Friday, July 4, 2008

In the Merde.....

This could actually be the title of my blog for just about any day of the week but yesterday I was truly in le grand merde.

We are going to the UK to stay with the CH and see old mates next week and, just for once, I'd like to be ready to leave on time with everything packed rather that our usual hour late career down the autoroute to Toulouse with my undies hanging out of the boot of the car and our entire wardrobes packed into three suitcases just in case I forget anything.

So I clicked on to Easyjet to check the flight times and 'putain' I'd booked the flights the wrong way round, flying from Gatwick to Toulouse on Tuesday and Toulouse to Gatwick the following week.

Calm, calm, restez zen...... it's only high season, I mean, how much can it cost to change it?

500 bloody quid is how much!

I phoned the CH, who was uncharacteristically unsympathetic, especially as he would have to foot the bill. I was very, very nearly divorced on the spot.

I tried to change it online but kept getting an error message saying I had to call the Customer Experience Centre and to 'click on this link'. It would have been easier to get the Skype number of the Dalai Lama than to find the number that the Easyjet website was telling me I had to phone.

"97% of your questions can be answered on our website" it claimed. Well not this one Pal, you told me I have to ring you. Eventually I found a number after scrolling down for several light years. I rang it. It only costs the GDP of a small African nation per nanosecond but hey, what does it matter.

After an interminably long menu which asked me to say 'website', 'yes', 'no', 'booking' ,'if this thing doesn't hurry up I'll need to take out a second mortgage' it eventually told me that if I need to change a flight I need to call a different number.

The 'different number' costs the approximate GDP of the United States and starts with the dreaded 09, which means you can't call it from outside the UK.

I eventually found the number for France, dialled, got put on hold at 1.34 euros a second, told I was in a queue (you are number 1..........hundred and forty three) then cut off, no doubt because the telephone system had reached it's allotted 35 hours it can work per week.

By this stage my stress levels were so high that I noticed nuclear fission happening around me. I found another number you can call from abroad and got through without spending more than the cost of a reasonably priced chateau in the Loire valley.

Next step, passing security. For some reason I had mistyped my mobile number so I couldn't answer that particular question. "Never mind", said the Easyjet drone, "tell me what your flight numbers are".

So I clicked on the confirmation to see...... well you would, wouldn't you? After all, I haven't memorised it, or written it down anywhere or had it conveniently tatooed to the inside of my wrist as I have the confirmation that they sent me staring at me from my computer screen.

"Oh," says the Easydrone. "You've clicked on your confirmation. That means I'm locked out of the system for half an hour, you'll have to call back".

"WHAAAAT!" I screamed." Why didn't you tell me that if I clicked on it you'll get locked out of your system."

"Well I don't know what you're doing on your computer, do I?" responds the Easydrone.

"But it's your bloody website, you should know. How am I supposed to know that if I click on it you'll get locked out? I didn't design the bloody thing. I don't work for Easyjet, you do. You should know. It should say somewhere on your website 'please do not click on this link while you are talking to our Customer Experience Centre or you won't be able to do anything for the next half hour'. I can't be expected to guess can I?"

"I'll log your call as complaint shall I?" asks Easydrone, all the while continuing to address me by my first name rather than Your Majesty or Your Noble Greatness whose day I have just ruined which would have been more appropriate.

"Yes, you do that. What time do you close?"

"In 20 minutes"

"So you'll wait for my call so I can change this flight as your stupid, stupid website seems unable to do it?" I suggested."

"No, I leave in 20 minutes you'll have to call back tomorrow"

"I'm not calling back tomorrow, I've already had to list my offspring on e-Bay to raise the money to pay for this telephone call. And in any case, you'll probably have doubled the ticket prices by then".

"That's a risk you take"

He wants to talk to me about risk? He was at serious risk of never being able to father children, or eat anything except puréed food for the rest of his life.

It's enough to make a girl turn to drink!


Lehners in France said...

Ooohhh I feel for you. I forgot to post a letter the other week. That was nearly "divorce." Sometimes holding everything together toute seulle just isn't enough.

It's funny you use the word "Putaing" that would have been my word choice for the farmer too.

Sadly however I never spoke any French until we came out here, so it's all been picked up word of mouth, so I don't know how the words are spelt. You say you are almost fluent, that must be bliss. Bonne voyage Debs x

(Very) Lost in France said...

Here are some more words for you to use in times of stress, Debs

Enfoiré - shithead
Tache - shit for brains
Prat - andouille, cruche, courge
Jerk - abrouti
Gobshite - trouduc
quel couillons tu fais - you dozy plonker
raclure - arsewipe

That should see you right! VLiF
PS. thanks for your other little message.

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare- 'easy'jet my a**e! Think you might need a holiday to recover. Like you command of the language, a girl after my own heart - is courge short for courgette? Re spelling, i think we could safely add a 'g' on to most words ending in 'ain', 'in' or 'an' down here - i think Boursin should adjust their advert accordingly, 'du Paing, du ving, et du Boursing'

DulwichDivorcee said...

Hi ViLF, don't forget 'branleur', one of my faves! Poor you with ImpossiJet, you'll get there in the end!

(Very) Lost in France said...

Tarte Tartan, welcome to my blog. You really have to live here to appreciate the local accent don't you. Whenever I hear talk of the 'lyrical French language' I wish they'd come over here and listen to the locals chatting away. Sounds like some obscure serbo croation dialect! VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

DD - good addition to the lexicon! VLiF said...

wish i spoke french like you. i didn't mean to find your story so funny - 500 quid isn't funny. so easy to do. so very easy to do. and now i'm fretting about whether i've booked muyself to tanzania from london next month when i want to go the other way around ... better go check ...

Hadriana's Treasures said...

To be honest it's no better in the UK (with DifficultJet and tRYANtAir...but your tale did remind me of our days in Egypt....definitely learning that French vocab...yours and Dulwich Divorcee! Just wish I had some of that last week (didn't need to use it but just in case....)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Reminds me of the time when I was in Spain and I said to the father of a friend..."Tienes una hija de puta madre"..."de puta madre was/is slang for fanastic/great/wicked...but in the context that I had said it!!!!!???Hmmmmm. Luckily the father just smiled......Gracias a Dios!!! Otherwise I would have been matador meat.......

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Meant to say..."You have a fantastic daughter"...kind of got lost in translation sotospeak!

(Very) Lost in France said...

Reluctantmemsahib - welcome to my blog. Thanks for stopping by. I'm always available for lessons in French swearing, just let me know! Hope you booked your flights the right way round. VLiF

(Very) Lost in France said...

Hadriana - oh the joys of another language! I know someone who sprained their ankle and needed to go to the pharmacy for some crutches. They asked for 'entrejambes' rather than 'bequilles'. Entrejambes, as the name suggests are more crotch than crutch!! VLiF