The Adventure Continues...

Rants, raves and random observations from an itinerant epidemiologist.

100 in 1000
  1. Spend a week up a mountain learning to ski
  2. Visit Karoline's place in Moravia
  3. Hold a conversation in Czech (only)
  4. Drink 500ml of each of the following beers:
    1. Pilsner
    2. Staroprammen
    3. Budvar
    4. Velke Popovice
    5. U Fleku
    6. Gambrinus
    7. Krusovice
  5. Respond to at least one GOARN request (WHO and MSF are also acceptable)
  6. Travel across the Atlantic
  7. Return to South America
  8. Read a book to, or with, an impressionably aged child
  9. Participate in one NanoWriMo Challenge and come within at least 10,000 words of the goal length
  10. Have my nose pierced
  11. Have my next tattoo drawn
  12. Purchase the perfect jeans (x 2 pairs)
  13. Attend a spin class 3 times a week for 8 consecutive weeks
  14. Bake Viv's cheesecake
  15. Make David's casserole
  16. Make David's Chicken Cashew-nut Stirfry
  17. Invite 4 people who don't know one another too well to dinner
  18. Ride from Vienna to Venice on a motorbike (pillion acceptable, those less desirable)
  19. Attend a book group for at least two books
  20. Go on a choir weekend (learn and perform difficult piece in two/three days)
  21. Visit Madame Tussaud's (in London)
  22. Take an architecture appreciation course
  23. Join an all-girl group and sing a solo
  24. Publish in a scientific journal (top two authors)
  25. Cook a duck or other 'waterfowl'.
  26. Locate the Al-Timimi's from Doha Veterinary Practise
  27. Have a pedicure
  28. Maintain a Brazilian (ouch) for three months.
  29. Find a trustworthy Czech hairdresser
  30. Treat my inner-6-year-old twice a week (at least)
  31. Do the liver-cleansing diet properly (12 weeks)
  32. Don't eat out for one month
  33. Find a flat and flatmate
  34. Purchase one Joseph sweater
  35. Purchase one of the following pairs of designer shoes (they MUST also be COMFORTABLE, and be able to be worn with 4 different outfits and 2 types of occasion): Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks, Christian Louboutin (Ebay or 2nd hand are acceptable)
  36. Send 5 books to the booksphere and track them.
  37. Go hanggliding
  38. Read 10 'classic' books (from 1001 Books to Read before you Die)
    1. Moll Flanders
    2. Everything is illuminated
    3. Madam Bovary
    4. Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance
    5. Catch-22
    6. Odysseus
    7. On the Road
  1. Run (non-stop!) for 5kms outside (preferably in a street race thingy)
  2. Send Christmas Cards on time
  3. Make a collage/mural out of street lights on my wall
  4. Buy a bed, build it, and sleep soundly in it
  5. Go to Africa
  6. Host an 'event' (classified as and when)
  7. Organise a 30th Birthday Party
  8. Wear a costume
  9. Sing on stage
  10. Buy a painting that evokes memories of Prague (cannot involve queues!)
  11. Learn a god-damned card game that stays in my memory (other than fish/snap)
  12. See sunrise. Be sober. Have woken for it. Excludes months Nov-Mar
  13. Take a walk and flip coins at each intersection
  14. Win something
  15. Draft a will
  16. Take a roadtrip
  17. Go to Italy already
  18. Sea Kayak around Abel Tasman Park (NZ)
  19. Get plants
  20. Take a train to another Eastern European Destination (accession countries are acceptable) alone preferably.
  21. Get UK to give me a provisional motorcyclists license and simultaneously get a 'card' license.
  22. Go SCUBA diving again - at least two dives lasting 30mins each.
  23. Go to a dentist. *sigh*
  24. Do a Czech Wine Trail. And live to tell the tale
  25. Make an 'outbreak emergency kit'.
  26. Go to bed prior to 11pm every night (inc weekends) for four consecutive weeks.
  27. Marvel over lack of tiredness
  28. Dine at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant (or Nobu)- preferably for free.
  29. Bet on the nags
  30. Do something for charity (applying and getting a 'red card' will count)
  31. Walk along the Champs Elysee
  32. Do 100 sit ups in a row
  33. Do 50 pressups (arms in tight)
  34. Make branston pickle (or nearest substitute)
  35. Cook something 'new' and 'adventurous' at least once a month
  36. Find a mentor
  37. Be a mentor
  38. Learn what mentoring is all about
  39. Meet an online person in real life
  40. Resist the flirt. Once. Just one night. It's okay if people don't immediately succumb to my natural charm. Really it is.
  41. Spend time at a spa (spa towns in the CR don't count)
  42. Send a care package to someone
  43. Get a Tata Bojs CD
  45. Order new contact lenses.
  46. Make a list of things I take with me when I pack for different occasions
  47. Eat lobster. Prepared by someone else.
  48. Back up the blog
  49. Put everything onto an external hard drive
  50. Find a DDR mat and console and 'dance, I say dance!'�
  51. Go to the beach and lie on the warm sand. For an hour. (with sunscreen on, natch)
  52. Take and complete a course in either: Tango, Salsa or Flamenco
  53. Join the Municipal Library of Prague
  54. Move to another country
  55. Go to a live concert of a band I actually like
  56. Pay off debts (student loan excl.)
  57. Send thank you cards for every gift I receive (other than the gift of happiness, blah blah blah).
  58. Get an agent (literary or theatre)
  59. Go to a sports bar without cringing, by personal choice
  60. Ride a rollercoaster
  61. Hold a snake
  62. Spend a day wandering around a museum (not art gallery!)
Things I love about 2
Thursday, 10 July 2008
In order to leave the city last weekend, I'd booked a rental car from a very large agency. I'd paid for it with my debit card over the internet. Sorted.

We turned up at the Russell Square outlet by midday. We wait behind approximately three other groups of people desiring their cars. None are happy. One group has booked a large family car (as they are a large family, with three children and two large suitcases). This car is not at the Russell Square outlet. They are advised to go to Heathrow to collect it. Wherefrom they had just come. I was pleased that the woman revolted (red hair, kiwi lass - go grrrl) and demanded that they receive the car they'd booked and paid for, at the outlet that they'd arranged to collect it from, poste - bloody - haste.

Finally, we made it to the counter. I was asked for the card that I'd paid for the car rental with. I handed my Debit card.
"We can't accept this."
"Why not?"
"We need a credit card for security."
"But you asked for the card that its been paid with"
"Yes, but that cannot be a debit card."
"Well, nowhere on the website does it say that you can't use a debit card, that you must use a credit card, and in fact, your website ACCEPTED payment by this debit card, so I suspect you CAN accept a debit card, and simply won't." (I was not amused)
"Do you have another card."
"No. That's why I used the card I have. A debit card. As was accepted by your website."

I looked at Andreas. He stepped back a bit from the flames now emanating from my pupils. He offered his MasterCard.

"So you will now be the primary driver."
"Why does the primary driver have to be the cardholder."
"It's security, Madam."
"Doctor. But I was going to be the driver, so you'd best note that down."
"You'll have to pay to have an 'additional driver' on teh rental agreement."
"No. We wont'. We simply won't take the car, and will demand a refund, if you don't address this lunacy right now."
"Okay Ma--Doctor. I can accept your debit card now."
"So, you could accept it the entire time, you just wouldn't?"
"Your car is brand new, so won't have any petrol in it, you'll need to go immediately to the petrol station."

We walked (well, Andreas walked, I MAY have stomped a little lot) to the car. It then took us 1hr to get to the petrol station, pour £30 into the tank and then get back to where we'd started. It took a further three hours (!!!) to get to Lewisham. That's STILL IN LONDON.

Anyway...the weekend was actually divine, in and of itself. We had a great time in Hastings and Bournemouth, and it was a holiday away from the big city, that's for sure. Ice cream on the waterfront on the Friday evening was delicious - very VERY carefree - and the room we'd booked was delightful with a seaview.

Upon return, I was pleased to see I'd spent as I'd expected. This month is tight due to a ticket to Dubai, and finishing off some of the payments of energy bills leftover from winter (!!!) which were HUGE (>£600).

So imagine my alarm when I learnt that I was £45 below my overdraft limit. Where had I spent?

The bank, of course, couldn't tell me, as the funds were merely "earmarked" and not "cleared". Eventually, after listening to enough hold music to bring bile protectively to my ears, they informed me that it was a debit from my card, made on Friday.

Friday. Friday. I racked my brains. Finally...Hertz!!!! Huh?

"Hi. I seem to have been charged £135 for something by Hertz on Friday when I rented a car from you."
"Yes, that would be the security deposit."
"I see. So have you returned that to my card yet?"
"Yes. The code was given back to the bank."
"Then perhaps you could tell me why I'm under my overdraft limit due to a £135 debit from my account still"
"Yes. It takes 10 days to go back into your account."
"But this takes me over my limit."
"That's your problem Madam."
"Doctor. I see, and what are you going to do about the charges that I've incurred."
"You'll have to take that up with your bank Ma-doctor."
"Yes, I appreciate that, however, your incompetant operators at the outlets neglected to inform me of either the amount of the security, the fact that it was a deposit that would be debited from my account immediately, OR that it would take 10 days to be returned to it's rightful owner for reasons undisclosed. NOW what do you suggest you do to rectify the poor customer service I've recieved at the hands of your people at the branch?"
"I can give you a reference number, but there's nothing we can do about it."

Essentially, between them, Lloyds and Hertz have transpired to leave me with £11 until the 24th July. This is particularly galling, as I'm due in Taunton for a two day Project Management course on Tues/Wed next week. I have to pay my own transport/meals and will be reimbursed in my next paycheck. Of course, with only £11, I cannot do this. So I asked HR whether they could 'advance' me some pay, OR my 'expenses'.

They cannot. Not even with senior management approval. There is no policy for such emergencies.

The irony of their statement didn't even register on their lips. Of course.

There is ABSOLUTELY nothing here for me. No social life. No love life. Work is good - but it's not worth staying for.

I need to leave this country. It is worse than the Czech Republic. Far, far worse.


posted by Nomes @ Thursday, July 10, 2008  
  • At 5:55 pm, July 12, 2008, Anonymous Marisa said…

    Well, that story was horrible.

    There is nothing worse than awful customer service!!! How unhelpful!!

    And worse than the Czech Republic - those are strong words.

    Here's hoping things start looking up for you :)


  • At 6:25 am, July 22, 2008, Anonymous Vivienne said…

    Hi GNomes,

    Well I wrote a comment, but the machine swallowed it......

    Glad to have caught up with your blog. Speak soon, love,


Post a Comment
<< Home

Name: Nomes
About Me:
See my complete profile
Me Me Me!
My sights
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from nomesboxall. Make your own badge here.
My opinions - before!
And WELL before!
Blogs I read
Powered by

Free Blogger Templates


see web stats

© 2005 The Adventure Continues... Template by Isnaini Dot Com