Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Fun With Etisalat

So it's nearly the end of the month and of course I haven't bothered to pay Etisalat so the barftuds cut me off. So I trundle down to their shiny new office at Jebel Ali and get pounced upon by an over-eager East European lady. She won't let me go to the cashier, and forces me to use the cash payment machine. Observing my age she assumes I'm a techno-moron and insists on standing beside me and telling me which buttons to press.

Now, I've used these machines before, and they are very clever, but a pain in the butt when you have four accounts to deal with. This particular machine has seen better days: the screen has very low contrast, and it is positioned so that it reflects the main entrance doors and the bright sunny scene outside. I can barely see anything on the screen.

What I usually do with these machines if I'm paying several bills is to treat each one as a separate transaction. But I learned something today. If you press the button marked 'Select To Query', you can do multiple accounts! I point out to my companion that the phrase 'select to query' has no meaning in the English language - I certainly would not guess that it is supposed to mean anything like 'do another account'.

Anyhoo, we finally get to the screen where you decide how much you actually want to pay, I make a complete mess of it and then accidentally cancel everything. This debacle has taken almost ten minutes. I beg the woman to let me go to the cashier and she relents.

The cashier at his nice ergonomically designed workstation only has to tap in one of my phone numbers to get all of my accounts on his screen, decide the amounts, take the money and print receipts. Two minutes maximum.

Due to shortage of time I decline to give Etisalat the benefit of my wisdom as I pass the box marked 'Etisalat, are we any good?' on the way out.

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