And Now For Something Completely Different!

Day off work today. I get a day off in the week if I’m working on a Saturday. I’m working this Saturday and next 😦

Anyway, I decided that today was going to be mine. Yes, all mine! This is very rare. My free time so far this year, has either been doing overtime, looking after Grandson, or frantically trying to get the housework done.

I packed my bag with chocolate and went to the cinema.

There were three of us watching Cloud Atlas. I’ve decided that anytime I want to watch a film it will be when I’m on a liue day. Not during school holidays though. Kids are back at school now, so it was nice and quiet.

Film was good but difficult to follow in parts. It’s about karma and reincarnation. The way that our deeds, both good and bad, can have an influence on our next incarnation.

I felt that the film kept jumping between time frames, which made it difficult to follow. It would have been better to deal with one time frame at a time. I’ll have to watch it again to get the full meaning. I give it 8/10


Customers v The DPA Regulatons

Yet again I had someone phone up and ask me to discuss details of a policy not in their name. I can understand that if they are the spouse of the policy holder, it can be annoying if they can’t deal with payments or amendments.

This particular person was the partner of the policy holder. She wasn’t at all pleased that I needed the policy holders permission to renew the policy. Even when I advised her it was now a regulatory requirment, she didn’t care that she could possibly be breaking the law. She could get me fired, and the company fined. In the end she hung up.

DPA regulations are there to keep our details safe. Or the customers details safe to be specific. We’re all customers in one way or another.

Imagine if someone phoned a company, eg an insurance company, and asked for details of your insurance. Imagine if they were requesting amendments. May be they want to change the name on the policy, or change the way it is paid. Perhaps it is a family member who is phoning to find out what insurance you’ve taken out. What if you don’t want them to know? How would you feel if the insurance company were to just go ahead and change things without your permission?

Disclosing these details could cause an awful lot of problems for some people. On the other hand, other people would find it a blessing.

The DPA is there to protect people. If you want your spouse/son/daughter/relative to deal with the policy, or whatever it may be, on your behalf, then just let the company know. Quite simple. Ring them and give instructions. Send a copy of the POA. Send a letter giving your permission. Don’t expect an agent to put their job on the line for you.


The call centre I work at expects the agents to work over at the end of the day. For example, if we finish work at 5pm and a call comes through 2 minutes before hand for a sale, we are expected to set up that sale even though it can take anything from 10 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the policy or amount of policies. The same goes if we finish later in the evening.
I refuse to do this if I’m finishing later.

Finishing up to 5.30pm is ok. I catch a bus home, 3 in fact. After 5.30pm the buses are running less often. After 7pm they are once an hour from work, on the hour, into town, which is just over one mile away. Otherwise I have to walk down a road where people have been attacked. Once in town my next bus is every half hour, so I have to wait again. Because of this, if I finish after 7pm I get a taxi. Much safer. However, if I’m stuck on a call my taxi is not going to wait.

I’m not allowed to use mobile phone in the call centre, because we deal with personal details of customers. So I can’t phone the taxi and ask the driver to wait for me. This means I will have to phone for another taxi after finishing the call, and because they probably then have new pick ups I’m going to be kept waiting up to half hour.

I don’t think this is right for the company to expect me to do this. I feel that this is a direct risk to my safety, so I am refusing to do it.

I’m pretty sure that I have a case here against the company if they insist on it.

Advice for customer part 3

If you have a cold blow your nose before calling us. Get a tissue before picking up the phone. If you are not sure what a tissue is or how to use it, then please speak to a family member for advice. If you call us and find that your snot is slowy running down your nostril, don’t sniff. Tough. You will have to let it run. It’s not nice for those of us who are wearing headphones that echo the slightest sound. If you sniff you may hear me puke down the phone. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

As stated above, the headphones echo the slightest sound. Your coughing or clearing of throat is especially loud and likely to burst our eardrums. If this happens just remember that you have given us your address. And we want compensation.

Exploding oven

Well yesterday it was an exploding drain, today it’s an exploding oven. So the fuse has been lit. I wonder if it was a microwaved oven. I expect the food was chargrilled. I think the customer has begun a liking for well done steak.

After hearing the news of the 3 arrested terrorists, the ones calling themselves the 4 lions (they obviously can’t count), I hope the exploding drains/ovens is not the start of a new rein of terror in this country. We’ll all be afraid of sitting on the loo for fear of exploding poop. Holes in the garden will be the norm. Opening the oven will be fearsome task. We’ll all be converted to salads & raw meat. The good news is that it will help the obesity problem in the country.

Exploding drains

Customer told me today that if her drain wasn’t unblocked it would explode. Not sure if it was nuclear waste, or radioactive waste. May be she had been dropping atom bombs. Must have a liquid igniter. I know this is a shot in the dark, but I reckon this subject will be dynamite for the next few days. I doubt that it will be a flash in the pan.

Wrong number

So today I had around 8 or 9 wrong numbers. People ringing our 0800 number because it’s a free phone number, and expecting us to put them through to the company they actually want. They think they are being clever and original. They think no one has ever done this before. I say it’s lazy, it’s begging. It’s ignorant and it’s wasting the time of genuine customers.

A memorable call

A real call I remember from several years ago:

ME: How can I help you?
CUSTOMER: I’m calling on behalf of my friend. He’s in bed ill. He’s got flu. He’s disabled. He can’t walk. He has a wheelchair. He’s got a bad heart. He’s had heart problems for some time now. They thought he’d had a heart attack but it was just a scare. He’s on tablets for it though. He’s had two strokes. He finds it hard to talk now, which is why I’m calling for him. He’s also got prostrate trouble…
ME (patiently): Can I have your name please?
CUSTOMER: I told you I’m phoning for my friend who is ill. He’s in bed. You can’t speak to him. I thought I’d help him by phoning you. Now you’re making things difficult for me. I’m only trying to help my friend. He needs someone to help him. With all his health problems. The district nurse will be here soon to check on him. I don’t understand why you’re being so unhelpfull…
ME: Can I just stop there? Can I have your name? And your friends name? And the address, please?
CUSTOMER: Well it’s…and he is…
ME: Is that Ms or Mrs?
CUSTOMER (indignantly): It’s Ms of course! I’m a virgin. I’ve never had sex. What are you trying to say? I’m nearly 60 years old! You’re a very rude person! They don’t they teach you people to have any manners? I’m not staying on here a minute longer!
Customer hangs up
ME: Thank the Gods for that!

Margaret Road Wednesbury WS10 7QT 07505067286 By appointment only, so please contact me to discuss available times.