The first six weeks of my study leave have gone by in a blur. Visions of serene days spent in highbrow writing never came true, but I have been very busy! I've drafted parts of articles, delivered papers, planned the trip, facilitated processes, planned the trip, worked on an evaluation, planned ... (you get the idea!). I marked my last batch of assignments today - small one, which, if not perfectly formed, at least showed promise.
There are still a few loose ends to be sorted. United changed their schedule but refuses to issue new eTickets... (I don't know either.) The indomitable Lucie has managed to screw an email out of them that guarantees what they laughingly call uplift. I'd have been more uplifted had I got the new etickets. Alaskan, whose flight has had to be changed due to United's change, won't even answer Lucie's requests, so if you see an entry from Seattle at any stage, you'll know I failed to be uplifted.
Last week I spent nearly seven hours on phones getting Amex to sort out the fact that 22 days after I had made a manual payment, their direct debit went ahead for the same amount. You know why? THE SYSTEM! It seems that humans went out the window with both sensible programming and common sense on this one. This whole schemozzle had to involve our bank, which found itself unable to be helpful because - you guessed it, the SYSTEM wouldn't let them. When I grow up, I want to be a SYSTEM. Looks like they have all the fun. They have even taken over the RTA. I know this because when I rang on August 31 to ask for my rego renewal to be sent early, they said that they couldn't renew rego earlier than three months in advance. Rego due December 1. Likely time for mail to reach me - 3 days - which would take me to the three months! Arbiter of refusal - the "[email protected]# SYSTEM.
I wonder if they have a SYSTEM in America? Oh yeah - United, Alaskan ... I surrender.