Saturday, 27 April 2013

What a day, what a day...

...for an auto-da-fe...

It's a Saturday, which is good.

Despite pretty cloudy skies it has only rained once all day, which is good.

I could be a heck of a lot worse-off and I'm not.  Which is good (~ish).

But, eee, what a day.

I have spent most of today online, trying to book my annual holiday.  I've been so careful with money, trying to save enough so that I can splash out on two whole weeks of perfect relaxation in Greece next month.  And I'd looked at my bank account and thought "Yes!  I've made it!  I have enough money!  Holida-ay!"

Then I started trying to book it.

I think I do this every year.  I tell myself to be sensible and go to a travel agent; then I think "But all these companies have websites and online bookings, and if I use those I get far more choice.  Ach, come on, don't be a baby, you have Kaspersky anti-virus, you can shop online!".  And I fall for it again; this illusion that it will be easier.  Because there was a time - about ten years ago - when it was.

Not anymore.

Thomson Holidays actively don't want my money.  Their online booking system stinks to high heaven; seriously, it SUCKS.  It doesn't accept the existance of single travellers, and changes its mind about availability every five minutes, and keeps randomly altering the booking criteria for no apparent reason (one minute I'm booking for the dates I want, the next it's shifted my holiday on by a fortnight.  Why, Thomson, why?).

I complained, and was advised to "ring our customer service team".  So I did; and they said "Oh, no, we can't take a late booking over the telephone, counter-fraud measures, so sorry, computer says no, please go to your nearest Thomson Preferred travel agent."

My nearest Thomson Preferred travel agent is in effing Ruislip.

Thomson Customer Service: I'm sorry but when a booking date is within three weeks we have to implement counter-fraud measures because it could be fraud.
Me: Other companies take late bookings over the telephone!  I work in a customer service role myself, I know this isn't your fault, but - but - it's a really stupid situation.  I am trying to give your company my money and at every stage of the process Thomson are making it as hard as possible for me.

She was nice, insofar as she didn't get outright frosty when I was getting arsey.  But no go, nonetheless.

I went online some more.  Thomas Cook's website jammed when I tried to tell it I want to fly from a London airport.

Thomas Cook's Website:  Urgh...  Work.  Me no like work.  London; London?  >spinning wheel of death symbol<  wtf, nsfw, rofl, hehehehe unf...

Olympic Holidays website does at least work.

Olympic Holidays Website:  Here are some options - Kalymnos; north Crete in the middle of nowhere with a shingle beach; or a place on Rhodes that you haven't heard of.

I got hopeful.  I'd found some possibilities.  Not what I wanted (2 weeks on Thassos) but passable; and still Greece.  Still my heart's-home, my heaven and heart's ease, Hellas.

Then I noticed the problem.  All these potential holidays have bl**dy night flights.  For the return flight.

Oh yes, I'm so up for that.  Go away, relax, chill out; walk in the mountains and under the pines swim in the sea eat good Greek food drink retsina and Mythos write sketch read sleep soundly for fourteen nights; and then stay up till three a.m travelling home.  Blow all the benefit of your holiday in one night, without even having any bloody fun doing it, and stagger into work the next day looking so pie-eyed people think you've been across the Atlantic and back and partied till you were blue in the face.

Hell, maybe I should.  Wonder what Cuba is like this time of year?

Bah humbug, and horseshit and a pile of it.  The yearly saga of Im's unbooked holiday.

Tbc, I expect.  I hope.  I pray.

There's a rainbow over west London as I write this.  Please let that be an omen.

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