Wednesday, 16 September 2015

It's always the telephone

I should have known better than to write about how much more relaxed I am now. It's like telling people your baby sleeps through the night, or that your toddler eats anything, or never wets the bed - a sure fire way to end up sleep-deprived, living on a diet of fishfinger sandwiches and running the washing machine at all hours of the day and night and wondering how many sets of pyjamas to take for one night away from home.

So while I can smile contentedly to myself at my Domestic-Goddess-like ability to have a slightly impromptu buffet/party for a random number of people without turning into a gibbering wreck, here I now sit, pinned to my chair, staring at a phone number and not phoning it. For three days I have not been phoning this number.

The first day I excused myself because the person I wanted to talk to doesn't work on Mondays and it would be inefficient to phone and leave a message, much better to actually talk to her in person, definitely, I'm not avoiding it at all, I'm being sensible and minimising the risk of confusion and crossed wires, oh yes, that's definitely what I'm doing.

The second day I was very busy. Definitely too busy to make a single private phone call at work. Not even during my lunch hour. After all, I need to eat don't I? I can't make a phone call when I'm hungry, I'll just forget what I'm going to say, and then where would we be? And after lunch I somehow "forgot" until it was 5 o'clock and then I had to rush off to collect LittleBear from nursery, and besides the woman I need to call will have finished work for the day, so I'll just have to leave it another day...

And today? Today it's back to the same old story. I don't know what to say. I mean, I know what information I need to convey, which is that the doors on our new (and expensive) summerhouse don't actually close properly, the left hand one is not hanging correctly and I've had to remove the strike plate from the door frame to be able to slide the bolt home as it was catching. But what if she's mean to me on the phone? What if somehow it's all my fault? What if I'm supposed to have adjusted the hinges myself to make it close smoothly? What if that's just how it's supposed to be? What if she thinks I'm some kind of serial whinger? What if I am actually being incompetent? What if she doesn't answer and I have to leave a message? (I won't. I'll hang up, you know I will.)

And the absolutely best thing about not phoning is that it then provides me with plenty of scope for fretting about it at home and worrying about it at night. I can lie there and wonder how much time I have available in which to complain that the doors aren't right before I get told it's no longer an installation/warranty problem, but that I must have broken it myself and they won't fix it. Is it too late already? What if it can't be fixed? What if it can be fixed but all it takes is a single turn of a screwdriver and then I feel like a complete fool and wish the world would open up and swallow me? Is there an optimum level of difficulty in fixing it, at which the installers feel I've been justified in calling them back because I couldn't have done it myself, but they can actually manage it without screwing everything up? Why couldn't it all just be right straight away? Does the universe not know how much I hate complaining about things? How much I hate picking up the phone? How much I hate dealing with tradesmen?

Oh look, it's lunchtime. I can't call now, I'll have to do it later...


  1. Okay, this is nothing to do with telephones but I have never heard of fish stick sandwiches. They make me shudder the way Europeans generally do when confronted with peanut butter. Except the Dutch perhaps.

    1. To be fair I think fishfinger sandwiches are more a PhysicsBear quirk than a recognisably English dish. Mmmmmmm

      And peanut butter doesn't make me shudder. I think it's a bit of a generational thing. GrannyBear cannot abide it, but I don't know of many of my friends who react the same way. We're getting more American all the time...

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