Thursday, June 01, 2006

Victor Meldrew Writes ... Again ...

Why is it that we go through times of bad luck, where nothing seems to go right? Whether it just be in day-to-day life or a future event that has been planned out with forethought and care, some bugger always seems to have it in for you.

If loosing a holiday and being 5 weeks without access to cash wasn’t bad enough, along comes another problem, one again, none of my doing but the outcome has disastrous possibilities.

In February 2005 I bought a zippy little 125cc scooter. All seemed fine until the guarantee had run it’s course. One day last March, it refused to start. I called the insurance people who sent the breakdown van. I gave them the bike and registration papers and off went the bike. Three days later, I received a call from the dealer: it was ready. After this licensed bandit relieved me of €60 and with the registration papers back in my wallet, I drove away.

A mere two months later, over last weekend, the bike repeated the same ‘not starting’ routine.

Sigh.

I called the insurance people who sent the breakdown van. I gave them the bike and registration papers and off went the bike. Three days later, I received a call from the dealer: it was ready. After this licensed bandit relieved me of €77, I was almost ready to drive away. “Registration papers please?”, I asked. “I don’t have them” said the shop owner. “In fact I now refuse to take them from the breakdown people”.

So, yesterday morning I called the breakdown company, explained what had happened and asked them to ring the driver who was on duty over the weekend and get him to return the papers. They said they’d get back to me. No news. I called again late in the afternoon. They said they’d get back to me. No news.

What I don’t quite understand is that when they delivered the bike to a dealer who ‘refused’ to take the registration papers, why do they still have them in their possession? Didn’t they think “Oh, that‘s strange. Maybe we should get them back to the owner of the bike?” And why do they still have them 4 days later?

But … if they’ve lost them …

If you’ve had some experience with the French system and exactly how problematic and time-consuming it will be getting duplicates, then need I say more?

However, if you’ve never had to deal with the French system of queuing for hours in lifeless waiting rooms, filling in reams of paper-work, arguing until you’re blue in the face and repeating the routine time after time, then you really don’t know how lucky you are.

After paying out on getting this blasted machine fixed every couple of months, I get the feeling that I didn't buy the bike I'm merely renting it!

It's no bloody wonder I'm a miserable, self-centred misanthropist.

Stu

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