Weird Phone Stuff and Patents

Whilst the wife was in hospital on Tuesday our French mobile ‘phone decided unilaterally to stop me from sending SMS text messages to her British ‘phone. It also decided out of the blue that our contract did not allow calls to her ‘phone either. Given I was supposed to be picking her up after her operation this was a bit off. I had no way of getting in contact. So, I sent her an email and drove down to the hospital. Weird…

Today we went into a shop run by the mobile ‘phone operator and the guy there told us that there was no block on our account, and we went through several iterations of customer service call, wait and get cut off. The waiting times were said to be 30minutes!! Maybe they need to outsource to New Delhi or Morocco? I spoke with a nice Canadian lady while we were waiting. I noted a young woman in her thirties trying to open a mobile ‘phone contract and get a new ‘phone. The shop assistant asked for the date of birth of her father, which she had to figure out and where was his place of birth. The assistant put this down on the form. He did a credit check on her and, in her case, she needed to put 400 euros down up front for the expensive new ‘phone. I commented to the wife, and she said she would have trouble saying the date of birth of her father. I can’t remember my father’s birthday, but he was born in 1931. They do things differently in France. You would never get asked this in a mobile ‘phone shop in the UK. There is a lot more local administration at the Mairie level.  Weird…needing to put your father’s place and date of birth on some kind of contract. There must be a reason for it, there usually is some logic. Do your parent’s credit ratings impinge?

I checked the mail today and as I did so, out of the blue, I started wondering if the intellectual property office has examined my patent application. I have not heard from them for a long time. I argued the case against the machine raised objections. I may be hearing from them soon. If it is a no, then no decision. If it is a yes, I will probably have to pay something. We just got our poll tax bill and it is the same as last year. I have to say that the Mairie here does a damn fine job of keeping the communal places clean and with a lovely array of plants which are well tended. They do good roundabouts here.

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