Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tiger in the Cage

A disgruntled customer is leaving the Wayside Tavern. In the foyer he puts his fist violently (as some are apt to do) through the wall, Twice.
On the street he violently punches and kicks the door frame.
Moving along he savagely kicks & punches every door & window he comes to.

Mario the security boss strolls down to where this citizen is unleashing fury onto a neighboring property. The ploy is to engage the miscreant in conversation until such time as the police arrive.

Mario is quite good at "Jaw-Jaw". To the casual observer it would appear the pair are engaged in quiet discussion.

When the police arrive the miscreant gets quite lippy with them and talks himself into being arrested. This done, he commences a verbal rant against "Blacks".

Much is said, a lot of it a significant dig at Mario ("Black so-and-so should never have been allowed into the country", "Why are black things like that allowed to throw me out of a pub?")
And lots of general comment:
"Black [deleted word] should never be allowed into my country"
"Why do we let 'em in? It makes me puke to come into a pub & have blacks serving drinks"
And so on & so forth. This is all said with a Constable holding him by each elbow.

A voice rich with Melanesian timbre speaks "Just put him in here with me!" This has come from the back of the paddy wagon. It had arrived with a prisoner aboard.

When the door of the paddy wagon opens, the new prisoner who seconds before had been so full of aggression against the world in general and blacks in particular, is overcome with fright. (A condemned prisoner being thrust onto the gallows couldn't have been more reluctant.)

It takes all the effort of both Constables to push the fellow in through the door, which they hurriedly lock.

As the police return to the footpath "to take statements", the paddy wagon begins to rock violently on its suspension. This is accompanied by noises of flesh striking the walls.

The Two Constables, backs to the paddy wagon, take lots of notes and interview many people.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Connections by Phone

Scene: Wayside Tavern. Front Door.
Time: Late Saturday Night.
Cast: Police Officer in distant coastal resort town (voice only), Boss of Security Guard Co, Mine Host.
Props: Mobile Phone.
Action: Mine Host & Boss of Security Guard Co are engaged in idle chatter at front door, mobile phone rings...

Mobile Phone: Ring, ring,

Boss Guard: (bringing phone to ear) Hello, Mario speaking.

Voice on Phone: (audible to Mine Host, due to volume turned up to maximum level) This is Sgt Plod of Distant Coastal Resort town police, my boys have just picked up one of your guards for high range Drink Driving, what do you want us to do with him?

Boss Guard: Can you do something about it mate?

Voice of Police Officer: Easily, it'll never be heard of again, it didn't happen. Bye.

Action: Boss Guard puts phone away, Mine Host (shaking head) shuffles away indoors.

Note: The boss guard & the policeman didn't know each other, the (allegedly) drink driving security guard was on holiday in a different province, several hundred km from his workplace.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Soviet Union Without the Tanks, and just as Inefficient

Like many, Mine Host is no stranger to the frustrations of dealing with Australia's telephone company. Currently named "Telstra", it is the only nationwide provider of landline, internet & mobile phone services. There is no alternative provider.

In most places options are limited to:
a) Use Telstra or;
b) Do without telephone & internet.

Mine Host longs for the day when competition in the telecoms industry extends to areas beyond the Cappucino divide.

Pre-competition Telstra (then named "Telecom") had a customer service attitude that led to it being known far & wide as "Just like the Soviet Union, but without the Tanks". Little has changed.

When the Diver's Arms took over an adjacent motel wing, the acquired operation had 9 landlines accross Two accounts. Mine Host & the vendor filled out forms to transfer the Two accounts to Mine Host's existing account.

The forms were submitted, time passed, the telephones in the new motel wing were cut off. For "non-payment of account".

Extended periods on hold ensued, followed by discussions with the usual round-robin of consultants in various sections of Telstra.
Outcome: Mine Host was requested to resubmit the original forms for transfer of the Two accounts as Telstra claimed to have no record of a change of customer.

Telephone services were restored.

Time passed, the telephones in the new motel wing were cut off. For "non-payment of the account". Telstra claimed no knowledge of any change of ownership paperwork & got quite snippy about the bill. Extended periods on hold ensued, followed by discusssion with consultants in various depts. of Telstra...... etc etc etc.
The change of customer forms were re-submitted, everything "will now be fixed up sir".. blah blah blah.

Time passed, the telephones in the new motel wing were cut off.. etc etc etc..... Again Telstra claimed no knowledge of any change of customer forms, & so on............

.........As time passes Mine Host is armed with an ever-enlarging set of Telstra refernce numbers, consultant's names, and list of special teams that his case has been escalated to.

The change of customer forms have now been submitted Four times in Three months.

It would be false to claim nothing has changed, as;
Two of the 9 landlines have been permenantly disconnected. (Guests now have difficulty phoning out)
One of the landlines has been transferred singly to Mine Host's account.
The original Two accounts are still in the name of the vendor (sans the landline that has made it accross to Mine Host's account)
One of the landlines has branched out onto a new account of it's very own, also in the name of the vendor.

At every step of the way Mine Host has spoken to Telstra staff who come accross as efficient, intelligent, and with a full understanding of their product.

The original paperwork is slowly becoming covered with stamps saying "Submitted to X on date X via means X (Mine Host popped into the newsagent & got a rubber stamp that says "Submitted......." with a space for the date)

You couldn't make it up.