Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Cabin Fever

I’ve just been on the phone to a lady in India, who wanted me to ask me some questions on behalf of a “leading UK brand”. I took pity on her. I once spent the most horrific week of my life conducting a survey on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions. I was told to lie through my teeth and tell the person on the end of the phone that the questionnaire would only take 10 minutes. Unfortunately, I knew it was going to take close to an hour and after about 20 minutes I could hear the life draining out of the people I was speaking to. The questions I was forced to asked were ridiculous, they went round and round in circles and the whole enterprise was obviously a huge waste of public money. Anyway, the lady in India asked me to confirm my postcode and because I refused and said I didn’t want to be contacted in future, she simply sighed and hung up on me, which I thought was fairly rude. Part of me quite likes answering silly questions.

I’m not sure why so few businesses have learnt that nobody wants to talk to call centres in India, and furthermore, why we’re all forced to feel like such racists for making these kinds of statements. Frankly, if someone has to ask me how to spell the name Benjamin, we’re going to get into very deep water when I begin to explain the reason for my phonecall. And why do they always chose such cruddy “western” names to call themselves? Cindy, Frank, Gloria.

I’m still struggling with the 5th movement of the Pepys Motet. It’s based on passages which deal with Pepys’ tempestuous affair with his maid, Deb Willet and I’m trying to make it a bit bluesy to give the musical theatre and gospel singers something to get their teeth into. But it’s all sounding a bit pompous and structure-less at the moment. It doesn’t help to hear it played back all 4-square and emotionless on the computer. It also doesn’t help that I’ve got cabin fever, so I’m going to go up into Highgate now to meet Fiona for a drink.

A very short entry from Pepys on this date 350 years ago. The most exciting news was that Pepys and Montagu, whilst having dinner, caught sight of the Nazeby for the first time; a giant ship, with 80 guns, which they watched slowly drifting towards them and then laying anchor close by. It seems they were destined to transfer to this ship for the next stage of their journey so they went on board to discover much work had been done on it. Montagu was particularly pleased to find a new chimney had been installed in his bedchamber. The concept of a chimney on a wooden boat almost beggars belief but these were strange times!

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