Y’know those times when the stars are aligned, everything is seamless and effortless and life is as smooth as a glassy lake? Yeah, this week has not been one of those times. If something could go wrong it has, just to fucking spite me. Get a brew and a KitKat, this is a mammoth post 😉
I have the most important few days of the year coming up. I am having 10 of my images exhibited in a funky, well-known gallery right in the heart of London. I know, 😮 and double 😮 I have spent 2 months getting the pictures perfect, printed and mounted and needed to get them framed ready to ship off to the Big Smoke. I already own 5 lovely black frames so went on Amazon to order another 5 to match, only I needed a different size and Amazon didn’t stock them. No worries though, I found a marketplace seller on Amazon who did. Amazon usually dispatch within 48 hours, but I waited and waited for the frames to arrive getting more panicky by the day and eventually after nearly 2 weeks they appeared…………and were fakes and nothing like the frames I needed. FFS. So then I had to contact the original frame manufacturer directly and get them fast shipped, which cost £45 more than it would if I’d bought them on Amazon.
I, of course, then needed to send the fake frames back. Gets them all packaged up and in the car to drop off at a Collect+ store…………….and their computers were down and they had no clue when they would be fixed so they couldn’t send them. FFS. Again. So I had to do a 20 mile round trip to the nearest other drop off point – I should request an hour of my time plus petrol money be added to my refund.
My friend has just moved house so I thought he was bound to have a strong cardboard box large enough to fit my 10 exhibition prints for shipping. Nope, that would have been far too easy. So I spent 2 hours on Google trying to find something suitable, which wasn’t so large I’d have to remortgage my house to send it, with no joy ;-( However, I eventually discovered a cardboard box making company literally 10 miles from my house and they custom-made me a perfect sized box within two hours of me contacting them, which was the most expensive cardboard box ever made but at this stage I would have sold a kidney for a suitable packing crate.
Spent ages getting my pictures labelled, title cards printed and bubble wrapped everything to within an inch of its life. I could then weigh my box (14kg) and arrange a courier to deliver – this was on Wednesday and the package had to be in London on Monday! It had to be a timed delivery slot, though, because obviously the organizers don’t actually live at the Gallery. DHL quoted me £77 – are they having a fucking laugh?! The sodding box has to be returned too, so the cost would be doubled. I literally had palpitations wondering how on earth I was going to get my pictures to The City on time. However, fate struck once again when I remembered the box-making chap telling me he used Hart Distribution, so I contacted them and they quoted me £22.50 which included £150 insurance and guaranteed segregation for my fragile box from the rest of the packages (it would only have cost me £10 if I hadn’t needed a timed delivery). Yayyyyyy! My precious cargo is winging its way to Londonia as I type and I can only pray it gets there in one piece.
In amongst all this, on Thursday I had to take my Dad on a 130 mile round trip to Hospital regarding his hip replacement. At 2.30am that morning I’d woken with a migraine and despite taking three lots of infant Ibuprofen (the only pain relief I can tolerate) I hadn’t been back to sleep and my head was still banging at 11am when I picked him up. I don’t know if you’ve ever driven a long distance with a migraine and after only 3 hours sleep but suffice to say it was no fun. Nope, no fun at all. The appointment went really well though and they are hoping to do his surgery in the next 3-6 weeks 🙂
My house continues to be on the market and last Thursday I received a viewing request for the same day I was taking my Dad to the Hospital. You can manage viewings through your online account, so I requested a new date from the viewer. I heard nothing for 5 days, then on Weds I receive another viewing request for Friday morning at 9am (fucking 9am?!) from a woman with weirdly similar contact details as last Thursday’s woman, ie her name was Cara instead of Tara, her mobile was only 1 number different etc. Unnerved, I asked the Estate Agent to find out what was going on and it turned out to be the same lady but her details had somehow gotten mixed up. Hmmmmm, really?! Anyway, I logged in to my account and confirmed the booking.
While I was at the hospital on Thursday, however, I received another viewing request from the same woman for next Tuesday. WTF?! So when I got home at 5pm I rang the Estate Agent and stayed on the line while they contacted the viewer. Turned out that she hadn’t received confirmation of Friday’s viewing because I’d sent it to the email and mobile number given which of course were incorrect *sigh*. However, she confirmed she could still do the next morning at 9am. So despite still having a migraine, having had no supper and a lonnnng day with my Dad at the hospital I tidied up the house ready for the viewing. At 7am Friday morning I log on to my email…………to find the bitch had cancelled and requested the Tuesday viewing again instead.
I emailed her to say I couldn’t do Tuesday as I was in London so could she still make that morning at 9am. She emailed back that she was writing a report, so no. She sodding well knew she was writing a report the night before when she’d confirmed the viewing. She then went on to slag off the Estate Agents for being “unprofessional” despite the fact it was her messing everyone else around. So I told her that I was now not available until week commencing 21st Oct and if she requests a viewing then I’ll say I’m busy. If she’s this much of a nightmare before she’s even looked at the house what would selling to her be like?!
Despite all the above, regular life goes on. Two months ago I ordered some shoes from an online company I hadn’t used before. I ordered two styles, kept one pair and sent one back, however they have not refunded me despite me contacting customer services three times. So I had to open a dispute with Paypal, who also got nowhere with the company so have thankfully credited me the cash while they sort it out with the seller.
Back in June I had an appointment at Sheffield to see an Immunologist who specializes in MCAD. It’s a 7 hour return train trip, so I booked a hotel to stay overnight and my return train tickets. Only the hospital cancelled and I never made the journey. The train company’s T&Cs say that if you don’t make the trip you can get a refund on your ticket, so I applied. Three months, and several customer services requests later, I had still not been reimbursed so I made a formal complaint, only to be told to ring their web team who would refund me – because I hadn’t already FUCKING TRIED THAT! Deep breath Jak, deep breath 😉 I am so pissed off with companies trying to fleece us all. Either not refunding and hoping we’ll forget about it and they can keep our cash, or keeping hold of millions of our money for months all the while earning huge wads of interest. So I found the email address of the CEO of Transpennine Express and emailed him. I obviously didn’t expect a response, so imagine my shock when this week I received a reply from the Managing Director of Customer Relations apologising and offering me not only the refund but £50 compensation. Go me 😀
And to top off my fabulous week my cleaner told me on Weds that she had an interview for a full-time job and if she got it she’d be quitting. Getting help when you live in a very rural area is stupendously difficult, so is it awful of me to admit to doing mental cartwheels when I found out she didn’t get the position?!
My reward for making it through a stupidly stressful week is to have yet another migraine. I am typing this lying flat on my back with my head resting on a heat pad, feeling sick to my stomach and with the room spinning like I’ve chugged 10 pints of Cider. Really God? Like, fucking really?! I can only hope my brain heals itself in the next 24 hours before I have to make a 3 hour train journey on a tilting Pendolino otherwise I’m royally screwed.
On that note I shall love you and leave you. Pray I’m well enough to enjoy my Exhibition – I’ll tell you all about it in next week’s roundup!