Friday, 23 August 2013

Terminology - a Rant, by D.Ross MacIver

Terminology is a marvellous thing - it is the Emperor's New Clothes of vocabulary.

 "What can you possibly mean by that, Big D, old bean?" saith you.
 Although what you are probably saying is:
 "Well, diii - d'you only just notice?"
 The answer to that would be: "OBVS NOT! - I've known it for years!!"

The truth, however, would be that I have never been bombarded by so much as I have over the past week since my poor wee Post Office fell foul to the doubtless antiquated network of cables etc that a certain telecommunications giant (heretofore to be known as TG) think will "do" because it's all we should expect given that we have to audacity to live on an island.   

I feel for the poor TG engineers. I was talking to one I found in a hole at the bottom of my garden.  There he was last Friday, 6:30pm, holding something that looked like an intergalactic spider that had been in a fight at the Clachan:  all bits hanging off it; and he didn't have a clue what was going on with my PO - he was busy trying to get some other poor bugger in the villages's phone up and running because it had been off for days.

So, yes terminology -  the first one used during this debacle,  and one I confess to enjoying using on anyone I think may not fully understand what it means is "re-boot".

Lovely People (absolutely NOT sarcasm - after this week - they've been keeping me sane) at out PO Technical Support: So Mrs Unbound have you tried re-booting the system.
Me: No, I can't, I'm wearing shoes today. D'you think the original booting I gave it could be the issue?
L.P at T.S: ?????????????
Me: OH!!! You mean - have I switched it off then back on again :)))

(I've made up one of my own; have even boiled it down to an acronym: MAPUS
Manually applied pressure to the surface unit - I didn't do that though - honestly).

But the terminology crown has to go to a phrase used by TG today - it seems that after 8 days my dear little Post Office isn't working because our "ticket's stuck".

Well, flip me!!! Why didn't you say so before, TG!!!! That makes everything clear.  No wonder I can't so much as post a freaking parcel!  Our ticket's stuck - ha! should have guessed really........

 PARDON!! Our what's what! What the hell does that mean!

Lovely Person at Tech Support (who are doubtless thoroughly sick of hearing my deep booming voice by now): (pause) - yeah, I was kind of wondering that myself.

This phrase has now been passed along various tiers and levels of PO people and hierarchy because PO Counters are taking my plight very seriously - all sorts of High Heidens are involved and have probably been googling like crazy to find out what and where we are.

So that's what I mean about the Emperor's new clothes; someone from TG supposed to be giving an update on our situation used this phrase, and the person at the other end didn't like to point out that to us regular Joe's it meant bugger all - in effect was meaningless and; therefore, as a piece of information rendered invisible.  But the thing is, it would have been used with such authority that whoever was assailed with it didn't like to suggest they couldn't see the information that "our ticket being stuck" was allegedly imparting.  I like to think that the illusion may have worked had it not been for me having no qualms about appearing like an idiot (anyone familiar with my dress sense will be nodding) - thusly, what we have, instead of an accepted acceptable reason for my PO being off, is a statement revealed to be plain, naked, gobbledygook. 

To be fair and just, however, perhaps it is the case that this is a phrase that any old employee of TG would recognise and understand, and it is only us uninitiated in their mystical ways that are left struck dumb.

It is a better reason than the one they were originally trying to float which was that we lived in a remote location and getting an engineer to us was difficult .... as one of my customers said yesterday: "We haven't been remote for 50 years!"  So, my lot at the PO end of help lines were picturing this, rather than the reality: this  (okay - I might have exaggerated a little).

The plus side of the past week was finding out what a useful bunch work for out local parliamentarians. They have been most helpful with regards setting cats amongst pigeons.  Next time I feel it's even raining too hard, I will be calling them.

Oh, and one last thing - one of the people dealing with my situation has the best job title ever: The High Level Complaints Gatekeeper - that is so cool - if you take the complaints bit out.  Don't know about you, but I'm picturing this!!!

TUNE: My Chemical Romance : I'm Not Okay (I Promise)

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