It’s my Opinion

JUST two days after coming home from a 17 day trip to the USA I was seriously thinking my wife and myself had made a mistake, and not simply because of the dreadful weather awaiting us.

First we had to confront the appalling service accorded us by BT after we had reported our phone out of order on November 18, We had reasonably expected that the fault would be repaired in our absence - no such luck, leading to long weary calls on my mobile to the Asian continent, or was it just somewhere in outer Buchan?

The jist of these communications only frustrated me more, as the tests they suggested were beyond my very limited technical skills. Even understanding them was hard enough.

All of which led to BT telling me that the repair could not be carried out unless we were in the house. An offer of having someone there to cover for us was clearly not acceptable. A text suggested they could not fit us in before December 12, six days after we would be back in the UK. They indicated an e-mail had also been sent us to confirm the visit of an engineer.

But hang say those of you have a working knowledge of the Internet - if you have no land line how can such a message be relayed by such a communication? Good question, and one I suggest you ask BT, who were once the UK’s pride of the field of communications.

Those good souls who have retired from what was the GPO and live in East Gordon will be squirming as they read of the demise of the service they once took such pride in delivering. To date I am waiting for a change of dates for the visit, but not with great expectation.

In the meantime I have been reduced to using the good services of Ellon Library to send my work commitments through my iPad, though it is only open six days a week, and certainly not 24/7, resulting in me making trips to the Ellon Park and Ride facility. Even there, the well appointed facility is shut to the public on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday, so once again I was denied a Wi-Fi connection, leading to me jumping on a Stagecoach bus in order to send in my Monday copy by e mail.

But talking about the park and ride takes me to my second major gripe since coming home.

If we motorists are to be to be seen to be acting responsibility by taking our cars off the roads, surely we are entitled to decent, ice free parking areas.

Sadly, the surface in the facility was a disaster area at 9am last Saturday, unsafe and a nightmare for the 100 or so drivers brave enough to walk from our cars to our respective buses. In fairness the supervisor of the facility was quick to ring the roads department, but was having great difficulty in getting a response to his call.

Each and every person I spoke to was unhappy about the dangers to life and limb, though none of them were elected members, as they are never to be seen in such lowly public places, or as one Aberdeenshire Councillor is alleged to have said: ”My work is too important for me to be using buses. I always drive.”

So much for partnerships - no longer an ‘in’ word in local government circles. You now fully understand why I thought of extending my visit to the US...