Daily Archives: 01/04/2008

Did I upset you? Unwanted telephone calls.

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Am I sorry that I upset you?

No I’m not, if you were the man who telephoned me from Weatherseal, the British double glazing, replacement window company.

I am fed-up to the teeth with unwanted telephone calls, offering me free holidays, phones, loans, replacement kitchens, insurance, or “Do I mind if I answer a couple of questions?”.

If I want something, I will go on-line, go on the internet, or I will go to the shops. Thank you.

        Ring. Ring. Ring. “Can I speak to Mr Holt please?”

If I hear an Indian accent, I can feel the hairs starting to stand-up on the back of my neck. I know it is a call center in India wanting to sell me something.

        “What are you selling?” I ask.

        “Oh nothing sir. Can I ask you some questions? Do you have a mortgage?”

That is it.

        “No I do not have a mortgage, I am 95, and paid it off years ago. But I tell you what, I have some money
         to spare, would you like a loan from me, I will only charge you 4% APR, instead of your 16% , and ……….”

The phone goes silent, as my reply is not on their script. They are stumped. NLPers? Pattern interrupt.

Or I will reply :-

        “Do you give loans to bankrupt people?”

I just asked a question, there is no need for them to put the phone down on me.

But Mr Weatherseal Windows, why does your company keep interrupting my day? On your Weatherseal computer database, you can see that we have had windows installed only a few years ago, and because of that, why should I want to have them replaced again?

If I did know people in the rest of the flats here in Norbiton Hall, (click to read about), why should I recommend you, a company that keeps calling me up, intruding into my personal space.

All I said to you was :-

        “We have your windows already thank you, but I might be interested in a conservatory.”

to which you replied :-

        “We do conservatories.”

I could tell from the tone of your voice you were suddenly interested in me.

        “Yes I know, but we are on the second floor.”

There was no need to say back to me, “Ha. Ha. Very funny”, and put the phone down on me. I do want a conservatory installed, but not here.

Norbiton Hall, Kingston upon Thames from the rear.

So Mr Weatherseal Windows, you lost yourself a potential sale.

Then we get the silent calls. No-one on the other end. I end up shouting down the phone, but no-one hears me except for the neighbours and the shoppers across the road.

Yes for those of you who have similar problems, there is a service here in the UK called the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) (click to visit web page). This is an opt out service or register. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make cold calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.

But they still keep coming. Perhaps the call centers in India do not know about it, or even know where Britain is.

So Mr Weatherseal Windows and the many cold callers who interrupt my day and evenings, I am going to have fun with you. Please don’t put the telephone down, as I do know you have a job to do, and my fun may be a waste of time to you, but then, so is your call to me.

Oh yes Mr Weatherseal Windows, do you install the conservatories in Malaysia?

Still you continue, see the article – Weatherseal Windows, do you think I am stupid?

A Hospital Visit – Time Distortion

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I had to go to my local hospital here in Kingston upon Thames, (see some views), a very large place and expanding all the time.

Part of Kingston upon Thames hospital, Main Entrance 
Part of Kingston upon Thames hospital, Main Entrance

I suppose I am becoming like an old vintage wine, I need to be turned, or like an old car, I need attention and some of my parts, oiled and overhauled, with tenderness, love and affection.

I collected a numbered ticket – 78, so that I knew when it would be my turn to be seen, and sat in a waiting area, watching the other patients and members of staff. There seemed to be a representative from nearly every country in the world there, from the Far East, South East Asia, Asia, Africa, Europe, but I did not hear an American accent.

Britain does seem to be less British and more world with every day that passes. As I walk around the shops, I hear so many languages, Polish, Pakistani, Korean, so many I have no idea where they are from. The shop assistants have a foreign accent, waiters and waitresses in the restaurants seem to be there to learn English.

Today a Government report by a House of Lords Committee chaired by Lord Wakeham on recent mass immigration into Britain concluded that there has been little or no positive impact on the living standards of the existing population, and suggests an “explicit and reasoned” limit should be set for net immigration from outside the EU.

It seems that there is a figure of nearly 200,000 net immigrants into Britain each year, that is those seeking to live in Britain, and those leaving, yes, the Brits leave the shores of the UK to become immigrants to other countries. A figure of 200,000 would make a very large town every year, and those are only the “official” figures, it does not take into consideration the illegal immigrants plus their families.

I sat there, watching the second hand of a clock going what seemed to be backwards, time was going so slow, just like standing in a queue in a bank, time just stops. My ticket number 78 was a long time away.

Patient number 60 gets ready to be seen in Kingston Hospital
Patient number 60 gets ready to be seen in Kingston Hospital

I then began to remember great times, when at a party, when I was a small boy playing, when giving a course. Time just went so fast then. In fact I remember being with a girlfriend, being totally absorbed, then looking at my watch to see that it was not 9pm at night, but mid night.

Where had time gone?

How did time pass so quickly?

It is only our mind that distorts time, makes it go quickly or slowly.

My strongest memory of time going so slow was when I was a student at the Staffordshire College of Commerce in Wednesbury, sitting in a history lesson. The teacher was bad. He did not give me any enthusiasm, he did not light my candle. I sat there watching the second hand of the big clock on the wall facing me, tick, tick, tick away, I can even remember seeing the sight movement of the minute hand. Oh time went so slow waiting for the end of lesson bell.

So sitting there in the waiting area, I got my mind to go back and remember a time where time had been so fast, and that I will keep to myself, and relived that time, seeing everything I saw, hearing everything I heard, and feeling all the good things about that time, all over again. I fully associated myself into that time.

Oops. It is my turn to be seen, ticket 78.

Doesn’t time fly if you are having fun?

Download a desktop timepiece by Maurice Lacroix. Click here.  Download a desktop timepiece by Maurice Lacroix