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Monday, March 03, 2008

The wheels on the car go round and round

So I called the insurance people today about the hubcaps. The car is a company car, so everything has to go through them. If it was my personal car, I probably wouldn't bother, as it's just cosmetic, but I thought I ought to go through the proper channels. First stop was a call centre in Rotherham.


"Hello, my name's Laura Nunn. I have a Corsa through the company car scheme." I gave them my registration number. "My hubcaps have been stolen."

(Best South Yorkshire accent please) "Eeh, the cheeky buggers. I'll just put you through to the right department."

I was transferred to a call centre - going by accent alone - somewhere near Newcastle.

"Hello. My name's Laura Nunn. I'm calling to report my hubcaps stolen."

(Please put on your best Geordie accent whilst imagining the next line. I can't do the Geordie accent, so you're going to have to imagine it quite hard): "Your hubcaps?"

"Yes, that's right," I confirmed.

"Can you explain to me what hubcaps are?" asked the Geordie.

I was genuinely floored. I had called a car insurance company - and the staff had never heard of hubcaps.

"Erm," I said, "they go on the wheel."

"So they've taken your wheels then?" said the Geordie.

"No - not the wheel, the hubcap."

"But what's a hubcap?"

"I can't think of a synonym!"

"What's a synonym?"

Progress was slow with the Geordie. Eventually I tried, "Imagine a car... You know the wheels? Well, it's the silver bit in the middle of the wheel."

"Oooh," said the Geordie. "Like a mudflap, like?"

"No," I said. "Like a hubcap. In the middle of the wheel."

"I'll ger and get my supervisor," said the Geordie.

Hubcaps and I are not great friends.

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