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Has everyone gone completely mad?

Posted by Helen Sunday, October 26, 2008

No, this is not a posting about the hystérie du jour. When adjusting the clocks in the house I dialled 123 on my phone as I do twice a year to check the exact time, expecting to hear a measured male or female voice telling me in stately tones that "at the third stroke the time sponsored by Accurist will be....".

Instead, I got an excitable teenager with a transatlantic accent squawking: "Hi, this is Tinkerbell. At the third bell the time will be ...". Tinkerbell? Tinkerbell? Has everyone gone stark raving mad?

OK, "Peter Pan" is my least favourite children's classic and Tinkerbell is a nauseating little madam. Luckily for all concerned I did not spend my childhood in England and, therefore, avoided the yearly ritual of having to clap my hands so that Tinkerbell could live. Ugh. But that is not the point.

Even if the voice had been the honeyed tones of Long John Silver from what is undoubtedly a great classic and possibly the greatest adventure novel ever I would still spit with fury. What possessed BT to decide that we are all so infantilized that we cannot cope with simple information without it being conveyed by excitable transatlantic teenage squawking? I wish I could blame the EU for this but, sadly, I cannot. The madness is on this side of the Channel.