Monday, September 04, 2006

Back to square one...

I've never actually been to the Old Kent Road so I can't really go back, but the point is, I'm back where I started just over a week ago, having missed the opportunity to pass go and pick up my obligatory 200 notes.

In a nutshell, it was the first day back to work today, the holiday now a distant memory and the return every bit the non-event that I had anticipated. Only 47 e-mails waiting in the inbox which isn't bad for four days; many of which weren't worthy of reading and 9 of which were requests for me to complete the new 360 degree appraisals for my colleagues. That's this weeks work taken care of then.

On the subject of getting nowhere fast, I wrote to the BBC this weekend. Not to pass comment on the "skills" of our evening news reader, or even to state my almost honourable intentions for his female colleagues on the breakfast news. I'm trying to track down some information on one of their programmes.

About 6 years ago, BBc2 broadcast a series of programmes called "Songwriters Circle" where two or three singer-songwriters would take to the stage, tell us a little about some of the songs they had written and throughout, perform live acoustic versions of the songs in question. Aside from the fact that they would provide a valuable insight to the somewhat lesser talented boys and girls occupying the airwaves of late, I thought they were genuinely interesting and entertaining programmes.

Unable to find any trace of them on the BBC website (or even Google for that matter), I decided to drop Auntie a quick line and ask whether they were ever likely to be repeated, or if not, whether I could in fact buy the series on DVD or video. I should have taken heed of the fact that the BBC seem reluctant for you to e-mail them through their own site for "general" enquiries. Having waded through pages of FAQ's and attempts to answer my question before I'd asked it, I finally reached the hallowed enquiry form and sent my message.

Almost immediately, I received a reply stating that the BBC receive lots of e-mails and it is unlikely that I would receive a personal reply. Keen start there then.

I was delighted tonight to find amongst my e-mails a message from the BBC until I read "I understand you wish to obtain a BBC recording of your father-in law". Well that would be a nice surprise for him, not to mention the wife. Assuming of course that either actually existed.

I hit the reply button, explained politely that I was short in the father-in-law department to the tune of one and repeated my original request with a few more dates and details I'd discovered in the meantime. Another immediate response followed stating that they no longer monitor the e-mail address that had written to me and that I may find it useful to visit their website and use one of their pre-designed forms.

Let the games commence: ctrl a, ctrl c (copy whole e-mail), ctrl v (dump the entire contents in their enquiry form) and sit back waiting for the next e-mail explaining why they don't want to help one of their exorbitant license fee payers...

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