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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fun and games...

... is a title which could (if said in a sarcastic tone) refer to how very much I enjoy the days when I am doing my level best to work at home, but I can't access the effing Secure Remote Access System. (See how they put "Access" in the title, so as to lull those of us who use it into a false sense of security? Bah!)

After a good forty minutes of keying in my user ID and a variety of passwords, and plugging something called a "token" into the USB port when prompted, and swearing at the computer, I capitulated and phoned the IT Service Centre. (See how they put "Service" in the title, so as to con us into anticipating that they might actually serve us? Bah!)

The young man I speak to - they are all young, in my experience: far be it from me to suggest that the work they do is guaranteed to burn them out before they pass 30 - tells me that this is a "general problem" which "was first reported yesterday afternoon". But, he adds, in an encouraging manner, it's a "priority 2 referral".

As you can imagine, this information makes me feel a lot better.

Or, rather, I suppose it might have done, if I had any idea what the significance of a priority 2 referral is. I think that means they're working on it. But might they not be working on it more vigorously if it was a priority 1 referral? And what criteria does a problem need to meet for it to be a priority 1 referral?

What the young man can't tell me, of course, is how quickly the problem will be resolved.

So here I sit, periodically moving to the other end of the table to swear at my work PC when it smugly flashes up its "access denied" message. Again.

At least I long ago ceased to feel guilty about the delays this technological incompetence causes to work which I have previously promised faithfully to expedite. Or to feel duty-bound to sit up half the night answering my emails once my access has been restored.

Of course, some games are genuine and can be a lot of fun. Well, for some of the participants, at least....

Bertie's favourite game in the world ever is bouncing Caspar. It never ceases to entertain him. Caspar considers this to be a rubbish game and is, I suspect, fondly waiting for the day when he grows up sufficiently not to feel the need to play it any more.

The best time of all to bounce Caspar, according to Bertie's dear little pea-brain, is when she is running up the back steps to come in out of the garden. This is why he lurks at the top of the stairs, assuming a far-from-convincing innocent expression. If he had the equipment with which to whistle in a nonchalant fashion, he definitely would.

Only Bertie is taken in by his own pretence. Caspar knows he is there. Her task - should she choose to accept it - is to do everything in her power to trick him into thinking she isn't going to attempt the steps yet and is, in fact,completely fascinated by a fallen leaf she has discovered at the bottom, before hurtling up them at the speed of sound so as to avoid being landed on heavily by one very solid young cat. As she is a lot faster on her paws than he is, this ploy does sometimes work.

Having chanced to be standing outside the back door with my mobile phone earlier today (don't ask...), I bring you photographic evidence of the early stages of The Game. Note Bertie's convincing impersonation of a plant pot.

The Editor


Blogger Mary said...

A Priority 2 referral is, as you have correctly surmised, one stage less urgent than a Priority 1 referral.

This means it's unlikely to be dealt with until all Priority 1s have been cleared.

Priority 1s are generally the desperately mission-critical stuff. Examples of a Priority 1 include making sure the central server hasn't fallen out of its rack, teaching the CEO how to play Freecell, and fixing the VP's son's laptop while trying not to comment on the fact it might not have become so broken if he didn't download quite so much donkey pr0n from dodgy sites.

You may have a wait on your hands.

10:34 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Imagine my joy when - on speaking to a different young man this morning - I discovered that the main fault had been corrected, but that my frequent attempts to check whether my access had been restored had resulted in my SRAS token being de-allocated.

I am developing something of a real for talking to IT bods through gritted teeth...

12:08 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


For "real", read "knack".

12:09 pm  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

It is a common misconception that the "IT Service Centre" is there to serve the IT users. It is there to serve the computer. I think it's a kind of digital religion, involving as it does a certain amount of faith and hope, but not much charity.

8:25 pm  
Anonymous Helen Chatterton said...

Lady Bracknell, I have lost your email address and phone number, please could you email me from my website, the blue velvet scarf woman, thanks

9:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The really galling thing is that, although your work PC at home is part of your statutory reasonable adjustment, you can't claim breach of DDA when this happens because they treat all their "customers" with equal disdain.

Although I'll be the first to admit that it was never good when it was "in-house", I don't recall IT provision being even a fraction as bad as it is now it has been contracted out to a service provider whose chief (indeed only) selling point was that they submitted the lowest tender.

12:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superb photo though. Glad to see your day was not entirely wasted - even though you committed the cardinal user error of deallocating yourself! [runs for cover as fast as bad back will allow]

12:14 am  

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