Saturday, December 17, 2016

ONCE MORE AROUND THE BLOCK...THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS




Puff! Whew!  I’ve just finished my morning exercise.  Every morning and afternoon I run around the block.  Last week I upgraded; expanded, so to speak; which in turn increased the distance I have to cover.  Because my ice block kept melting I replaced it with a Besser Block; now I run around the Besser Block.

I bought two pairs of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 running shoes.  One pair airs while I wear the other pair.  I’m a rebel; my Lorna Jane high performance, active-wear wardrobe is bursting at the seams. Draped over the racks I have trackie dacks in colours of the rainbow, ready for winter’s re-appearance.  Winter is some time off in the future, I know, but I’m hanging out for it; just not on the racks with my dacks. 

A thoughtful, unexpected gesture can change one’s mood within a split second.  And, boy, I could use one of those right now. 

I’ve had no home phone since Friday 9th December, and was informed Tuesday morning, 13th December, it won’t be up and working again until 22nd December.  (Hopefully, the problem whatever it is is fixed then)!   The only strand of hair I had left was yanked out...so now I am bald!

I bit the bullet...altered my standing in the world...I am no longer the Last of the Mohicans...I bought a cheap little, no-frills, no bells, whistles and streams Telstra movile phone.  That is all I need to see me through until my landline phone service problems are fixed.  

Famous last words....

I live alone...I need some kind of phone access.  If I fell and did damage to myself...I need to be able to have a phone service!  No one would ever know if I'd cracked a bone, a hip...or whatever else...and so on....

I received the mobile phone Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morphed into a very long, frustrating, exhausting day...I spent from around 10.15 am through until 6 pm on Telstra 24/7 Support Chats...giving my information and all details of said problem over and over and over and over again, in order to have the mobile activated. 

I “spoke/wrote” with many different people.  And each time before our dialogue I waited on queues....you know how it goes...

One clown, towards late afternoon, after we’d had about 20 minutes of dialogue told me he could no longer “talk” with me because he didn’t believe I was who I said I was. 

I raced off and had a look in the mirror to confirm that it was, in fact me.  By that stage, even I was confused!   However, yes, it was as I suspected....I was me...and I still am me!

I copied and pasted every chat that occurred on Tuesday...and below is the portion where the idiot said he wouldn’t “chat” with me any further.  If he’d been within arm’s length of me he would’ve ended up on the deck...so it was just as well he wasn’t!
Quote:

LEE  Why can't you proceed??

Dexter
After a careful examination on the account I have confirmed that you are not part of the authorized contacts. We want to continue assisting you. To accomplish this please call 132200 and say 'faults' so we can further continue with the account authentication.

LEE
Who is going to help me?
Dexter
After a careful examination on the account I have confirmed that you are not part of the authorized contacts. We want to continue assisting you. To accomplish this please call 132200 and say 'faults' so we can further continue with the account authentication.
LEE
No one? This is not good enough...not by a mile!

Dexter has disconnected.

LEE has disconnected.  End Quote

That chat with that little chappy made me very unhappy...very angry, to be precise!

Finally, as the time crept closer to 6 pm, my new phone was activated by a very helpful 24/7 Telstra Support fellow.  I thanked him very much and said if he ran into Dexter to give him a good kick up the backside for me!

All went reasonably well until Friday morning when was on a call to a friend...a friend who is not well, and who I call every other day, if not every day to see how he’s getting on.  His situation is the main reason I was frantic not having any phone service.

Matters on the home phone front and the mobile phone front have not gotten any better!

Mid-call with my friend the mobile phone died!  Nothing! Zilch! Nada!

I'm not fond of phones...and I don't make a lot of unnecessary calls; and I hate receiving unnecessary calls; but not having easy, constant access to one I hate more!

So back to the drawing board I went...back onto 24/7 Support Chat...I think by now I’ve spoken to everyone in the Support area of Telstra!!

After much to-ing and fro-ing, checking etc., the conclusion was reached that the mobile was faulty.  I was advised to print out a PDF form...take it with me to the Post Office; and return the phone to Telstra, who hopefully, in turn, will replace the faulty product.   

The situation I’m presently in is I have no phone contact whatsoever...and the status quo could remain until this time in 2017!!!!

Of course, the one strand of hair I had left has disappeared.  I have pulled every last strand out...I am totally bald!!

On the bright side of life...the kindness of strangers came into play....

One such moment happened to me the other day.  I was on the brink of losing my block.  I was teetering on the edge, not of the block, but the threatening brink of my composure. 

Feeling somewhat out of sorts, as you can imagine - everything was getting on my goat, and I don’t even have a goat!  My hip was thoughtlessly playing up and had been for a while.  I couldn’t blame the weather for my hip’s misbehaviour because rain was nowhere near the horizon at the time, nor was it hovering above.  The fact we’d had no rain for ages (and the heat) didn’t help my mood, either. 

It’s beneficial to one’s being to be able to blame something or someone when feeling cranky. 

My grumpy disposition was made worse by a yanked muscle in my side, something that surprised me because I didn’t know I had any muscles to yank! 

Happy days definitely weren’t here again! 

There I was in my local supermarket car park - juggling with and about to drop what I was holding under my arm while ungracefully struggling to open my car door, when, as if by magic, out of nowhere a hand touched my elbow and another reached across to do the deed at which I was failing miserably. 

A mellifluous voice said: “Here!  Let me help you.” 

The stranger’s soothing tone and generosity of spirit caused me to promptly recover my long-lost equilibrium. 

Turning my head I discovered my smiling Sir Galahad was a fine-looking fellow, in his mid-40s, at a wild guess. 

In a day (a couple of weeks) when I’d not been feeling the fittest, brightest, most cheerful star in the galaxy one kind gesture by a total stranger altered everything within a moment. 

I hope karma really does exist.  I probably will never see the thoughtful stranger again, but my wish is for him to be caressed by the positive wings of the “butterfly effect”, which, in turn, will bring only good things his way. His consideration certainly restored my faith in human kindness and human nature.  I bet he is a chip off the old block. His father must be very proud of him; he taught his son well.

When I think of blocks and chips I’m reminded of the first time I cooked potato chips en masse. An exaggeration, but at that endless moment I felt as if I had a thousand, unforgiving, impatient eyes boring into me, and 500 hundred hungry mouths champing at the bit. Late Friday afternoons in a fish and chip shop can be hell over a deep fryer, and as hot, as well; particularly when, within minutes, you also have a nearby restaurant to open for business.   

With a crowd of starving people queuing from Noosaville to Noosa National Park my very first effort at cooking a basket chock-a-block full of potato chips ended up being as dense and solid as a Besser Block. With no time to practice, it was an on-the-spot lesson I learned quickly.  I had no choice. No way was the converging, hungry crowd going away!


PS....By the way...try though I have...my Skype won't work properly for me.  I've uninstalled and reinstalled a couple of times.  I can see and hear the person I contact...but they can't hear me!   Any new growth of hair doesn’t stand a chance at the moment!

Barbecue Potato Chips: Uniformly slice 3 large potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, your choice) lengthwise and about 1/16-inch thick. Put them into bowl of ice water for 30mins; drain; spread out on paper towel to dry. Combine 1tbs chilli powder, 1tbs paprika, 1/2tbs each -sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder and onion powder, 1/2tsp each cayenne, cumin and freshly ground black pepper. Put 2-inch depth veggie oil in deep sauce pan. When hot enough work in batches; fry potatoes until golden and crisp; transfer to lined bowl; season; toss with spices.  

Crispy Crisps: Preheat oven, 200C. Carefully slice 2 med-sweet potatoes into thin 1/8-inch slices; toss in 1tbs olive oil; layer evenly on lined baking sheet; don’t overlap. Bake flipping every 5mins until centres are soft and edges crisp. Remove tray from oven; sprinkle crisps with salt; let sit to cool and crisp. Repeat process with 2 beetroots and 2 Swede turnips. Spicy Nut & Seed Dip for Chips/Crisps: Process until smooth, 2c assorted nuts and seeds, 2 med-tomatoes, 1tbs tamari, 2tsp cayenne, 1tsp turmeric, 4tbs lemon juice and about 1/4c water (if needed). You can vary the herbs and spices to taste. 

Mango –Yoghurt Ice Blocks: Blend until smooth, 2c natural or coconut yoghurt, flesh of 2 large ripe mangoes, 1 small can coconut milk and 1tsp cinnamon. Pour into moulds; stick a paddle pop stick in centre; freeze until set

Fruit Smoothie Ice Blocks: Blend strawberries and/or blueberries, 1 banana, 1c orange juice and 1 cup yoghurt until smooth; add honey to taste; pour into moulds; freeze. 

34 comments:

  1. Sigh.
    I feel for you.
    I have been sent well nigh ballistic with rage by 'helpful' people more than once.
    Fingers and toes crossed they do fix your landline, and you can keep the mobile (in a drawer) as backup.
    And hooray for the kindness of strangers. Mind you, it could have been his mama who brought him up so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi EC....I've been in a shocking mood all week...in a state of high anxiety...but I've tried to temper it...and have succeeded...to a point.

      The mobile, when I receive the replacement and my home phone is fixed will be relegated to a drawer. I have no need one for every day use...every "normal" day use.

      The kind stranger could very well have been taught his good manners by his mother...but I wanted to utilise the word "block". :)

      Thanks for coming by...have a good day! :)

      Delete
  2. If you kept all that hair you were tearing out in your frustration, you could weave yourself a wig now, and when people ask is that your own hair you can truthfully say yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could've done, River...but along the way I've lost all patience, too. And the way I feel at the moment, I doubt I'll ever regain it or my sanity ever again!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  3. how very frustrating, maybe you can get one of those cheap flip phones, we have one and it never fails and we get it loaded with $100 of time and it lasts all year, we only use it for emergencies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda ....I did get a cheap mobile/cell phone...and it proved to be faulty...and as I stated I had to return it...and am now awaiting a replacement...which will take a few days! Waiting! Waiting...in silence!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  4. When I got my new phone a couple of month ago, I went to the shop and bought it and didn't leave until it was all set up to go and the assistant had shown me how to make a call and as I was leaving the shop I figured out how to message my daughter. If I hadn't managed that I would have been right back in there getting shown how to do it.
    Having one delivered and having to go through the set up myself would have me tearing out my hair too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi River....I got it all set up, eventually...and, once it was activated, I was able to use the phone for a couple of days (plus I studied the manual)..and then kaput!!! There is no Telstra shop here where I live and I wasn't going to go down to the Gold Coast and battle all the madness of the Christmas madness. That would send me even more mad than I already am! I had no other choice but to return the phone the way I've done...and now I wait.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  5. Now I know why I am bald! Bless your heart. It is no fun to be without communication. However my sister and I recently decided that our calls to support tech always made good conversation for the reps. We gave them one more "Crazy Old Lady" story to tell each other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Annie....It's very frustrating...even though I don't use my phone often...knowing I have one that will work if and when needed is kind of helpful!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  6. When I worked, I was often on the phone with tech support trying to get help with a certain new program. I could usually figure things out for myself, but this one was fraught with problems. Most people were kind and got me through my frustration, but some talked down to me which only exasperated the problems. I wished that I could pull out their hair. However, as I said, most were kind, and for their patience with me, I told them over and over how I appreciated them making my day a little easier.

    It is a shame that you are not near a local mobile phone center where you could get some youngster to get your phone set up in a matter of minutes. To them, it is al second nature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Arleen....I wasn't rude with any of the folk I've had to deal with over these past 10 days...being rude isn't going to solve my problem. Politeness achieves better results, in my opinion. I copied and pasted most of the transcripts and have them on file on my computer as proof if anyone (from Telstra Support) wants to question my behaviour towards their people. I found most of them helpful, too...except for that one fellow, Dexter...and he really tried my patience and goodwill!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  7. Well I'll give you a call and see if I can help...oh wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could see the funny side of all this, Mr. Ad-Man...perhaps when everything is fixed and I'm once again with a working phone service, I will see the funny side, but until then....

      With Christmas only days away....it's really not a good time..

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  8. Thanks.

    Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have good one, Gail! :)

      Delete
  9. Well my oh my! You are having a bad trot there.
    Call centres, sometimes it's so hard to get the person on the other end to understand what WE MEAN, and I can't believe your call was ended/chat....we are so used to having a phone whether it be landline or mobile that we are totally lost without one. It's a life thing that we always need.
    Good luck..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margaret...finally this afternoon I got my home phone working again! Living alone it is imperative to have a phone service and these past 10 days have been pretty damn frustrating for me.

      And then when I rang Telstra, believing it be the decent, good-mannered thing to do... to advise that my phone had been fixed...that was another lengthy, confusing, frustrating event!!!! I spoke with someone who did speak or understand clear English very well at all!!! Enough said! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  10. What wonderful words,"Here, let me help you".
    Hang in there, honey! Don't let the phone troubles get you down ! Interesting you say mobile like England, we say cell phone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kay...yes, they welcomed words, that's for sure! I've been pretty frazzled over all this...so frustrating...and then a gem appears out of nowhere! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  11. Well out of All the troubles, that one lone voice with the helping hand must have restored your faith somewhat...
    (((HUG)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Donna...it only takes that one lone voice and thoughtful gesture to turn things around...if only briefly! lol But he shan't be forgotten...not by me.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  12. So nice that the young man helped you. Lovely that there are still gentlemen around like that.

    You are certainly having trouble with that mobile phone, aren't you? At first I thought it was just a dropped call when it died on you. The call dropping happens to me here and there - there's a spot on the street where I live in which the call will drop every time. I tend to walk around my condo when talking on my phone and there is one spot in my living room where the call will drop every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day Lynn...yes it was lovely the gesture given so freely by that young man. I certainly was grateful, and I let him know that I was.

      No...it was just a dropped call...it just went completely dead...no matter where I tried it...the screen was as black as the darkest night...and remained so. Anyway, it's out of my hands now...I posted it/returned it to Telstra.

      Finally, my home phone (landline), the one I'm dependent on....is back in action. The Telstra guys worked on the lines yesterday...and by around 4 pm...I was back on air. Apparently, a few others up here where I live have had similar problems to what I had.

      I was 10 days without being able to use my phone...and it was getting me down a bit....more than a bit!

      Not having ready access in case of emergency was what concerned me...

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  13. Oh Lee, you make me laugh so .. with your exercise routine and Lorna Jeans. I wish I was closer to be a helping hand. Have a wonderful 🎄 Christmas x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Carol...I'll put on some great music as we do our exercise! :)

      I wish you a very Merry Christmas, too...relax and enjoy it to your utmost. Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  14. Hang in there girl as this too will be something to laugh about in the past. I am thankful you had an earthly Angel to help restore your faith in mankind. Run on as I am thankful to just walk. Peace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These days with my hips playing up, I hobble...no walking or running for me, Lady Di. :)

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  15. I am so sorry to learn that you are now totally bald Lee. Shall I send you a wig for Christmas? I am thinking a curly ginger number would suit you best - "Highland Dream" but I don't know your skull size. If you are anything like me you have got a damned big head - mostly bone. Shall I order XXL or just XL?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, no wig, thanks, Yorkie. It's too hot for a wig! I'll stay bald - it's easier to pull my head in when told to do so!

      My grey hair has rapidly reappeared, though.

      My home phone line was finally fixed around 4 pm Monday. Long story...for another day. Suffice to say my stress levels dropped.

      My mother was a "ginger number"...she had lovely auburn hair.

      However, thanks for your generous offer.

      Delete
  16. Did you tell Dexter to go fuck himself?

    When my mother-in-law died, we were told a few times that only she could cancel her accounts, or deposit her refund checks. Yes, really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I didn't, RK...but I sure did think it! I stayed polite throughout my lengthy dialogues over those days...I figured being rude wasn't going to do me any favours. However, between me and me and my own four walls I vented! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  17. How hard should it be to buy a simple phone that just works when you switch it on? Years of dealing with tech people informs me that you need to get the 'right' person, the one who understand and can fix!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes....it was fun and games, a lot of hair pulling and putting a lid on my frustrations and holding it there! lol

      Delete