Tuesday, 8 March 2016

On line government admin

Monday was a quiet uneventful day, spent doing CBS office work at home. I also went on-line to renew my European Health Insurance Card (aka EHIC), and while the NHS website was accessible enough, I ran into trouble straight away. Using the email address EHIC staff used to notify me that me card was on the way five years ago, I put in a lost password request, and found that my email address wasn't recognised. I tried registering from scratch, again the email wasn't recognised, and the error message thrown up stated categorically that it wasn't a valid email address format.

Just as I was starting to get really grumpy out loud, one of fortnightly home cleaners said "I had that trouble too renewing my Dad's EHIC recently, but they did it over the phone for me, automatically." Finding the number on the website was no trouble. I was put through to a robotic answering device, the kind that normally makes me even grumpier, but this was quite exceptional! The clarity of the procedures and the accuracy of the voice recognition software astonished me, and within minutes I was promised delivery of a new card within seven days. If only the website promoted this as the only sensible and efficient alternative, instead of leaving a less than functional registration page in place.

My day was otherwise notable for finally getting around to emailing golden wedding anniversary invites with 'how to get there' maps for a couple of dozen people, near and far, that we know are coming. There should be around forty of us on August 6th.

Today I had to go into the CBS office, and register a new internet banking facility to manage the BCRP Board finances, since a bank card and a new security device had arrived and needed to be registered for account use. There were charges to pay in relation to the Crime Manager's salary, tax and National Insurance. I was dreading it, but delighted as I discovered how user friendly the HMRC web payment facilities are, and the job was quickly done.

I also needed to do some leaflet design using an ancient copy of MS Publisher, which I don't have installed conveniently at home at the moment. As we're now using some additional types of radio handset equipment, user guides need re-writing to accompany them. It is far less rare that I have recourse to this kind of work nowadays, and it takes longer than usual to remember how to make use of some of the available features. As a result I left the office for my double Chi Gung / Tai Chi class later than intended and was twenty minutes late entering the session, annoyed with myself for not baling out earlier and leaving the job unfinished.

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