Thursday, November 18, 2004

My roommate and I received quite a shock today when we received our power bill from our power company. It was over £500. That sent me into a shock that took me a while to get out of. As you may well know, I have been having problems with my power meter so this really should not have come as a surprise. In any case, I dreaded calling the power company because of the stuff that goes on in the US when you call any corporation about a bill. They almost always blame the customer and try to get them to pay the bill whether it was the company's fault or a faulty piece of equipment. After talking it over with my roommate, I gave the power company a call. Well, at first I was stuck using their automated telephone service. This did not bode well for a good outcome on anyone's side but I stuck with the automated phone service. I knew if I hung on long enough I would get a real person on the line. After waiting for what seemed like forever, I actually got a real live person. It was a lad from south of the border but he was very nice. I explained the situation to him and he put a hold on our account and got some information from our meter and agreed that there was a problem and they are sending a workman out to fix it as soon as they can. I said that someone was supposed to come by and he gave me the date and I had the wrong date so he came here but noone was home. The guy on the phone with me did not try to blame me or even chastise me for missing the appointment. He just calmly gave me a new appointment and made sure that I had it on my calendar and put a hold on my account. I do not have to pay the bill and they are going to see what is wrong with the meter. I was very impressed. The guy was even very nice while getting the information.

I worked phone support for Windows 95 at the launch of the product. We had defined times that we had to be under for each phone call and that created massive amounts of stress especially when you had difficult problems. This usually made us sound stressed and in a hurry. This guy was completely different. He listened and understood what I was trying to do. He did not sound like he was under a time limit. Also, I was not a fault for anything that happened. It was a customer service dream come true. An added bonus was that he spoke English, the Queen's English even. Some of you know about the problems that I had with customer service at Dell to know that this is important to me.

On another front, my passport came in from the Home Office today. They authorized me from now until the 31st of December 2007. They even put a really cool colored authorization that is pasted into my passport. I would post a picture of it but I do not want other's to find it and use it but it is really neat looking. Anyway, they cannot get rid of me now! Muahahaha!

Google did something interesting today as well. They just launched a service called Google Scholar, which allows you to search through scholarly journals and books. This will allow those of us who want to use Google in a constructive way for scholarly research to do so without getting all those crazy sites. This will be great for Celtic Studies since we seem to have an abundance of crazies who go off half-cocked on the web.

Anyway, I have some reading that I need to do.

posted by Chris  #6:01 PM | 0 comments |