Articles les plus consultés

mardi 8 décembre 2015



Summary of the previous episode : A friend of mine had mail ordered a road sign mirror, the company had cashed his cheque, but since then no news and no safe way to drive out of his place !

Solving the Mirror Affair has left me dead beat. When I accepted to help my Dutch friend with his mail order, I did it wholeheartedly, because as the saying goes, " A friend in need is a friend indeed " !

Well, either I had overestimated my mental toughness and my patience, or I am not the stuff detectives are made of. My first experience has really washed me out, and if I had not promised last week to tell you about it, I guess, this week I would have played dead. I would have idled away my time, and, I would have pinned my cyber silence on a poor Internet connection. But promises are made to be kept, and, I won't be an exception to the rule.

This, then, is the story of a poor Dutchman dogged by ill fortune, who, on an impulse, left his fate to an apprentice detective.

When I first browsed through my friend's "hot file ", I realized immediately it was high time to help that poor guy, otherwise within a short while he would have to be put in a straightjacket. It was such a bag of bones that I decided to start all over again and phone myself the company he had ordered his mirror from.

First round : first jimjams

The company responsible for my friend's sleepless nights had a toll-free number, so I naively thought I could wrap up the whole case by the end of the morning. Unfortunately, that kind of things happens only in fantasy land !
After two rings, I got caught up and lost in a computer voice directory service. I bet all of you will agree that there is nothing more frustrating than having an issue you need resolved ASAP and not being able to ask to talk to a live person ! To crown it all, among the different keys the unbearable voice invited me to press, of course there was none matching my request !
Never mind ! I still had a few tricks up my sleeve , and that stubborn robot was entirely mistaken if he thought I could be easily put off !
I had heard you could confuse the system by pressing all the numbers, mumbling, using bad language, speaking nonsense, or doing nothing.
I wasted the rest of the morning testing all those silly tips, but unfortunately by lunch-time I was none the wiser. Yet, using bad language had given me the opportunity to let off steam !

Second round : never complain, never explain ??

After lunch I googled the mirror maker's name, and after browsing a little, bingo !! What was supposed to happen, happened ! I came across a consumer website on which a disgruntled customer had posted the phone-number of the comapny official : revenge is a dish best served cold !
A few rings later ( to be honest, my first three calls went unanswered), an understanding and efficient operator put me through to the man in charge of the after-sales service.
He apologized for all the hitches due to a stock shortage, but , luckily, they had received the mirror the day before, and sent it immediately to my desperate friend. I was so elated that I didn't even tell him that a phone-call or a mail to let their customer know about the delay was the least they could have done ..
I rushed to the café to bring the good news. My friend jumped for joy, hugged me and even asked the regulars to applaud his " savior "!

My joy was to be short-lived... I was not done with my effort ...

Third round : going down for the count !

A few days later, a phone-call from my friend made me hit the roof ! He was appalled and so was I.
He had received the mirror and he had immediately fixed it on the post near his gate.
Unfortunately, either he had not screwed it strongly enough, or it had been gusty ( or my friend had fallen under an evil spell), anyway, the morning after the mirror was on the ground, smashed of course !
The mirror was in pieces and so was I !!
I turned a deaf ear to the little voice inside me humming nastily :

Breaking a mirror may bring you bad luck for seven years !

Instead, I put up a good show and said to my friend : " let's sleep on it ".
Fortunately, among the regulars, a former constable said we 'd better ask the mayor for a speed bumper and that's what we agreed to do !!

Case closed !