Pass The **** Hole

Charles Macfarlane

Just about my favourite British Telecom story, warranted true ('cos it happened to me) from the days when they were still just about a publicly owned concern (I discarded the word 'service' there). 

I bought an old cottage with no phone, naturally I wanted one.  I checked at the local shop which phone area they were in, and rang that area, G-shire:

"I want to install a phone."
"Aaah no! That'll be C-area!"
"You sure? It's G-shire at the local shop!"
"Definitely C-area!"

Rang C-area:

"I want a phone."
"Aaah no! That'll be H-shire!"
"You sure? G-shire just told me it was C-area!"
"Definitely H-shire!"

Rang H-shire:

"I want a phone."
"Aaah no! That'll be G-shire!"
"You sure? I've just rung G-shire, they told me it was C-area, then C-area told me it was H-shire!"
"Definitely G-shire!"

So I tried G-shire again:

"C-area said it was H-shire and H-shire said it was G-shire ...  I really would like a phone!"
"Definitely C-area!"

And again C-area passed me to H-shire, who again passed me back again to G-shire.

Fuming, I remembered meeting a neighbour when last there, and by a minor miracle (to anyone that knows me) managed to recall his name.  I looked up him up in the book, C-area.  So I rang them up a third time, and in a voice that told of an immediate lightning strike if I was palmed off again, said:

"My neighbours are C-area and that's good enough for me!  Now put a bl**dy phone in!"

It turned out later that I was literally on the borderline between the three areas  -  my neighbour the other side was H-shire, and across the valley behind the house it was all G-shire  -  but that's hardly the point, you'd have thought that either of the two areas serving my immediate neighbours would have wanted the custom, wouldn't you?


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