06 April 2012 11:12

It was a beautifully sunny Monday, my son was fighting fit again, thankfully, after three long days of a nasty tummy bug the previous week, and we set off for school for the first time in what seemed ages; we arrived on time (the new main road at Zakaki heading west of Limassol is a godsend and so far seems to be traffic free); then a quick cup of tea with mum before I headed home to prepare for my first meeting of the day. Grabbed my bag, then, as I was about to leave my apartment an unexpected power cut stopped me in my tracks… hmmm, thought they were a dim and distant memory, obviously not.
Checking the fuse box, all seemed in order. Okay, well since I needed to get to my appointment fairly quickly, and trusting all was going to kick in as soon as the grid sorted itself out, I left for my rendezvous. About two hours later, a sudden panic attack... that last chunk of my bill should have been paid last week...oops! Surely not?
So, dialling home and realising the landline tone was clearly that of a disconnection, I cut my meeting short and headed to the central EAC office to settle up. By now it was approaching one o’clock and we all know about public sector offices only working part time hours. If I didn’t make it on time, I would be feeding my son cold Sunday leftovers, not to mention adding an enormous load to the already massive backlog of work I’d planned to make a dent in that evening.
A sense of foreboding was looming (I imagined the old town road works and trying to find a place to park somewhere relatively near so I could ‘nip in’ and ‘pay up’ painlessly). In the end I opted for one of the Molo car parks; further to walk, but at least my car would be safe from the diggers, dumpers and traffic wardens. An hour seemed ample time.
As I approached, I noticed the queue of customers lining the main road outside the office; had I missed an announcement? Was this another EAC price hike protest?
Relieved that the ‘reconnection/disconnection/account transfer’ queue was only three people deep as opposed to 80 (I counted!) in the ‘settling your bill’ queue, I stood patiently, smiling with relief that soon, this too would pass…er, not quite. Yes, the queue was for reconnections, etc, etc, however, my unpaid bill needed to be settled first. So would I mind going to the back of the 80 man deep line and start the process again? By now almost half an hour of my one hour car park ticket had lapsed. And my smile was somewhat strained. Taking my life in my hands, I approached the friendliest looking member of staff behind the counter to ask whether once my bill was settled, I would need to queue up again to reinstate my power supply? (If so I’d need another car park ticket!)
Perhaps it was the desperation on my face, but the lovely Anastasia whisked me into her office, allowed me to settle up there and then, and assured me my power would be up and running within the hour. Wow! Service indeed.
As I left the building sharing an empathic glance at the now 79 forlorn people still waiting in the queue, I couldn’t help but smile.
Next time Andrianne, set your alarm to remind you when bill payments are due. On your mobile, obviously.