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England

Thursday, 23 February 2006
No sunshine

Smisby snowfall

I woke up to a light snowfall this morning, pictured above through my bedroom window. It didn’t stick around long. After work it had gone: melted in the rain, but leaving drops of sweat on the roof of my car.
sweat

Posted by bigblue on 23/02/2006 at 10:49 PM
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Tuesday, 14 February 2006
Sometimes just fight and run away

winners do not quit

After my experiences with BT Yahoo complaints I can see the value of a bulldogged approach: hold tight when you get the chance and don’t let go. Only yesterday I found the first person at BT Yahoo who seems in any way concerned about the fact that I lost my broadband connection two weeks ago, and is prepared to try and fix the problem.  All my previous attempts to log incidents and complaints had been ignored.  For example this afternoon I received a response to my second written complaint, lodged five days ago:

Unfortunately we are unable to assist with the issues raised in your email. We have however passed your email to our Order Management Desk who will be in contact with you shortly to work towards a satisfactory resolution.  Should you wish to contact the desk please call 0800 169 8639.

I would again like to apologise for the problems you have experienced. I do hope this information will be of assistance to you.

Kind regards

And they have closed the complaint without even establishing that my problem is resolved: amazing!

On a more general level there is something that disturbs me about the above motivational sign, which I found in a local primary school foyer.  I would have thought it was common sense in the 21st Century that successful people need to develop critical thinking skills that allow them to determine which struggles are worth fighting and which one needs to walk away from.  We need to prioritise our energies and focus on realistically achievable goals and strategic objectives.  Further, if a project or activity is “doomed to failure” then the sooner one walks away, before overcommitting resources then the better. 

Moreover, perhaps the message is particularly inappropriate for young children who need to develop confidence to learn from mistakes, even serious ones, without feeling a sense of “failure”.  No?

Posted by bigblue on 14/02/2006 at 09:45 PM
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Monday, 13 February 2006
Unlucky 13

dead leaves

My broadband connection is still down, and has been down since 1 February. Last night I was on the phone with the technical help desk again, repeating the same tests that we did on 1 February.  It is almost two weeks since my broadband broke. It is now ten days since the supervisor at the technical help desk promised that my connection would be fixed within five days.  It is now six days since I lodged my first complaint, and four days since I lodged my second complaint.  I won’t even mention the occassions they have promised to phone me with a status update and haven’t.

The BT Yahoo complaints policy advises that they will reply to a complaint within 24 hours.  They hope to be able to resolve problems within five days and say that if they are unable to do so they will contact one with a status update.  I was interested that they even state that

In the rare event of our still not being able to help you, there’s an impartial Complaint Review Service available. This involves a review of all aspects of your complaint.

The funny thing is that in my first complaint six days ago I asked them to explain what this service involved.  However (as I mentioned) they have not replied, so I am none the wiser.

On the positive side I phoned them again today to complain that my problem had not been resolved and they have promised that they only need a few more days.  Strange thing is that nobody seems to know what has actually been done about the problem, nor even what the problem is. 

The woman I lodged a complaint with today took exception when I called her colleagues at the technical help desk dunces. That was my polite choice of description.

Posted by bigblue on 13/02/2006 at 10:32 PM
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Saturday, 11 February 2006
Colours

games room

These are some of the colourful (if somewhat faded) games, which I discovered in the games room of a local junior primary school.

Today I am going to see Nights at the Circus at the Hammersmith Lyric by the Kneehigh Theatre Company.  It looks good, so I am looking forward to it.

Posted by bigblue on 11/02/2006 at 10:24 AM
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Friday, 10 February 2006
Without grace

Grace Barrand Design Centre

This photograph is taken from the parking area at the Grace Barrand Design Centre in Nutfield, Surrey.

The current exhibition at the centre is called Select and comprises an eclectic mix of objects and materials.

Posted by bigblue on 10/02/2006 at 10:03 PM
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Faust

The Old Bakery in Nutfield

The photograph is of The Old Bakery in Nutfield, Surrey, now somebody’s home.

I recently saw a production of Faust, Part I at bluemeanie’s school.  It was performed in German (possibly modern German, I couldn’t tell) with surtitles.  I have written before about Faust, the enduring story and myth.  The link to the Radio 4 discussion about Faust

tracing his history from a malicious magician playing tricks on innkeepers in the 15th Century, through Marlow and Goethe through to Coleridge and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

is still available here. I strongly commend this programme.

Posted by bigblue on 10/02/2006 at 12:34 AM
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Wednesday, 08 February 2006
Keep me hanging

telephone booths

Still nothing from BT Yahoo about my broadbank going down on 1st February.  It is seven days since I reported the problem, and five days since they promised to fix it in five days, and one day since I wrote to them and reminded them of this undertaking.

Posted by bigblue on 08/02/2006 at 11:43 PM
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Tuesday, 07 February 2006
Puna Mask

Puna Mask

This is a Puna mask from Gabon.  The man that sold it to me see it was very old. I think that they are made to look old, and that he always says that.

I don?t have many words at the moment because BT Yahoo have broken my broadband connection and have been unable to fix it for the past seven days. I think that the perfect hell would involve having to phone a number of different helpdesks (technical, accounts, BT, Yahoo). You would have to wait for an eternity to get through to people who would fob you off with inconsistent stories and tell you to contact one of the other helpdesks.  The whole process would be in an endless loop that repeats every three days or so.  You would remember all your dealings with the helpdesks so would know that you are iterating, however the people at the helpdesks would retain no memory of previous dealings with you.

Posted by bigblue on 07/02/2006 at 10:35 PM
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