We Aquarians like nothing better than a good rant. Especially when systems are stupid or people are a bit slow on the uptake. We suffer (or rather others do!) from our mental impatience. That makes us good at designing systems but it can lead to being seen as too honest sometimes.
My father always used to enjoy what he called ‘a delightful mumble’ as he put out the rubbish for collection. Complaining to himself about what was wrong with the world. For my birthday I have been given plenty of material for having a ‘delightful mumble’ at the stupidity in the world.
Handbags at dawn?
The main cause of all this was having my handbag stolen in a very mysterious manner. I still don’t know how – and that is anathema to Aquarians. If you want to wind up an Aquarian, then don’t explain the how or why of things to her. We hate not understanding things. It makes us feel stupid:) Hmm – classic case of accusing others of what we secretly believe about ourselves?
Anyway, back to the handbag – or rather its contents. The usual suspects – cards, makeup, business cards, wallet, and two phones. Not that I used the latter much, but one of them was on loan – very annoying! However the main issue was my driving licence. Not only does it cost around 70 euros for a new one – why??? Is it hand-crafted by Tibetan Monks who meditate to see if it is really you? On second thoughts, I would pay more for that! But no – Dutch driving licences are just like credit cards. And to get a new one you need a police report.
Faye vs the Police
Ok, no problem – you can now lodge a report online. Well yes, but not in my case. So by telephone then. Well yes, but not in my case. “We have to visit.” OK! Visited by two very handsome young policemen who didn’t note anything down and said “We can’t help you. You need to phone for an appointment.” Call 2 and police person number 4. Ok – appointment made but local police station has moved further away. Fine – a nice bike ride on a Saturday morning.
I arrived to find about 100 riot police getting ready to attend a demonstration – apparently the police do have better things to do than entertain little old ladies without handbags! ‘Does this augur well?’ I wondered.
Now the fun really starts
Police person number 5: You don’t have an appointment – not here anyway.
Faye: Er …yes I do.
P: Well OK, you don’t – but we have time now. (The Dutch practice client-aggressiveness as opposed to client-friendliness sometimes.)
F. Great, thanks.
Police person number 6, in the form of a young man who looks about 12, arrives to help me. He seems rather nervous. Maybe he should be by now, but since he arranged coffee (nearly undrinkable), I behaved.
To cut a very long story short, I was asked my postcode 5 times, my name at least 4 times and whether I, by any chance, knew my licence number! The system is clearly badly designed. After it not saving my information automatically, we started all over again. Twice Mr 12-year old had to ask advice from seasoned policemen (police people numbers 7 and 8) and they had to think deeply about how the system worked. After an hour – no exaggeration, we were up to the part where I had to describe the bag and contents. During this first hour I had asked the clearly ridiculous question: Why can’t you just get all my details from the population register (which includes my licence)? Surely you have access to that? “Yes we do, but since you are not known to the Police (well at least that’s something!) we have to put you into our system. I will go away and use the other system to get your licence details though!” Yippee!
At this stage it was so ridiculous it was amusing. So I enthusiastically started on describing my lost cards. The entry of each card required deep thought as it had to be coded under a certain category – it took two policemen to find each of those. We then got to the licence which was the only one I really needed – I don’t hold any hope that the police are going to DO anything about this report. Now I don’t have a problem with people learning to use systems, but this required the patience of a saint! Clearly something I am not. Nonetheless I lasted until the licence details and decided to keep quiet about the rest of the contents except the phones. After two hours – I kid you not – it was no longer amusing.
Lastly, (well I thought it might be lastly), I had to sign a statement which had a word missing. Should I tell? I did – but as soon as I had done so I regretted it, as that meant that the statement, after being corrected, had to be fished out of no-man’s land somewhere on the system by police person number 8. Finally it was printed and I had to give my details for victim-support in case I needed therapy. (I probably do but only after I had to deal with the Police.) I said that wasn’t necessary, but Mr 12-year-old insisted that it was important for the statistics! “Imagine”, he said, “if something else happened in my neighbourhood!” I wondered what that might be and how many Police people that may require.
Finally after two and a quarter hours I had my 5 page report all encased in a nice folder.
Clearly all of this is stupid all round – a waste of everyone’s time for something that will not be followed up. A system that needs integrating, fixing and requires better design and training. Not only that, but I had to explain what happened four times, as the calls weren’t registered (or if they were, no-one looks at them) and the visit was also not recorded.
Forward 3 days to a phone call. Police person number 9 in a very sweet voice: “Hello, this is victim support.” I calmly told her I had said that a call was unnecessary. She said she hadn’t heard that. Why was I not surprised…?
Aquarians – please try to help the police!
Who am I?
The whole episode made me think of something dear to my heart as an astrologer – being yourself. I am currently teaching an online course through Kepler College, showing astrologers how to help their clients get the work they love by aligning with who they really are. A gradual shift in the job market is taking place and I am glad to see that an online course I am following from a New York University is addressing this. A C.V. is becoming a skills portfolio – something I have been going on about for years. They too talk of alignment and self-management of careers. YES! My book, ‘Using Astrology to Create a Vocational Profile’ is really about this, although the course on Coursera (see below) has more business-like definitions.
Being myself – a personal story
So why did this event trigger me to dwell on this topic? Well – because I have two names. So who am I really? My business cards, which were in my bag, have the name you will know and the one I have used the longest – Faye Cossar. So even if my bag turns up, the police won’t know it’s mine (yes I tried to explain this) as in the Netherlands, I am known officially by my maiden name Faye Blake. I wish I had just used that for everything since 1986 when I arrived in the Netherlands – it would have made life easier. But I didn’t think of it then. My New Zealand name (on my NZ passport) is still my married name, even though I have been divorced from Mr. Cossar for over 30 years! So I have decided it is time, since I am beginning my own personal new year, to go back to my real DNA. That means for the time being I will get into my Leo shadow and use a chic hyphenated name so you don’t forget who I am!
or should that be Faye Blake-Cossar? ( My editing friend Christine says this one, obviously, as B comes before C. What do you think? Both sound weird. I guess that’s good for an Aquarian.
PS. Yes, I am related to William Blake. He was my grandfather:)
PPS. It takes Vodafone at least 10 days to get a new SIM card to me. So don’t call me I’ll call you! They also won’t give out phone numbers of Vodafone shops – don’t get me started again…
Websites of the Month
A great article on why ranting is actually useful!
The picture of me at the end of the post is part of an image sent to me by Will, an artist friend. See his work.
I am following a few free courses from various universities. Some of them are very good. See Coursera and Future Learn. The one mentioned above is ‘Strategic Career Self-Management’ from Coursera by State University New York. One of the very good ones.