October 8th, 2007

Erik - blank


I couldn't really be bothered to explain last night, and also just felt like using the Mastercard advert format... but anyway, here's what happened on Saturday:

We went to see Drew in three plays at Langley School (Dovehouse Theatre) - which incidentally looks like the Best School Evar - and had an adventure on the way home...

Alison had rung Ambassador Cabs and specifically ordered a six-person taxi in order to take home herself, Drew, Drew's parents, and me and Paul. A regular, four-person taxi turned up about 10 minutes later. Paul and I graciously let Alison, Drew and his parents have the cab, as the driver said that a six-seater would be another half-hour wait. He then said he had called through to send another one for Paul and I, and that we should wait there in case it turned up.

Which, obviously, it never did. After 15-20 minutes Paul rang them up and it became quite apparent that no such taxi had ever been ordered. The woman on the phone was very apologetic, said they'd been having trouble getting a car out to us (you don't say!!) and offered us a local taxi number, but given that the whole point of ringing a taxi was to get home quicker, it seemed a bit redundant, at that point, to call for another, wait for it, etc., so we decided we'd walk up to the main road (Warwick Road) and get the two buses that would take us home.

It was about half a mile up Kineton Green Road just to get to Warwick Road alone, and obviously by that point the buses were on rubbish, about-to-clock-off-for-the-night service. The next 37 wasn't due for 10 minutes or so, and it said it was only a 5 minute drive to Westley Road in Acocks Green, from where we could get the 11 home, so we decided to walk. No 37 passed us during the walk, so it seemed like a positive move...

Anyway, we also wandered into Acocks Green station at one point to try and get to the bus stop, only to find it was closed, despite all its lights being on. Shut the frelling car park, you idiots, or something. Anyway, the 11 turned up pretty much straight away, and we were back within an hour and a half or thereabotus, which wasn't too bad, considering. But yeah, it was about four miles, judging by how long it took...

As if that wasn't bad enough, the driver on the way there (from the same company) was useless too. He turned up 15 minutes early and was incredibly arsey about it and said he'd wait five minutes. Which was probably just as well, considering he didn't know where he was going. He interpreted my vague "it's off the Warwick Road" as "I know exactly where I'm going", and got incredibly aggressive when, after getting lost and apparently going down entirely the wrong road, we tried to tell him as much. Luckily enough he did then find the road, but it was touch and go for a while.

So, yeah. Don't use Ambassador. They're usually really good, so it's a shame.

On Sunday we had another long walk to the Selly Park Tavern - it would have involved getting the 11 on a Sunday and then going down the Pershore Road - again, no buses seemed to go past us on our 15-minute jaunt down said Pershore, so walking turned out to be the best option. We met joetimewaster and miss_scooter there for Sunday lunch, which was very nice indeed, played the ItBox for a while and then got a taxi home.

And of course, they sent a bloody six-seater. This was A-Cars, though, but still, it's hardly bloody surprising they can't send six-seaters when you want them, if they just go on normal hire. They used to do this in Derby all the time; they would ask how many people it was for and still send a people-carrier for two people. Taxi firms are utterly shit these days, unless you live in London. ALL Birmingham cab firms should learn some kind of Knowledge; I don't care how many bloody provinces there are, just LEARN them.

Anyway, rant over. This morning I had to finish the same two-tape dictation I mentioned on Thursday ("Russian") because our 'other' typist took it Friday morning at 11.20 and managed a quarter of the first tape, in five hours. Given that it should have been given back at that time to remain within the 24-hour turnaround, this is fairly crap. So, yeah, that was fun. Once again, clearly, common sense prevails; for God's sake, if you're going to take something, at least make sure you know you can finish it. You should know how long something will take you by now...

Now I must go swimming...
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