HOW was your August? For the remainders hot and sticky I guess? The summer inferno is too much for me so as always, I escaped back to London, and you can almost guarantee cool weather, with more than a splattering of rain, after all it is August with the children on holiday, with many parents or grandparents trying to keep them warm and dry at an English seaside resort, then just as you thought it was over, Bank Holiday weekend turned out to be one of the hottest on records, weather madness.
My August was terrible, I ended up a nervous wreck, it was like standing in a bath having a shower at the Bates Motel aka the Hitchcock film Pshyco, as I spent nearly the whole month, either on the telephone or emailing companies that had been able to mess everything up with a regularity that must be unprecedented in my life.
First unfortunately for me a foreign lorry from Romania turned into the near side of my car damaging the nearside rear door and back nearside wing of my car, the lorry had been parked on double yellow lines in front of temporary lights at some roadworks.All the cars in front of me signalled and overtook the stationary lorry, when the lights turned green in our favour, I did the same and as I got level with the front of the lorry he decided to pull away without any signal from the kerb, hitting my car.
I jumped out and took a couple of pictures quickly, and then realised that the lorry was a left-hand drive, I walked round to his open window, and told him what he had done, and that I wanted to exchange insurance details with him, he replied in broken English that he could not park there any longer as he was blocking the traffic.
We agreed to meet after the traffic lights, stop and then exchange details, the lorry was as wide as the road, so I told him to move up into a bus lane so we could continue with the paperwork. I moved up to the bus lane and waited for him to arrive, he drove past with his window still open and shouted,
“I’m not stopping”.
Luckily, I had a picture of his front, showing his registration number as he drove off I managed to take the number off the rear plate, and low and behold it was different to the front plate.
As my car was not seriously damaged, I drove home just half a mile away and called the police, I then had to go to their website and fill in all the details, attached the photographs that I had taken, then the next thing I did was call my insurance company. After 10 minutes or so I got through only after pressing a series of numbers, if you want so and so press one,then press three and then press two after another ten minutes I finally got a human being, whose English was only slightly better than the Romanian lorry driver, after nearly one hour with my nerves about to explode, the insurance agent asked me to email them all the details and the pictures to their website. I then received several calls and emails asking me to repeat all the details that I had provided before.
The next day was hour on hour speaking to the gas board, once again waiting a long time to get through, pressing yet again,one, then two, then four on my keypad of my telephone, I finally was able to speak to a human being, my reason to speak to them was that we have decided on having a new gas boiler. After ages and ages, I finally got an appointment to have a representative come to my home to do a survey and give me aq uote.
The next day I received a call from the gas board to tell me when the gas man cometh, I told them that I have already got an appointment, the next thing I got was an email of the confirmation of appointment which was a different day and time that I had agreed on.
The gas man did cometh on the first day and time that had been agreed on in the first place, luckily, I was in and he explained the mix up by revolving his index finger by his temple, that signifies madness.
Then I got an email from Vodafone telling me that my broadband and home telephone has been cancelled because they were unable to take a payment from my direct debit at the bank.
So, I telephoned them, the usual happened, press one, press two, press five, finally after waiting almost half an hour I spoke to yet another human being.“What’s your account number?” I gave it to them, after twenty minutes or so the person told me that there was no such account, about to burst into tears I explained that I had signed a contract and gave them my bank details so they could set up a direct debit.
“No sir we do not have anything on the details you have given”
But, but I spluttered with my fist clenched in anger I had given everything that was needed and I’ve been using my broad band and home phone for more than two months.
“OK” the voice said, “we can set up all the details now while we speak”, this I did, but for the next few days I got more emails from Vodafone confirming first that my contract had been cancelled. Then I called them back and apologised for the mistakes assuring me that the new contract was now in operation.
So that was my August, I had nightmares all month long of the Bates Motel with a dark shadow through the shower curtains wielding a knife and me screaming like Janet Leigh being stabbed repeatedly. With my nerves shot to pieces, I’m packing my bag to return to a large brandy and a coffee and to sanity I hope.
P.S The foreign lorry has not been traced by either the police or my Insurance company at this moment of writing.
My new gas boiler will be installed within the next few days.
And my home broadband and phone are working, but Vodafone have not taken any payment so far.