I had a lovely lady from Plusnet phone me up today to say they were having problems activating my broadband and phone service because BT had de-activated the number. I gave her a give rundown of what had happened so far and she said that for a fee they could get BT to reactivate the number today – restoring my ability to make and receive calls by this evening and getting broadband within a week.
Being utterly digusted by BT’s inability to do anything, I took her up on the offer and submitted an official complaint to BT for being rubbish. A few minutes after submitting the complaint I got a call from a lovely man at BT saying that the way the change in the account had been done was completely wrong: it should have taken about a minute to change the names on the account and get a final bill issued immediately. The service should never have been disconnected and was there anything else they could help me with. Funny, if they’d told me this when I had started complaining on the phone I may have stayed with them, but since I had several conversations with a number of different people, none of whom had an alternative for me, or an apology, that ship has sailed.
Moral of the story: always put your complaints in writing (even an online contact us form), it seems to get things to the people who know how to resolve problems.
You’d think it would be easy to change the name on a phone account, but not with BT. To change back to my name (which the account was originally in) requires the account to be completely closed and a new one set up, as if I had just moved in to the property.
A request for the account to be closed was made, and I stopped being able to make or receive phone calls on June 30th (my broadband continued until that account ran its course on July 10th).
I obviously want to be able to make and receive phone calls and also arrange to get broadband again, so I put a call into BT last week. After about 15 minutes of being shunted around departments I am told that I cannot be reconnected until the final bill is issued and paid, and they put a rush on issuing the final bill.
The final bill was issued on 13th July. I spend 20 minutes on the phone today trying to pay this bill before the direct debit date of 28th July. Apparently I can only pay this bill early by paying by cheque. WTF?
I’ve decided to switch my phone calls to my desired broadband provider, but of course they can’t hook me up with telephone or broadband until BT releases the line, which they won’t do until their bill is paid. Meanwhile I remain unable to call in or out of my house, with no internet access, all because they couldn’t revert an account to its original holder.
Really, BT in this day and age is it OK for you to leave your “customers” without service because they want to change the name on their account? My mobile phone provider has to provide information within 2 working days when I switch companies, so why don’t you?
Just got another e-mail asking for a status update (from someone who sits behind me). Being incredibly busy I replied with a brief summary and advised them to check the software that tracks the status of everything for more info.
Cue snotty e-mail back about h0w I should be actively managing the process and apparently need to spoonfeed people the information because they are too damn lazy to look it up for themselves.
Fine, I’ll spend the next hour providing a full update for them. This means that I won’t be able to do any actual work, but hey, who needs sleep anyway?
It seems to me that someone is playing a trick on me to see just how much stress one person can take.
As if the run up to April 15th weren’t hectic enough, not only am I managing the people below me, and my own work, I also have to manage the people above me (which means that none of my work is actually getting done, particularly since I can’t work late without risking losing days in bed, ill). What I really needed, therefore, was for an argument about who was authorised for services on my main client to blow up. I was never involved in this but am the only person available to dig into it all and try and calm people down. Great.
On top of which I seem to have every client ever requesting status updates, which means that my time is spent chasing other people instead of actually doing work (when I’m not ranting on blogs, that is).
Divorcewise, I dutifully sent off the cheque and instructions (the previous 2 sets of which had been lost) to my solicitor on Monday, with a note for them to call me when the package was received (so many packages and e-mails have been lost). No call yet, so I phone the office. The person dealing with my case is on holiday, the person covering their work is too busy to talk to me, but they will send me a note if they’ve received my cheque. So if they haven’t, exactly how long is it going to take them to work that out? This is only the first counter-offer on the divorce settlement, which I instructed them about on 13 March, there could be several offers backwards and forwards until it is resolved and the divorce is supposed to be being finalised in under 3 weeks (with payment 4 weeks after that). The financial arguments could delay the divorce being finalised, or they might not. I don’t know how much money I’m going to have to raise, or in how short a space of time. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to get my house to myself. Oh, and my solicitor is on leave until a week on Monday, the 14th, just over a week before the divorce is supposed to be finalised. Marvellous. The other side are bound to get arsey because they won’t have had a response in a month despite the fact that I responded on the same day as I got the letter from my solicitor.
All of which is delaying my pre-registration for EJC as names on credit cards need to match up. Swell.
Oh, is there a US tax/work deadline approaching? Would that be in just under two weeks? Well, it’s a good job all of my clients find it necessary to remind me, otherwise I’d have clean forgotten about it. It’s a good job I’m fully healthy and can therefore work 17 hour days in order to both do the work and handhold these clients (and my staff both below and above me). Oh wait, I’m not. I’ve got post-BJC lurgy and shouldn’t be in the office at all. The choice is a couple of hours extra every day and recovering at some point after the deadline, or 4 hours extra tonight and I can’t work for the next four days because I’ll be in bed.
I shall restrict myself to swearing liberally and vociferously at by screen and try and keep the sarcasm out of my responses. Muppets.
I am surrounded by idiots. Not only are my solicitors a waste of money (losing letters, cheques, e-mails and not appearing to be putting my best interests first), but it appears that everyone at my current place of employment is incompetent too.
As part of the move to the new building everyone is required to log in to their desk by 10:00. This isn’t co-ordinated say through logging in to your phone or computer. Oh no. You have to log in either by scanning your barcode at one of the two kiosks on your floor (yes we all have barcodes now), or through the online system. I’m sure this would work fine if either of the kiosks worked, or the online system didn’t crash. So, having spent over half an hour trying to log in to my desk so that no-one else tries to book it as a hotdesk, I’ve been bumped out of it. That’s going to be a fun argument if someone turns up trying to work.
Technical issues aside, the people don’t seem any more sensibly wired. I’ve only been gone for 3 working days and yet had over 120 e-mails, most of which, having gone through them, are questions of the most idiotic type which funnily enough I can answer with minimal thought. On my biggest client apparently the senior manager had a right panic and infected everyone else with it over what turned out to be absolutely nothing. Goodness knows how they will cope when I’m gone (just under seven weeks to go).
I will post about the BJC later, but I want to do that when I’m in a good mood and not despairing at the future of the human race.
My day at work (so far) is notable for the number of internal e-mails to which the resounding reply has been “Fuck Off! Are you people not busy?”**, complaints about the air conditioning/heating (my colleagues are cold* whilst I am sweltering), and spending 40 minutes on the phone to IT – who couldn’t fix the problem.
In lighter news, the vending machine gave me two Twix (Twixes?) for the price of one, so I’m going to spend my windfall on a packet of crisps. Oh, and I got sent a song earlier, which was nice.
I also texted my ex-boss to remind him about the job he was supposedly offering me. Fingers crossed that works out otherwise I might have to borrow more than the extra I need to pay off the divorce from my parents.
*well I say “my colleagues”. Of the four of us: I am overheating; one person is complaining of being freezing; another is going along with it; and the third is saying that they would be cold if they weren’t wearing a jumper.
**Just received another one: Can you do X, Y and Z, I need it urgently? WTF? On top of the 17 things you’ve already asked me to do urgently for you today? Have you considered doing some actual work yourself, you lazy bastard? Seriously, where is my motivation to do this? I’m leaving in 9 weeks and haven’t once got a thank you when I’ve gone above and beyond (presumably because this happens Every. Sodding. Day). No wonder there are 6 people scheduled to leave in the next couple of months (from a group of 32).
I have to keep reminding myself that I have less than 10 weeks left in this job, especially when I get e-mail after e-mail asking for status updates. Considering that the person involved was copied in on all correspondence, maybe they should consider checking their own e-mails before adding to my workload. Then again, they would rather send me an e-mail to do something when in the same time they could have done it themselves. Evidently they don’t have anything to do. Meanwhile, I will be working over Easter, and if I wasn’t already booked up, over the weekends too (I will be working all weekends in April.
Have I mentioned I don’t get paid overtime? Oh, and my resignation hasn’t been announced either.
Still no sign of that other job offer (and it’s Cheltenham this week, so it won’t be turning up any time soon).
In other news, car passed its MOT and has had the wing-mirror replaced, yay.
My lovely little building society got bought out last year, by big and nasty (with commercials that make me embarrassed to be a customer) Nationwide. I got a payout, which was nice, and also comforted myself with the fact that there would now be more branches at which to do my occasional building society transactions.
I’ve been carrying around by building society passbook since January in an attempt to get the interest made up. I’m not at home at weekends, so this has been tricky. However, today I knew I was having to go to another office for some rather intensive meetings and that there was a branch on the way, so I gave myself an extra 15 minutes and toddled along.
Nationwide have whizzy new passbook readers which are supposed to negate the requirement for traditional tellers. They refuse to read my passbook. These machines presumably mean they cut down on teller position as in the branch I went in to they had two machines, one office (which appeared to house the only computer in the building), yet four members of staff: one in the office with the computer and one customer; three to stand around with clipboards and redirect people to sit on a windowsill.
I waited 10 minutes then had to leave. There were two people in front of me and for all I know they are still waiting in line to get at that one computer. I think they’ve also changed the interest rate on my account (but obviously can’t confirm since I can’t get it calculated) so will probably close it once it’s been cleared out making divorce payments.
In other news, I actually used by ipod for a non-entertainment purpose: the calendar function is muy helpful.
My word, things can move quickly with a bit of pressure.
So far I’ve spoken to two senior managers about past and future performance (and broken down both times, whatever happened to that British reserve, but at least one of them thinks I’m not rubbish and can turn things around, which is good to hear); I’ve also poked my solicitor again who was a little irked because they had responded to my earlier poke but the e-mail had never arrived and documents are probably being eaten by Royal Mail as I type; I’ve also got my sat-nav (within 12 hours of dispatch which means I can play with it this weekend).
The current fun with the divorce is that the Acknowlegdement of Service Form (which I know was received in December) hasn’t been signed and sent back, so nothing can progress with the Courts (which makes me incandescently mad) without me incurring more costs and filling out more forms. All balls are now back in their court (they have all documents they have requested and are ever likely to get and it is up to them to suggest a figure to drag from my pockets/cold dead hand). Of course, if he plans on starting a course at Cardiff uni in September then it’s in his best interest to continue living rent-free whilst still getting a big payout when it’s all finally done. Meanwhile my life is in limbo and house prices are tipped to fall.
Something I learned last night (other than I’m not so British that I won’t cry on public transport, I tried to hide it as best I could though) is that, chocolate aside, it’s bloody hard to comfort eat as a vegetarian. I managed some vegetarian sushi (actually regular sushi with the fish going to the cat since they didn’t have any veggie suschi left – I really wanted the wasabi) and a spinach and ricotta pizza, which is rubbish. No greasy chicken wings, or a big fat steak. There’s obviously a market out there which needs exploiting.