So yesterday I left the hostel in America and headed to the airport.
The Troubles Begin
Apparently, it was foolish to believe that Flagstaff was run like literally every other airport I’ve been to, as arriving two hours early, as is usually suggested, I found out that not only were hardly any of the staff there, but also that tickets and baggage checks didn’t even begin until half an hour before the flight took off.
So there I was for an hour and a half, having missed my chance to say goodbye to the majority of my new friends in Flagstaff.
Knowing it could be worse, I ignored that saddening fact and focused on getting home.
A Few More Hassles
So we fly to Phoenix, where the next plane explains that we will be delayed because it’s going to be a turbulent ride, and the computer system has just given out. He continued to list the various problems with the plane THAT WE WERE ALREADY ON and convinced me more and more than it would have been safer to combat immigration and just stay in the United States.
But we eventually leave, and I convinced myself that I was being foolish about not wanting to go home in the slightest, and things will pick up.
The Calm Before the Storm
So we arrived in Charlotte; everything was fine.
I got on the plane to Manchester; kind of tired, but still mostly alright.
The flight was long, but my weird love of plane food was enough to raise my spirits ever so slightly.
I slept on and off for a little under three hours, and caught the end of Avengers Assemble; now convinced that everything would be okay when I got back to Britain. I mean, the sun was out! How much worse could things get?
The Troubles REALLY Begin
A lot worse.
Before getting off the plane, my troubles were mostly just minor irritants mostly focused around my emotions.
Arriving in Manchester, I was held back as the guard closely examined every piece of I.D. I own, because my passport is every so slightly split in a corner, and he believed I might be a perpetrator of identity theft or something like that.
Eventually, he let’s me leave, as I ponder the ‘What ifs’ wherein they may have sent me back to the States for trying to ‘sneak in’ to Britain. Although the more likely option is that they would have arrested me.
After getting out of Manchester station, I thought I’d get a haircut somewhere where people are actually used to cutting black peoples hair (e.g. not North Wales), and gave the man £10 out of my £29 in cash. He didn’t quite give me the cut I want, giving me 0.5 back and sides rather than a fade.
“Whatever” I tell myself, “It doesn’t look bad at all”.
As I set off, I realise that my new treasured hat is slightly loose and liable to blow off now that most of my hair is gone.
With one hand at the ready to grab for my hat in case of a breeze, I headed back to the station, starting with £19, only to get there and only have £14.
The train home is £16. The bus afterwards a further £5.
But I felt sweaty and disgusting, and I really wanted to get home. So I checked my bank account, only to find my last £60 has been taken by EE, subsequently pushing beyond the limits of my overdraft.
Stuck with no money or hair (except the small cut pieces that are sticking to my sweaty face), I headed to the nearest EE store; certain there must be a mistake, as I’ve not even been using my sim card for my period in America.
There’s no mistake, and apparently I’ve spent over 80 minutes on the phone with a number whose owner’s name the lady at EE is not at liberty to give.
I was on the phone to these people for over 80 minutes! Hiding their identity from me isn’t giving them privacy, it’s just being an awkward twat.
So I wondered… ‘Who on Earth could I possibly have spent 80 minutes on the phone to, who isn’t a close friend?’.
At first, I think “no one”. I’m never on the phone to anyone longer than 10 minutes. I’m more of a text-er.
Then I realise. It was those fuck-wits at Mobile Phones Direct.
In case you don’t know, I recently started a contract with a company called Mobile Phones Direct.
Initially believing them to be conning me, I called EE for validation. Which, I’m man enough to admit that I shouldn’t have done; and should have gone straight to the people I bought the phone off instead, as my solution would only have led to more problems.
Resolving the initial problem, EE sent me a working sim card; not telling me what they had actually done was cancel my contract with ‘M.P.D’, and just took me on as a customer.
Instead of getting in touch with me to sort out this problem, M.P.D waited over a month to call me, by which point, the only options were to either give them the phone back and buy a new one (£200) or cancel my ‘new’ contract with EE (£300).
So I bought a new phone. Obviously. They then complained that I had not sent them the accessories after I had already told them that the charger broke as soon as I took it out of the box, and I don’t even remembering getting headphones.
Why I wasn’t suspicious with this company sooner I’m not sure…
Throughout this period, despite having my new phone number, they insisted on calling my house number, meaning I had to call them from my mobile, being in Leicester, which of course incited these numerous charges to my account.
Then, this morning, I got another e-mail from a different member of the company asking the same questions I’d answered a month ago, because for some reason these people don’t feel the need to communicate with one another.
I suppose what I’m basically trying to say is…
DEAR MOBILE PHONES DIRECT,
NEXT TIME YOU HAVE A QUESTION, MAYBE SEE IF SOMEONE ELSE HAS ALREADY ASKED ME THIS COUNTLESS TIMES ALREADY.
THEN, REGARDLESS OF THE ANSWER:
STÉPHANE EMRYS MOUNGABIO
p.s. I’m starting to hate you more than TalkTalk, and I fucking despise TalkTalk.
Jumping off the Grand Canyon would’ve have been more pleasant than having to deal with these lot.
So now I’m sitting in Manchester drinking alone and watching the people go by, as the Hawaii Five-O theme plays in the background.
It’s been the highlight of the past 24 hours. I miss America