Yes, there is more to the key story (see previous entry..) You’d think things were already annoying enough but no… the saga gets better:

Car Keys:
Called Linnane Fiat dealership in Rathnew. They quoted me 200Euro (yes, you read it right) for two keys – and you have to buy them in twos, the word was. Convinced something was amiss, I called around to a few different places, and sussed that the keys cost 63.50eur apiece, incl VAT. I called Linnane again (theyre the closest) and asked them again, updating them with what I’d found out. Yes, they said, the price is correct, but the balance is labour for coding the keys, and no, we can’t do a better price than that. Again I hung up and did some further research, this time a la google. I couldnt get exact details, but it was becoming apparent that coding the keys was a relatively simple matter (I had the ‘only-use-in-absolute-emergency’ Red Master Key, which unlocks the ECU and apparently can do damage if you use it long enough. Thankfully I had this key left, otherwise a new ECU would have set me back more than the car cost me…). To be extra sure, I called a dealership in the UK (with no vested interest in my custom, for obvious reasons) and they confirmed how to code the keys. So, you wanna know what 75eur in labour will get you these days? ->

Put the Red key in, turn, put blue keys in consecutively, turning each, and put the red key in a the end and turn to finish the sequence. That’ll be 75 squids please.

So I took my 125eur worth of blank keys (still ouch), had them cut myself, and coded them in the carpark.
Moving on…

Postbox Keys
Aren’t absentee landlords and letting agents who don’t give a shite wonderful? We have been waiting 3 weeks now to get a replacement postbox key. As I explained previously, we cannot contact our landlord directly, because of the wonderful protection he currently gets from his duties by having the letting agency “handle” relations between us. Last week I was informed he is ‘out of the country’ (after badgering them for two weeks to get it sorted), and that his brother (who was left in charge, they say) ‘couldnt find’ the original key. On Saturday the agency texts us and tells us that they have the key, and when we call this morning they say not to call until ‘as late as possible’ today because they havent cut a copy yet.

I am… *cough* …more than annoyed….

The last two weeks have been great, and a massive test of patience, at the same time.
Monday 24th April was the day Sol arrived back from Argentina, and before going to the airport to collect her, I went to the Postoffice in Greystones.

There somebody walked off (accidentally, I sincerely hope) with my keys while I was filling out a form. And so it began. The bunch had: car keys, bike keys, house keys (Offaly and Greystones), post box key and bike lock keys. Two days later neither the Garda Station or the Postoffice had anything to report. Incidentally, I had a flat tyre on the way to the airport; first day on the road with the car and all. Wonderful. It seems to have been caused by a dreadfully pot-holey road I’m forced to use in the mornings. Potholes and lowish-profile tyres don’t mix.

Events then followed thus:

1. Called number on housemate’s key, and I’m told by the locksmith that if I’m not the owner of the property, the owner has to call the property developer, who authorises the locksmith contract holders to cut the security key.

2. The letting agents (O’Gorman Property in Greystones) insist on being middlemen between us and the landlord for a number of months, so I have to call them. They tell me its not themselves but Wyse that I have to call. So I call Wyse and I’m told that the landlord has to request the keys, not me, so BACK I go to O’Gorman to request that they contact the landlord, so that he will call Wyse, so that they can call Keyhole Ltd, so that they can cut a key, so that I can go and collect it (in the city centre – which is wonderfully convenient if you work normal business hours outside of Dublin).

3. Waited 4 days, no word, so I call Wyse and I’m told the landlord hasn’t contacted them yet. I contact O’Gorman, who contact the landlord and call me back, and tell me the landlord HAS called Wyse. Somebody somewhere is either incompetent, lazy, untruthful or some combination of these. I’m unable to determine who is at fault, but I’m stuck in the middle, I’m being told that security is the reason things have to be done a certain way (which is fine, who doesn’t want to be secure?) However nobody seemed interested in taking a proactive approach to help me either. Disappointing.

4. I explained all of the above to O’Gorman, who at first try again to deflect to the landlord, insisting that it’s not their business. However after 5 days without a key, I insist that one way or the other, Wyse must be contacted directly to verify my tenancy, so that Wyse can call Keyhole. Eventually this is done.

5. It’s now Friday, I call Keyhole to know when I can call to collect. It’s a bankholiday weekend, so theyre not going to be working on the Saturday, they explain. I dash away at 16:00 to catch a Luas, so as to collect the keys from Pleasants Street before Keyhole close for the long weekend. When I called them earlier that day and explained that it was unlikely I’d be able to make it, they had offered to send me the keys if I sent them a stamped, addressed envelope by post. After all the fuss made regarding security and ‘who calls who’, is THAT secure? Plus I have no postbox key yet, anyway; so out goes any postal option, security notwithstanding.

6. When I get home, they prove as useless as windscreen wipers on a submarine – keys fit in hole, but don’t turn. They’re the wrong keys. In despair I call the guy from Keyhole again, whose mobile number is on our housemate’s key. He blames Wyse for sending the wrong key code to them (Keyhole), that they just cut what Wyse tells them to, and offers to cut me a key outside of working hours in Tallaght, but that it’ll cost me, and cost is an issue to sort out with Wyse, he says. I suggest cutting them for me and invoicing Wyse, he won’t have it; despite the fact that its clear to him that I’m the victim here.

7. Yesterday I called the Wyse guys, who kinda-sorta-but-not-really admit fault (I’m a ‘victim of circumstance’ [i.e somebody else’s shonky handwriting] apparently, but the company doesn’t want the expense of having the keys couriered out to Bray – they are being couriered to Wyse; so I’m compelled to dash off at 17:00 to meet them ‘half way’ at Cornellscourt./

8. The courier still hasnt arrived when I get there (after all the rush), despite the fact that the order went in at 2:30. I wait over half an hour.

9. The courier arrives. I compare the keys to Liam’s one. They do not match. At this point I am straining to contain myself.

10. Wyse are closing, I drive home, test new keys, indeed they do not work.

11. This morning, I call Wyse, they apologise for the problems, assure me that they’ll stop using Keyhole Ltd., and are having the right keys cut; these arrived with me by courier about 10 minutes ago, and appear to be the correct ones this time. [Update: yes, they work. Thank goodness for that]

Sum total – more than 5 hours of my time, some litres petrol and money on luas fares, all totally wasted, and not a cent of compensation offered. And an almost two-week wait to get working keys to my own appartment.

As far as I’m concerned, Keyhole are Wyse’s service provider, not mine. I did not choose them, I’ve been forced to use them; culpability for consequences of this (questionable) choice lies squarely with Wyse, who can deal with Keyhole however they see fit themselves – that is not my job.

I am singularly unimpressed with several parties >:(

[Update] : I was promised an apology call from Keyhole yesterday morning. Thus far, none has been received. Hardly surprising though.

-> Literally: “Nothing is eaten as hot as it is when cooked”
-> Meaning: “Things aren’t as bad as they initially appear to be”

This has so far been, and will be, one of the most difficult and challenging years for me, for us, ever. Some of it concerns people – and much, if not most of it, involves moolah.
– My job (which was never adopted with a view to any career in support, but has nonetheless served its purposes) will End.
– We (Sol and I) share a house with 3 other (nice, normal people) and one immensely intolerable gobshite.
– And so we really MUST move; life somehow has to go on in an environment we can call home, without feeling one has to avoid a certain person permanently, or that we have nigh on zero privacy. After which decision we quickly must absorb the fact that the absolute cheapest 1-bed dwelling available locally is €800/mth, two-beds from €950.
– I’m torn between spending time on trying to spark a career I want most, with relatively tiny apparent employment opportunity, and developing a career which I may still find interesting, but is my second and significantly less-preferred choice, with opportunities that are almost certainly better.
– We’ll almost certainly require two vehicles to facilitate our career development / establishment. Read provisional licenses as yet, Read mad insurance costs until that is resolved.
– PhD fees are insane. At least when you have to wait three feckin years to become Irishized. Costs for two people to do PhDs concurrently, well…

…and yet…. Life is GOOD. And if only for one reason which more than counterbalances everything else: Finally I can start out with my soulmate and the girl I love, finally we’ve reached a point where we can begin our lives together proper. It sees on one hand the culmination of 4 years of sharing, laughing, crying, flying, supporting, nurturing, strengthening. And on the other it witnesses the beginning of the rest of our lives as a married couple, and all which that encompasses. It’s got its scary bits, but it’s more than exciting, and it’s a journey I wouldnt give up for anything, or trade back against any of the decisions, sacrifices and compromises which have made it possible. We’ve had invaluable support over the last years from our friends, and for that we are so grateful – thankyou guys *points Limerickwards, Offalywards, Galwaywards and Balbrigganwards*; we really mean it!
We’ve beaten many difficulties and seen off some very hard times. And so I say to the rest of this year: Bring it On! 😛

…and almost forgot to mention – this year also rocks because I bought me a lovely little Happy Yellow Car of Doom. Und dat’s most wery vunderfoll, ja!

….badgers. Don’t ask. For a few moments just allow yourself to wallow gently in a numb pre-christmas stupor in the presents (not a typo – honest!) of the badgerbadgerbadgerbadgerbadgers.

Badgers. Wahey! 😀

…when you get up to go to work, stumble bleary-eyed downstairs to the bathroom, and next thing you’re looking down to see a hairbrush in one hand and a tube of toothpaste in the other, wondering what the FECK you’d planned on doing next….

Very busy and intensive but brilliant weekend with a friend from up north, Jeff – a digital media professional; who came down primarily to help me with some technical pointers and constructive opinion for the production showreel I’m putting together currently. I’ve been certain for quite a while now that creative digital media is the career path I want on, and ASAP.  Technology’s very interesting and often very cool, but I’ve come recently to a realisation that my personal interest in it is as a creative tool even moreso than in and of itself.  The showreel’s proving to be a lot of work but I have a renewed energy for it after the weekend; which says something, given the creative-drive-sapping qualities of my ‘daytime’ job, as I might call it.

Final Cut’s a fantastic piece of software; gotten aquainted with it very nicely now over the past couple of months, 10 million keyboard shortcuts ‘n’ all. Sorted out a lot of minor technical issues and workflow questions with Jeff, along with a lot of other things more related to production value and technique.  Had a lot of ideas beforehand that I didnt quite know how to implement though I knew it must be possible. All in all, probably the most productive weekend in a long while.

Had some really interesting conversations covering everything from photography/videography to media, production, politics, market potential, opportunities, trends, priorities; and swapped a lot of creative ideas (approaching from the audio end of the game for my own part, at least in a formal sense). Also went for an evening spin up the Wicklow mountains on Saturday evening; the lighting was superb; of the clear-sky warm autumn evening glow variety. Sunday morning was pretty relaxed – slept later than I intended to, went up to Bels for the Cafe de rigeur. Parents made a short surprise visit mid-afternoon. Finished the day with a rather good “Top 50 Documenaries Ever”..um.. documentary.. on C4 – which touched on, if tangentially, a lot of things we’d been talking about earlier on the day.

All in all, an excellent weekend. Makes the week a lot easier to face into, and the future a little less hard-disk-coloured.  

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Hooray – I have a blog now. Nothing unusual to report today, its the weekend – im taking a long one; time to go home, relax, catch a breather away from work and generally forget about most things for a bit 🙂 The bike’s fuelled up, has brand new tyres, and I’m ready to hit the road in 2 hours. It’s a good feeling after a long and drawn out week.

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