Monday, March 26, 2007

The weekend and the future

Rocking Jess's (next to me) bday party with a oddly purple ear and the customary acre of cleavage

Friday night and it was time for bday drinks in honour of my big sis, at a very chic and therefore crowded cocktail bar in Covent Garden - lucky we'd reserved a spot! I can highly recommend the raspberry mojitos - delish! Should be though, at £7 a pop. I probably had a few too many at that price, but thanks to the slow service, I managed to stay respectably sober and in full command of all me faculties. Result!
On Saturday I had a not-so-fun shopping expedition, or, to be more accurate, a returning expedition. My ipod remote had broken after about a month, so it was back to the (name and shame) Carphone Warehouse to try and return it. The store I bought it from initially said there was no problem returning it, except they had none in stock. Luckily they seem to have a Starbucks-esque penetration of Oxford Street, so it was off to a further three stores, none of which had it either. At the last store, I had to wait half an hour for a manager, who promptly told me that they didn't deal with ipod-related faults, I would have to contact Apple. I was fuming slightly that I hadn't been told this in the first place, but there was an Apple store just around the corner, so off I went. At Apple, they told me what I had assumed in the first place - that it was, in fact, the retailer's responsibility, not the manufacturer's. At this point, I was getting really mad. So, all worked up, I returned to the first store 2 hours after I'd been there in the first place (confirmed by a receipt for the carger I'd actually bought there on my first trip, for those of you who think I may be exaggerating). At this point, I was ready to settle for nothing less than a refund (buoyed by the fact that Apple had actually given me a free pair of headphones, which was what I'd been trying to purchase initially, until they told me that 'you can't buy replacement headphones, you have to buy the remote. Whatever!) And here's where Gwan pitched a fit. They tried to feed me the 'it's Apple's problem' line again:
Store guy: My ipod broke and I had to take it back to Apple
Gwan: I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR IPOD!
There was worse to come. The receipt, you see, said 'ipod socks' rather than 'ipod remote' for some reason.
Store guy: This is the wrong receipt, it's for ipod socks.
Gwan: I didn't buy ipod socks, I bought this (brandishing remote)
SG: Well, all I can go off is the receipt...
Gwan: I'm telling you I never bought ipod socks.
SG: Well, it says...
Gwan: So you screw up the receipt and that's it, I have no rights.
SG: I didn't screw up anything. The receipt says socks.
Gwan: ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR?
SG: I'm going to get my manager...
Now, I've been on the receiving end of the 'are you calling me a liar' bit before, and yes, it's a low blow. But it's not my fault they put the wrong thing on the fricking receipt. Within about a second the manager was all 'yeah, they might have just been unable to find the code for the remote' and I was all mentally 'I told you so'. And THEN they did have the remote in stock at that store. Who's the liars now!
The problem with this little scene is I was physically shaking. This is why I try to avoid confrontation, I can't guarantee that I won't go all squeaky-voiced or start crying, like that time at the bank. Or that other time at work. (Yeah, shut up!)
I think all the shouting over-tired me (like a hypo toddler) as I went home with a migraine and have felt like crap since. The next day, I went for a walk along the Thames and wound up at Tate Modern (who knew it was so close?) for a couple of hours of watching surrealist film (inc. Un Chien Andalou - check out the hideous razorblade to eyeball scene if you ever get a chance) and wandering around the gallery for free.
Back at home in the evening, I commenced Bill Bryson's latest book, which unfortunately made me throw up when he described being pinned down by a bully who dangled a big gob of spit over his face then sucked it back in. To be fair, though, I had been feeling queasy all day. I'm surprised the eyeball didn't do it, it was probably the strong desire not to throw up in the Tate Modern which saved me. This, in turn, reminded me of a certain someone who will know who she is, who used to delight in (not so very long ago) blowing snot out her nose then sniffing it back up. Luckily not whilst pinning me to the floor though.
News on the France front: finally picked up my mail at Jess's do and learned that they want a copy of my NZ criminal record - sorted, thanks to my high-level police contacts. The contract is somewhat alarming - you have to sign a waiver saying you'll work more than 48 hours (the legal maximum) if required, and there's lots of other delightful little details like you're banned from all personal use of the internet and required to provide your own bedding. This gave me second thoughts about the whole thing, but a call from my dad persuaded me to give it a go and just walk out if necessary. This cheered me up no end, since if my adventures (yes mum, adventures, unlike a trip to the mall) over the last 8 months have taught us anything, it's that I'm not afraid of quitting and that I find the prospect of being stranded in a foreign land with no means of support rather exhilirating than otherwise. However, I've been trying to get in touch with the place by phone and email all day to no avail, so stay tuned to see if Operation:France goes ahead after all. If not, hey, I'll figure something else out, I always do...

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