Feb 22, 2014

Things that threw me off course

Golly gee, look at me: a blog post after almost a month. It's been so long that I've put it off even longer thinking about how I should start a new blog post after so long. Apologise? Explain myself? Just blog a new post as if nothing happened?

I personally yawn and roll my eyes when I read a blog post that starts with "Wow it's been awhile, I'm so sorry, I hope my readers are still here?!.."  So I won't do that.  Except I kind of just did.

I was on a good roll in December-January. I was pretty organised, life was rolling along, and blogging was fun and easy. So what dire things happened to throw me off?

Here they are:

1. School started again. I know, I know - I work, my KIDS are in school, what's the difference? But it makes a difference. Lunchboxes. Homework. Notices. Trying to attend meet-the-teacher events. Somehow school holidays can be easier to manage while you're working than school is.  I love our kids' school, and it's very exciting having the kids in Grade Three - but there has been a flurry of busy-ness this last month.

2. Heat. Oh my god, the Melbourne Heat Wave of 2014 will surely be written about in history books. If this is what our kids and grandkids will be living with every day due to global warming, then can I just say to them all, I'M SORRY!  I know, it's summer, and summer is hot. We get taken by surprise by this fact every year. But as every Melburnian knows, though summer starts in December, December and January are variable, and the real heat hits in February. Except this year it hit in January, and it kept going all the way through February, until ... three days ago when it suddenly turned cold and rainy.

Literally three days ago I was sitting slumped at the kitchen table saying to Y, "I'm so sick of the heat!" - and verily the gods heard my call of despair, for the next day, weirdly, it was suddenly over.

But the heat, my god, the heat... it affected everything, sapped our energy and left us discombobulated for weeks. You couldn't do housework - it was too hot. You couldn't go out - it was too hot. You couldn't blog - it was too hot.

3. Broken door. I'm saving this story for next time, but suffice it to say for now, we had an incident, and our door got broken and needed to be fixed. These things take up time and mental energy!

4. Telstra. F...ing Telstra. Ever since we've been in this house, we've had recurring phone faults. Usually after rain, sometimes after nothing at all. Our phone will go crackly for a couple of days, and then dead. It has happened easily six or eight times, and each time I have to contact Telstra and go through the same old crap to get it fixed, until next time. Last year in June our phone was out for two weeks. This January it was out for a week. Then it was fixed and two days later it went out again, for another 3 days.

Last June I "escalated" the problem and insisted the history be looked at and the underlying problem addressed... yeah, that clearly didn't happen.  This time, when I reported the fault, I escalated it straight away and every time I called I asked the operator to look at our phone history and please fix the underlying problem.

All up technicians visited our street or our house four times. And that's not including the time one came round unknown to us while we were at work and Telstra sent me a text saying "A technician visited but was unable to gain entry to your house to fix the problem. If you still have a problem please report the fault to Telstra."  I got that message and just about went through the roof. I called them - sitting in my car, melting in the heat - and honestly I struggled not to cry huge fat tears of rage and frustration and self-pity, while still being polite and fair to the operator, because the phone operators are young and keen and always lovely and helpful, and it's not their fault.

You might think a dead landline is not a problem these days, but it is. For one thing, what about people who don't have mobiles? There are still some. How on earth do they get on if this happens? What about older people living on their own?  For another thing, it knocks your ADSL internet out, and being without the internet these days is unreasonable! I complained to Telstra about having to use our mobiles to make local calls and they adjusted my mobile to landline rates for the duration, but what if my mobile was with a different carrier? Our broadband is through a different carrier, so we still had to pay for our internet while we couldn't use it. Also, when you lose your mobile, you can't use the landline to call it to find it!

As it turns out, we had two problems: a faulty outside line (duh - we knew that much) and a faulty phone socket.

But finally, after the last technician visited, I was happy. Do you know why?  Because that fourth technician finally told me the truth. It turns out our street has a very old, frayed phone cable that really needs replacing, and Telstra have no immediate plans to replace it. At last! Honesty. It was a kind of relief.

So those have been my first world problems this summer. 

How have YOU been? 

sixninepixels / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Edit: unfortunately, I accidentally deleted this post last week, and lost all the lovely comments!  I recovered the post from Google Cache but had to re-post it, so I will try and recover and copy the comments below as I find them.
Thanks to everyone who visited and commented and welcomed me back!



  1. Ahh. Glad to see the explanation. I was thinking that deja vue had bitten me. I was sure I had seen this, and thought I had commented...
    I hope some at least of the issues have now been resolved.

  2. I thought I made a comment. I no longer immediately believe my comment has been deleted by the blog owner. It's usually for some other reason.

  3. Thanks EC and Andrew. I'm not sure how I did this but I think I must have been deleting an old draft post and this one got accidentally deleted too. Now that I know how easy it is to do (and there is no undo button!) I'll be a lot more careful.



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