I count stuff

Continuing in the vein this week/month of reducing information clutter – and adding to my hardware clutter – more later – I decided to go one step further and try to make my Google Reader more effective. I had subscribed (if that is the verb) to so much that I could no longer bear to look… except as an insomnia cure, when quite frankly I will do anything!

Having this rather weird fixation with numbers – no not in a clever way, I wish it was – rather I just find myself counting, and I have often counted into the hundreds before I notice. (It is often the case that on dog walks I count the number of steps I take, and only when I get home do I realise what I was doing… I know, seek help :))

Any road, I also use my counting fixation to manage stuff, make decisions, picking a random number, and pontificating using many and varied (usually barking) tools of measurement stopping at that number and plumping with the associated choice. Er, this might make me seem rather slapdash to future employers, sorry – I try to keep this to the trivial, say Mac or PC? – or some such demotive argument. *Emma grins wickedly at all Mac bullies*

So, I decided to pick a random number to manage my Google Reader… I came up with five, and immediately told myself not to be so ridiculous. Then – the children being asleep – I chose to see if I could do it. Just five feeds, five people without whom I would not be able to do my day job, either for entertainment value or education.

Guess what? I did it

Do you know how many people I had subscribed to before I did this? 236 – I kid you not…

I am eager 🙂 well, eager and also I added people because I could, every time I read a good post, or someone commented here, I would subscribe to their blog etc etc… news blah. Or searching for a subject that I was into and subscribing to the blogs with the most posts… madness.

Resulting in this horrific cacophony of digital noise: everyone talking at the same time, different subjects, random thoughts.

When I moaned, as I may occasionally have done, friends would tell me to file this stuff, streamline it… I don’t even file my nails, as if I am going to go in and actually manage this information flow! I know that I can, and easily too, but when you have that many feeds, even insomnia is more attractive to filing. (May just be me).

Deletion was the only answer. And so now I have five, and I have five feeds that I will be watching intensely. I will not bore you with my decision process, it is and should be deeply personal! But now my Google reader is a thing of beauty, and I am really quite excited about tomorrow morning…

In other news tonight

Emma has a Mac – get over it

My iphone is working, and I am so in love with it (would blog the last hurdle of getting to this point but really, you don’t want to know – it works, O2 head of customer services sorted it out for me, and was good, but it took blood, sweat and tears on his part and mine), just waiting now for the reimbursement… any time now… yip… I will just put the kettle on…


I know you are all gagging to hear about the latest update on the i-phone saga. I got back from Kenya and received a call from O2 saying that my i-phone is now clearly broken so they need to look at it. I am not about to schlep to anywhere so they promised to send me an SAE for me to send it back.

This was last Wednesday… nothing yet. UPDATE 15/4/8 SAE turned up – phone dispatched

You know what? I really do not want this thing any more. I will send it back – eventually – get my money back and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Now I need to wrench back my i-Touch from my sister, or get a new one.

Never again.

This is not a considered post at all – wait for the proper one on validation :)

As a working mother of two girls, one cat, a dog and 26 fish (long story) – I write, but sometimes it might not have as much thought as one who does not have quite so many responsibilities – the fish are a ‘mare, they are tropical.

This is one such occasion. I want to tie up the iphone story, but it does not sit naturally with my ‘brand’ whatever that may end up being. So I will explain what has happened, with no moral, no value to the story, however perhaps you will be better informed the next time someone says: iphone or N95?

Justin Kerr-Stevens very kindly dug out the number of the Director of Communications for O2, Europe. As soon as I had the details I contacted him, and within minutes received a response. I must admit that I emailed from my FCO account… hmm. Anyway, he responded and by the afternoon I had some chap – sorry Alan Chapman – a very good chap – from O2 customer services, dealing with ‘my case’.

He sorted my iphone, well nearly, it should be working tomorrow sometime (27th March 2008). He sorted the fraud, he accepts that I have not tried to defraud O2. It is all so perfect, well kind of, I am still smarting about the fraud and inconvenience to be honest… and then:

‘Emma, I need to speak to you about your iphone’.

Tentative: ‘Uhuh’

‘I know we have sorted your original complaint of the iphone not working’ … well sort of… ‘ and fraud… ‘um yes, if I were to commit fraud I hope I would be sensible enough to do it to SAVE money…’

‘… well I have just looked at your account and you upgraded two months ago’

Me: ‘Yes, I did, it was due and I made a good saving on the tariff’

‘… thing is, you signed up for 18 months’

Me: ‘Yes I did, it was a good deal and I knew iphone would obviously override that as I was buying one at some point v soon’

‘… thing is, the 18 month tariff you signed up for is now defunct (or equivalent word) because you have chosen an iphone tariff’

Me: ‘Er yes because that is all that was on offer, the one on my Sony was better can I have that one?’

‘… there are three options, and you have chosen the middle one… so we now need you to pay us either – and we are being kind here – the full amount of your original contract… some £400 plus OR… we will be lovely and let you only pay £269’

Me: ‘Right… so the cost of the iphone again?’

‘… yes, because only two months ago we gave you a very expensive phone free, and now you have bought your own’…

Me: ‘Might be an idea to introduce this charge at the point of sale? And you can have the Sony back now…’

‘… did they not tell you? Where did you buy the phone?’

Me: ‘An O2 store, and this telephone call from you is the first I have ever heard about a charge of at least £269 to get my number migrated to my iphone’

‘… I shall go and listen to the recordings of your conversation when you upgraded last’…

Hmmm, OK – do I have to spell it out here? No, you can do the maths… equals me introducing head to wall

I want my iphone… what on earth, and more importantly who on earth do these companies think they are dealing with?

I will blog a far more constructive post about this customer behaviour shortly… but for now? Do NOT buy an iphone unless you are loaded – or want to pay for mine – currently a pile of junk on desk.

I HOPE that by posting here and gathering insight, we will be able to have the iphone and not be fleeced! Hurrah 🙂