Friday, September 5, 2008

Technological Rage

I need to phone the vet. It is time for Porridge’s rabies injections (le rage we call it in France)

Ok… we have one phone line that we use for out going calls via our internet line. And another incoming line with a built in answer phone that receives calls. Each with their associated equipment.

Sometimes, who knows how, people who don’t have our incoming phone number call us up on the out line. There must be an Orange directory somewhere, because I don’t even know what the number is so they certainly didn’t get it from me. If they are lucky, I am in the office and I pick up the phone. If not, this service seductively suggests that they leave a message in my Orange voicemail…which I can’t access because of a bug in all the computers in the house which means I cannot directly access anything on Orange without reloading all the software, which is dangerous because even more things might stop working. I must use Outlook for my Orange (Wanadoo) emails.
Sometimes people actually manage to call us on the correct number, the answer phone takes the message, but it is often impossible to decipher because there is so much background hissing. This is just as bad, because in both situations, they think they have left a message but they haven’t…

I call a number out…on the outline. I am able to do this because it is a number in France and we can call as many as we like with no extra charge. Should I wish to call another country, I have to do it on the incoming line and I am charged the price of a spaceship journey to the moon.
It is engaged. I check the live box. Sometimes the connection goes down and the little light flashes. No, it really is engaged. I type the number in again, three times running. Each time the same result.

I look at the phone with all its sophisticated facilities and wish I knew how to do the one thing that I really need to do…get it to save the number so that I can redial it.

After six tries I look for the manual. It can’t be that difficult. I find the manual. It is 40 pages long… in each language, French, Spanish and Portuguese. My French is marginally better than the other two so I study it for half an hour ten minutes, and find the appropriate section.

I twiddle with the handset for a while, and then something strikes me.

There is a disparity between the manual, which expects an answer phone, and the phone…which doesn’t have one.

Ah I have the manual for the phone on the incoming line. And I can’t find the other out going phone manual.

I go and have a cup of coffee and wish there was a vaccination for my rage.


Ms Mac said...

I love that the French call Rabies le Rage. Reminds me of 28 Days Later, one of my favourite Zombie fillums.

I know, it's a bit sad that I have a list of favourite Zombie fillums, isn't it?

I did a bit of cyber-stalking yesterday, did you feel my ominous presence in your spots on t'web? I just want to tell you how wonderful I think your voice is. Beautiful!

Rosie said...

aw Ms Mac you have soothed my enraged breast. I take this as a true complement from a dedicated Madonna fan. I'd better not tell you that My Sweet H worked with her ladyship on one of her tours at just about the time that I met him know when it was all pointy bras...I'll ask him if he has a tour tale that we can tell in front of the children!

Lucy said...

I was lost after the first paragraph, so I can understand your rage!

Like the blogroll; it's quite distractingly tempting. I think it would induce in me paroxysms of guilt and inadequacy if I had one, however.

Anonymous said...

I must admit my Mother who lives in Brittany, is often enraged by the French telecommunications system. I put it down to (1) living in the middle of nowhere,
(2) not really being able to speak the language and (3) her age. Now it seems I have done her dis-service as your situation sound even more complex than hers. Maybe I will be more sympathetic when she complains next time, then again maybe not :lol)

hexe said...

A think you have earned a large glass of wine and some chocolate. At least that's what I would want after that rigamoroll.

Frankofile said...

We tried to get money back from Orange when our livebox malfunctioned. I count it a triumph that we got 40 euros off our bill, in dribs and drabs over a few months. It took endless emails and letters, painstakingly prepared and checked by French friends, and lots of photocopies of bills. There is an ombudsman, but he only comes in when you've exhausted the (unclear, frustrating and unresponsive) internal Orange procedures. So anything to do with that Livebox now has me quaking.

Anonymous said...

Sounds so unbelievable! I'd go mad. No wonder your rage.

meggie said...

I am reading, & hearing, about rages all over the internet, regarding computers, phones, faulty technical advice, no technical advice etc.
I have a good friend who works in the field of tech support. She is regularly enraged by LIARS in Punjab, or somewhere sounding suspiciously similar. Because she understands it all, she gets furious when they talk mumbo jumbo, or simply lie!

Mike said...

With regards to Ms. Mac's comment, I also did a bit of cyber stalking last week.

You have a truly beautiful voice.

Wow, I know someone famous. How cool is that?

I sometimes wonder if our whole technological world is about to come crashing down on us. Phones, internet, cable tv, cell phones, etc, all seem very fragile to me.

Anonymous said...

Please, if you ever find a vaccination for your rage, send some to me. And a box of chocolates. Don't you think the rage vaccines for worn out, distressed, technologically frustrated humans should include lots and lots of chocolate?

Rosie said...

lucy - I have put on this new form of blogroll so that all my friends posts make my blog look more interesting...
Jacqui - my relationship with france telecom improved when I learned how to shout in French.
Hexe- chocolate cures everything
Frankofile -I also am proud of the fact that I have got money back from them a couple of times especially when our phone line has not worked for long periods.
Marje-leena - you obviously lead a sheltered telecommunications life...
Meggie - when we complain, we get shunted to call centres in North Africa, good old ex colonies. There is no record of who you speak to - even which centre you are sent to - so they can be as rude as they like- and are.
Mike- thank you, compliments are always accepted. By the way , I am not famous. I was once nearly famous!
Dingo- apparently chocolate contains a hormone that stimulates your brain to produce serotonin...I lived on it for a year when I was ill!

Anonymous said...

Actually sorry mom, but the correct french is "LA rage". Just like in the old days , when i'd correct you every five minutes ... ( oh my god since i've left home my english has flown away ).