Thursday Tidbits

Posted on December 3, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

Thanks for the mask, SC. Looks like I’m about to have twins!


“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.

It’s hard to escape the fact that three weeks from today is Christmas Eve. The bad news for me is that I won’t get to spend it with my family. I can’t go to Antigonish or Halifax. I can’t go to Montreal. I can’t go to Victoria and I can’t go to Mexico. Yes. I received an invitation to go and lie on a beach for two weeks and bask in the warmth of the sun, but I have chosen short, dark, cold days in the Arctic. “Etes-vous fou, Len?”

The good news is that I am quite handy to Santa’s Workshop. And while I can’t be with old friends, I will be surrounded by the many new friends that I have made in the community that I now call home. Most of my colleagues from the south have opted to stay here. Those who are traveling will be with family in safe places. We are already planning some events along with those that will be hosted by the community, albeit scaled back drastically because of Covid.

If you can’t be somewhere warm at least you can dream about it. I plan to host two evenings during the holidays. I will share images and stories from India and also from my Camino walk in Spain. We will have  potlucks for certain and I plan to organize some caroling for shut-ins and elders in the village. I suppose singing in front of a mirror would achieve similar results!

One of my granddaughters has organized a “secret Santa” for the family. Gifts will be exchanged via mail and on Christmas morning we will have a Zoom call where we’ll open our present from a secret family member. My gift arrived a few days ago. I sent mine last week. The recipient will likely be able to tell the identity of their secret Santa. I can’t imagine he/she will receive many parcels from Kangiqsujuaq.

Ok. I got all the warm fuzzy stuff out of the way.

Well, well, well. Hell, hell, hell. Bell, Bell, Bell.

I plan to open an ad agency and will specialize in tag lines for businesses. I have already chosen one for Bell. “The gift that keeps on giving”. Yeah, I know that that’s not original. I have been told by reliable sources (Wikipedia) that the Victor Talking Machine Company used this slogan to sell its products which included phonographs and records in the 1920s… one hundred years ago. But the slogan is ageless as it turns out. You see, this is the fifth time that I have been able to carve out a few hundred words in this space compliments of my good friends at Bell.

As mentioned a while back, after several months of trying to pay my bill and the threat of disconnection, Bell took three months of payments twice: once from my chequing account and the other from my credit card. I waited breathlessly for the next billing cycle to see what would happen. I was pleasantly surprised to see a credit balance on my account. However, the credit was not nearly as large as anticipated. In examining my bill, I discovered that Bell had billed me for double the amount of monthly charges from what I was quoted. Luckily, I had written down the date and time of the original call when I set up the contract along with the name of the friendly agent who helped me set up the plan. I also wrote down the exact amount of the monthly charges.

If it had been a minor discrepancy, I might have let it go but an extra $50 a month for a Scot, I felt it was worth pursuing.

Early this week after school, I took the plunge and called Bell. The menu options were clear and after waiting patiently for several minutes, I was connected to the billing department. In great detail I made my case while the charming Customer Service Representative (CSR) listened intently. When my harangue ended, she politely told me that this wasn’t her department and that she would connect me with a “specialist”. I was put on hold. Just for fun (if you’re masochistic) call Bell and listen to their muzak in the background while you’re waiting to speak with a human. It is enough to incite a riot.

I waited for a long time.

I stated my case once again to a nice young man. I came up for air after about five minutes. “I’m sorry but you’ll have to speak to my supervisor.” Does anyone know the precise tipping point between frustration and rage? This might make an excellent psychology project.

I’m only joking of course. Sort of.  I am not prone to rage, but thoughts of violence often cross my mind when I’m dealing with incompetence on a grand scale.

I was put on hold for another 20 minutes. “Hi. My name is Jay. How may I help you?” My head went into overdrive. I wondered if this was Jay Traynor of the musical group, Jay and the Americans. I started humming, “This Magic Moment”’ one of their hits from 1969. I was praying for a bit of magic. For the third time, I registered my concern about the overbilling. “Can I put you on hold for a few minutes?’ It was now suppertime. I had a gnawing hunger and a minor headache. I told Jay that I had to be in school by 8:30 the following day. Of course I didn’t say that but I was thinking it!

Jay came back on the line and admitted that a mistake had indeed been made and that it would take some time to do some calculations. I turn 70 next August. It would be a welcome birthday gift to hear that the matter has been resolved. Stay tuned.

I used to like Kurt Browning, the decorated figure skater until he started to shill for CHIP reverse mortgages. I don’t watch a lot of television, but it seems that every time I turn it on, there’s Kurt in his dorky hat expounding the virtues of taking equity from your home. It’s not that I don’t like Kurt but when he pirouettes at the end of the ad for the 5000th time, I feel like doing a Tonya Harding on him. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just Google Tonya. Man, these companies must think we are a bunch of stooges to listen to the same tripe incessantly.

Ah. That feels better.  There’s nothing so cleansing as a good rant.

The Christmas spirit has returned.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”.

Silver “Bells” anyone?

Have a great weekend.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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