National Debt? A scary moment!


I woke to a flurry of emails, some relating to recent posts on here; others to business matters. These included an innocuous-looking one from my energy supplier of choice – let’s call them Gas O’ Leck, to give the whole thing that Irish flavour – which I opened in a desultory manner as I waited for tea to mash and dog to evacuate outside.

‘Meter reading?! No problem!’ thunk I. ‘I’m a grown-up now! I can deal with this!’

Off I trotted, kitchen chair at the ready, to the meter boxes. Pen in hand, a light air upon my lips, dog’s claws clicking most irritatingly on the wooden floor behind me, I hoisted myself up, opened Box A and wrote down the number.

There was, I will now confess, a small hiccup in the above when, with my usual carthorse level of dexterity, I tripped over the smooth carpet (don’t ask!) and dropped the chair on my foot – but, nothing loathe, I carried on.

The numbers I obediently jotted down looked pretty damn scary to me. Maths is, and always has been, a serious weak point – and any plethora of the ruddy things brings me out in hives.

I rang the free number and, having negotiated the usual gallimaufry of asinine demands and cheeky attempts to talk me into buying yet another service, used my keypad, like a good little crone, to enter the digits manually.

I assumed this would be the end of it.

Wrong!

A tinny voice – with more than a touch of complacent smirk about it, if you ask me! – informed me that the aforesaid meter reading was much higher than expected and told me to try again.

Aware that my eyesight is not brilliant, and that I could easily have misread the tiny figures, I went back and looked again. Exactly the same digits met my horrified eyes.

Back on the blower, I held out for a real person this time, not wishing to engage with the electronic version of Miss Snooty Pants again.

By this time, I was convinced that my bill would exceed that of the National Debt and that I’d find half Glastonbury had somehow found a way to tap into my electricity and gas supply!

These matters don’t half bring out the latent paranoic!

Miserably, feeling obscurely guilty, I read the accursed numbers out once again and then, yellow key in hand, went and wrestled with the gas meter box in order to, as I saw it, drop myself ever further into penury.

I was then put on hold while the whole thing was mulled over. Not a happy stretch of time, that: By the time my helper came back, I was already in the modern-day equivalent of Debtors’ Prison!

To my intense relief, the original flagging up was just a warning system – and, in fact, my numerical nightmare was nothing to worry about. Collapsing like a hundredweight of limp spaghetti upon the chair, I let out a gargantuan sigh of muscle-relaxing delight and, sipping at a restorative cuppa, felt the weight of financial guilt lift from tense shoulders.

But, this I have to say: I loathe and detest having to deal with the inhuman element in this way. I hate being directed to online sites, or telephonic Tardises, which are about as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot, take forever and cause one to have to leap through eight million loops.

Bring back real people, for crying out loud. These automated systems are not quicker. They are not more efficient. They do not save hassle. They are stress-inducing Leviathans and it is about time Big Brother realised this fundamental truth and did something about it!

Dante, at his most demonically creative, couldn’t have come up with a more Mephistophelian tenth circle of Hades than our automated services!

Aggghhhhhhh!

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9 thoughts on “National Debt? A scary moment!

  1. reading a meter should be simple, but never is. Some of them show numbers that have nothing to do with your usage, which is not a lot of help. Combined with the fact they are usually situated eight feet from the ground is a pain too… I hate to think how you would get to the cut off switch in the even of an emergency…

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  2. We had a bill for £950 covering October to December….! Since being in this cold, stone and inefficiently insulatedrental cottage, we have had very high electricity bills….however, thus was something else! Long story short, we thought the next door neighbour was tapping in to our supply; don’t know how you would be able to , but let’s say, neighbour is ‘ creative’ in his personal economics and manages to get ” free” water….Scottish Electric came out and found the meter had gone backwards! Letter in post then accused us of tampering with the meter. Logically, one would imagine a meter going backwards would REDUCE the fucking bill to our advantage. Several phone calls later they came to take away the suspect meter and replace it with a couple of new ones; one being the meter for cheaper Economy 7 you can use at night. We were told the meter was being investigated by the fraud department! Meanwhile they monitored our power use to estimate the pattern of our usage. After a couple of months we had a phone call saying they had wiped out the bill and would only pay for what we use using the new meters👍. Question is that they won’t answer is we probably have been paying over the odds for 18 months…..

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    1. Jeez, that’s bloody awful, Dean. I sympathise. What a ghastly system it is. What really pissed me off about my situation is that I was panicked needlessly. I mean, I’m jolly relieved that I don’t owe thousands of quid, but annoyed that my reading was deemed overly high when there was no evidence to back that statement up. Tossers! xxx

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  3. Whilst it would hardly be a sop to your obvious indebtedness to the global electricity cartel, it is with some amusement (and a little karma balancing) I can report my small electrickery glitch. Apparently for the last millennia or two my meter has been faulty giving a surplus, in my direction, on estimated ransom notices from said faceless conglomerate. I even managed to extract (yes like pulling teeth) said overpayment from the maw of the power beast after the meter was checked and found okay (oops). It wasn’t until early this year that they decided to change it out ‘just in case, normal maintenance, precaution against failure, network upgrade’. Ah but it was fun whilst it lasted and my bikes loved having their heating on all winter, so snug. Thanks electricmongers. Karma. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heehee! Always nice to hear the triumph of the small individual against the giant bastards, even if it is only short term! Fun while it lasted, as you say. The older I get, the more I sympathise with Robin Hood’s outlook on life!!! xxx

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  4. My electricity was very bad but then plug in rads are the worst. Do you have a night time reading and a day time reading. Are you sure you have given the electricity reading for the electricity and not the gas? My friend lives next to a hospital in East Anglia. By slight confusion he got their bill – so he knows about national debt!

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    1. The really annoying thing was that the grim prognostication had absolutely no basis in reality! I did not owe a King’s Ransom and never had; the faceless system made assumptions and scared me into conniptions for bugger-all!!

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