Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Computers suck!

Not the one I'm on, obviously, but only because this one has deigned to allow me to access the internet and sign in to whinge post an update on my dreary life.

My desktop computer is deader than a doornail, courtesy of Alex's 'help' in downloading updates I didn't want or need, and the other computers in the house will let me on the internet but have major issues with letting me sign in to anything. It's like having a personal version of Net Nanny that follows you wherever you go .. and it's starting to creep me out just a bit. Are they all talking to each other after I go to bed to decide what I'm allowed to view or is this just in retaliation for the death of their much loved brother, who is now patiently waiting to go to the giant scrapheap in the sky? (Though I suppose when you're dead, there's no such thing as waiting patiently, is there?)

My hatred of all things computeresque was cemented today when I made a special trip into the city on the train, for the express purpose of getting a certified official copy of my marriage certificate so I can get a passport (which is a whole other story for later).

I rang the Department of births, deaths and marriages yesterday to find out the quickest way to obtain said certified copy and was told to come in to the city office where they could print one while I waited. I then enquired as to payment methods and was assured that, unlike most other government departments, they had eftpos so I wouldn't have to make a special trip to the bank to get cash.

So this morning after dropping the children at school, I went to collect my new glasses, caught up with a couple of friends from work for a quick coffee and then headed for the train station. I had decided to catch the train because the car I am currently driving has roof clearance issues in city carparks and I have issues with paying for parking in the city. I didn't really feel like leaving body parts behind as payment because they will never accept the body parts I want to leave. They always want useful things like an arm and a leg as opposed to a huge pile of shiny white backside or post-baby belly .. spoilsports!

The last time I went to the train station, the parking was plentiful and free. Not any more .. every man and his grandma had parked their car there today and it's now a flat rate $2 which would have been fine if I'd had 20 cents more in my purse. The machine wouldn't allow me to get a ticket with $1.80 and didn't accept the $5 note I had, the shop on the station wouldn't give out change or put through eftpos transactions under $15, so I took a chance and left the car there without a ticket, despite the signs up everywhere saying that the carpark was patrolled every 15 minutes and cars without tickets would be fined. Not wanting to risk a fine for travelling on the train without a ticket, I manged to find a ticket machine that accepted notes and then just made it on to the train.

I selected a seat and had settled in to read the book I had brought with me when a man sat down right next to me, despite having almost every other seat in the carriage to choose from. He was having a lovely conversation with someone which was great for him, but rather unsettling for the rest of us in the carriage as we couldn't see who he was talking to. I was hoping it was the hygiene fairy giving him some pointers on deodorant, toothpaste and soap, but unfortunately I think it must have been the anarchy fairy because he kept ranting about how it wasn't fair that governments got to spend everyone else's money and by the way did I have any money I could give him because the government took all of his. I refrained myself from asking who did the twenty dollar notes sticking out of his pocket belong to as I was afraid the answer would involve a complicated story, complete with actions that would have involved lifting his arms. Luckily it was only a 24 minute train ride or I think I would have passed out from the fumes, both bodily and alcohol!

After a few trips up and down the main street of the city, where it was blowing an absolute gale, raining and freezing cold, I finally found the entrance to the building hidden behind some scaffolding and machinery. After working my way through the building mess while trying to not get in the way of all the obviously-I'm-more-important-than-you-because-I-have-a-job-in-the-city people, I managed to find the lifts and made my way up to the tenth floor. (I'm sure I was never that rude to people when I worked in the city .. you know 'cos I'm perfect and everything!)

I filled out the necessary paperwork, stood in the queue for half my lifetime 40 minutes surrounded by cranky people on their lunch breaks, only to find out that their computer system had crashed right before I reached the window. The lady behind the window of doom offered to post it out to me but I would have to pay for it in advance.

No problem says I and produced my eftpos card.

Sorry, can't take eftpos because the computer system is down.

Fine says I, through gritted teeth. What about credit card then?

Sorry can't take that because the computer system is down.

What can you take then? (with much wailing and gnashing of teeth).

Cash only and it has to be the right money because I can't give you any change because the drawer is locked because .. (wait for it) .. the computer is down.

Thanks anyway. I'll have to come back another time.

Then she says, you do realise that you can go to your local courthouse (which is ten minutes from the boys' school) and do this there.

My facial expression must have been an interesting sight to behold and I'm sure she had her finger poised over the raving lunatic button ready to press it at the first sign of total meltdown. Luckily for the men in the little white coats, I composed myself and left quietly.

I had an uneventful trip on the train back to the car, only to have the skies open over my head as I stepped out of the station. Dreading returning to the car and finding a ticket, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that something went right and I hadn't copped a fine. After profusely thanking the parking gods for not inflicting more misery, I headed for home and some quiet time before picking the boys up from school.

You know how you say to yourself, I'll just close my eyes for five minutes and then I'll ... ? That's what I did, but it wasn't for five minutes .. more like an hour! Luckily my phone alarm went off or the boys would probably still be sitting at school wondering where their delinquent mother has got to this time.

All in all, not a very productive day but at least I have my new glasses which according to Brad and Drew, are really funky and would go really well with my hippie shirt. I can't work out if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I'll let you know when I work it out.

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