Life, photos but not the universe

Rant. YELL! (No offence taken if you ignore most of this)

I feel as if I’m being given the runaround.

To start with there’s YELL – a very aptly named company since contact with it and all its minions have been known to cause people to utter inarticulate, sputtering cries of outrage.  Myself, I think it was designed, or is organised by, an octopus.  It has more ignorant left hands than it’s right hands could find in the kitchen sink, never mind an ink-blackened sea of invoices, sales people, personal advisors, copy checkers, area directories, account names, account numbers……I could go on but I won’t. (Much) (Oh well, probably I will)

I won’t go into details a) because they’re boring and b) because they’re so many and so inextricably entwined, confused and multifarious that explaining them would lead me to sound a little deranged.  I’ll just say it was bad enough before they decided to go online.  Now it’s worse.

As far as running around goes, I don’t think they do it on purpose.  They just haven’t got their left, right and other hands synchronised.  Thus their customers have to run around a lot.

I don’t really think Charlie is intentionally doing it either.  Just, before Christmas, we brought him a small fault on the new car to be fixed under the warranty which was about to run out.  “Don’t worry about that” he said – “I’ll get it fixed under the terms of the warranty even if it’s a bit late.  But not just now – the week after Christmas?”  That was kind of him wasn’t it?

“Or the week after New Year?

“Or tomorrow?

“Or Monday morning?

“How about the day after…

“Next week – definitely….

“Tomorrow.  I’ll give you a ring in the morning.  I’ve just found out why the man who can fix it is never here – he’s got ‘flu.  But he’s definitely got to come in tomorrow as I’ve got two or three jobs he needs to do as well as yours.

It’s a classic case of ‘your problem not mine’ but Charlie is a nice man, we know him a bit socially and he’s effectively extended our warranty to cover the absence of his mechanic so we sort of owe him.

Tomorrow.  Definitely.  Hmm.

Tomorrow came and with it , no phone call.  And I just couldn’t be bothered.

Tomorow evening came and with it a new offering from YELL.  Very nice it looked too but, unfortunately, wrong.

Now this, I have decided to bother with as Barney has gone along way past the end of his tether and into a new phase of inarticulate sputtering and fatalistic bafflement.  While I am not particularly interested in challenges, I do like a puzzle and YELL provides puzzles aplenty.

So I’ve worked out what part of the problem is and I’ve decided to phone them on Monday and speak  plainly.  I mean that – there’s no need for agression or argument, just understanding.  In other words, I have briefly gained understanding and I need to pass it on to someone who can make use of it to our benefit. So I sent them an email explaining what I had uncovered and telling them they needed to sort it out and that I’d phone on Monday so we could do so.

I have to say I yearned to write all kinds of quite unacceptable smart-ass comments.  But I deleted the smart-ass bits.  I am good.   However, I did say “if this isn’t clear I would like to speak to someone more senior”.

Then I fantasised about saying, for instance, “Oh Hello (insert christian name and fulsomely friendly tones) and how are you today this is Mrs Exasperated Customer from the (insert very long company name, spoken too quickly to be understood thus intimating that you don’t really need to know who I am and on a rising inflection??  thus suggesting that I will be happy to have a response but rushing on before any response could be squeezed in??) we’re actually offering today a chance for your business only to discover new clarity and simplicity with regard to our accounts?? your business out of all the other directory businesses has been selected for this offer because you exactly fit the requirements for it I’m happy to be able to suggest that at no charge?? to us you can rewrite the advert you have now cocked up three times in a row and ensure that the proofs of the correct advert are sent to the correct account holder?? with the correct account number and even better that the proofs can be approved and entered in this year’s directory before it’s too late??

Oh, that would be such fun.  But I won’t say all that.  It would almost certainly be counter productive.  I know this because when I receive these phone calls they are counter productive.  I always say no.  And it probably wouldn’t be instructive either since most of the people who work in big companies know perfectly well* that no one likes this kind of call and I’m most unlikely, anyway, to be speaking to the kind of person who is responsible for the  company policy that trains their staff to make those calls .

Ok.  It’s Monday and I am tackling the octopus.  So far, apart from a brief run in with an automated switchboard lady who couldn’t understand my pronunciation of ‘Rebecca’, it’s going well.  It needs to, as the books are being printed today.  So, here I am, with the last movement of Bach’s Concerto for two violins in one ear, making a cup of coffee and a cig with the hand which isn’t full of Bach.  Just now I even managed to confirm a couple of details with Barney with the mobile phone and the other ear.  All we need is for Rebecca to sucessfully check that the ‘line counter’ number leads callers back to us and give the printing hands of the octopus the correct proof – unearthed by me from a previous proof which was buried among our enormous pile of paper marked YELL.

We are now doing Bach for the second time.  (I wish they’d use the whole concerto).  Well if Rebecca can fix this during a couple of performances of one movement of a violin concerto** when it’s taken us 4 months, 15 or 20 phone calls and several dozen emails to get to the point when we can explain to Yell what it is they should be doing with their own paperwork, she’ll deserve promotion!


…. ?

Well I hope we’ve got it right.  I hope I’ve got it right.  I hope they send the right bill to the right place.  I do hope the right advert appears in the two books that are, as I write, being printed with information supplied by me.  Oo-er!  I’m feeling simultaneously extremely smug and hugely apprehensive.***

Well.  Shall I deal with Charlie now?  At least he’s not an octopus.****

*Don’t they?  Surely they must?

**It ran to 4 performances.  Could be worse.

***Ah.  Billing addresses.  Interchanged and incorrect.

***Alas!  I found Charlie and his man with a blue van and got them together with my car and it’s new part.  They attempted to fit the part.  Guess what.  It was the wrong part.  Back to square *!!*#!*!* one.

(Update:  Wednesday:  Charlie in one ear, YELL in the other.  Shall I tie the two phones together and leave them to torture each other?  I could have a shower or read a book or just go out in the rain?)

January 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I’m kind of guessing that these don’t count as the “two down” good things you were looking forward to the other day

    how exasperating!! you’ve very patient. . . I don’t think I’d have lasted the course!

    so, is the car fixed then? *ducks*

    why is everything so complicated sometimes – bodes well for your having a spell of peace and quiet with everything running smoothly



    No Inukshuk, you’re quite right – those are two things that have been sitting on my back for a long time but have not been looked forward to : )
    Patience was interspersed with bouts of hysterical giggles and pacing the room.
    *Hurling notepad and phone at wall*
    No – car not fixed!!!!
    Never mind. thank you for the well boding : )

    Comment by english inukshuk | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. Monumental patience. Very envious. Yell is one of the Shetland Islands. You don’t have these sorts of problems there. They’re all too busy with patterned knitwear for small ponies. Would your 1/12 of narrow-boat get there? All your troubles might be over…

    Wait, wait Christopher! An island called Yell? What madness is this? It rings a bell somehow…
    Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
    Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
    Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
    Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
    That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
    Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
    The clouds methought would open and show riches
    Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
    I cried to dream again.

    Twangling eh.
    Do you think it’s that sort of an island? I think I could go for twangling.

    Comment by Christopher | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hmmmmpf. Pindar Set never shoulda sold themselves–or perhaps this is why they did.


    I hear more complaints about YELL than I do compliments. And sadly, they don’t seem to register with the company. Just sayin’……

    I do think the idea of tying Charlie up with the lovely YELL lady is a splendid idea. At least while you step away from the phone to get a good cuppa before you choke the byjeepers outta both of ’em.

    HEY!! Maybe you should see about a job at YELL!!! Apparently you’d have much to bring their sales department.
    Now THERE’S an idea! 🙂

    Or………..I could just stare at the purple puddle and keep my silly ideas in my head. :-/
    I’ll do that. LOL

    There seems to be a fair old rate of staff turnover at Yell, Mel. Whenever a sales rep promises they will be dealing with Barney’s account for evermore, the next thing we hear is they’ve gone. Myself, I think the octopus feeds on them.
    Sometimes I’m curious to see how the paperwork is handled in there I must admit but not to the extent of wanting to extend our current relationship. If it’s all kinds of confusion dealing with two accounts I can’t bear to think what it must be like trying to manage dozens!
    Purple puddles is better : )

    Comment by Mel | January 26, 2011 | Reply

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