Noi is off to Korea with various of her sisters and nieces tomorrow for a short, well-earned break. This means that, inevitably, we've been heroically battling various automated systems designed to make life easier for corporations and harder for those who are forced to endure what they ironically term 'customer service' in order to get a couple of simple things done.
The first straightforward thing - made unfathomably difficult - has been to enable a credit card for overseas use. (I remember those days when this wasn't necessary, but now banks tell us they're protecting us from fraud.) The bank who issue the credit card tell us that this can be done with a simple SMS. So far we've sent nine messages, which have all failed, and talked to three customer service operatives (as I believe they call themselves.) We're now waiting to be called by a senior manager who, as I understand it, will verify who we are, though this is not in doubt, and do something to let us use the card for the purpose for which it was designed.
The second straightforward thing has been to register Noi and our nieces for their flight on-line. It would actually take too long to detail how much time this has taken so far, so let me just say a lot.
At one time I would have found all this extremely frustrating, but I've learnt to enjoy - as well as endure - the rich, and oddly educational, comedy of it all.