I’m here! Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto Facebook, Twitter or any other social platform where my ramblings appear, well I have kiboshed that!
Yes, I am here.
Apologies to anybody, if there is anybody, who has missed my ramblings well I am here.
I do often worry that nobody reads my drivel but I have been reassured that people have been looking at the EIOT website in my absence. I assume to see if there are any new posts, but it could be just to check that the coast is clear and hope that maybe I have disappeared into the ether.
Well, I am back. Yeap, I have had some time out. I have been really rather busy doing some other things. Nothing exciting and I am sure reference will be made to them in due course, but in the meantime it is time for a catch up.
So what has been going on?
Well, I seem to recall that my last EIOT post was pre-child depositing back at school when I was getting ready to climb aboard Lufthansa luxury. What a refreshing change it was too.
Yeap, an immaculately clean aeroplane, sweet smelling and departing bang on time – down to the second – and arriving on time. Polite staff, ever open drinks trolley, (alas I was driving on arrival – hurumph…) and generally as pleasant an experience as you can ever have on a night trip. Listen up and learn BA!
The trip itself saw me in my usual whirl of vaguely organised sort of chaos, with me shoe-horning into the time absolutely everything that you could ever quite imagine.
Those few days saw me acting as everything from carpenter, furniture mover, water tank engineer, labourer, Mum, peace negotiator, evil and embarrassing parental monster, Father Christmas, Waterstones Demon and the thorn in the side of BT. Most of those roles ended when I landed back in the land of sand – except thorn in the side of BT which has escalated quite substantially today.
The mere fact that there were no legendary EIOT posts during my whirlwind trip should come as no surprise as there is still no BT line going into EIOT Towers.
No, despite a mere flicker of hope of a pending connection in the recent conversation with our ‘Case Manager’ we are still left wanting and quite frankly completely high and dry without any sort of communication. To be honest the vague hint of a pending connection was a red herring an clearly designed to get me off the phone.
Now, the continued BT situation has led to my new status as Waterstones Demon and quite frankly I suspect that I am now ‘black-balled’ from all branches of Waterstones.
You see we were due for a BT update on the Monday of my brief UK visit. Needless to say it didn’t arrive, nichts, narda, rien. I knew that our case manager, (Vincent), was on holiday, (so much for always being on hand and one point of contact), but had been assured that one of his colleagues, (possibly one of our other two ‘Case Managers’ or maybe a new, fourth one), would be in touch that day.
It got to 1630 on the Monday and nothing. In light of the fact I had no contact number for a supposed ‘other’ case manager, I called Vincent’s number. I was greeted by a voice mail message apologising that Vincent was on holiday but inviting me to leave a message and it would immediately be listened to by ‘somebody’ and actioned.
I am not sure what the BT definition of ‘immediately’ is, but it is not the same as mine and after half an hour there was nothing and I was heading back up to EIOT Towers and therefore by default heading out of mobile coverage and therefore into the ether…..
So, I left another message.
By the time I ventured back into communication and civilisation, it was Tuesday and there were no messages, emails, owls or carrier pigeons from BT.
Now on Tuesday I was heading to Lancaster to meet the legendary Mrs M for coffee. The arrangement was to meet in Waterstones before heading off to Costa for a natter.
Anyway, Mrs M was not in sight, so I took the opportunity to call BT – again! I left yet another message on Vincent’s voice mail. But this was not enough – I was fed up with no contact and so decided to call the general BT phone number.
Watta mistake to make…
Well, after the first 20 minutes of being on hold I was getting bored – always bad news. I had worn holes in the pavement outside Waterstones from pacing up and down and so with my phone glued to my ear I ventured into Waterstones. Still no sign of Mrs M I hasten to add.
Now, it is important to realise that I am not the sort of person who makes phone calls in public. I loathe and detest people who walk around anywhere public while on the phone. However, after 20 minutes on hold outside Waterstones in Lancaster there was no way I was losing my place in the ‘BT Queue’.
So, still on hold I wondered around Waterstones and selected several books as a vague attempt at Christmas shopping, placed them carefully on the till just as a voice said, ‘ Hello, this is, [(let’s call him Buzby)], from BT. How can I help you?’
I found this quite extraordinary as I had already submitted my details in response to the numpty automated answering system so he knew exactly who was on the phone. Perhaps he had read a resume of the case and a feeling of dread and fear had rickashaid through his body and he was hoping there had been an IT failure and actually it wasn’t Mrs EIOT about her 11 weeks without phone or WIFI but some mild mannered old lady who was calling just for somebody to talk to and ask if a BT Engineer would like to call round for a cup of tea.
Sorry, no such luck, it was Mrs EIOT and I wasn’t in the mood for small talk.
Anyway, after some posturing he said that he was going to make some internal phone calls and would I mind holding? I pointed out at this juncture that I had been holding for well in excess of 20 minutes and quite frankly life was too short and so he could call me back.
At this point he said, and I jest not, that he was unable to make outgoing calls and so I would have to hold.
Now, it was around now that my blood started to boil and I pointed out that this was BT and of course he could make outgoing phone calls. If BT could not make outgoing phone calls then who could?
Please bear in mind that I was still wondering around Waterstones during this exchange. It was just past 0900 and I was the only customer in there, but I was still in Waterstones.
Anyway, as he was telling me I had to hold, I pointed out to him that he ought to cut the ‘crap’, put me on hold and get on with his internal phone calls.
Fair play he did.
During this time my vague attempt at Christmas shopping one handed continued, (the other hand and phone was still glued to my ear), and I added another couple of books to my stash at the checkout.
Anyway, after a few more minutes he came back on the line with some convoluted explanation about our continuing lack of communication tools at EIOT Towers. Apparently they now need to dig up a field but before they can do that they need to send the planning and surveying team out to assess it. For goodness sake it is a field that needs digging up!
Anyway, our BT chappie then launched into his well practised spiel about how he ‘understood’ my frustrations, ‘knew how frustrating it is’ and ‘how he felt for me’ in my situation.
Well, enough was enough and while I do not usually react to spin and ballony, that was one step too far.
The conversation went something like:
BT Numpty: ‘I am really sorry Mrs EIOT, I know how frustrating it is and I really understand your…..”
Me: ‘Oh for goodness sake cut your PR sympathetic spiel that you learnt on some sort of touchy feely course. I have done those courses as well and you and I both know it is a huge pile of b******s which is designed to make people feel better and shut up, so let’s’ cut to the quick and talk about the fact that after 11 weeks I have no phone line and there is no sign of a phone line anytime between now and the next millennium’
It was about at this point that I felt eyes staring at me and I remembered that actually I was still in a public place – Waterstones. Yeap, the manager was glaring at me and asked me quite bluntly ‘not to use language like that and speak to people in that manner in his store’
Ooooppppsss……naughty step here I come.
I was actually quite contrite towards him and immediately apologised.
Anyway, the conversation with BT ended with yet another update date issued and a very curt goodbye from me to the BT call centre chappie and vice versa.
I paid for my stash of books, apologised once more and left the store with my tail between my legs as Mrs M was now in the near vicinity and in need of coffee. So off I went to Costa to meet her and satisfy her caffeine addiction.
Mrs M saw my Waterstones carrier bag, that cost me 5p I hasten to add, did comment that I had already been there without her and would I head back with her after coffee. I explained the situation and made my apologies as I did not feel it appropriate to darken the Waterstones doorstep once more.
The latest news about BT is that….well there is no news really. I did receive a very garbled message the other day about waiting for permission from a landowner to dig up a field. We were due for another update today and in fairness I did receive an email today from some bod in the ‘Executive Level Complaints Team’ but the email didn’t really say anything other than hello but I think it is fair to deduce that we have now been escalated to the ‘Executive Level Complaints Team’ . I am not sure what that means, is it a team that deals with complaints about executives, or a team that deals with complaints more effectively than the other teams that we have moved through? Time will tell.
I did try to call case manager number four back but she had clocked off for the day by 1630 UK time. Another always contactable during office hours type bod……
I can only assume that we have been promoted to the ‘Executive Level Complaints Team’ as I have once again been in touch with the newspaper local to EIOT Towers as they have been considering writing a story about the BT debacle for sometime and today I suspect that they have been in touch with BT again.
Well, I am very grateful to the local paper but as they have been considering writing the article for quite a few weeks now I am not holding my breath. However, the rattle to the BT cage that they have delivered today may have something to do with the escalation of our case.
In anycase today I have potentially escalated the issue myself.
When I decided to call the latest case manager now in the ‘Executive Level Complaints Team’ I randomly did some research and Googled ‘newspapers that do not like BT’. Well, a very interesting article came up – BT Not Investing Enough In Openreach and made for very interesting reading.
So, to cut a long story short a rather good email has pinged off to a couple of London journalists this evening. Let’s see if that gets us anywhere!
So, anyway, onto other matters.
Water. Well, another visit from our local water expert with a bad back and his compressor which has led to a torrent of water into the holding tank.
But, for some reason the tank does not fill. Our local water expert sent his youngest son into the tank but no leak, hole or crack could be found.
But alas, the tank will not fill beyond around 2 foot deep.
Now I am no physicist but even I know that water gushing into an intact tank will mean that the depth will increase. But no, no increase in depth.
It is a mystery.
Anyway, we have agreed that on the next visit we are going to blitz the tank and find out what the heck is going on. Yeap, I suspect I will be donning the waders once again and I may well venture into the tank as well…….
I have single handedly started to clear the earth and vegetation off the top of the tank in preparation for further investigation and repair. I have discovered to my surprise that the tank is not actually metal but concrete….a very old tank…….
This brief and action packed trip has proven to me how much I love deepest, darkest Cumbria and how I love EIOT Towers. It is absolutely freezing there at the moment – I drove through sleat, snow and general freezingness en route to the airport on the way back to the land of sand – but EIOT Towers keeps us cozy and warm.
Yeap, this is a photo I took en route to the airport in the wee small hours on airport day. Actually a correction, this was a photo I took en route to school at 0300 on airport day as a diversion en route to the airport as I had decided as I lay awake worrying that I would oversleep, (get your head around that one…), that I had not packed the small testosterone filled one enough clothes for his boarding fun and adventures. So a call in at school was necessary to leave a bag of small man clothes on the front door handle ready for when the school rolled into action at some point later.
I am not sure how many times school have found a Lidl bag filled with random clothes hanging from the big polished door handle on the oak front door of school, but there is a first time for everything.
I did have an email later to say that the random carrier bag of clothes on the front door handle has been found and handed over to the boy’s house matron – albeit slightly damp and snow soaked……
Oh the joys of parenthood! A 0300 visit to school in the snow to make sure the small man is catered for……
So, back in the land of sand. Slightly traumatic as an issue with almost identical bags, a pack of veal escalope and several bags of baby clothes almost ended in disaster. But more of that another time.
Well, there is cold water coming out of the cold taps and the water in the hot tap no longer peels the skin off your back, guess it must be autumn/winter.
Right, time to go and prepare more ammunition for BT….