Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
Remember DON'T PANIC! .

31 July, 2007

A problem with the Post Box

Something struck me as I was walking around the new place we live.
I was looking for a post box, to post the many letters one has to write when changing address, when I saw, about 100 yards in the distance, the distinctive red box on a post by the side of the road.
Excellent, that was easy I though as I wandered towards it. But oh no, what a mistake to make.
Am I the only one or has no one ever thought this through before.
The post box was a dog poop bin.
Who ever decided to make dog doodo bins red and about the size of a post box.
Ok, I was not fooled and spotted my mistake from a good 50 yards away, but I can't help wondering how many elderly folk, or those with eyesight problems, have not spotted the mistake and wonder why their letters never arrive.

In many countries the post box has and opening lid into which to deposit your letters. So when the tourists wonder why the post cards never get home it could just turn out that its not because the post office is shit after all.

17 July, 2007

Change of address.

We are moving house so are in the process of telling all the different utilities, banks and other people who need to know.

Some of these have been so easy, a web page, a 5 minute phone call or a letter. But Barclaycard win the prize for taking the longest to sort out.

I started on the web page, which directed me to a phone number, excellent, nope its a 0870 number stating 8pence a minute minimum charge. Oh good news the fantastic say no to 0870 site has a free phone number for them.

Its rings and a lovely Indian sounding lady answers. I tell here what I want to do. She replies "so Mr arains (close enough I let it pass) you want to give me a new address to update your details" "yes", "I need to transfer you so I will do that, is there anything else that I can do for you?", "no thank you". "OK Mr arains (its on the screen please try to pronounce it correctly) I will now transfer you"

Ring, ring ,ring, "welcome to Barclaycard calls may be recorded ....bla ... bla bla...... press 1 if you ...... press 2 if ...... press 3 if your shoes are black ....... press 6 if you want to notify us of a change of address"
SIX ------ ring ring ------- "Barclaycard Chris speaking (English accent)" "Hello I want to notify you of my new address" "I can't do that I will have to transfer you" I pressed 6 I know I did argh....

Ring, ring, ring, ring --------ring, "please key in your 16 digit account number" 4976 9029 8643 8743 (don't even think I am that stupid) "please key in your date of birth" beepbeep beep - ring, ring , "Barclaycard Simon speaking" (Simon, strange, sounds Indian to me) "How may I help you" "I want to give you my new address" " you want to give me your new address?" "yes".

"sigh, OK What is the last four digits of the card" "8743" " and for security how long have you had a Barclaycard" "Um how would I know, since I was about 17 I think, so thats, well a long time" " It says on my screen" (yes but what bloody use is that to me) "Oh I don't know maybe 25years" "well no but I can see on my screen" (yes so you said).

Help I was beginning to lose the will to go on. Eventually he decided that I had held a Barclaycard for a long time but I still don't know what it said on his screen.

We are all so used to giving the address by post code first I was amazed that he asked for the address as it was written next.

"22 Brimbledinn" "22 Cinpallkin" "No, B R I M B L E D I N N" " Dinklefin" "No, B R I M B L E D I N N" Five attempts and I still think its going to be wrong if I ever see another statement.

That is "West Mersea. W E S T M E R S E A" " wedmonsey" "NO NO." The only thing stopping me giving up was the thought that my address was no so corrupted on the computer my chance of ever seeing a statement was nill.

Eventually, after persuading him yes Essex is in the UK, I got to the post code
"CO" "PO?" "NOOOOO C O" "CO?" "yes" "8KP" "HKD" "No 8 " "H for harry?" " No 8 as in after 7 before 9" Big mistake, my post code read back was COH79HKP, please surley someone there must have been told a post code format.

I don't expect to ever see another statement from Barclaycard, and don't have a clue what to do about it. Maybe I'll just spend spend spend, after all the fraud squad will be looking for me on a small island off the coast of Australia for all I know.

12 July, 2007

Disabled - Look after your bloody self!

My faith in the world had just been shattered.
Walking home from the town I saw a girl in a wheelchair, going in the same direction as me. Having spent much of my life trying to do right and help people I could see that she was having a hard time, struggling to push herself up the road and looked like she might appreciate some help.

Forgetting that we live in a political correct world corrupted by idiots I said to the girl. " do you want a push?" Big mistake, very big mistake. "F@£* off" was the reply that greeted my offer of help.
Now maybe its me, but would a "No thank you I am quite able to look after myself," "I'm OK" or "no I rather struggle so passing people can feel sorry for me" have done far better.

When the heck did the world changed so that an offer of help is seen as something detrimental or condescending. Where does this stop. Can I ever offer to help anyone again.
I am over 6ft tall so now someone says mind your head as I walk towards a low doorway should I take exception to it and shout abuse, your only saying that because I am tall?

So, let it be know that from now on, struggle, suffer, fall, hurt and cry in pain, and don't expect any help from me if your in a wheelchair.
If you would really love some help then blame the girl in the chair tonight when I don't offer, she has really annoyed the hell out of me.

01 July, 2007

Guide to Terror Alerts

In case no one noticed we have a new Prime Minister and in order to show that he is now running the country and telling us what to do he needs to get the "Terror Fear Factor" back.

After a liberal spread of "attacks" the alert status has just been raised to Critical so here I explain what the levels are:-

CRITICAL - Don't panic, expect to be blown to bits any time any place anywhere.
SEVERE - Don't panic, there is a good chance you'll be blown up some place.
SUBSTANTIAL - Don't panic but you could be blown to bits some place.
MODERATE - Don't panic but you might be blown to bits.
LOW - Don't panic but if you do get blown up we will say "blimey that was a surprise"

There is nothing different that you can do whether the status is low or critical, it means nothing. The alert state can have no effect on the way we go about our day because we have to be aware of what is going on about us no matter what level the government is trying to scare us with.
We might as well be told "today the alert status is SAUSAGE" is means the same.