Labours of Hercules? Ffft! Easy Peasy.

Nothing actually works as it should.

Now I may just be unlucky or it may be that I am having a bad day but for instance take today.

I started off trying to find out why my son’s pin number for his new bank card hadn’t arrived (‘Due on 28 May: If it hasn’t arrived by then call us’).

So I did.

Eventually I got through the labyrinthine automated tests of endurance (including a nice recorded message which insinuated that all the assistants were dealing with life and death situations and that by continuing I would probably be killing a small gooey eyed puppy) to be told that they didn’t really do customer service but they might deign to answer the phone in 50 minutes.

It was my lucky day and 45 minute later a nice lady told me that she couldn’t access the file because I wasn’t him (although as his legal guardian… well we’ll come back to that.)

However, she said it had been a bank holiday weekend and the post was always affected wasn’t it? I pointed out the 28th was before the bank holiday weekend and their note said clearly to ring if it hadn’t arrived by then. She agreed and repeated her decision. But if he registered for internet banking it would have his pin on there.

It is a new account and he wanted to use it to buy a train ticket as the company have just installed card only ticket machines on their unmanned stations. Would that work if he registered now and used the pin? Because the card wouldn’t work until it was activated by Pin? Oh yes no problem.

I put that on the back burner until he was available.

When he was, we registered him for internet banking, there’s a long convoluted saga involving changed phones, email accounts, security codes I haven’t got the will to go through, but eventually they accepted who he was, he registered and got a nice page saying that as he was under 18 they couldn’t actually grant him access to his account until they had sent a letter to his legal Guardian (I told you we’d get back to that) letting me know he had registered and I was okay with that. It should take a week, and if it hadn’t arrived by then to… get in touch with them!

So that’s off the menu for the moment.

We decided he could travel anyway and pay by cash on the train or at his destination. I wanted to check his return time so I went on the website I always use which is (normally) very reliable, doesn’t want me to register, steal my data or sell me a time share in the Algarve. Not this time. According to them there were no trains between my requested stations. At the time requested, or, on a little experimentation, ever. In fact trains seemed to have ceased to exist.

I took a deep breath and rang them (finding a phone number that actually connected with someone was a marvellous breath of fresh air in an increasingly suffocating day). The lovely person who answered found me a train going the right way at the right time in seconds and explained without any obfuscation that they knew there was something wrong with the online system, were trying to fix it but hadn’t worked why it was stuffed.

At last a straight answer!

I have many things to book online, enquire after and generally sort out via some more Sisyphean tasks.

But for now, I’ve had enough.

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