They are usually unsuccessful - as with the man who came to fix the blinds yesterday. The blind on one of the upstairs skylights is torn - but it is a Velux blind and he cannot do anything with this (he is not Velux accredited?). As is usually the case he 'will tell someone' who will then presumably send someone else. The man from Velux will fly from Hamburg with an assistant. They will ring and make an appointment. When they arrive they will inspect the blind and make an assessment. They will then go away and one day another man will arrive to measure the blind. Some years after we have left Vienna a man will arrive with a new blind. By this time the blind next to it will be broken.
Jumping Jehoshaphat! The men just arrived and installed the internet, TV and telephone. No fuss - just bunged it in, made sure it was working and off. It is very fast internet too - how exciting.
Big day yesterday too - washing machine, dryer and coffee machine delivered. I spent some hours last night trying to find English language manuals on the internet - but the models they sell in Austria are not the same as the ones they sell in the UK or the USA - so I have sent plaintive emails to AEG asking for help.
In the meantime I am washing and drying after a fashion. I put clothes in and press buttons until the machines start doing something. They come out of the washer wet which is a good sign - but in Austria does not necessarily mean that they have been washed. The washer may have just wet them to inspect them to see how dirty they were - and is still deciding whether or not to wash them.
I did find an English language manual for the coffee machine but it runs to 86 pages and I haven't had the courage to start the process of setting it up. This appears to have as many steps as commissioning a nuclear reactor - and is probably just as hazardous.
I had to scratch around last night for something more classy as we went to the house of the Grand Fromage for dinner with a bunch of other country managers and regional directors. They are an enormously diverse and cosmopolitan lot - all living in a wide range of places.
The boss lives in a castle on the outskirts of Vienna. There is a moat with crocodiles and a wild animal park. He shoots deer from his back veranda (I made some of this up).
I do not plan to leave notes on the bicycles explaining what happened.