Site Columns

By Christian
May 20, 2000 - 9:15 PM

Hello World!

Well, it's definitely been one of the busiest days of the year for me. In the first place, today was Annie M.G. Schmidt-day here in the Netherlands - the day in celebration and honour of the funniest and most important Dutch author for children, of whom sadly only one book is available in English translation. Annie was born and also died on the 20th of May, which is why about 4 years ago this day was created. Anyway, of course we also organised several activities in the children's bookstore I do volunteer work, so I was asked to help out today to handle the additional crowd. And there really was a crowd - compared to Tuesdays, when I usually work there, I'd say there were about ten times as many people, who also decided to show up all at the same time, with us going a little crazy behind the counter. When I left at 4 I was exhausted, but it certainly was fun.

The other thing that helped destroy me was that I tried, in vain, to buy a new cellular phone today. First I went to the Dixons electronics store in Utrecht, where I'd seen an ad of the particular phone I wanted. I went there in the morning, hoping I could be finished before the bookstore opened at 10. When I asked for the phone, they immediately got it out of storage, and the salesman started filling in the contract for the telephone company. He had to do this twice, due to misspelling my name (can't really blame him) and making a few other mistakes, but at 1 to 10 he was finally finished, and went to get the telco's sim card, only to find out he didn't have them on stock anymore. Sigh. But he phoned the Dixons store in Maarssen, about ten minutes by train from Utrecht, and there they still had one, so he'd fax the contract and I'd be able to pick up the phone there in the afternoon. When I arrived there at a quarter to five, I first had to fill in another contract, as the guy behind the counter said he couldn't accept a faxed contract, and then, after we finished, he said, "You do realise processing this will take at least two hours for the telephone company, right?" With the shop closing at five, that would mean I wouldn't be able to pick up the phone before Tuesday - all stores are closed here in the country on Sundays, and they'd also be closed on Monday for a redressing of the store or something like that. The fact that I'd been promised in Utrecht I'd simply be able to pick up the phone in Maarssen when I arrived didn't seem to bother him. Anyway, now I'll be trying to buy the phone in another store on Monday, but I again haven't been really impressed with an electronics store's customer service. My laptop is still broken, too, in case you were wondering.

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