Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Computer says "No", I lose the will to go on, and my family must have collectively walked under a ladder

It's been a pants weekend.

Part One: Computer says "No"

Spent all weekened panicking about All The Things We Have To Do and realised on Saturday that it was all getting a bit much.

I realised this when I found myself bursting into tears when trying to get a refund on some £2.49 brass cross angles from Homebase. I'd bought two of them, along with some primer and sealant, when we thought we could just bodge the hall window. Then I discovered there was very little hall window left to salvage and I needed to replace it instead (to the tune of £400). So I was taking back the unused diy stuff to Homebase to get my money back on it or use the credit to fund my ever increasing DIY habit...

Except the computer said No.

The real, tangible cross angles that I had brought back were apparently not cross angles at all but something else called Angles crosses or something very similar which were only worth (shock) a mere £1.79 a pack. The Homebase lady did the sort of customer service shrug we are all getting too familiar with these days and said "I can't refund these. They're not what you have on your receipt."

At this point I was still quite calm and I explained that they had to be what was on the receipt because I had bought no other sort of cross angles, angle crosses, or anything that resembled them whatsoever so if the bar codes did not match, it must have been scanned incorrectly in the first place. She denied this as a possibility, justifying this with the weird new ditact that 'The computer says they are different so they must be different'. Not perhaps allowing for the possibility that stock details change and maybe something had been re-named and re-priced, or maybe the scanner hadn't worked that day and the till operator had to manually enter the product code and just as they were getting to the last number their friend Kendra walked in to the store and they looked away for a nano-second to greet her, causing their index finger to end up pushing a 9 instead of an 8. Or maybe the computer was just wrong.

Anyway, the state of nervous panic that I seemed to have lived my life in over the last few weeks caught up with me and I was humiliated to find myself welling up with tears of frustration. I tried to initially hide this from both the assistant and the boy, but they both clocked it and the humiliation at them seeing me over-react quite so pathetically then just made things worse!

So I blubbed. In Homebase. Oh Lordy.

Part Two: I lose the will to go on

And then I went home and curled up in bed for a few hours before calling the bike shop to see when the CG125 would be ready to pick up (in for an MOT). It wasn't ready. Despite booking it in over a week ago it had not yet been MOT'd and may not be done until next week. So out came the tears again. I shouted at the bike man in my embarrassment and frustration and hung up the phone to blub some more.

The boy came in and gave me a hug and told me (quite rightly) that he thought I was wound a little tightly at the moment and needed to relax. I could hardly get my response out because I was snivelling so much, at which point I had to agree with him. This sort of reaction to everyday stuff just isn't healthy.

So we essentially downed tools for most of the weekend. We still accomplished the draught-proofing and bled a radiator. But doing the latter resulted in losing all the pressure in the boiler - so we had to spend another two hours trying (and thankfully succeeding, otherwise I'm sure there would have been more tears) to rebuild the pressure in my boiler.

And we did a three hour bike training session and popped in for tea at a friend's house. And saw a comedian saturday night, entertained the brother and his girlfriend friday night and watched Shaun of the Dead sunday night.

But compared to how busy life has been lately, that's currently my idea of a quiet weekend.

Part Three: My family must have collectively walked under a ladder

Friday night my brother and his girlfriend come to dinner. We all have a lovely time. They stay the night and go back to Oxford the next day. I then get a message from my brother thanking us for a lovely night but explaining that his new girlfriend is now his ex-girlfriend as she dumped him after he'd dropped her home.

Sunday night I get a message from my Dad. My mother is in hospital, facing an operation after having dislocated her ankle and broken it in three places having fallen off her horse on Sunday morning. She's got to have a plate and screws fitted for life. And she's miserable as hell and thinks it only broke because she's getting old and has got brittle bones. Plus my Dad is fretting about what they are going to do. She can't drive for 6-8 weeks and currently does the school run with my brothers twice a day and looks after four horses as well. My Dad works full time and is wondering quite how understanding his office will be if he can't find anyone to help them out. It's all a bit of a mess.

So, it truly was, a really shit weekend.

Thank god it's Tuesday and life feels better already.

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