You know that thing people say? You know… Time’s a great healer, or Time heals all wounds… Yeah that thing, well it doesn’t! Time is a fiction we tell ourselves to make us believe we are making progress. Four months have passed since that fateful night when the knock of the law brought my world crashing to earth, four months of dealing with all the grown-up stuff which is supposed to come naturally to grown-ups but… doesn’t!
It’s like this, imagine somebody runs you through the heart with a dagger, and then before you can get any treatment for the wound you have to spend days and weeks going through interminably byzantine red tape, just to get a nurse to give you a band-aid.
Or imagine playing whack a mole, but every time you hit one it splits into three more, so much so that by the end of a week you are infested with moles or insurmountable problems if you prefer, and you just want to scream,
LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!!!!
Yeah, that’s pretty much how it is. Four months on, and I still have a pension fund to negotiate, with requests like, can you get the original copy of her father’s death certificate, I never met her father, he died before we got together, and so consequently never met her step-mum, because she didn’t maintain contact with her after his death; and her full birth certificate, which must have been lost in the early 60’s as all she had was a replacement created in 1966, when she needed a passport; or can you send us the decree nisi from her last divorce? As all of these things had very little to do with me and as I have produced her Death Certificate, wtaf has all this to do with me… It’s like the pension fund is run by Vogons… Heaven forfend that they will read me their bloody poetry next.
Another piece of wonderful logic, this time from the good people of talk talk… I cancelled my contract with them at the beginning of April, and cancelled the standing order accordingly, last week I got an email saying that they couldn’t get a payment from my account. YEAH thats because I have cancelled the account. I spoke to an advisor on line, he was from East Africa, he didn’t really understand what I was saying, so I asked for a phone number where I could speak to someone. I rang the number and got an Asian girl, very pleasant, she said I had to pay a full month’s subscription so that they could give me back my money later in the month. I said, When does my month’s notice run out?
3rd of may, was her reply. I said how about in the middle of the month you send me a final bill, for the three days I have not been using your facility and I pay that, that way I’m not going to be left relying on your good practices to get the money I don’t owe you back?
Similarly, I phoned the council with regard to council tax, at the beginning of April to say that as I was no longer domiciled in their area I wanted to end my council tax payments.I was asked when my lease was ending, I said I am leaving on the 23rd April or before.
Yes but when does your lease end, I said I have extended the lease for an extra month, because given my mental state the last thing I needed was people coming around to look at the house whilst I was there.
“Oh well, if you still have the lease til the 23rd May, you still have to pay council tax until then.”
“But, I won’t be living there…”
“You’ve still got to pay…”
“Because the lease is in your name.”
“But, my friend, the whole raison d’etre of the council tax, is that it helps to pay for amenities which I will be using, but as I am not going to be domiciled in the property or within any property within your bailiwick, I should not have to pay the tax.”
” You still have to pay…”
“Because its the law.”
“And you sir are making an Ass of the law. Thank you so much for all your help.”
This is a joke, but its also the truth.
In the four months since my beloved died, I have dealt with funeral directors, humanist preachers, (so for the oxymoron), police, coroner’s office, telephone companies, utility providers, insurance companies, solicitors, doctors, pension fund managers, banks, and so on… ad infinitum, and what have I learned… modern life is rubbish! In a Nutshell. I have had to become as adept with the law as a barrister, every single thing you try to sort through is not just a minefield but a minefield written in triplicate. Every single adventure into sorting out the details of modern life is a quagmire of mixed media, you start on the net; go to phone;ping around the world in 80 call centres; answer queries by email; the return e-mail, requires another phone call and so on… La Ronde (play by arthur Schnitzler about the sexual roundabout we all live) keeps playing but it ceases to be fun long before the end.
I was once told the difference between heaven and hell was this… In both places there was all the food you could possibly want but you had to eat it with six foot long chopsticks, in hell, the people were in torment, because no matter how hard they tried they could not get anything to eat. In Heaven the people were all happy and well fed,
HOW? Because instead of trying to feed themselves, they fed each other, and everyone’s needs are met.
This allegory is pertinent because Customer Service in this modern age is another oxymoron, it does not provide any service to the customer, but rather seeks to serve the company’s needs. It seeks to obfuscate rather than illuminate, and in the end leads to dissatisfaction with the company involved…So they will all eventually end up losing the customer they seek to keep. Hell indeed.
So, four months on, yes the initial shock and awe of the accident has abated to some extent… I still miss my beloved every day, Some days are still untenable, some days are bearable. I have lost my love, my job, my home and my friends are all miles away…
I have my family, a home with my parents, my brother and my dogs, and friends who are still within touching distance. I have my painting, have plans to go fishing with my brother and I still have Art galleries to visit with my old friend Janet, and I’m trying to look forwards. Not easy…
NOT AT ALL EASY, but I’m trying.
live in love my friends