These are important

In lieu of the post that I had set aside a few hours for creating on Tuesday night, I have a public service announcement. Ladies, gentlemen, everyone; don’t leave your home without your keys.

They're on a chain for a reason

Because if you do, you might end up in the invidious circumstances I did this evening – namely, sitting on your own front steps for nearly three hours, clad in a thin shirt and sandals on a brisk British late summer evening, waiting for a locksmith to come and open your door in 30 seconds by dextrously manipulating a bit of plastic, and then to charge you over £100 for the privilege.

Now, to be fair, I’m not angry with the locksmith guy; he’s just doing his job, and it is my own muppetude* that landed me in the situation in the first place (“hmmm, need cigarettes, best head out to the shop…now where’s my [click of deadlock] wallet and keys?”).

However, the mishandling of my call at the call center-type place that sends the contractors out to customers was beyond belief. I’ll go in to full detail when I’m less furious and less cold and tired, but suffice to say there’ll be some serious customer-service letter action aimed at their head office real soon – thanks to the locksmith being honest, I discovered that the ‘job’ that was my lock was only sent to his phone after the second call I made, which was 85 minutes after the initial one when I was told there would be a maximum 60 minute wait, as per their advert in the phone directory (the guy arrived over two and a half hours after my first call). I’ll talk more about the underquoting of prices and further teeth-gnashing details tomorrow. If I have the time. Damn it.
Grraaahhhahhahaa! The anger.

*Yes, muppetude. It’s a real word, an adjective that describes a person’s similarity in behaviour to a Jim Henson creation, most likely one of the bit-part Fraggles that never got any real lines or character development. Can’t find it in the dictionary? Email me your address, and I’ll come round and scribble it in there myself.

5 thoughts on “These are important”

  1. Aye, the frustration! I can definitely empathize. I once waited six hours in front of my apartment building for my building manager to come and let me in.

    Muppetude — nice neologism! Or, I guess it’s not a neologism…it yields 76 Google hits. 😉

  2. I was that locksmith…
    Well, not actually THAT one. but I worked for several years on call-out, as a self employed locksmith/plumber/heating engineer. I contracted to several insurance and home/commercial ‘one call’ help centres.
    I would regularly arrive at jobs to be faced with an irate customer yelling ‘Where the hell have you been, I’ve been waiting for three hours, they said you’d be here in twenty minutes!’
    Call centre people are muppets.
    They tell the customer an engineer is on his way. then they call someone in the area…… or maybe 80 miles away, they’re not good at geography. But he’s on his way to another call… Water cascading through the ceiling of a shop, maybe. The shop manager doesn’t have a key to the upper floors. and doesn’t have a clue as to where the stop valve is……so the job takes a couple of hours…. Call centre muppet rings, says what about the bloke who’s locked out 80 miles away? engineer says… as sooon as I’ve fixed this, maybe another hour, then it’ll be rush hour. maybe 2 and a half or three hours? So the muppet rings the next guy on the list. He’s me. I’ve been working through the night, hotel with a failed sewage pump, and a flooded basement. I’ve then been called to fix a dripping tap sixty miles away, made it home, had a shower and am looking forward to a meal. The phone rings “Guy locked out of his house, I told him you’ll be there in twenty minutes. ” I am there in fifteen. He is red faced and ready for a fight. “Where the hell have you been?!” he yells. I resist the temptation to smack him in the mouth with a pipe-wrench, fiddle open his ridiculously easy door lock, and present him with the bill from the relevant call centre company. He foams at the mouth at this , thinks that as I opened the door in under a minute, I should probably not charge at all, it was so easy. He thinks I work 40 hours a week and get a hundred pounds an hour.
    I wish that was true.
    Meanwhile, my meal is growing cold at home, and I’m dog tired. I’ll receive about twenty-five pounds for this job, in about sixty days from the end of this month.
    The call-centre muppet will probably be selling upvc windows by the end of the month, as she’s fed up with the pressure and minimum wage at this company, she’ll dive straight into another where she reads from a script and knows nothing of what she is selling.
    It’s a sad world
    Deep breath. Visit the call centre. hide in the shrubbery. maybe, once every two weeks or so a guy in a Ferrari and a slick suits calls by, for an hour or so. He’s the one. You bought that Ferrari. And the suit. And the life style. Don’t hate the muppet on the phone, don’t hate the guy who does the job, don’t hate the supervisor, who deflects your complaints into the waste bin, He’s the one. Ferrari man. I’ve met him. Bastard.

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