But the collective noun I wish to propose is a ‘bout’. Not as in a ‘bout’ of influenza; the word should be used when describing repeated failure of officialdom to get its collective act together.
Thus by way of example: “I have just experienced a bout of DEWA” or “Did you finally sort out your bout of Traffic Police?” My own most recent was a bout of Etisalat.
In short, I checked my email at 8:00am on Monday. At 11:00am when I tried to check it again, the ‘Username or Password is not recognized’. I phoned the Helpless Desk on 101.
“We can see that you have paid for that email account, Mr Goat, but we can’t see it. We’ll investigate and… [gulp!]…call you back.”
Disappointingly, although unsurprisingly, I’ve not been telephoned. On my way home from work I dropped into an Etisalat Business Centre, where I was told pretty much the same thing: “The system shows that you have paid for the email box, but we can’t see the box itself. Despite this being Customer Service, we are actually unable to offer any service to you as a customer beyond a slightly uncomfortable green chair. You will have to go to the main branch in Deira. Don’t worry, they’re open until 8:00pm.”
And in Deira, pretty much the same story but with the added variant: “…and we can’t do anything about it because it’s not normal office hours.”
A brief summary of the situation so far:-
- I pay for an email account, which I’ve used successfully up to 8:00am Monday.
- Etisalat shuts it down “because it’s not been used for four months.” [utter tosh]
- I am obliged to go to the main branch, at personal inconvenience, where I learn that…
- Etisalat is unable to resurrect the account.
- Any and all emails received since Monday morning have been lost forever.
- I have to shut down the account, then get the email address released before opening a new inbox with the same name some 48 hours later.
- I can’t have my old email address anyway, because Etisalat now demands a minimum of nine characters.
- This means that I now have to go and change my email ID on the RTA website, Facebook, et cetera. I assume that it’s possible to do this.
Remember here is a service that I pay for. It’s not free email from Google, Hotmail or Yahoo.
For anyone who’s not worked it out yet, ‘bout’ is derived from an acronym that does not yet exist at AcronymFinder.com :
Bunch Of Useless Tossers.