I have a pal in a small and beautiful village in Ireland, He is, as Paul would say, some man for one man. He's travelled the world, had had relations with many nations, and is now adding Chinese to his linguistic portfolio. Although in his late 60s he prefers to "prepare to live rather than waiting to die", in his own words. I won't say much more about him as he's a modest man (mar ya) and doesn't want his integrity compromised by being outed on a scurrilous blog such as this.
He got the better of the Irish telecom company, Eircom, years back, and has survived without a landline for ages. However, he has been offered the chance to get broadband, and as he earns a huge amount in various semi-legit ways on the hinternet he thought the time had come to make an approach. Here's what happened:
"Eircom has upgraded the local exchange and is also providing broadband to the village yobboes. I decided to swallow my pride and reinstall a landline with the intention of getting backup Internet broadband connection. Having sweet-talked me through the sign-up procedure and installed the phone within a week with a special promotion of free installation, they then tested the line and told me it is unsuitable for broadband!!!!!
I believe that I am the only one in the village with this problem.
"I spend more than half a day phoning different departments in Eircom, indulging in quick repartee with the computerised systems that informed at every step that the conversation would be recorded and monitored for quality ("What f**king quality, you Mr Computer wouldn't know quality if it jumped up and bit you on your cybertesticles") and that my call was important to them ("what do you mean 'important', if it was important, then why the f**k are you, a mechanical midget and a technological twat, carrying out a one-sided conversation with me?").
I sincerely hope that my dialogue with the computer was monitored but I doubt it.
"Anyway, by 4 p.m I had terrorised my way through a bevy of customer service agents, technical support staff and varous bit piece actors in the Eircom scenario, to reach Eircom HQ where I was put on to the Sales and Marketing Manager, a lady called M---.
Again I was met by a barrowful of double-speak until eventually, when I offered the quietly voiced judgment that "what you are really telling me, then, is that Eircom is still the same old crappy backage that was ridden by Sir Anthony when he tilted at the windmills of telecommunications in Ireland", said M--- put the phone down on me.
"I immediately phoned Eircom complaints, skipped blithely over the hurdles of R2D2 voices, and spoke with a charming lady who had a pronounced French accent.
I imagined from her voice that she was sitting in her negligée, hanging on my every word. I may have erred in regard to the negligée but within 48 hours I had L--- on the phone to me, apologising for the treatment I had been subjected to and, having for the one thousandth time noted the details of the problem I was experiencing, she promised that the Technical Department would contact me and see if an alternative solution could be found.
A tiny victory for the small man.
"You certainly hit the jolly old nail on its eversuffering head when you say that "Ireland seems to be going to hell in a handcart".
Indubitably, my friend, indubitably so. One gets ever so tired of hearing the whinging and the moaning from people who milked the Tiger without a scratch and now wish to flog the taxpayer for afters. "