Tag Archives: phone

New and shiny

I went to visit a friend this afternoon who had a new shiny baby yesterday (some of you from the Ship will know who I mean). She was very lovely, and it was great to see another new life as we head up to celebrating Easter. I’m sure I’ve pontificated on “God give me a parking space” prayers before (as a general rule I disapprove, unless I need a parking space of course, when it’s different!). This time I didn’t pray, but was very grateful that as I pulled into the (large and very very very very full with other people who were there for visiting hour) car park and wondered how long I was going to have to spend fruitlessly driving around in the hope that I’d be in the right place at the right time to catch someone who was just leaving, someone just, well, left. Right in front of me. It was literally the first space in the car park. Hooray! 🙂

In other news, thanks for the phone advice. I have a new SIM card, idiot-proof (I hope!) instructions on how to transfer my old number to the new SIM card, and didn’t have to put up with a salesperson trying to sell me something I didn’t want (though the woman at Virgin didn’t seem too impressed with me transferring, but unfortunately for her she couldn’t compete with my free handset, and she wasn’t *too* pushy). I have charged up the old phone so I am still contactable (due to the Easter holiday it might be the middle of next week before the new phone has my old number), plus I have a few pounds of credit to use up. I’ve just made sure not to put the back on the old phone, as one of the many problems with it was that it was impossible to take the back off it. The only time I’d ever managed it before was when I accidentally dropped it, and I was a bit squeamish about doing that deliberately! Anyway, hooray about that too.

In other other news, we are away for the weekend. Count Your Blessings posts will still appear until Sunday, and I’ll be back in Glasgow at some point on Monday. We will be staying with some good friends, also meeting up with the outlaws on Saturday who are on holiday in the same area. I expect lots of food to happen. (I’ve bought Easter eggs. I can’t tell you how tempted I’ve been the last day or two, having not really thought about chocolate at all for most of Lent and not having missed it much. Roll on Sunday breakfast!). It will do us good to get away. I hope that the new life and resurrection represented by Easter will be reflected in our luck (specifically HD’s work situation and my thesis, sigh. Am getting a bit fed up with it all).

And now for something completely different …

My mobile phone isn’t very well. It is rather ancient, and didn’t do anything fancy, but that was fine by me – all I needed was to make and receive calls and texts, and I also used the reminder and alarm functions but that was pretty much it. But it’s definitely feeling its age and has been slowing down and cutting out and generally objecting to being used so much, so it’s time to move on.

Last year one of my friends gave me an old-ish but new and completely unused PDA, so I am currently charging that up. It has lots of extra features – internet connectivity (not that I’ll ever use that, I waste far too much time online as it is!), camera phone (actually that is potentially quite handy) and all sorts of other stuff. It has a stylus for touch-screen operations rather than a numeric keypad, which is a bit of a faff and I’d rather have just had a numeric pad, but hey it was free so I’m not complaining about that.

My problem though is that, as far as phones and that sort of thing are concerned, I am an utter Luddite. I simply can’t get excited about them, which is why I’ve never bothered keeping up with networks and new technology (bluetooth and all that sort of thing are a complete mystery to me). I have always just had a pay-as-you-go account, as I simply don’t make enough calls or texts to make having a contract worthwhile (£10 topped-up on my number will last absolutely ages – at least a month, and usually quite a lot more than that). Anyway, it now transpires that I don’t think the new phone/PDA will accept my SIM card/PAYG account, but I haven’t the first idea how to go about finding out whether the PDA will accept any other PAYG SIM cards or if I have to get a contract (which I really really really don’t want). Google is not particularly being my friend – I have searched the make of PDA, and have got millions of hits that I don’t understand as they’re full of phone-speak. The user’s manual doesn’t have any immediately obvious information for Luddites like me, it seems to assume knowledge (and interest) that I simply don’t have.

So, here’s my plea. The handset I have is a Vodaphone VPA compact, and my current SIM card is a Virgin Pay-As-You-Go. The networks options on the PDA suggest that T-Mobile is the default – do T-Mobile do PAYG? If I go to a (scary) mobile phone shop, what are the questions I should be asking? Help!

Predictive text

Having finally lurched into the 21st century and turned my texting to predictive (with the help of a friend with a clue, which is more than I had), I was amused this afternoon when I texted HD that I fancied a snog. Now, I do realise that the dictionary wouldn’t have every single word in it, but why would it imagine that I would be more likely to fancy a pooh, or indeed a pong? It made me laugh though, which is good because I’m marking essays, which aren’t making me laugh (yet). I didn’t laugh too loudly though, as I’m in the library (shhhh) and my phone’s meant to be switched off.

Phone phobia (furrin version)

I know birdie will understand. And plenty of other people too, judging from previous phone phobia-related comments.

At home I’m not that fond of picking up the phone, but actually once I’ve dialled the number and got through to whoever-it-is I’m wanting to talk to, I’m usually OK. However, here I’ve got not only the sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach in anticipation of picking up the phone and talking to someone who may or may not be expecting my call and who may or may not be interested in speaking to me, but when someone does eventually answer (who may or may not actually be the person I want to talk to) I then have to explain myself in another language, which is *much* harder on the phone than in person because I don’t have the benefit of facial expression to help me out (on both my part and the person I’m speaking to). I find it’s much easier in person to communicate in another language – I’m more relaxed, and am not translating every word as I go along as it’s easier to factor in non-verbal elements in order to get the gist of what’s being said. On the phone I’m so busy trying to make sure I catch every word (and for some reason it feels like people talk much faster on the phone than face-to-face, though that’s probably just me) that I’m aware that I’m not really picking up the more subtle nuances, and also it’s much easier for me to make a mistake in what’s being said.

Today I phoned someone, whose number had been given me by someone I’d met but who wasn’t able to be interviewed himself but who recommended this other person. Unusually, he had also had the foresight to give her my number, and so she had an idea who I was and actually phoned me first (I don’t usually have this luxury, it’s often a cold-call to a total stranger), but as I was in an interview at the time my phone was switched off. I returned the call the same day (yesterday) but she had left the office and there was nobody there. So, heart in mouth, I phoned her again this morning, got her this time and she has agreed to meet me later this week.

However – although she has given me a date and time, she has not specified where, but told me to phone her again on her mobile tomorrow evening so that we can arrange that. If I was doing this in English I’d find it much easier to ask her to specify a place there and then, but in a foreign language (even one that I’m reasonably good at), when I’m on the phone and flustered it’s much easier to just say “yes of course, thanks very much” – I need to talk to her much more than she needs to talk to me, and my language isn’t good enough to smooth out any diplomatic issues that may arise from being any pushier. So now I’ve got to go through the whole thing again tomorrow! Argh!

This scenario isn’t actually that unusual. I’ve found it quite frustrating that people will give you snippets of information, or partially agree to something, but don’t give all the required information in one go. Another example, over the weekend I emailed someone whom I had been told by her colleague had done a study in an area of interest and relevance to my research, to ask if I could interview her this week. This morning I’d still had no response, so I phoned her this morning too (heart in mouth, the usual thing), to find that she hadn’t actually done that research at all but had contracted it out so didn’t think an interview would be useful. When I asked her about the contracted out research it turns out there was a report done, which she was happy to send me in another email – but why couldn’t she have just said that in a return email, rather than wait for me to chase it up by phone? It doesn’t seem to occur to people to offer solutions that are not exactly what is being asked for but which could be just as helpful. Likewise, other people say they will let me know their availability for an interview, but won’t tell me there and then, so I have actually put off contacting other people to arrange things in the meantime in case I have to drop everything in order to finally get the interview I’ve been after since I got here two months ago. If I don’t hear soon that’s another phone call I’m going to have to make. Sigh.

Ooh, this has turned out a bit more ranty than I intended it to! I must be tired!

Christ Church bloggy stuff

At some point reasonably soon, Mary is, God and Bishop-willing, going to be ordained as an OLM. I’m sure she’d appreciate prayers (and her loyal fans would appreciate a blog update 😉 ). [3rd attempt, hopefully the link will work now]

Intrepid Expat has finally arrived in Khartoum, and has started blogging – hooray! I’m sure she’d be happy to be prayed for too.

And Jane (blog pending, I hope) (*spot the subliminal subtle hint*) is off to vicar factory, today I think – definitely pray for her.

As for me – I fly to Romania a week today, and to the UK 2 weeks today! Will everything be done in time? Will I defeat the dastardly Man Flu before I leave? Will the Sibiu internet cafe staff remember me and greet me like a long-lost friend? Will I overcome my pathological phone phobia and speak to all the remaining scary people (who are fine and normal and lovely really)? Stay tuned ….

creepy crawliness

There was a creepy crawly this weekend on my bedroom wall that had about a million legs. Unfortunately it was too high up for me to do anything about it, even if I had had the foresight (I hadn’t) to bring my super duper spider hoover-upper with me, so I had to leave it to its own devices. Now I don’t know where it is, but will be shaking my clothes out before wearing them for a few days I think!

In other news, I still have phone phobia. I’m such a wuss (still). Sigh.

Stop laughing at the back

A few months ago I got all sorts of abuse from commenters when I announced that I was the owner of a brand new, shiny Young Person’s Railcard.

Yesterday, my friend L made my day by telling me she honestly thought I was 28, max. She now has a friend for life. (Actually I was a friend for life before, but that just sealed the deal).

In other news, I am being a 1st class wuss again and being thoroughly phone phobic. I really wish people would answer their emails so I didn’t have to chase them. Gah.

Branza marea

That is Romanian for “Big Cheese”. Anyone who saw my facebook profile yesterday will have seen that I was putting off making a cold call to said Big Cheese on account of being a big girl’s blouse. But I managed to get hold of an email address, so emailed her first, and I got a very brief reply back today to say she will call me on Monday. This is potentially a very big result, so I’m very happy about that.

Only 7 more sleeps to go till HD gets here. Teabag situation critical.

Phone phobia

That scary phone call that I’d been agonising about and putting off and procrastinating about and pretending to justify to myself that I had good reasons to put off making … I finally made it yesterday. And the number was unobtainable. Hahahahaha. It did make me laugh. Today though I went back onto the internet and found the right number, and after a bit more procrastinating phoned it again. Of course, the person I spoke to was lovely and really helpful and not scary In The Slightest. I’m such a wuss.


I now officially declare Tractor Girl and Stevie Boy Wonder as the wibsite’s official pray-ers (I initially typed pry-ers, but amusing as that was I did have to correct it). So any needs, great or small, they’re your people 😀 (no pressure guys!).

The meeting went well. They seem really interested in my research and friendly and enthusiastic and willing to help. I will be doing some participant observation with them as well as some interviews, and so I am currently feeling very positive.

So, that’s today’s scary thing out of the way. Tomorrow is the scary phone call I’ve been putting off for a few days.

[Forgot to add: In other ‘hooray!’-related news, I found zacusca in the supermarket that wasn’t extortionate. This is very fine veggie/tomato-ey stuff which I’ve never found a good recipe for, but which I like very much. I’m very happy about this 😀 ]