How to waste an entire day away

Well here I am, sitting at home on my day off. It’s 2 weeks prior to Christmas, there are a million things I could be doing, (Christmas shopping being the obvious one) but instead I am here writing on my blog, in a foul, foul, mood. Why? You may well ask.

Thanks for asking.

I’m in a foul mood because 2 weeks ago I arranged for a technician from one of the well known brands of white goods – let’s call them Fish and Phips – to come and service my dishwasher today. They gave me a 5 hour window of time that the technician will come in, in this case between 12- 5 today. I booked it in, as you do, since you have no other choice. For all they know, I took a day off work (in fact I don’t work on Thursdays). Also as is standard now, they sent an automated text message yesterday to my mobile, reminding me of the appointment and asking me to phone if I want to change it. I didn’t want to change it, so I didn’t phone.

I should add at this point that up until today, the service at Fish and Phips had seemed very efficient. I had joked with a friend over the fact that their call centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! How many whitegoods emergencies do they actually get on a regular basis at 3am, to warrant staffing a call centre all night?  Anyway, as I’ve discovered today, there is such a thing as a company’s policies and procedures being so focussed on efficiency that they end up providing bad service (or in this case, none, in the end.)

Today: I went out at 9.30, did some chores and was home by 11.30am.  By 12 I’d already had lunch so that I wouldn’t have to be in the kitchen making a sandwich while the technician worked on the dishwasher. Everything was going swimmingly, just like a Famous Five mystery does for the first few chapters. But unfortunately, I was up to chapter 7 where it all gets scary and Timmy the dog goes missing.

I heard my mobile phone ring upstairs and ran upstairs to answer it. As always, I just missed it. (If anyone knows how to change the settings on a Sony Ericsson phone to make it ring longer, let me know!) The voicemail notification message arrived just as I picked it up, so I dialled voicemail and listened to the message from Burt*, the Fish and Phips technician. Burt was obviously a man of few words. He didn’t waste time with pleasantries, leaving a short message to say that, because he couldn’t get hold of me, I would have to reschedule the service.

Stairs: if you have to run up them to answer your mobile, your dishwasher service could be in jeopardy

What???? I had to reschedule the service that I’d booked, and reconfirmed yesterday (by not phoning to change the time when it was sent again) – because I missed his phone call???

The point being that I am at home at the designated time, waiting for him to arrive in person to fix the dishwasher, not waiting to have a conference call with him so he can instruct me in how to fix the goddammed thing!?? In confusion, I checked my phone to see if he had been ringing all morning (even though I’d had my phone on me me until the last half hour) but, no –  just one phone call.

This seemed ridiculous! So I phoned the service centre expecting that I’d assure them that I was indeed at home and that Burt could still make his way straight here, as it was only 3 minutes after he’d phoned.

At the service centre I spoke to Patti Smith*  who said she would try and see if they could still get the technician to come today so that I wouldn’t have to reschedule. I made the point that the question of rescheduling should not even be under discussion. Patti refrained from comment. She popped me on hold for a few minutes and then advised me that they were having difficulty getting hold of the technician and would have to call me back. She had told “management” that I didn’t want to reschedule.

I felt she was missing an important point so I  put it to her again that it’s not a case of that I’d “rather not” reschedule, but that I should not even be asked to “reschedule” since I had kept the appointment – me being the customer, and all.

10 minutes later she phoned back, but her news was not good. “The management team” were having a few “issues” and had recommended that I should reschedule for another time. In the meantime, she told me,  they will continue to try and make it happen today if they can manage to “push it forward”. What??? Push it forward to when? We were still only just into the first half hour of the period of time between 12-5 today that it was scheduled for in the first place??? I said no, and that they could sort it out. That was 2 hours ago, and I’ve not heard back yet. I am kind of hoping they are keen NOT to be stuck with the part they ordered in for me!

So this has been a great way to waste a day, so close to Christmas, too! If I’d known I’d waste the entire day waiting for fictional service from Fish and Phips, I would have gone Christmas shopping instead.

*Burt is not his real name, but his real name is equally as poetic as Burt.

*Patti Smith is not her real name, but her name is the name of another American singer of the same generation so this just popped into my head as an amusing pseudonym.

PS. (3 days later) I just saw a prompt on Plinky.com to vent about something driving you mad, so I’ve posted a chopped up version this post here.

At least I can thank Fish and Phips for inspiring some frenzied writing,  but no thanks for the dishwasher that still doesn’t work!

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