Friday, 20 October 2006

Diwali - let there be Light

This is the time of year when the Christmas lights arrived early, when I lived in Leicestershire. Way back then the traders honoured the traditions of All Hallows Eve, and waited until after the school half term holiday, before they brought out the Christian decorations for Christmas.

Surely I am not the only curmudgeon who fumes at the sight of a team of reindeer close on the heels of the summer sales; as I was mumbling only today at the M&S checkout.

Ponder, if you will, that Pagans believe that Christ-Mass is a re-write of bringing a bit of light into the darkest time of the year.

In the city of Leicester, the Festival of Light - Diwali celebrated by a large and vibrant proportion of the population, brought a sense of Christmas a little early to the city streets, with lights and decorations.

Just at the right time too, for as the earth roles towards the winter solstice the cold wet dark days of autumn start earlier that far north. Down here in beautiful Dorset close to the south coast, warmed by the sea, the weather is milder and the days a little lighter, being closer to the Equator.

When I came down to Dorset twenty years ago, I left behind a multi-cultural life and stepped back in time. I love Dorset, I am happy never to live anywhere else (ok, Crete or New Zealand would be good for a while). The Dorset accent and speech idioms, and the rural basis of daily life, are soothing and enfolding. But I miss the mix of cultures that was everyday life in Leicestershire, both in the city and in my neighbourhood.

When the Srishti dance company included my local arts centre the Poole Lighthouse in their tour, it was a must-see.

Fabulous; colour, movement, and especially the music but what was unexpected and wonderful was the effect of the multi-cultural audience, and the colour and resonance their presence brought to the performance.


I have very mixed feelings about relating to India at the moment. All the fault of British Telecom moving their technical back-up to a call centre in India. After much deliberation, and even more prevarication, I have made the move to broadband. It has taken a while, but even this little valley is now connected.

I know that the staff at the call centres are highly educated and skilled, and they are unfailingly polite and charming to customers. They do not comment on the fact I am doing all this in bed, with piles of paper festooned with sticky notes lapping around my pillows, for of course webcam technology has not yet become compulsory. When it does (it will, it will) will crips get dispensation on the grounds of good taste and decency ? I digress.

My tinnitus, brain fatigue and transient cognitive dysfunction just don't let me keep up with the sheer speed of their sentences and often don't let me decipher their accents. I do not complain. I excuse myself, and try and find another way.

My cogdysfunck'd brain takes things very slowly, for I have learned there is no point doing something new when I am tired because the newly learned pattern just does not get laid down in the neural pathways. So when I have problems, I have to write them down for myself before I launch off into asking for assistance. The BT Age and Disability help team (0800 919 591) came to my rescue. I stick with BT purely for that help team, a left over department hanging on by their fingernails from the days of BT's monopoly.

Therefore I was interested to learn from them, that even BT have seen the light, and set up an interface between their customers in the UK and their technical help call centre in India, and not just for crips!

If I have understood the BT A&DT's description correctly, I have to request a call from the UK based interface, who will call me back sometime in the next 48 hours (anytime between 8am and 8pm - I told them - I don't do '8 am's) and take my question, which they will then, in real time, speak to the call centre in India, who will answer the UK interface, in real time, who will then pass the reply back to me; for me to ponder, in real time, then ask my resulting question.

Have they not heard of chinese whispers ?

They didn't call me within the 48 hours. Perhaps its as well they didn't...

5 Comments:

Blogger Agent Fang said...

Hi Sally. More organisational cogdysfunck!

Whispers:"it's not you, it's them!"

Hope they call closer to pm than am.

Also wanted to say I lived in Leicester for a while - just 3 years when I was studying. It is wonderful at this time of year - I remember it too. A very happy time.

Saturday, 21 October 2006 at 11:16:00 BST  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

We are more cosmopolitan than you think, Sally. The other day in the market of the small town near which I live, I overheard a stream of French. I turned round, to find it was being spoken by a Chinese child. But it wasn't the language that disconcerted me, it was the fact that it was being pronounced with the deepest Dorset accent.

Saturday, 21 October 2006 at 16:06:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Charles - Mr Barnes would have been fascinated ! Come on, out with it, which of the many market towns ?

CD and AF - its a small world.

Agent Fang - play it again and again - its not you, its them - it is, it is. Thanks !

They never did ring, and I have sorted it myself, but busted the budget in the process. Ah well, I now have a feeling I was 'deprived' of in childhood - so many toys and I can't play with them all at once!

Sunday, 22 October 2006 at 20:12:00 BST  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

Christmas lightning and Christmas cakes and biscuits in the shops since the middle of September are very annoying. I usually do not feel like buying any of these when it actually is Cristmas time.
About call centres: In Germany the official Apple re-sellers have set up their own helpline, which is located in Germany and which is a total write off. I have never got any useful advice from them at all.
The "real" Apple call centre is located in Ireland, in Cork, and they are absolutely phantastic. And much to my surprise they answer in perfect German!

Thursday, 2 November 2006 at 15:04:00 GMT  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Apologies for not getting this comment for ages Mone

Sunday, 12 November 2006 at 00:14:00 GMT  

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