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If I'd Only Known - Silly Rules

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
If I'd Only Known - Silly Rules
If only I’d known…my list is endless and at the top is ‘If only I’d known I wouldn’t get a state pension until I’m 66’. I’ll set that rant aside for another day. Things have been happening lately to turn me into a female Victor Meldrew.
I’ve been feeling cross nearly every day this year so far. It started when I attempted to upgrade my mobile phone. If only I’d known what a frustrating journey I was about to start.
I knew which phone I wanted and which tariff suited my needs. I’d had a contract with the same network for the best part of ten years and renewing was always straight forward. Until now. In the shop there were post-it notes on the computers reminding the staff that photo I.D. must be obtained from every customer upgrading their phone. That’s me out. I explained that I don’t have any form of photo I.D. They couldn’t help me apart from suggesting that I try upgrading online or by phone. The new rule had come about because of an attempted, unsuccessful in-house fraud regarding customers due to upgrade. So, through no fault of my own, I have to go to the expense of obtaining a form of photo I.D. if I want to get a new phone in the shop. With regard to doing it online or by phone, I really thought they could have been more helpful or pro-active in doing it that way in the shop. I left to think about it and fizzed with annoyance all the way to the car park.
I talked myself into deciding a photo I.D. might be useful in general and a couple of days later, set about applying for a new driving license. Anyway, my family, mainly my husband had scorned my paper one for long enough, even suggesting that it might not be legal. I had to wait for the form to arrive through the post.
The more I thought about the mobile phone company, the more disappointed I became about how I’d been treated. I returned to the Hounds Hill one day, popped into the shop of a different network and minutes later emerged with a Sony something, all-you-can-eat text messages, more minutes than I’ll ever use and twice as much data allowance on a cheaper contract than I expected. Then there was a verbal battle between me and my previous provider. I wanted to cancel my contract and keep my number. I spoke to different people as I was repeatedly put on hold. They all asked the same questions, trying to persuade me to stay, telling me I can cancel my new contract with my new network. I can hear myself now, parrot fashion – “Cancel my contract and send me a PAC code, please. Cancel my contract and send me a PAC code, please.”
Sometimes I think I’m not cut out for life in the modern world. I shouldn’t have to waste time insisting and persisting for something so trivial as swapping phone networks. Eventually, that battle was won, but I still had a war going on.
My driving license form arrived. I completed it neatly and asked one of my work professionals to verify my identity and sign my photo. Well, I think the photo was of me. I looked like an old dear with wind-swept hair and no lipstick on, but it would do. I enclosed my old driving license, thinking that was all I needed to send as I was only renewing something I’d had for forty-odd years. Wrong.
Two weeks later it was returned to me, marked in red ink – that tells me I’ve failed, so I’m unhappy before I’ve read it – pointing out the list of documents I must send before it can be processed. A passport. I don’t have a valid one, otherwise I would already have photo I.D. A birth certificate must be supported by other documents to support any change of name. Fine, except I don’t have all the links in that chain. Evidence of my National Insurance number, a P60. Perfect.
I gathered all that was suitable and posted it back. Being cross makes me more efficient, I think. And I was feeling very cross with the DVLA when I wrote a strong cover note suggesting that matching my Driver Number with my address which hasn’t changed for many years should be sufficient.
I am currently awaiting the arrival of my new license and the safe return of all my documents.
A haiku for today.   
If only I’d known    Of all these complications,
   For something simple.
Thanks for reading, Pam x  Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook

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