So, today, after making my fourth call to EE about having no phone reception in my own home for the past three weeks, I finally snapped, and instead of asking politely for them to try and remedy the situation, I pointed out that, as a man who works from home, a man who desperately needs his mobile phone, I no longer considered EE to be fulfilling their side of our contract and that I expected them to release me from said contract with absolutely no financial implications. That could well be the longest sentence I have ever written.
The woman on the phone said there was very little chance that they'd be able to meet my demands, so I asked to speak to the EE press office and she immediately capitulated. So, after fifteen years as a loyal Orange customer, I find myself a free agent again, looking around for the best deal, searching for another multi-national to lure me in with the promise of a shiny new phone.
I was quite surprised at how easily they allowed a long-term customer to throw in the towel, but then again, it's astonishing how rapidly everything went down hill when Orange became EE. Their arrogance and lack of interest in my problem was breathtaking, as was the sheer ineptitude of its staff. I made a note every time I called them over the last week as to how long, in four separate calls, I was kept on hold. The total? 1 hour and 12 minutes! That's a lot of "Prima Donna" by Marina and the Diamonds!
I've spent the entire afternoon in Central London. The lovely Siobhan texted at about 3pm to say she was down from Cov, so I stuck my computer in a bag and rushed down to Soho for tea and a natter, and lovely it was to see her. I walked her to Charing Cross and then sat in another cafe for a couple of hours doing some more work on Brass. I have a meeting with Philippa in the morning who is working as a dramaturg on the project.
I met Nathan out of the theatre and we went into Soho for drinks with our friend Carey and his partner, John, both of whom are very successful writers in the States. Every time I talk to Carey, I realise how much more seriously the Americans take their musical theatre. It is a TRUE industry over there, where even rank and file creatives can make huge sums of money.
Yanks invest in musicals because they revere the art form. The previews for all new shows are sold out weeks in advance. By comparison, the first preview for From Here to Eternity, was half empty. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that if Brass takes off in any meaningful way, I'd be foolish not to haul myself over to the States to at least see how things go... There's a limit to how long one can feel ignored!