"Good afternoon. Department of Culture, Media and Sport."
"Hi. Please can you put me through to Stephen Carter's office?"
"Can you spell the surname please?"
"C-A-R-T-E-R. Lord, Stephen, CBE."
"I can't seem to find him."
"You only have 4 Ministers, he is one of them. The Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting."
"Errrr, no. There is no record of him on the system."
"You don't know who he is? Haven't you heard of him?"
"He is in charge of the Digital Britain report."
"No, I can't say I have heard of that either. He doesn't show up on our system. I'll put you through to another switchboard and see if they know him...."
"Hi, please can you put me through to Lord Stephen Carter's office?"
"Oh, I don't think they are in today. I think they are in BERR"
[I heard, "I think they are in bed" and nearly choked!].
"You will need to phone BERR." [Penny drops]
Phone BERR (pronounced 'Bear' now it seems. Maybe the jokes about the DTI being a thorn in our side have hit a raw nerve?) and get through to a spokesman at his office, finally.
The report will be produced by the end of the month. They won't go any further with nailing down an exact date. Not even to confirm "By the end of the week then?" "No, by the end of the month. That is all we will say publicly."
If we were to speculate on why this report isn't out today, the reasons would undoubtedly be manyfold.
So, it's back to the day job for me till the 'end of the month'. A job which of course I can't do as efficiently or innovatively as I would like because I don't have a good enough broadband connection to compete with others in the internet marketing industry who have. I am interested in this report, as are many other small business owners, parents, and rural inhabitants for personal reasons as much as anything.
But still no uploading promo videos to Youtube etc for my clients, today or any other in the near future. Shame, but it brightened up Monday morning pressing F5 and ringing departments whose PBX systems and staff don't know who their own Ministers are!