The bit where I don't take back what I said

Late October is just about the last possible time you can sleep in a tent without "polar" camping (and polar camping is for poor pathetic scouts at the mercy of their leaders' guidebooks, which declare that it is some kind of useful activity). So anyway Marc had no greater desire than to camp and hike for his birthday. No better time to witness, close-up, the stunning creation that is England in the autumn.

But here's the thing about England (and really there are two). It is illegal to camp anywhere outside of RV parks. RV parks for heaven's sake. That's not camping, it's sleeping on a lawn in a small village of people watching TV in their mobile houses.

Oh England. Hang your head in shame.

Still, it was camping in some form, and it's always fun to wake up at dawn on your birthday in a tent. We hiked a long and other-worldly trail full of blankets of leaves and gorgeous views, the memory of which makes me want to take back what I said about England hanging its head in shame.

But then I remember what happened last night and I don't take it back. My family had called and left a dramatic rendition of "Happy Birthday" on our voicemail. We were listening to it on speaker phone, when suddenly halfway through *beep! "Your voicemail has been deleted." What the...?! We hadn't pushed a button or anything, and just stared at the phone in shock. We didn't even get to hear the end of the song, that's how tragic this is. Then our voicemail gave us some "menu" options and here's the part about England's shame. See, sometimes we forget that we're not in America and we expect actual customer service. We decided that this voicemail function was the perfect microcosm for understanding English customer service:

Menu voice (in British accent): "To leave a voicemail, press 4. To change your recorded name, press 1. For help, press 0."

Help, yes, that's what we need. They can retrieve this message for us. So we press 0.

Menu voice: "To leave a voicemail, press 4. To change your recorded name, press 1. For help, press 0."

Um, didn't we just do that? We press 0 again.

Menu voice: "To leave a voicemail, press 4. To change your recorded name, press 1. For help, press 0."

Okay this is getting annoying. Press 0 again.

Menu voice: "We are sorry you are having difficulties. This call will now be disconnected." click.

And that, dear reader, is English customer service in a nutshell. Just apply this basic concept to every aspect of your life, and you can imagine what it is like. I guess you have to give up something in exchange for the fields and the leaves and the views.

And in other news, I made Marc a box of "chocolates" for his birthday but the chocolates were actually chocolate-covered cake balls! Can you stand the cuteness?! me neither!


The Hodges Family said...

Happy Birthday Marc! Looks like a fun, eventful time you two shared.....
Enjoy it all! Love ya!

KT and Lance said...

Happy Birfday Marc! KT, I'm so impressed with the box of chocolates! How inovative is that? Sorry about the message lost, Customer Service is crock no matter where you live! Face it, even in the U.S they don't speak English most of the time!