Tuesday 21 June 2005

Two stupid questions.

Keen Squander-watchers might be interested to know that, two-and-a-half months after I complained to them about their months-long delay, the DVLNI still haven't issued me with a driving license. This is because they put my application form in one file, my medical questionnaire in another, failed to correlate the two, and sat around scratching their arses until I rang up a couple of weeks ago to enquire whether I was ever going to get a license, at which point they told me that they had never received an application form from me (despite having returned my passport, which I had sent them in the same envelope) and had lost my GB license, and that I'd have to start the whole process again from scratch, with the added wonderfulness of applying to the DVLA for a replacement for my GB license. I asked for a manager to call me back, and a nice lady whom I shall call Masie and who, it seems, is not a fuckwit, actually went and looked for my application, found it, called me back, apologised, gave me her direct number, and promised to fast-track the application.

So I rang Masie just now to find out how it was going. She wasn't in. Her phone was answered by a very bored-sounding woman who clearly had better things to do with her time. I explained that I was just ringing to check the progress of the application and that Masie had said she'd fast-track it for me, and she responded:

How was Masie going to fast-track this application?

Hmm. Maybe she was going to put it in Mrs Flaxby's in-tray; maybe she was going to phone Mr Wetherby; maybe she was going to write "Fast-track this!!!!" on it with her special green marker, possibly underlining it, twice. I don't bloody know. Why on Earth would any sane employee be asking me this question?

Anyway, I grudgingly didn't insult her, and she grudgingly went and found out that I have been approved for a ten-year license, and they're planning to actually print the thing and send it to me any time now. Wow. I get to swap my lifetime GB license for a ten-year NI license, it takes less than six months, and it's free of charge. Can't say you don't get value for money from the British Government.

Last night on the BBC, far away but in the same bizarre universe of inanity, Sue Barker asked Maria Sharapova the following question about her Wimbledon performance last year, when, lest we forget, she thrashed everyone:

Was that some of the best tennis you've ever played?

No, Sue. It is mere coincidence that she didn't win Wimbledon when she was eleven.

I'd love to infer some sort of link here between publicly-fundedness and stupid-question-askingness, but sports commentators probably don't make for the most illustrative example.

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