Excruciatingly dull hour and a half of phone calls this evening re mortgages. After navigating my way through the dial-1-for-this-dial-2-for-that, interminable muzak, getting through to 'Nick' and passing the security tests... we were cut off. On the second attempt I got 'Sharon' but she passed me on to 'Stewart' who took me through a bewildering array of fixed rates, trackers and base rates, multiple year options, fees which you could pay upfront or over time (it was like a game), but couldn't email me a summary. "Not empowered". In any case, turned out that they couldn't offer the type of mortgage that he thought I needed - but their subsidiary could. "But before you go Mr Elliott, what rating out of 5 would you give the service you had today?" I laughed and thought of giving him a 3 but generously said 4. "Why 4? What could I have done better?"
So I called another number and, after some slightly 'groovier' music, 'Tina' picked up the phone. "Hello sir, I'm only a temp so I'll have to get one of my colleagues to call you back". I told her I was calling from Beijing. "Oh, I've just got back from Hong Kong!" she trilled. "It's much warmer there than here. [Long pause...] So I guess we won't be able to call you then". I wondered why not and gave her my phone number. "Oh alright then".
Is there anything in life more boring than a mortgage?