Wright's Aerials

This job would be great if it wasn’t for the customers (part 3)

 I've had Mr Angry on the phone this afternoon. What follows is an accurate account as far as I can remember, although names have of course been changed . . .

"Hello. This is Mr Angry of flat 54 Coronary Court, on the Irascible Estate. Look, it's bloody ridiculous! I've moved in here and some damned nosey sod has complained about my Sky dish, so I've had to pull it down. I don't see what it's got to do with anyone else whether I have a dish! Can you come round now and sort it out?"

"Err, well . . ."

"Can you come round and advise me what to do? The management people said you'd be able to sort it out. Can you come today?"

"Err, well . . ."

2I'm absolutely disgusted about this, I can tell you. I'm livid! Why can't people mind their own damned business? If I could find out who it was they'd get a piece of my mind I can tell you. I'm talking to you on my son's mobile phone, it's costing a fortune, pound a minute or something like that these mobiles cost, and he'll make me pay him back, don't you worry about that. He's never given me a thing, and after all I've done for him, paid for him to get through university, mind you that was a waste of time, three years' media studies whatever that is and now all his does is swan around writing newspaper articles .. "

"There's a communal TV system in the building. You don't need a dish."

"Damned BT won't put the phone in for a fortnight, it's only a bit of wire for God's sake; I'd do it myself if I had a ladder . . ."

"Can I just . . .?"

"Anyway will you come this afternoon and sort something out?"

"There's a communal TV system in the building. You don't need a dish."

"Oh no, don't give me that, I want Sky. I had that TopUp thing and it's total rubbish"

"There's a communal TV system in the building. You don't need a dish for Sky. All you need is a flylead. Plug it into the wall socket and . . ."

"What do you mean?"

"There Is A Communal TV System In The Building. It Is Connected To Every Flat. You Do Not Need A Dish For Sky. All You Need Is A Flylead."

"Well how can that work? I can't see how that can work. Look, I know you work for Sloth Indolence and Inertia [the management agents] – I hope you're not just telling me a fairy story, because . . ."

[Bill rings off]

[Bill manages to get some actual work done]

"Ring ring"


"Are you there? I'm sorry, this damned stupid little phone keeps cutting out, it's like that Toyota I used to have, all down to the Japs if you ask me, anyway, what were you saying?"

"I was saying that there's a communal TV system in the building. It's connected to every flat. You don't need a dish for Sky. All you need is a flylead."

"Are you sure?"


"Well can you come round this afternoon and sort us out?"

"I'm sorry but I'm absolutely booked up except for emergencies until the New Year."

"Well this is an emergency goddammit!" [sounds like his head is going to explode]

"Look, I have to tell you, the connection between the wall socket and the satellite box is not Sloth Indolence and Inertia’s responsibility, so if I come to you and fit a flylead I'll have to charge you. Why don't you nip down to the local electrical shop [I name a good one nearby] and ask for a metre length of satellite cable with an 'f' plug on each end?"

"With a what on each end?"

An 'f' plug. The shop will know. 'F' for Freddy."

"And what do I do with it then?"

"Connect it between the wall socket and the satellite box."

"Oh, I don't want to start messing about like that. Look, I'm going to ring Sloth and Whatsit and ask them if they'll authorise you to come out. After all, let's be fair here, it's them who've made me pull the dish down, I think they ought to pay."

"That's a good idea. Let me know how you get on."

I haven't heard anything. Yet.

Unbelievably, there's more yet... >

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