Yesterday my wife accused me of being a grumpy old man and I have to admit she had a point but in my defence I cite the following.
The day before our internet stopped and I reported it to Vodafone who said they would run tests and get it fixed as soon as possible, suggesting that a huge gang of men would descend on the box down the road and fix it virtually as we spoke, which seemed like a reasonable solution to me. However the next day I awoke to find that the internet was not fixed and the phone too had given up the ghost which necessitated another call to Vodafone.
We had to go out to buy some school uniform and equipment for our grandchildren so left our daughter at home to deal with the second gang of men from Vodafone who may require entry to our premises in order to attempt to fix the phone for the second time.
Before leaving I tried to book the old Bentley into the garage for a quick job but had forgotten the chap who runs the garage was away in America which meant that it will not be done before Goodwood as I had planned.
When we left to go shopping we called in at our Doctors surgery to sign up to order our repeat prescriptions on line, having taken our driving licences as identification we were both issued with a user name and a password and duly left, so far, so good.
Passing the Co-op in the village I popped in to collect my classic car papers which usually come in on a Wednesday but unfortunately one of them had not arrived, causing me to wonder how with modern technology one could possibly mislay or miss order your papers as surely it would be a standing order on computer.
Moving swiftly on we then spent an inordinately long time purchasing clothing and pencils, rulers, calculators and other items, so much so that I was wondering if we were equipping the entire class but eventually we finished.
My plan to kill two birds with one stone and pay a cheque into the bank as we were passing was also thwarted as the bank was shut for the day.
A further visit to the supermarket for what seemed like an enormous quantity of food, enough to feed the five thousand I would have thought, one wonders how Jesus managed the same feat with just five loaves and three fishes. Upon leaving I was getting close to loosing the will to live.
When we returned home we were informed that the phone was working and had needed the fitment of a new wire which was fixed to a telegraph pole which was hidden in the foliage of the trees and that should the fault occur again we would have to pay as they assumed the tree branches had rubbed on the line causing the fault. I made a mental note to try to cut back the trees as soon as I had a chance.
Somewhat exhausted I sat down with a cup of tea and too many chocolate bars in the hope that the sugar rush gained would assist my flagging energy levels.
Duly refreshed I set about attempting to set up our on line accounts for our repeat prescriptions from the doctor. Having put in my details I was pleasantly surprised that they were accepted and set about putting in the details of my wife, unfortunately they wouldn’t work no matter how much I shouted at the computer which meant we would have to contact the surgery the next day.
My wife phoned up in the morning and was told that she would have to come in again and get a new password and try again but as she was busy I took her ID and the letter from yesterday and requested a new password for her. Unfortunately they were unable to give it to me as it was only possible to give it to my wife in person, one would have thought that having seen us together yesterday they would have been able to use their discretion and give me her password, but no.
I had been warned by my wife not to be too grumpy should there be a problem but by now I was getting so frustrated that I had to point out to the staff on reception, that the whole point of trying to sign up to do it on line was to stop having to make repeated visits to the surgery in person. I may have uttered a minor expletive and a comment that modern life is enough to drive you mad and left. Returning home I took my wife back and she was given a new password, I cannot tell you how relieved I was when it actually worked.
Having just written this tale of woe I am now feeling a little better, although not as much as I had hoped, the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved is not true. As I pointed out to my wife, I would have no cause to be a grumpy old man were it not for all the people who seem to go out of their way to make things as difficult as they possibly can and there, your honour, I rest my case.