidied my website up a bit so my books are actually, y’know, on it. There’s still lots of stuff to come but if you like extras there’s lots about Glitterland and Prosperity and I’ll be updating the rest over the next week. I’ve also got a newsletter which I’ve already told everyone about a gazillion times but I’m still excited to have one, so … yeah. Newsletter.

Finally For Real came out earlier this month. Feel free to, um, buy it. If you want.

And finally finally (actually finally): Santino Hassell and I have a Facebook Group which–if you are the Facebook-using sort–you are very welcome to join. We play games and talk about stuff we like and I’m honestly having a blast over there.

 

Hassell and Hall

absurdity, angst

32 Responses to very british problems

  1. Gwen says:

    Sounds a lot like dealing with health care insurance here in America. Except I’ve never ended up being wrong, and I haven’t gotten “you’re fucking awesome for getting the shitty-shitty-stupid-hours-on-the-phone tasks accomplished” sex. I’m usually quite attractive after pulling out my hair for hours.

    My own personal hell would be where we all line up and try to talk to the person at the head of the line, and we’re not sure if we’re in the correct line, oh, and we get to the front and we’re not, so we get sent to another line. Kind of like how they lined thousands of people up for days in New Orleans after Katrina.

    All this bitching to say, I commiserate, and I’m glad you are getting your books.

    For Real was all kinds of awesome. Very heartfelt and… Um… Sexy. I admit, a collegue brough extra lemons from their tree into the staff room, and I saw them and got kind of turned on. Not even lemon meringue pie, just lemons. Well, ok, they were Meyer lemons, mixed with some amazing writing. 😉 I hope the book is doing well.

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Ah, British people practically queue in the womb. Queues make me feel safe. I know exactly what to do in a queue. I think it’s why they say “you are in a queue” when you’re waiting for a call to be answered except it doesn’t work because … they could be lying and you’re actually just in a room in your own … arrrgh.

      Yes, it is National Be Neurotic Day 😉

      I think dealing with any type of service is inherently stressful. *shudders* And healthcare is way more important than courier services.

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed For Real – I’m thrilled at the reception it’s got 😉 And, err, sorry for ruining the lemon for you. I certainly might never be able to make or eat lemon meringue pie again 🙂

  2. Gwen says:

    New pages on your website. Yay! A wee little editing thing… For Real’s header on the blurb page is the same as Glitterlands. It wants it’s very own header.

  3. Beverley Jansen says:

    Hmm I think I need a blog to rant about my 21st C problems too. I, like you, am so – well – English that I apologise for finding errors in the first place. I internalise the increasing rage until I actually have angry dreams – I suppose there has to be an outlet – the terrible things I did to the occupants of the ‘Orange’ call-centre in India are too horrible to contemplate, again.

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Oh I always apologise for finding errors. I watch myself do it and I’m like ‘what the hell is wrong with you?’ I tend to apologise for complaining as well. And, sometimes, for apologising.

      I think it’s just British passive-aggressive: I am sorry you failed to do your job 😛

      I have had terrible, terrible experiences with Orange. And now I am with Vodafone and I have only mildly upsetting experiences. So I call that a win.

  4. EE Ottoman says:

    I think it’s interesting that UPS takes your packages away if your not at home. They’ve always just dumped my packages on my stoop and taken off. Do you need to sign for the books?

    I hate things like these where something goes wrong and you need to call. I’m always convinced I’m somehow in the wrong even when it’s clearly them and I tend to put it off for far too long. Plus I hate talking on the phone, and being on hold on the phone, and basically just phones in general.

    So in general I think this is one of my nightmare situations. Probably fort the best UPS has only ever abandoned my packages and not taken them back.

    • Alexis Hall says:

      I think they’re signed for yes…. Honestly I’d much rather they dumped them on my doorstep. Nobody is going to steal ten copies of GLITTERLAND – or if they did, they’d be pretty disappointed.

      Amazon went through a stage of using a particularly batshit delivery company. I remember a friend telling me they’d left a package for him *under the wheel of his car*. So naturally, not expecting to find a package under the wheel of his car, he reversed over it.

      May I should put a sign on my door “Abandon all packages ye who would deliver here” 🙂

      Sorry you find these kind of negotiations miserable as well. *small neurotic hi-five*

  5. PeggyL says:

    Your postal service experience, though funny and hysterical, is hardly unique. I fully empathise and sympathise.

    Apparently the Portuguese gentleman *knows* you but you didn’t know that his “paper shop” was more than a “convenience store”, and that was really unfortunate.

    I am dying to learn what H has to say about this incident.

     p.s. Your newsletters still elude me.

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Yes, I’m a bad person 🙁 I feel bad for not recognising him but … it’s just not the sort of connection you’d make in the middle of a tense negotiation with UPS.

      I suspect H will laugh at me. As usual.

      I haven’t sent a newsletter since the last time. I was trying not to spam people 🙂

  6. Susan Ford says:

    Why don’t you change your address with Riptide to be your work address? Or make sure they ship books to your work address?

    I have a bit of the same problem with packages, but I have to go back into town (I’m on a country road) and I hate it when folks send me things “signature required” as there’s no one home. But no one can see my porch from, well, anywhere, so I always leave instructions to leave it on the porch.

    It works about 50% of the time.

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Omg, check out you with your sensible advice, what the heck 😛 The thing is, while I’m whinging about it, it’s not actually a massive deal and it’s not like I have so many books coming to me, since I publish at most twice a year.

      A 50% success rate is not bad for deliveries. I would count that a win.

      And, yes, given I live in a goddamn city and it’s hell, I have no idea how people in rural areas ever receive anything.

  7. Pam/Peejakers says:

    Omg, you poor darling! I’m so sorry, I am torn between laughing my head off & wanting to hug you. You made the story so damned entertaining, but then I got to the end & was like ohhhh nooooo!!! I can picture your dawning horror as you saw the name on that sign & thought. “That Portuguese gentleman . . . who spoke to me with frankly bizarre familiarity . . . oh god, it all makes such terrible sense now . . . aaiieee!!”

    And talk about the universe playing a dirty trick! I mean, the one time they actually hold the shipment at the place they probably *should* have been holding them all along, *of course* they scribble so you can’t read it & of course you’re going to assume it’s in the *town* of Pigwiggen, like *every other damn time*, not Pigwiggen the road at the end of yours, and *of course* that place happens one you frequent with a proprietor who knows you . . . good grief, it’s like, a conspiracy or something, I’m telling you, lol –

    Seriously, I feel for your embarrassment! Here’s that ((hug)). Can you talk to the paper shop gentleman, maybe, apologize & explain? Or is there a language barrier? Oh dear, if you can, I kind of think you *have* to. Otherwise, I can just see you avoiding the place for the rest of your life, going to some *other* inconveniently located paper shop instead of the one you walk by every day, muttering darkly about UPS the whole way . . .

    Plus, you know, don’t you, that now this has happened, UPS will *always* hold your shipments at this paper shop, forcing you to go into it & endure his glare . . . Um, yeeaahh, really, I think you have to talk to him 😛

    Also, that’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of nonsense to put up with, especially over & over. What I really can’t get over is that month of inactivity after you contact them. Wtf, that’s *crazy*! I know what you mean about the passive aggressive voice messages though. I was listening to one the other day, over & over & over, not from UPS but someone else, & I’m yelling at the recording “no I *can’t* do this more easily on your website, I already tried that!” It’s really infuriating.

    We have had a similar experience with UPS involving prescription meds for my husband, shipped from a mail order pharmacy, minus the long delay. Same deal, they attempt delivery when we’re at work & then take it away. We come home to a note on the door, saying to contact them. We’ve never tried having them deliver at work. Hubs doesn’t work in an office, so that isn’t practical, & if it came to where *I* work, I fear a mix-up as his name would be on the package, not mine. I have zero doubt some idiot would go “nobody by that name works here” & send it back! So, we always tell them to hold it at the UPS terminal. It’s about a 30 minute drive across town, inconvenient, but luckily we *do* have a car, so we can drive there to pick it up, & it’s usually resolved in a day or two at most.

    Could you possibly just have your publisher ship these books directly to your office in the first place, avoiding all the madness?

    • Alexis Hall says:

      I will try to apologise to the Portuguese gentleman but when the realisation struck I was so profoundly embarrassed I had to run away 🙂 And I’ve been cowering in my house for the weekend so … maybe when I next run out of milk? But yes it was this awful moment of Aki … OH MY GOD. All the pieces fitting horribly into place.

      I promise I’m okay. I mean, it is funny (as well as excruciating) which is why I wrote about it 🙂

      And there is an alternative paper shop but it is further away and … it seems as just adding injury to insult if I not only mess this poor guy around but then I stop spending money in his shop.

      Also I am really annoyed when website-stuff doesn’t work the way it should. I mean, everyone is right, it is WAY easier to type stuff into a website than phone up and argue with people … but what’s the point if the website doesn’t do what it’s supposed to? Gah! Gah, I say!

      The thing is, while I am in the office fairly often, I’m in schools more. So while I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be all like “hey, we don’t recognise this [REAL NAME] guy” and send it back, it could be a while before I was in. And I’m honestly terrified the package might be damaged or open and … someone would see and be all like “Why has [REAL NAME] ordered ten books by this Alexis Hall – Ommmmeeeegeee…” and etc. 🙂

  8. KJ Charles says:

    I have similar problems with UPS. They come once to my door, run away without ringing the bell, and then dump the books at a dry-cleaners 2.5 miles away. NB that there is a UPS collection point at the end of my road. So on the last occasion, after the second ‘we called but you were out’ card put through the door *while I was in the kitchen*, I phoned them, in a very unBritish way, and said I wanted a call back with apology and confirmation of delivery to my house BY NOON OR HEADS WILL ROLL.

    This was in late April, at the time of a hard fought general election in which the foul protofascist UKIP were campaigning in my area. So, I got a phone call:

    Hi, Mrs Charles, this is UKIP [my London borough]
    Me: … did you say UKIP?
    Her: Yes, that’s right, UKIP.
    Me: Get off my phone and never ever call me again.
    Her, laughing in a startled way: Right, whatever.

    Shortly thereafter my publisher contacted me to say UPS had informed them I had refused delivery of all books forever, and this was a massive problem for them and what was I playing at. I phoned UPS in a spitting rage. Long story short, it turns out that the acronym UPS use for their North London delivery and fulfilment centre is UKEP (for Express Point, I think) and it took me a full week to get the self-imposed block on my account lifted. How we laughed.

    • Pam/Peejakers says:

      Omg, that’s absolutely hysterical! “Refused delivery of all books forever”! But why on earth do they run away without ringing the bell?! *boggles* It makes no sense, they just run up there, leave the note & leave? If it wasn’t for the note, I’d wonder if they weren’t just going straight to the depot & dumping all packages with no pretense of actual delivery!

    • Becky Black says:

      An understandable mistake. 😀

    • Alexis Hall says:

      I’m so sorry.

      But.

      I laughed.

      And then read it to my partner, who also laughed 🙂

      I do feel vaguely reassured that it’s not just me who gets into these terrible tangles. And I’m equally reassured that being assertive and angry is just as unsuccessful as being passive aggressive and polite.

      • KJ Charles says:

        I don’t blame you for laughing, although I will say it took about three weeks for me to see the humour in it. The un-self-blocking process was horrific, they kept going, “Sorry, we can’t contact you because we have been advised we’re not allowed to” and I was like THAT WAS ME, I DIDN’T MEAN IT, I THOUGHT YOU WERE CANVASSING FOR NEO NAZIS.

        I did say, “Do you not think maybe say ‘UPS Express Point’ instead of ‘UKEP’ what with there’s an election, and the lady said, ‘Why?’

        • Beverley Jansen says:

          I’ve just read these comments by KJ Charles – nearly drowned in coffee whilst laughing- and decided I would read her interpretation of a (now really tiny??) telephone directory. Of course the worst thing is that UKIP still do not know how much KJ Charles’, author extraordnaire, deplores them 🙁

  9. jeannie says:

    I know how you feel only too well. I’m in UK too, in a tiny village and the UK postcode system throws out some glitches. such as giving me an NR11 code, and the towns each side are NR25, NR26, NR 27 – the 11 code refers to the city 30 miles away, but there’s a long thin stretch under the 11 code stretching right down to the coast where I am. Add in that I’m on a dead end slip road and …..well, how many times have i been told to just nip in and pick up a parcel at “the depot”. 30 miles away, no thanks, especially as i can’t drive any more. Fortunately most drivers now know where I am, and i try to add as much info on labels as possible but there’s still the odd one. I hate that “have you looked in our website ” message too – who phones now if the info can be found online – we only phone when its not there…
    Loved For Real, and have added my review to blog this morning. somehow it got missed off my book chart release dates but after seeing your post I’ve caught up and cross posted review albeit a few weeks late ( blush – sorry)

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Clearly postage and delivery across England are as a whole are totally fucked 😛 It’s a wonder anyone gets anything ever. I’m slightly consoled to hear it’s not just me though. Also, yes, lack of integration between website and phone type services really infuriates me, especially if they’re pushing you to use the website and the website doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.

      I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed FOR REAL 🙂 Also please don’t worry about when your reviews go up – it’s your blog. I’m honestly just happy when someone likes the book 🙂

  10. Sofia says:

    OOps. One of those moments. Sometimes self righteous anger bouys me up and gives me the necessary armour to go out and conquer than something like this happens and I slink away deflated 😀

    • Alexis Hall says:

      Yes. That is the worst feeling… the self-righteous build up that makes you feel you can totally do anything … and then the sinking realisation that it’s all gone horribly wrong.

  11. Becky Black says:

    There I was chuckling and relating to the story and then came The Twist and I about died. I suppose you have to act very sheepish in that papershop now, if you dare go in at all!

    • Alexis Hall says:

      I really do need to go and be apologetic I think…

      I mean I never want to talk to another human again as long as I live but I think if I never bought things in his shop again, that would somehow be bad.

  12. Anne says:

    ask your publisher to send them USPS PRIORITY INTERNATIONAL instead of UPS. They will attempt to deliver to your door TWICE, before requiring you come get the item at the local post office. Hopefully this will solve your problem. They ONLY require you to come get them if the sender checks REQUIRES SIGNATURE, or if a DUTY/CUSTOMS tax fee is required, otherwise they will LEAVE them there for you at your address [is my experience –this is allowing for the fact I have only had about 8 international sales, but they have ranged from Canada to Australia from the U.S., so hopefully that counts.]
    I NEVER use UPS for any international shipments [or local for that matter] of my own, so I have no useful helpful tips for you, but I have NEVER had a problem with USPS PRIORITY INTERNATIONAL. And as far as I know, the rates are about the same – so it *should* be worth a shot.
    ~Anne

  13. Jody-Anne says:

    When I read Glitterland not long after it first came out it was on my Kindle(the non back lit, like a page sort…none of this new tech stuff, I want like a book…..but BOOKS I can by cheaper, & online) and at the the end there was a link to your website, which I clicked on…because I was smitten with your writing. It came up in shades of grey on my little screen and I could not navigate with my up/down buttons. Never followed through when I got on a non-work computer to find you. Shame, I could have been following you for ages!!! Never did review Glitterland either, was a bit daunted by what I felt after reading it to put it in words, re read it again just recently, and again have Darians voice in my fucking head, who sounds like Russell Brand. I have an I-Pad now, mini..and her name is Minni, the difference in what I can do while reading (what does this mean? Is this a real place..oh,Google Maps it…..the Love for Minni is real)

    Anyway, last week I was ill, had read For Real over the weekend (almost not, BDSM OH NOT AGAIN, WITH ALL THE Master, and dungeons, and please Sir…..and because, well, I have 19 yr old gay son. But I started gay romance when he was he bi….and I don’t read it to understand him better, I just enjoy the stories in a different way, and while dark haired, the physical resemblance stops there. I have an older boy, and that did not stop me reading about younger m/f romances…blah blah…anyway, almost did not). So glad I did, loved the different voices, this time from the age not the dialect (nom. All the noms……cause, Reasons!!!!! So, at the end, a link to your website, and I started at the first blog the most recent before this one, read all the comments, and worked my way back doing the same…….LOVED IT. Made my day, brought up memories, Have questions!

    Malice Cat!!! What happened when you moved?

    Are you on the flood plain, like in Waiting for the Flood (sweet story by the way…..my favourite line is at the end of Edwin talking to Adam and saying…..I feel like I’ve spent my whole life waiting to speak. And Adam says…speak to me…….ahhhhh!) or was that the Poet Rd place?

    Talking to a stranger for 10 mins ….when my older boy was in Yr 11 they had a Ball. Parents of his friend group were invited to a house to take pictures beforehand. As a full time working mother, and he went to school in a different zone,only knew his girlfriend of the time’s parents, who were busy being hosts. So, had some cit chat with people, who moved away when they went to greet new comers who all seemed to know each other, watched, and then someone arrived, and I thought, Hooo I know you, you are interesting and nice. My face broke into a big smile, my hand went up for a wave….and he glanced at me and turned back to the people he was being greeted by. Oooh, Rude….. At the same time my brain began to recognise WHY I thought I knew him. He was someone I watched on a TV program on ABC on a weekly basis, that was filmed in Melbourne. I Knew he lived here, my son was in a friend group with his daughter, in Perth., but my first impression was, WE know each other. Moved over to a verandah post and pretended to be a vine for the remainder.

    Courier Services…..read this post and ohhh, poppet. You have hopefully by now gone to your local and made good. A good local anything is somewhere you want to stay friendly with. I do not have a similar tale, but a similar feeling with the phone calling. I work In a company that courier a lot of things to our stores nationwide. I enter stuff into the courier website, generate the labels etc. and then wastold the storeman has miscounted one. I have entered that there are 5 cartons, there are only 4. Try to change it on the website….no option to. So call them. Listen to AlLL the options before picking one, am on hold listening to the loudest, deathly music for ages, cannot put on speaker phone it is that loud, get to someone who cannot help me, puts me through to a department! hear the phone change dial tone several times as it hunts at different phones….and then disconnects. So, call again, this time using what the previous girl told me, after listening to all 8 options, choose 8′ then option 5, then option 2, then option 1. Get Switchboard, who tells me the first operator was correct and she will put me through. I hear the phone make different tones as it moves through a group hunt..desk to desk….and then disconnects. I call again…..if this is not fixed it will cause PROBLEMS, maybe not leave my site, and certainly not from the depot… Option 8, 5 etc, end up at switchboard, tell her that what has occurred… She will put me through right now….the phone makes different tone as it moves from desk to desk, and disconnects. By this stage I Have moved from wtf to I am ready to kill. Call again, Option 8, option 5 etc, get switchboard, I think she is surprised because when I say…Iam here AGAIN….she recognises my voice., and maybe recognises Woman On The Edge Of A Nervous Breakdown. I say, “Sweetie, this is my 4th time trying to fix our mistake. The phones where you and the other lady tried to put me through to are obviously not manned. I am not happy”. This is me being extremely angry, while still keeping a Civil Tonge in my Head. There may or my not have been a fuck in that sentence, or fucking…..I think I was Civil, but memory distorts.

    She put me on hold, cue godawful loud music, but did not bring me back, from what i was now sure was the inner circle of Dante’s inferno, until she had a physical person on the other end. Who did apologises profusley, and sent me his email address and waited until I had received it, fixed my problem in the mean time, asked me to email him so that it was in writing.

    50 minutes from my first call, having literally felt like I was having a brain meltdown, my anger and adrenaline were so high, as well as my bloodpressure (which is normally….normal) could feel it in all my body, I called time out and went and had a cigarette to calm the fuck down.

    Loved your blog, on my sick day you went to the loo with you very often (TMI?) and then I followed your links to Wonkmance, and QRM, read all the posts to that from all contributors. Very informative, funny and interesting. As is your blog. Thought provoking in the way that you write. Not this one, this was a whine, a first world but still shitty thing that occurs to you. But quite a few of your posts have caused me to give pause, sometimes a long pause…..and think.

    Happy writing, I hope your hobby never becomes a chore because of the realities of publishing.

    Xx J-A

  14. Kim says:

    I was so with you and thought oh yeah your partner will be proud then boom ~ the paper store I just could not help but laugh I really would have loved to been a fly on the wall as you told him what happened ~ but seriously u r not the only one like this especially with how postal service they always pass my state then backtrack makes no sense but they do ~ hey atleast u didn’t go postal as we say here

  15. Sherrylyn says:

    Highlight of my day. I laughed out loud (literally). It is like dealing with the Comcast cable here. But more polite

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