September 20, 2021

I’m gobsmacked

Having applied for an electricity supply on my land, I’ve been batted backwards and forwards, initially between the two state-owned organisations EDF and Enedis, and more latterly between Enedis and SDE24, another public sector business, since mid-May. I’ve been getting to grips with the latter two over recent days, a most frustrating experience at the best of times due to the stultifyingly bureaucratic manner in which both operate.

I brought things to a head at the end of last week when after confirming that it is SDE24’s responsibility to extend the mains electrical cable onto my land and for Enedis then to make the final connection, I demanded to know by last Friday when SDE24 would be doing their part of the work. Naturally in the usual arrogant way in which the French public sector works, I got no reply.

So today I contacted them again to ask if they had received and read my message with another copy of same and with a further request to know when the work would be done. The response I received was as follows.

“Regarding your extension of the electrical network, the work is projected to be actioned in about week 45 (that’s mid-November). Regarding your connection, you need to contact Enedis”

I regard this as appalling and an utterly contemptible display of customer service at its rottenest by the French public sector. This was my reply.

“I made my demand for connection in the middle of May – that was week 19. So you are proposing a wait of 6 months – most likely over 6 months with the final hook-up. Is this normal? I would suggest that this is unacceptable for the delivery of an essential service in a country like France. What is the problem?”

This was the reply that I then received from SDE24.

“SDE24 only received your request (from Enedis) on 3rd August. The time required to carry out an extension (of the network) is about 4 months. This term cannot be shortened due to administrative requirements and for consultation with the managers of other services which is mandatory before the work can be done. Thank you for taking these factors into account”

So a typical response from a desk-bound bureaucrat. It would take 30 seconds for a check to confirm that there are no other services on my land that could possibly conflict with the provision of an electrical supply, as was confirmed weeks ago in any case when an actual engineer came on site and did an inspection. The latter also found that the job will be very simple – merely feeding less than 100 metres of cable into an existing plastic sleeve in the ground.

And so the bureaucratic bullsh*t continues. This is France in the 21st century. I think that SDE24 must still be relying on one man and a donkey to do their cable work. I’m not giving in and I’ve already decided what my next course of action will be. I’ll not be accepting this nonsense unless I’m forced to do so, so keep watching this space.

On a lighter note, I’ve been working on a Youtube video during my free moments in my caravan. It’s not been easy because I’ve been using my laptop which is not only slower but also has far less computing power than my main PC, which is in storage. I’ve been using an editor that requires much less power than Corel Video Studio which I usually use but which nevertheless gives results that are equally as good. It’s Hitfilm Express, and the best part is that as well as being very effective, it’s also free.

Here’s the video.

I’ve also quadrupled the size of my laptop’s SSD hard drive up to 1 TB so I’ve now got storage to spare as well as a usable video editor. So I’m now looking forward to getting back to video editing, which I enjoy, and producing more ULM and drone content.

That’s it for now 😉