Tag Archives: telephones

‘And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light, but the Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.’ Spike Milligan.

I might have thought that quote funny once.  Unfortunately my sense of humour on the issue of power and light has take a bit of a knock lately.  I have now joined the ranks of those who have no difficulty whatsoever in believing that if God really had had to rely on the ‘Electricity Board’ for a connection we might all still be sitting in the dark even now . . .

Do I sound a little frustrated?  Well, I am.  Just a tad.  For the last couple of weeks I have been getting reminders from the power company that my current ‘plan’ will expire at the beginning of March and that if I don’t renew it immediately there are bound to be dire consequences.  (Those weren’t their exact words of course but that was the gist—price hikes, loss of bonuses, etc etc . . .)

Well alright then.  I’d best get that renewed poste-haste hadn’t I?  No worries, this should only take a second . . .

So I followed the link to the appropriate website, logged in, found the ‘Renew Your Plan’ button, pressed Enter and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . .

Okay.  So maybe the website needed a minute.  (I admit I can be a little impatient with these things.)  That’s okay, I have other things I can be going on with.  I left the little round thingy that indicates that the website was processing my request running and went and attended to something of much more immediate importance . . .

After finishing my cup of tea I came back to the site to find absolutely no progress had been made.  The little wheel continued to spin around . . . and around . . . and around . . .

After a further 10 minutes of waiting I decided I definitely had better things to do.  The website was obviously having issues.  I’d try again tomorrow.

And I did.  And the next day . . .  and the day after that . . .


I’ve tried to renew my electricity plan every day for the past week now with the same result (I know I know, the definition of madness . . . ) but I really, really, really didn’t want to phone them.  There had to be another way.  So I searched the site for a ‘Contact Us’ button.  Lo and Beholdthere was a box that said they’d call me (free of charge!) if I had a problem.  Just ‘Click Here’.  Click.

My phone rang almost immediately.  Woo Hoo!!

‘Thank you for calling,’ (said the cheery (and obviously pre-recorded) voice)  ‘ . . . we are taking a lot of calls at the moment but if you are happy to wait . . .  (long pause)  . . . 45 minutes . . .  we’ll get to your call as soon as we can.  If not, please call us back.’

I knew there was a reason I really, really, really didn’t want to phone.  Like I was going to wait on hold for 45 minutes . . .

One final desperate search online eventually found me a ‘Lodge an Enquiry’ section.  What did I have to lose (except perhaps my sanity)—’So. . . .’ I wrote politely, “is there something wrong with your website?  Because I have been following all the prompts for over a week now to renew my existing plan and I really don’t seem to be having much luck . . . “

I received an immediate (and very polite) response‘Thank you for your enquiry.  Your message is important to us.  We will get back to you within 2-3 working days.’

Sigh. (Again.)

Of course, three days later I still haven’t heard anything back from them so this post must now serve as fair warning that next time I write to all you lovely people I may well have reverted to chipping away on a stone tablet by candlelight.

But wait! look!  There’s an email just come in from the power company.  Maybe this will sort it all out . . .

‘Hello Sally.  This is just a friendly reminder . . . ‘


Posted by on March 2, 2018 in Uncategorized


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‘Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three—and paradise is when you have none.’ Doug Larson.

Alexander Graham Bell’s notebook entry of March 10, 1876, describes his first successful experiment with the telephone, in which he spoke through the new instrument to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, who was in the next room.  Mr Bell writes, “I then shouted into M (the mouthpiece) the following sentence: ‘Mr. Watsoncome hereI want to see you.’  To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said.”

My first thought on reading that statement was that if Mr Bell had ‘shouted’ into the mouthpiece, Mr Watson might well have heard him from the next room without the help of the new invention anywaybut then I realised that was probably a tad mean-spirited. There is no doubt the invention of the telephone has had a massive impact on the world as we know it and unless you are living an extremely isolated existence (or are over 141 years of age) it seems almost impossible to imagine life without one.

Recently, however, by circumstance rather than choice, I was given a taste of experiencing just what that might be like.

Just before last Christmas I discovered my home phone was not working.  No static, no funny clicks on the line . . . just . . . nothing.  As you might imagine, an inordinate amount of time was spent to-ing and fro-ing with the phone company before the problem was eventually correctedthree weeks later.  Then, barely two months along the track, the line went dead again.  And then again another month after that.

The first time I felt quite anxious and agitated.  It really bothered me.  I felt ‘cut off’ and that feeling didn’t really go away until the phone came back on line.  The second time it happened I was irritated, to say the least.  Now I would have to go through the whole telephone company rigmarole again . . .  this is so annoying . . . and I really don’t have time for this . . . and it’ll probably take another three weeks and  . . . then . . . somehow . . . I kind of forgot all about ituntil one day the phone rang again and I realised it was fixed.

They say ‘third time’s the charm’ but I guess I will have to wait and see whether the phone company’s ‘fix’ will stick this time.  Surprisingly, I now find myself quite unconcerned.  I have come to realise that it is actually quite pleasant to not have my evenings and weekends constantly interrupted by people wanting to leave messages for the local aged care facility (my number is one digit different from theirs) or having someone insisting I buy funeral insurance (bastards) or hit me up for donations for dying pot-plants in Bolivia . . .

Maybe, just maybe, I don’t actually need a home phone at all . . .

And then my mobile died.  Sigh.

There seems nothing I can do to resurrect it.  (As John Cleese  would say ‘It is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker.’)  I admit I felt a little panicky.  No home phone and no mobile phone.  I at least need a mobile phone.  Don’t I?  What if I need to contact someone urgently?  What about emergencies?  What if?  What ifwhat?  Well, I can’t think of anything right here and now but somehow I still seem fairly certain that I really should get a replacement.  I’ll make it a priority.  I’ll do that.  Soon.

Maybe next week.

Or the week after that . . .


Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Uncategorized


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