Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
I just had to document today in the blog.
I believe it is the FIRST day for a very, very, very long time (some months ?!) since I have had a day just to myself. No meetings, no deadlines, no errands (well, none that ABSOLUTELY NEEDED to be done TODAY, right now, immediately!), no lists, no people to see, no people to be seen by.
Well, that’s not quite true.
But it was an ‘enforced day of rest’ - due to having to be home to wait for the Telecommunications technician to connect us to the outside world (see ‘Ranting and Raving’). And true too, we still have hundreds of boxes that are just calling out to be unpacked. And lists of administration still to be administrated. And people to see. And people to be seen by.
But I had a day at home with just ME!
Boy, do I need days like this!
A day just to breathe. Just to be.
Nice clean bathrooms…..dinner’s cooked…..laundry’s flapping out in the fresh breeze and sunshine…..we now have a landline…..I’ve taken a number of calls….the house is vacuumed....I've fingered some CD's....there has been a modicum of tidying up done.....and it has been BLISS!
Just me….and my cuppa tea! Bring it on! Ahhhhhh!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I am going to have a rant. It befits my age and station in life.
The last few months have ‘stretched’ us all in many ways. I have been working hard at being tolerant and patient. Not virtues that I possess in a natural capacity, by any stretch of the imagination. However, I am sure that we have been given more than our fair share of ‘training’ now. I am happy to admit defeat. The gross inefficiency of the Australian Bureaucratic Process leaves us drowning in Red Tape and sheer disbelief. I know all countries in the world have their share of unwieldy processes, but we are flummoxed as to why a progressive country such as Oz would still tolerate inexcusable incompetency and mindless practices. “Because this is the way it has always been…and things are never going to change”…. I guess. Let me share just a wee snippet from one of hundreds of similar stories we now have in our ever growing collection!
Enter Telecommunications Company (TC), selected after weeks of research and sifting through telecommunications plans and deals.
K&A: Have extensive conversations to establish whether TC can provide us with landline and broadband coverage. Establish after a few days of communication, that this is indeed possible.
TC: Standard email received to say that TC will be coming on X date for installation purposes. Someone needs to be at the property between 8am - 1pm on the day. We need to confirm that we will be at the property between those hours or a fee of $250 may be charged!
K&A: K is at work, so A phones TC to see if the installation people can come after 9am as A needs to drop kids off at school, and K will be at work.
TC: Could you please give us the name of the person we are talking to?
A: Ange (etc)
TC: And what is the name of the person who ordered the installation?
A: K (etc)
TC: What is his date of birth?
A: Gives DOB
TC: And what is the address which is requiring installation?
A: Gives address
TC: And what is your name again?
TC: I’m sorry, but you are not the designated name on our records. Therefore, we will have to speak with K in order to take this matter any further. He will have to designate you on our records if we are to deal with you on any matters.
A: Your email says that we needed to contact you if we are not going to be at the property for installation purposes and I just want to know if you can make a note on your records that we will be available after 9am as I need to drop my kids off at school prior to that.
TC: I am sorry. We can’t speak to you because you are not the designated name on our records.
A: Rings K and tells him that he has to phone TC himself, and that they don’t like his secretary.
K: Phones TC. Adds A’s name to their records. Asks if they can come between the hours of 9am - 1pm on the designated date.
TC: I’m sorry. We can only come between 8am - 1pm.
K: I know that, but surely its not going to take 5hrs to install a phone. Could you give us an approximate indication of time that we need to be at the property? We have to drop kids off at school and we can be back by 9am, but we don’t want your man to turn up at 8am to find that we aren’t there…
TC: I’m sorry. We can only come between 8am - 1pm.
K: OK, OK. Let’s try a different tack. How long will it take to get the job done?
TC: I only know it will happen between the hours of 8am - 1pm.
K: Right. It is just a matter of connection to an existing line. You’ve said that we need to be at the property. Will someone actually be coming onto the property to do the installation?
TC: Not necessarily. Someone may or may not come to the property.
K: Then how will we know when the job is done? Will someone give us a call or drop us an email to let us know that the job is completed?
TC: No. We don’t phone or email those details.
AAAAARRRRRRRRGH! THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, MAN! In fact, just THINK!
It would be fair to say, that we have ALSO had some GREAT customer service. It is a sad indictment on things that whilst we used to take good customer service for granted, we are now almost always caught off guard when we do get good customer service! The other day, I was so surprised by some great service, that I spontaneously told the Real Estate agent (who was serving me) “Wow! I could give you a hug!” Ooops - That might’ve just destroyed a rare service!
And we have had some amazing experiences with the boys’ school and other places, which have far and above, made up for the frustrations elsewhere.
Now I’ve got that all off my chest, I feel much better. I shall go and enjoy the perfect weather here. It has been 29 degs C for the past few days, with the characteristic clear blue skies and sunshine. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact, that this is ‘winter’ ! 8 weeks here with the same perfect weather each day (bar a total of 2 days when it tried to rain). You can’t stay grumpy for too long! WHEW (said the world)!
Time for some pics from the last few weeks:
Sandsculpture at night
Catching a night view of the city
View of city & Story Bridge from our previous apartment
Whalewatching on the Gold Coast
4 yr old koala mom with 1st appearance of koala baby!
…and E ! Mmm…yummy looking specimens…
“I know I put my wallet in there somewhere….”
Hairy nosed wombat
The first Blue-Tongue Lizard spotted in our garden so far – the saying goes, that if you have a Blue-tongue around, you’re less likely to have a snake within coo-ee. This was only a baby (probably great snake fodder) though, so we didn’t hold much faith in that saying.
The first cane toad spotted outside our house. Gross. Can see why they’re used for golfing practice!
Church (or at least, morning tea afterwards)
Fellow Kiwis on Mt Coot-tha
Home for now. I just love our outlook over a huge park with a river, bike & walking trails, and the pony club. Our back lawn has a gate straight into the park.