Saturday, 11 June 2011

The cold

Snow has been falling, the mountain slopes are laden with the stuff, ski resorts are cheering, but back in the cities it has been very cold. Even in Sydney, which generally is far far far too hot.

Yes, I know, when you have nothing else to say, talk about the weather. It is, after all, an endlessly fascinating topic.

 My fingers are cold, I use a hot water bottle at night, and the second mohair throw is on the bed. My house - sorry, when I say my house, I am referring to the abode from which the blood rellies of my deceased husband are eagerly wanting to evict me, is relatively short of doors between rooms, and thus is difficult both to cool and to heat. Accordingly the power bills are somewhat alarming, even though my hands are still cold. Meanwhile I sport the layered look.

At the produce market this morning I lingered over a stall selling Peruvian alpaca products. And yes, I was tempted, and I fell.  Once I started looking at various products, all of a sudden other people stopped and looked too. My serious looking had created more interest. It is often the way that if one person is interested,  the interest becomes contagious. One serious customer occupying the attention of the stall owner makes it safer for others to investigate without creating an expectation that they will or should buy.

Alpaca is such a beautiful fibre. It makes wool seem so very ordinary and inferior, and also makes me want to acquire vast quantities of it, and to crochet yet another shawl. All this intense desire to create things evidently springs from a need to have some control over my life.Years ago I crocheted a large and complicated alpaca shawl, in 5 ply black, and wore it to some function. When I went to retrieve the shawl, it had vanished, and in its place was a crappy synthetic mass produced shawl. Somehow this did not seem like an innocent mistake. I went back to the shop to buy some more black alpaca, but there was none. A colleague, fortunately, had the same yarn in a very dark brown, so we arranged a swap of some kind, and I made another shawl. But it is not the same. It cannot be worn with real black. I still feel bad about that loss.

And I wish I could crochet faster.

Thinking of heating the house reminds me that I had another call from someone, another person with a heavy Asian accent that was most difficult to understand, apparently peddling something to do with solar heating. Let it not be said I am against solar heating, but I have yet to ascertain what the call was all about, as this caller too wanted to speak to the owner of the house, and once again hung up on me. Clunk!

How does it come about that these callers are so badly instructed in telephone techniques? According to a fairly recent supplement in the Careers section of the newspaper, call centres are big business, and provide excellent careers for at least some of their employees. It is quite evident that the callers are obliged to follow a set script.

In the days when I had occasion to telephone people for information (or whatever) our standard practice was:

Good morning/afternoon. My name is Persiflage, and I work for the Department of Really Amateur Blogging (RAB). I need to find some information about (here insert own sort of twaddle). Can you help me with this enquiry, or direct me to the relevant area? Thank you.

Listen attentively to response, ask for alternative sources of information if necessary, thank person on telephone, leave contact details, and then end call.

Doesn't sound too hard, does it? So why does no one do it? Let alone listen carefully?

I have been (perforce) spending quite a lot of time on the telephone recently. Yesterday I had to re-subscribe to the newspaper. A letter arrived saying that the usual direct debit on the credit card had failed, and could Dr P kindly supply the details. So after exercising the vocal cords by uttering a few choice words, I telephoned the subscription number, and after a mere ten minutes managed to be connected to a person, who (miraculously, thank you, putative god) dealt with me courteously and efficiently. Of course, you may well ask why, in view of the fact that I had communicated my desire to have this subscription transferred to me, the executors could not have handled it somewhat better?

Things are falling apart. (A sympathy strike, perhaps?)

My oven is not working properly, but I will neither repair nor replace it until/unless things are sorted out. The lovely George at my local Retravision, is investigating plug in and sit on bench alternatives for me. Otherwise it won't be possible to have any roast pork or lamb. Or to heat my quiche, or spinach and fetta triangle.

The remote control for the garage is broken. I have ordered a replacement, by telephone, from the courteous and efficient Kate, who does indeed know to to conduct business by telephone.

One of the halogen globes is no longer working. The ceiling is too high, and the ladder too short for me to change it. The electrician will have to be called to change it for me. Perhaps it would be best to wait until more than one globe needs replacing. Economies of scale, etcetera.

1 comment:

Isabelle said...

That's a lot of things to deal with, dear Persiflage. And where will you live when you leave the house?