january_2015If the murder of twelve people at the Charlie Hebdo offices was meant to shock and horrify, it certainly worked. There was no “awe” involved, just shock, horror and hearts going out to those who were murdered and to their friends and families. The shock, for me at least is the realisation of just how narrow an understanding of the world the perpetrators have. The horror lies in the price a free society pays.

October Blog

I’m writing this way too early. Its only the 19th of September. Doubtless, in the interim, huge, earth-shattering things will happen. Ian Hislop will take one of my cartoons [let’s start with the least likely], an ice-cap will melt, and Greeks bearing gifts will come to Brussels.
Actually, I’m being a bit premature because I’ve had my website cleverly redesigned so that I can add things on my own, rather than the designer having to do it. He’s a computer whizz and tells me that its easy. But as I’ve said before, as far as computers and IKEA furniture assembly are concerned, I have a faulty gene. So I want to have something bloggy ready in the unlikely event that I can upload[God, I HATE that word !] it.
But fairly important things HAVE happened since the last blog. Dave’s been to Libya. With a tiny French fellow. Lots of people cheered. Falklands revisited. Miners have died. Underground. In rising water. Terrifying.
The media ruined the job prospects of a nurse falsely accused of tampering with drips.
Those with inherited wealth who govern this country shilly-shally about the 50pence tax band whilst the looters of the economy, bankers, forego their bonuses for even bigger salaries.

But wait ! I hear you cry.What happened to the 19th ? I will tell you. My broadband connection has failed. Back in June/July, there were some 30 + failures, and here we are, less than two months later and as of noon yesterday I commenced the tortuous process of trying to get BT to fix it. Again. So you’ll forgive me if I go on a bit. For those of you who have uninterrupted broadband, it goes like this…………..
“Broadband connection failure” or somesuch comes up on the screen. Various options/questions of the “fix it yourself” variety appear. These never work and eventually the friendly female Scots recorded lady tells you that, “ We’re VERY busy right now…………..” then informs you that many problems [at least that’s an admission that there ARE many problems with BT’s rubbish service] can be fixed by going to BT’s website. Which requires a broadband connection.Slight blood pressure spike. Anyway, eventually, after ten desolate minutes listening to “A Little Night Music”, Kumar in India comes on the line. Since joining BT I’ve spoken to many of BT’s Indian employees and they have proved, without exception to be efficient, friendly, linguistically 100 times better than me, and eager to help. Kumar identified the problem. A broken wire.Outside the property. The huge and repeated failures of June/July were caused by a broken wire.Also outside the property.
So now I’m sitting here boring you to tears while I wait for a BT engineer to call. Could be any time between 9am and 5pm I’m quite prepared to bet anything you like that said engineer will call, will do all the checks I’ve already done, go off down the road in his Openreach van, fiddle with an exchange box, come back and tell me “it’s a broken wire, mate”. Then he’ll tell me that it’ll have to be found.This inevitably involves calling in the Broken Wire Finding Team. Previous experience suggests that this will take a couple of days. Of course, switching provider would achieve nothing. BT own the wires everybody uses.
BT’s broadband internet provision is inept, unreliable and deeply frustrating. I already dislike computers heartily, with their incestuous language and mind-numbing logic, but like everybody else, am in thrall to the internet. My job depends on it. But like most big businesses, BT pay lip service to Customer Service. That my BT broadband service has been and is a complete flop doesn’t concern them. I am but one. Now, if I was a Big Business…………………………..
Asleep yet ? WAKE UP ! Here’s an update. Its 17.35 on Tuesday 22nd Sept. I was wrong. An engineer did not call, despite Kumar’s assurances that this was “a priority matter”.
So I went through the infuriating rigmarole again, dialling 0800 800 151 and got one of Kumar’s chums after lots more Night Music. He had no clue as to why Kumar promised an engineer visit for today, but that one would be in attendance on Thursday the 22nd. I asked him if there was any possibility of speaking to the UK engineers. No, he said. There isn’t. He added, revealingly, that any attempt to speak to a UK BT rep would be routed to India.
BT’s protestations about constantly seeking to provide a better service are at best laughable. At worst, they are cynical in the extreme.
And now its October and boiling hot. There’s a fan running in the studio,Mrs Dog’s horizontal again, its been a moderately productive day and my internet connection’s working again. All of a sudden. No call from BT. An apology probably wouldn’t improve their dreadful service, but it would go a little way towards me and the thousands of other people they let down thinking that there’s a HUMAN somewhere in their organization. BT are the BORG !