Tuesday, 28 October 2008

don't think you can shut me up and other salient lessons

So a while back I hit the wall as a customer of one of the Big 2 phone and internet companies. Lots of money, crappy service. A deep and abiding annoyance at being one of a herd.

I bit the bullet and did my research, something I had been dreading. And over a few days and much internet browsing and phone calls and conversation with types nerdier than myself I came to a scary conclusion. The only way I was going to save any money without giving up a phone line and going VOIP was to switch to the Other Big Provider.

Today I realised I made the fatal error in my calculations of neglecting the TCO factor.

Total Crap Off.

My time is too precious to tell the story (we're on day 3 of a 9 day stint of solo parenting and I am already exhausted and tomorrow I work and it is past my bed time but I am so seriously crapped off I just had to drop in to say...) but don't bother calling me to ask about it because I can't receive phone calls right now. And god knows when I will.

Despite spending a total of approximately 4 hours on various tech support and customer service lines (a good quarter of it on hold) over nearly a week I have managed to get an outgoing line and an internet connection but no incoming line.

I think I did an excellent job of keeping the hysteria out of my voice as I spoke to a young gentleman just now at 9pm on a Tuesday about the clear insanity of not linking the job that says connect incoming calls with the one that says connect outgoing calls. But after 5 days without internet and wondering why the phone hasn't been ringing I was a little on edge. He seemed sympathetic and more than a little embarrassed to be on the other end of the line and not on my side.

I mean, for fucks sake, it isn't so crazy to think that a company of this size, providing internet and phone services to literally millions of people could flick all the switches at approximately the same time is it? Put a little of their copious spare cash into a little bit of process mapping and system re-engineering to work out how to actually do the thing they do everyday in something like the way everyone in their right minds would expect it to be done?

How utterly naive of me right?

So the great post I had planned about creative processes and my sewing marathon (another two tops and a skirt since the craft weekend!) will have to wait.

Instead I'll leave you with a couple of other choice lessons I learned this week.

Lesson # 1. If 2 toddlers are quiet in the bathroom and you suspect trouble, you are probably right.

And lesson #2? When you are juggling 2 kids just out the bath and you are all wet and slippery and it is bed time and chaos is breaking out all around you - prioritise getting the nappy on.


Marie said...

ROFL... and EWWWWW!!!!

Sorry you're having such a nightmare with the phone companies. They really couldn't find their arses with both hands and a map. Useless!

I will definitely be taking the Nappy Priority lesson on board. Poopy in the potty or a nappy is one thing, out there in the open just adds a whole other level of gross. I don't think even my hardened Mummy senses could deal with that!!


Katy said...

omg - that is hilarious (the poo - not the crappy phone people). On a window ledge? Now that's a clever little pooer. Did you laugh, or cry? I think I'd have done both.
My little angel (cough) likes to poo in his pull ups (he's never going to potty trained - he's a boy, he's lazy, he's 3, it's wrong but I can see him as a teen in pull ups too) and then scoop it out and smear it on Granny's TV (not mine, just Granny's - that's my boy)

I once spoke to the power people (who had put our monthly charge up by about a million pounds) and started off everso calm, then got a bit stroppy (and posher - I talk much posher when I am stroppy), then I swore (got told off by the man on the phone) so I cried, and cried and was very hysterical for ages - doing that big sobby cry. It was a certain time of the month, but still...quite unnecessary. I have since been banned from making such phone calls.

trashalou said...

I'm sorry, I know it isn't funny (she says through her giggles) and you probably weren't laughing even a little but HOW DID IT GET UP THERE???? Do you have super-sized small people???? They seemed normal enough height in that other picture.

I think the thing I love most in the whole world is that you are such a blogger you went and got your camera before clearing it up! Way to go!!

julie said...

Ooh, I should totally take a photo of every random place my toddler leaves a shit! Coffee table book!

Big phone companies suck.

Hoppo Bumpo said...

I'm on day 4 of a 23 solo-parenting stint and lamenting the inexplicable break-down of my sewing machine. My 2 & 3 year olds have been feral. So I have to tell you that you gave me a huge belly laugh when I saw your pictures. And I can assure you that I'm laughing very much with and not at you (.... good grief, that's if you can still smile).


flamehair said...

I am laughing so hard right now (at the bath/poo incident, not phone troubles.) My boy recently not only pooped on the carpet after having a bath but managed a taste test of it too before I could grab him and stop him. The things we parents go through huh?

Kate said...

That is my biggest fear - I can deal with everything and anything but poo where it is meant to be. You can vomit on me all day, but poo must be in the toilet.
My husband has to deal with phone companies etc - the children where starting to swear too much.

nicole said...

Hehe, I'm on day... 2700 of parenting solo (the last ca. 400 with two kids) It gets easier after a while... ;-)

The phone company. OMG I never want to move again precisely because of that. Last time I moved I had everything handled before the move, I even had a letter from the phone company stating when the lines would be switched over. Guess what I didn't have for the first month ;-) I ended up threatening them with this: "I have many friends overseas, we talk on the phone often. I will send you my cellphone bill and expect you to pay it." I got a refund for that month without phone and they dropped the switch over fees, too ;-)

Suzy said...

Ha - brilliant photos!

Phone companies suck. We kept getting strung along here when we moved house and since I was pregnant and hormonal I completely failed to keep calm on the phone when stuck on hour long call centre complaints, and then felt like an idiot.

[I'm not sure what the deal is in Victoria, but in NSW home phones are deemed an essential service so I made a report to the Ombudsman online and ended up with a $500 account credit. It made me feel marginally better but didn't even begin to compensate for angst and wasted time]

nikkishell said...

Hahahahah Oh dear i can't see the screen for the tears. I laughed at the bathtub pic but that last one with the poo sent me over the edge! Even Mia was cracking up laughing!!!

We have Voip too.

Judy said...

Poopie ewww. But what I want to know is what is floating in the tub?

JustJess said...

Oh so funny! Hilarious! If my pads were floating in the bath I would weep! The cost of replacement!!

innercitygarden said...

It seems my comment got eaten last night.

My only success with phone companies came after getting teary and explaining that no, I did not notice their stuff-up (they hadn't sent a bill, therefore I hadn't paid a bill, therefore the phone got cut off) because I was kinda busy dealing with my sister dying of cancer. Which was true, but if you don't have a sister dying of cancer you could always make one up.

If you ever do figure out how Wil got the poo on the windowsill you will let us know wont you?

62cherry said...

ah shit...

shula said...

A Truly Excellent Post.

Janet said...

oh crap! and points for documenting it so well.

I am on the verge of going with the Other Big Company when we move as the First one could not talk to me in a sensible way about bundling inernet and phone and sent me back and forth between internet and phone customer service lines.... sheeesh. But no internet for 5 days, sheesh.

Di said...

Ahhh, you do make me laugh :)))))))
At least it was a firm one.

Kate said...

That would similtaneously be the best and worst coffee table book in the WORLD!

They've got us over a barrel, don't they (the companies, I mean. Not the toddlers and their poop. Although...) They ahve somethng we need, and it doesn't matter how shit they are at providing us, since there's clearly no better alternative (each alternative being as bad as the other) there's no way to change anything.

Cursed capitalism and its wily ways!

Here's hoping someone at the other end of the line can find out how to turn your phone on. If we give tehm a map and let them use both their hands, d'ya reckon they can find their arse, while they're at it?

kim at allconsuming said...

How the HELL did he get it on the windowsill?

It is a rule of the UNIVERSE that any child left unattended without a nappy on will do a crap. THEN tread in it - preferably on a carpeted surface. MAYBE try to pick it up and USUALLY walk through every room with it before you have time to notice.

And last month? I was rationing tampons due to my children choosing to use them as a toy so I had three that - from what I could tell - were still fully contained in their packaging.

Suse said...

I saw that photo over at Flickr (and left a note).

I think you should have titled this post "You know you're a blogger when ... your child shits on the windowsill and you take a photo of it."

Ali said...

Serious athletic pooing ability. There really should be some kind of award.

Because (other than taking a photo, which is awe inspiring) I can't think of another appropriate maternal response.

Stomper Girl said...

I laughed out loud at the bathing sanitary items, if I'd been drinking tea it would have come out of my nose. I'm intrigues as to how the poo got on the window ledge, but I do think Suse is in the right of it with her "you know you're a blogger when".

kirsten said...

[i am just mopping up the snorted tea off my keyboard...]
Now, That Is Truly Disgusting.
And Funny.

Suse said...

I also meant to make a pertinent comment about wombats, but forgot.

(You know how they always poo on ledges and steps and logs? That's what it reminded me of).

Helen said...

wow. I have all that to look forward to?! - yikes. I almost imploded with the frustration of sorting out gas and electricity when we moved house - so much time on the phone and several angry letters just resulted in more frustration. And the worst thing was they didn't do anything until I finally cracked and told my husband to deal with it and they sorted it out for him in one phonecall. GAH still makes me angry two years later...oops sorry for ranting in your comments. But just to say I really really sympathise!! And I think the poo photo is one of the funniest blog pics I've ever seen.

Vonnie said...

I'm totally behind the times here but that is absolutely hilarious.

My son once stuck a whole pack of sanitary towels to the front window because he thought they were aeroplane stickers. Good times.

The jobby on the windowsill is still making me laugh.