Saturday, 30 August 2008

14.8.08 Thur Oranges are not the only fruitcake

I head off to the SFR/ Orange shop and wait in the queue. Eventually I am first in the queue and a sylph like blonde in her early 20’s deals with me. I struggle with the French and eventually it turns out that she speaks very good English. Brilliant!
Well not really. She pushes buttons on her computer. The screen indicates that there is a fault with my system. No, surely not?
She disappears out the back of the shop. When she returns, she wants me to bring in my livebox so that they can test it.
I walk back home and return with the box. The weather is now very hot, and I join the queue again. A different assistant hooks up my box and tests it. After 10 minutes the verdict is the the box works ok so it must be my system. I have to phone a four digit number for technical assistance. There is nothing more that they can do. I explain that as my home phone is an internet based one, that until I have internet access it will be difficult for me to phone for technical support.
Back home I phone the support number on my British mobile at megabucks a minute and it’s multiple option time in rapid French. I am in a queue. When someone comes on the line and I have explained my situation. I need to redial and choose option 1 for technical support (this is what I have already done). I thank her and redial.
I am in a queue. When a lady answers, I explain my situation again. She cannot understand me. If there is nobody there who speaks French, she is unable to help me. However she thanks me for calling orange telecom and hopes that I have a good day.
I go downstairs and ask Madame if she can assist me with Orange. She phones and speaks to someone, then speaks to someone else. The shop assistants have given me the wrong information. I require a technician to come to the house to set up my internet connection. This will cost me approx £45. I’ll take it. They can send someone out next Tuesday afternoon….. Once I have internet access sorted it will only be a further 5 days until I will have a phone service….
Madame rolls her eyes at Orange. No one uses them because they are rubbish and expensive. She is not surprised at the situation that I have found myself in.
Chatting to Madame, about various issues, she can recommend an insurance company for health, public liability and car cover. She will also accompany us on Monday next week to have a look at second hand cars.

I telephone the lady that sold us the house and she gives me the name of a plumber. She is driving but gives me an approximation of his name (as it turns out) and that it is up a road near to a “named” hotel.
We set off and wander the streets.

We find an office which appears to be open, on one of the side streets. The sign above it contains a word beginning with P, but is different to the spelling I have been given. There is a young lady sitting at a big desk towards the back of the room. I engage her in conversation. I am looking for a plumber I say I explain that the is a plumber I am look ing for looks Chinese or Vietnamese, does she know of anyone matching the description. No. After a bit of further conversation, she asks me if he is asiatique. I say yes. She does know him.
It turns out that this is his business office after all, although there is nothing visible in it to suggest any relation to plumbing. This is going to be another long haul.
After some confusion between the plafond and the plancher. (She cannot work out how my toilet can be leaking onto my ceiling, she obviously knows nothing)
Using a pen and a bit of paper, I try to explain that I want a new toilet and wash hand basin for the bathroom. She then asks me to follow her, and sets off towards a small room in the back…..
This turns out to contain the staff toilet and she explains what the various bits are called. No school doobleavay-cay for the French, just vay-cay.

Making an appointment for a devis (quote) increases in difficulty as no one wants to phone a UK mobile number, and my fixed line, isn’t.
I think that he might be coming on Monday, but I am not sure…
Once back home, I telephone her. I have to phone after Monday to arrange an appointment.

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