222. What’s that you say?

“But you’ve been selling me a National Express ticket to Birmingham every weekend for months!  Why not now?”

Mrs Travel-Centre  is of a certain age and traditional build.  Well, that’s not exactly how YoungLochinvar later describes her, but then he was speaking with the brutality of youth:  a youth, moreover, already cutting it fine to get his coach to Birmingham.

“Well, what I meant is … oh dear … I don’t have the tickets here any more, you see.  You have to… well, on the telephone, you see.  I mean I have to.  On the telephone.”  She leans forward and whispers confidentially. “They ask you questions, you see.  On the telephone.  Well, not you. Me.  They ask me questions and then I book the tickets.”

“In that case,” says YoungLochnivar, “Would you telephone Them and book me a ticket on the coach to Birmingham?”

“Well…. I could try,” says Mrs TC, uncertainly.  It takes a little while to find the piece of paper with Their number on it and a bit longer to sort out the correct glasses to read that number.  Then she jabs at the buttons on her handset, presumably hitting the loudspeaker on the way, as YoungLochinvar can hear clearly as they are connected to the National Express ticket office.

“Please state your starting point and your destination,” They say.

“Um…from London to Birmingham,” she replies.

“You are booking a coach from London to Birmingham.  If this is correct, press the one on your dial-pad. If not, press the zero.”  Mrs TC presses the one.

“How many adult tickets do you need?”  She looks at YoungLochinvar who nods and holds up one finger.

“One,” she says, a little more confidently.

“You are booking one adult ticket from London to Birmingham.  If this is correct, press the one on your dial-pad. If not, press the zero.” It’s going awfully well.

“How many child tickets do you need?”  She looks at YoungLochinvar who shakes his head.

“None,” she says.

“You are booking one adult ticket from London to Birmingham and nine child tickets.  If this is correct, press the one on your dial-pad. If not, press the zero.”  A look of panic crosses her face and she jabs at the zero.

“How many child tickets do you need?” They ask again, and again offer her nine tickets.

“No, no child tickets.  None,” she shouts, frantically.

“You are booking one adult ticket from London to Birmingham and ninety nine child tickets.  If this is correct…”

In frustration, Mrs TC hits the entire dial-pad with the full force of her hand.

“Please hold the line as we are connecting you to an advisor.”

It’s a miracle!  So YoungLochinvar gets his ticket and the excellent news that future journeys can be booked online, thus ending a beautiful friendship.

I’ve a feeling that Mrs TC won’t have been an early adopter when it comes to using voice commands on a phone.  But recently, I’ve started talking to OK-Google rather than trusting communication to my increasingly unreliable right hand.  I can see the potential for this to be really helpful but, in truth, I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet.  So it was that yesterday, DearHeart was seconds away from being sent a text telling her that I was “in Barking on a tiramisu full stop”.

Just warning you, in case future blogs veer towards the surreal!

And Kanye West you all a very happy new earful stop

***

I recently had the genius idea of making GiveAsYouLive the home page on my browser.  So I no longer have the excuse of forgetting about it until I’m half way through a purchase.  Sending a bouquet of flowers to a friend brought a cure for Parkinson’s £1.20 closer with no effort from me.  What’s not to like?

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