Tag Archives: IT

Customer Service . . .

I have ordered a new computer. This will give me time to consider my options with the old one. It should, according to what I read online, be possible to restart my old computer and retrieve the information in my files by use of a simple free download. Having read the instructions several times I can now refine that sentence and add a little accuracy.

It should, according to what I read online, be possible to restart my old computer and retrieve the information in my files by use of a simple free download, but it won’t be. It never is. It might not quite be free and it definitely won’t be simple. If it were simple, dare I suggest that it wouldn’t need a video tutorial and there wouldn’t be quite as much discussion about it on the support forum. However, having tried everything on the computer and come back to blue screen each time, I definitely have to try something that needs a download.

As a bonus, I have had a lesson on why it is important to back things up and why I need to learn more about using computers.

The loop where I do things and, twenty minutes later, end up with the same blue screen I started with, is mimicked perfectly by the so-called “customer service” phoneline at Curry’s. I have no doubt that if you have a computer it works well. However, if your computer refuses to start, and you buy a new one, it is a nightmare. You ring the number, it asks you to select numbers. You select numbers and after three steps it tells you to contact your carrier and disconnects automatically. This is repeated, with variations, when you try different combinations. I ended up ringing the repair line, where I was told that the service might be slow due to Covid. After 15 minutes of being told they would be with me soon, I hung up. I suppose that every cost-cutting measure for the next 20 years will be due to Covid. Quite honestly I’m beginning to think that the main casualty of Covid wasn’t the hundreds of thousands of deaths or the thousands of fearful recluses – the main casualty has been truth and customer service.

Fortunately, when I eventually coaxed the stone age laptop into action I was able to get some answers. Does it not occur to them that someone buying a new computer may not have access to working  technology, or want their phone linking to the internet?

In time, we will recover out courage when we hear a neighbour cough, we will haul ourselves out of the stone age which Putin’s war looks set to return us too, and we will become used to living in plastic bubbles as the Earth fries, but we will never again be able to see a doctor face to face, pay for a pizza by cash or talk to a human being on a helpline.

For some reason, I felt drawn to finish with a quote from Brave New World – “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

That is our future – tethered to the internet by a mobile phone, dating by Tinder,  politics by fake news . . .

Aldous Huxley died on the same day as C S Lewis and J F Kennedy. Nobody noticed. Just like nobody notices our slide into a society of willing servitude.

A Journal of the Plague Year – Revenge of the Pangolin

This shutting up of houses was at first counted a very cruel and unchristian method, and the poor people so confined made bitter lamentations.

Daniel Defoe “A Journal of the Plague Year” (1722)

Of course, Defoe didn’t know as much science as we do, and probably knew nothing of pangolins, but he did know about people. It seems from the line quoted above, that people don’t change that much. It also appears, despite generations of scientific discovery, that we don’t know much more about controlling pandemics than we did in 1665 (the Plague Year of the title).

According to the link above, pangolins have been ruled out as the source of the Covid 9 outbreak, which is a shame, as it would be a good example of cosmic justice. It might also have taught us a lesson about how to treat nature.

As an aside, I have a thought about pangolins. Why not develop a pangolin which, with the help of genetic engineering, is either poisonous when eaten by humans or explodes when stressed? The latter suggestion is probably the more messy of the two, but would help to stamp out poaching.

Can you imagine the look on a poacher’s face as his head flies through the air after he attempts to capture a stressed pangolin?

Our day has mainly been about the medical profession. Julia rang the surgery this morning to check arrangements for her latest round of tests and was told that she had cancelled the appointment by text. She hadn’t. I know this because she’s been worrying about this test since she had the previous tests in hospital. I suspect that someone in the surgery has been messing about.

We have to go down on Friday now, ring the surgery from the car park and meet someone with a blood pressure machine at the door of the surgery. That result, I’m fairly sure, is going to be high.

Julia is still struggling to sign up on the NHS app and I’m still struggling to actually download it. I suspect the system is buckling under the strain. The NHS is not known for its up to date computer systems. If you remember, it’s only a few years since the whole system collapsed and revealed quite how bad things were. At that time their IT system was worse than mine.

All that took several hours, though it’s not like we’re short of time.

The featured image is books – I like books. They calm me down.