Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Taking On the World

The following post is part of the biggest blog in history (an initiative of the British Library) where it was originally posted.

'One Day in History' is a one off opportunity for you to join in a mass blog for the national record. We want as many people as possible to record a 'blog' diary which will be stored by the British Library as a historical record of our national life.

Write your diary here reflecting on how history itself impacted on your day - whether it just commuting through an historic environment, discussing family history or watching repeats on TV.
More details at History Matters.

Today marked another episode of what seem to be the running theme of this week: getting frustrating by other people’s incompetence.

First thing on Monday morning, I had to walk into town (about 30min’s walk) to get to the Charing Cross branch of HSBC to try and get back my Debit Card. For some reason, the traffic was very bad and the buses were jammed.

My card had been swallowed up by the bank’s cash machine the day before when the said machine decided to crash as I was trying to get some money (the one next door did the same to another customer). The woman at the bank was not very helpful and simply informed me that they could not give my card and that it would be destroyed. Fuming, I went to a branch of my bank to order a new card.

Last Friday, I had rang my Council to try and sort out a problem with the recycling collection. For the past four weeks I had remembered to put out my recycling bags and box three times on the designated day and the collection had not taken place. I was told that a special collection would be taking place on Monday. When I got home, at about 10.40pm, after a rehearsal with my choir, the rubbish was still on the door step, uncollected. This is not the first time I have had problems with collections not taking place and had I had a car at my disposal, someone would be collecting the things from the Town Hall’s own door step this morning.

We I got at work this morning, I rang the Council to see what was happening and I was told that they actually had until Thursday to do the collection (normal collection day is on Friday) and that I should leave my stuff out until then.
Every time I ring them I seem to be getting a different version of things. I told the woman who answered me how frustrating I find the whole episode. I added that I was one of the people who actually want to recycle and that I was now considering giving up. How do they expect to engage people who are not convinced by recycling when they would face so much problem doing is beyond my understanding.

Today I am also hoping (without holding my breath) for a response to an email of complaint I sent yesterday to most of the heads of department at Little Brown (a publishing house). Some time ago, I had sent them a request for one of their author, Sarah Waters (shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize) to consider attending a meeting of the reading group I moderate and perhaps also an event organised by the community group I co-chair. In response, I receive a rude email from one of Little Brown’s staff: “rather sit on hot coals??!!” Not a commercially viable way of treating their customers, in my view.

With all this my blood pressure must be running quite high today and running the risk of soon being able to blog about the NHS and how useless they can be if things carry on that way…

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1 comment:

  1. Salut Zefrog!!!

    I enjoyed reading your One Day in History post. You managed to capture the essence of what the National Archives were trying to do with the History Matters campaign which is why I’d like to invite you to take a look at a new website called “Map My London” which has just been launched by The Museum of London: (www.mapmylondon.com).

    Map My London hopes to revolutionise the way the history of the city is gathered and displayed.

    It would be great if you could take a look at the site and see if you would be interested in getting involved with uploading your impressions and memories of the capital, to help us create an emotional memory bank. I think that some London memories from the perspective of a French person living in the City would make excellent content for our site.

    You will be able to upload your experiences about the city onto the Map My London site under headings including “Love and Loss”, “Beauty and Horror” and “Fate and Coincidence”.

    The site will support contributions in the form of text, digital photographs, video clips and sound recordings and the best thing is that you will be able to have a link directly to your own personal map to put onto your blog. If this is something that you think that you’d like to get involved with, please visit www.mapmylondon.com.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the website.

    Well done on the cool blog – I’ve got it bookmarked, so you might see some more comments from me in the future ;)

    Kind regards
    Rax, Museum of London


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