Saturday, January 7, 2012

How rude!

I took a phone call on Thursday evening. It was to the house phone, which is unusual, but my sister calls me on that so I always answer. I’d just dished up dinner which was a melange of pasta, sprouts, broccoli and haloumi in fresh pesto. I mention this because it is a meal that is best eaten hot.
I answered the phone. ‘Is that Mrs Rose?’ she asked. 
Obviously not and an instant indicator that this was a sales call. 
‘Yes it is,’ I replied, because even though she did not know how to pronounce my name I am the person she wanted to speak to. 
‘Have you got a minute?’ she asked. 
‘No, actually, I’ve just put out dinner.’ 
‘I understand you still have wooden fascia boards.’ 
‘I don’t want to buy anything thank you.’ 
‘This isn’t a sales call.’ 
‘You know,’ I said, handing Sally her bowl, ‘I’ve just served out our dinner and I’d like to eat it while it’s hot. Goodbye.’ 
As I put the phone down I heard her complain, ‘That’s a bit rude isn’t it!’
This must be the fourth call I’ve had from these people. I am not going to buy their product.    I’ve told them that three times. I sympathise with anyone who has to make a living cold-calling people. It’s a thankless task, but I have always been of the opinion that if I want a service or a product I will research my options and call the people I choose, to ask for a quote. I don’t appreciate companies calling me and refusing to take a polite ‘no’. 
I signed up to the mailing preference service some time ago when I got tired of unsolicited junk mail. I vaguely thought I’d done the telephone version (TPS) at the same time but I haven’t been sure. I’ve just checked and my number has been registered. 
This is what it says on the TPS website;
‘The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a central opt out register whereby individuals can register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS.’

According to the regulator of this legislation, the Information Commissioner’s Office:
Telesales calls
If you have received a live telesales call, and you are registered on the TPS, you can complain directly to the TPS in the first instance.
If you continue to receive telesales calls despite complaining to the TPS you should complain to us.
We may be able to help if:
  • you have received a marketing call;
  • you can identify the caller;
  • the caller is based in the UK; and
  • you have a record showing you had previously informed the caller that you did not wish to receive its marketing calls. 
So the next time this company is rude enough to call me, despite me registering not to receive marketing calls, I will tell the that I will report them, and then I will report them. I’m almost looking forward to it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Disappointment pending...

2012. I’m living in the future and it’s not at all what I had hoped for. Despite the lack of rocket pants, however, and the fairly constant low level anxiety, I remain relatively content. 
We’ve had a lovely holiday. Christmas was a family day (without my kids but with Mum, my sister Sue, Robin and Callum and, of course, Ian & the Queen). On the 29th we drove up to Scotland for Ian’s niece, Kirsty’s, wedding. This was jolly fun although I wasn’t convinced by the symbolism. They each lit a candle and once the words had been said, together lit a big central candle. How lovely! And then they, together, snuffed their individual candles. I’m beginning to think I’m spending far too much time worrying about symbolism. At a talk some time ago I suggested that the speaker stopped ‘arming’ their audience with information and began sharing information. These ideas do not endear me. I should shut up. 
Fran, John, Laura & Lady Godiva
New year’s eve was with Julia and Doug and a host of lovely fans. To describe it as a feast rather undersells the whole thing. The food was amazing (who would have thought that beetroot mousse would be so yummy) and the presentation was fabulous, both the food and the lovely handpainted 'tapestries' courtesy of Julia and Sally. The only problem now is that of finding anyone brave enough to try to host next year’s celebration. We can comfortably seat eight but there is no way I could find the money, time and kitchen space to produce such a banquet. Wow! Sheffield fandom will be subsisting on the leftovers for some time to come. Of course there will be a follow-on extravaganza in May when the wedding of the century takes place in the Daly-Spencer household.
Over the holidays I spent two mornings on the allotment disinterring large quantities of junk, watched three TV progs (the Big Fat Quiz of the Year (tick good), Dr Who (tick vg) and Sherlock Holmes (tick excellent)) and listened to a number of radio programmes. I failed to finish a book (any book) and bemoaned the dearth of blogs and cartoons although  I did spend an inordinate amount of time reading postings on ‘Do the Math’. More on this sometime soon. I ate too much of too rich food and drank far too much. And all the time that vague low level anxiety hovered. Maybe more on this sometime soonish too.
So, it is the evening of new year’s day. Despite my best intentions I did not clear and clean the house - we entertained instead. I did, however, put my resolutions into play. I didn’t, despite the temptations still hanging round the house, ingest any refined sugar and I only had a share of one bottle of really quite splendid Amarone whilst eating my frugal dinner. There have been rather more photos taken of me than usual, given the additional festivities, and it was difficult to ignore the somewhat ample girth displayed. So, sigh, the following resolutions:
I will not drink alcohol on my own and I’ll limit myself to a share of one bottle of wine
I will not eat or drink refined sugar (goodbye hot chocolate with cointreau)
I will live within my means (because I so haven’t this month)
Yeah, I know. Every new year I intend to do the same old things. Get thin, get rich, get organised. I’m still ample, poorish and messy. It’s a tradition. I’ll see if I can get to February before I give up this year.