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The process of waving goodbye

There comes a time in the affairs of men and mice when something happens – one might describe it as hitting a watershed – which causes us, for example, to let go of a previously-held firm conviction and switch to another, or perhaps it involves accepting that we cannot do this or that which once we used to accomplish with ease and/or take for granted.

At one stage in in anyone’s life it might have been called “growing up” – at another, perhaps “maturing” – and, at yet another, “accepting the vicissitudes of passing time and old age”.

Anyway – whatever I’m talking about – I reached another of them in my own life in the last few days.

It have something to do with the difficulties I had encountered  at the age of 71 when, having served a six months driving disqualification for accumulating 12 speeding fine points, and in addition having to apply for a new (Over-70) driving licence, I spent nearly five additional months after my ban was over not getting behind the wheel of a car simply because I found it impossible to find an insurance company in the UK that would take my business.

Or maybe it has been my recent traumatic experience in purchasing a new (“upgraded”) smartphone and negotiating a new two-year agreement with the well-known mobile service provider with whom I have been contracted for the past thirty years.

You think this would be as easy as breathing in this modern word of stupendous advanced technology.

Not so. Thus far I have already made two further trips back to my local town’s version of said mobile service provider – that makes three in total, and counting, this past week – because (for whatever reason that I have yet to be advised of) it has so far proved entirely beyond the wit of man – or should that be “mobile service provider staffer”(?) – to transfer a body of data as simple as my personal “contacts” properly, or at all, from my old smartphone to the new supposedly-wonderful brand new model that I was persuaded to buy five days ago!

Over the past 48 hours I have been boring and no doubt also irritating my nearest and dearest with my repetitive complaints about how much more simple things in “my day” (and as to exactly when that was, one can perm any decade from the 1960s and the 21st Century’s “noughties”!).

At least when tapping out something on a typewriter, it only ever did what you wanted it to do.

I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope with things that “don’t work” – whether it be transferring data from one smartphone to another, or (for another classic example) calling a utility supplier to discuss a problem and – instead of being able to speak to someone with half a brain who could “sort something out” in under five minutes – being stuck for the best part of an hour locked in some form of automated (numbered) phone system whilst being regularly assaulted by a female voice assuring me that my call is very important to them; however, they are receiving a high volume of call traffic at the moment … and would I like instead to try going online on their website where all my queries and issues will almost certainly be dealt with far more efficiently?

No, I wouldn’t, thank you very much: I would just like to speak to a human being!

Which brings me to my topic de jour …

As Rusters will be aware, I have been a lifelong follower of the fortunes of the Harlequins FC rugby union club team. Or was at least until the end of the 2015/2016 English Premiership season, when I finally got so fed up with the ineptitude of the club’s administrative management and corporate attitudes that I gave up my season tickets and “took a break” which has lasted me ever since.

In recent times  I have found wrestling with BT Sport – and Premiership Rugby’s “streaming” service for games that BT Sport isn’t covering – so frustrating that I have given up dealing with both organisations.

After five consecutive Harlequins Premiership games of which – despite all efforts to watch them “live” – I was unable to watch a single minute of “live” television coverage, I made a decision not to bother to watch any more Premiership rugby this season.

Last weekend I made a deliberate decision not to bother to watch the Heineken Cup Final between Leinster and La Rochelle, “live” or at all, and today the match that I shall be deliberately “not watching” will be the English Premiership Final at RFU Twickenham between Saracens and Sale Sharks.

I have had it with “live” TV rugby for the time being. It will be interesting to see whether I bother to watch any of this autumn’s Rugby World Cup – or not.

I suspect I won’t, on the basis that watching rugby union on television is just not worth the hassle these days!




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About Derek Williams

A recently-retired actuary, the long-suffering Derek has been a Quins fan for the best part of three decades. More Posts