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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

On points, service and waiting,
with classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH

? 'Hi Alice,

I am upset because my practical exam was only two points below a merit and I need a merit for my GCSE plus I worked really hard.

What can I do?

Ask Alice

Alice Dear Oliver,

To answer your question accurately, I need to know:

  • your age, height and weight
  • your average practice time (excluding weekends)
  • the genomes of your parents and all grandparents
  • where the moon was in relation to your birth compared to the day when you took the exam

(Sorry, feeling a bit frivolous today!!!!!)

No, all I really need is the following:

  • the instrument you play
  • the board you are playing for (Associated Board or Trinity-Guildhall), and
  • the side of the bed your examiner got up on, on your exam date

(Sorry, almost there ... !!!!!)

In short, what you really really need is

  • agreement between your teacher and accompanist (if any) that 'we wuz' robbed
  • a willingness on the part of your teacher to object and
  • a willingness to wait, because whichever board you're in, this will all take loads and loads of time!!!!!

Please check out the websites detailed information about to whom (and how) to lodge an objection. I have found both (on the two objections lodged over twenty five years) pretty reasonable.

Good luck!!!!

Ask Alice

Alice Dear readers,

I don't know if you, like me, might be sometimes tempted -- for only four pounds -- to avoid the hassle of long queues and difficult parking and to have your groceries delivered?

Well, as a writer and cellist (and a claustrophobic) I find that I do this about one week a month, especially when hugely busy.

I used to divide my favours between Asda (very cheap but very cheerful), Tesco (cheapish but cheerfullish) and (when feeling as if I was earning enough) Ocado/Waitrose (uncheap if very cheerful but gosh, what amazing food).

Today I had booked a delivery from Tesco (a delivery amounting to over 150) due between 12 noon and 2pm. I duly stayed in, promising the dogs a walk at the end of it. Well, two arrived, and two-thirty after it, and I began to feel annoyed. I emailed Tesco at 2:20 and again at 2:40, and I was on the phone pointing out that my three dogs were pining to be off at 2:50 when the van arrived.

Well, I asked him what his excuse was.

'I don't have one,' he replied.

I asked why he hadn't called me.

'My phone wasn't working,' he replied.

Now, I don't entirely blame the driver. Doubtless he had important reasons to keep me waiting for almost three hours, such as a need for lunch, or a need for a quickie (or a slowie??) All I know is that, when I called to complain to Tesco, the woman I spoke to said what a shame it all was, and that she was perfectly willing to refund my four pounds. In short, Tesco values my time at four pounds an hour. (Sorry, counting the hours I'd already waited in, at about £1.30 an hour.)

Well, they can p*** off and die.

I will now alternate -- when needed -- between the cheap but cheerful Asda and the uncheap but fab Ocado.

Reasons for never going to Tesco:

For a start: they are taking over the country
Secondly: they don't give a **** about their customers and
Thirdly: they are enormously ungrateful.


Copyright © 17 July 2009 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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