Archive for the ‘rants’ Category
I sent my first real letter of complaint today (well, email) and thought I would share it all with you. Usually I just bitch and moan on here so this is quite an achievement. Names have been changed for the purpose of this blog post (very clevery, I’m sure you’ll agree) but otherwise this is what I sent word for word.
To whom it may concern,
Hello. I have been using your Headingley store for many years now (although it has not always been a Bainsburys, the staff have remained mostly the same) on an almost daily basis (as it is two minutes from my work place) and in all the time I have been visiting I have had the same complete lack of any kind of customer service from one particular member of staff. This member of staff’s name tag was ‘Bangela’ yesterday (I haven’t bothered to check previously as it’s only just got to the point where I’ve really had enough and have decided to complain.) I assume this is therefore her name but I guess she could have been using someone else’s name tag.
Bangela will literally not speak to me when serving me. Not one word. I’ve tested on several occasions whether if I don’t say anything either, anything at all will be said. No, it won’t.
To paint a typical picture for you, I went in the store yesterday and the day previously and took my items to the cigarette kiosk where she served me. I placed said items on the counter. No ‘hello’, no smile, nothing. She then didn’t tell me the final amount, she just sort of looked at the till display. I gave her my money, she took it, gave me my change, and not a word was said throughout the whole transaction, no ‘thank you’, no ‘goodbye’, nothing. This was the case on both days and every time I’m served by her; a bit like a very quiet Groundhog Day, if you will.
Now I know she CAN speak, as she finished her conversation about her son with her colleague before she started serving me in silence.
I also know this is not a one-off. Every time she serves me, which must total thirty times or more over the years, it is in complete silence and with a faint look of disgust on her face.
I don’t know this lady personally and have never done anything to offend her that I am aware off.
Whether she treats all customers like this or if it’s a personal vendetta, based on who knows what, I also don’t know. But I am pretty sure I have seen her say at least ‘thanks’ to other customers.
I’ve worked in bars, shops and supermarkets. It’s really not that hard to at least say hello and thanks. I don’t want a cuddle and a kiss, I don’t even want a conversation. I just don’t want to feel as though I might be invisible or as though I am a terrible person for attempting to purchase a packet of Bnack a Backs.
This lady makes shopping trips a bemusingly depressing experience and I am tired of it.
I’ve done nothing to deserve such ignorant treatment and neither have most other shoppers, if indeed they are receiving it. I can speak to the store manager as well but I have avoided doing so to date as I’m sure it will make future shopping trips even more unpleasant.
Please can you let me know what you are able to do to help me with this?
Something that never ceases to irritate and bemuse me (two states of mind which, as regular readers will know, I am particularly familiar with) is fashion. It really is an utter bunch of arse when you look at it isn’t it?
Obviously, most of us follow clothing trends to some degree. I don’t go walking around in a hessian sack with a pineapple on top of my head for example. I wear clothes that are in keeping with the times and which I like for two main reasons: I think they suit me and they are reasonably comfortable.
Not because someone has decided something is must have and SO this season.
And this is where fashion gets ridiculous – you probably could very easily find some emaciated model trudging the catwalk in a hessian sack, and I’m damned sure I’ve seen fruit adorning the heads of catwalk models more than once.
What’s more, a true fashion victim would wear said hessian sacks, were a TopShop version for under 60 quid to become available.
And then every other bloody person would start wearing them. I’m not talking general trends here, like long scarves, cropped trousers or skinny jeans. I’m talking instantly recognisable items that suddenly render a sizeable portion of the population sheep-like clones. And which the cast of Hollyoaks will definitely be wearing.
Cases in point:
Faux fur coats
Those woolly hats with animal ears
Last winter I must have seen these items, mainly on students and ‘young professionals’, at least five times a day, if not more.
It’s just faintly embarrassing to be seen wearing the same ‘must-have’ item as every other person in the street, surely?
I haven’t got a funny ending to this blog post.
Well it’s been a while, but like Take That and genital warts, I’m back.
A lot has happened since I last blogged. I am now living with an actual real live (brilliant) man, which means I can no longer moan about being single and nearly 30. Don’t despair though, I can still moan about nearly being 30. And everything else.
So to ease you gently back into my funpacked world of moaning and whingeing, we’ll start with chuggers. AKA charity muggers.
Oh how I detest them.
For those not familiar, I’m referring to the creatures that lurk in the middle of high streets ready to pounce on you with their clipboards, false smiles and personalities that could variously be described as ‘wacky’, ‘zany’ and ‘crazy’. All words that make me want to gouge my own eyes out with a rusty spoon and then feed said eyes to the irritating little arsewipes.
Think I’m being harsh? Let me explain why you’re wrong. One: I’m right. And B: do not be fooled into believing for one second that these people give two tiny shits about cancer sufferers, wounded animals, abandoned clothes pegs or whatever charity it is they’re trying to ensnare you into via the medium of direct debit.
They might happen to care, but it would be completely coincidental.
And this is what makes their smug, self-satisfied, over familiar manner all the more galling. I know they work on commission, they know they work on commission and anyone with a functioning brain cell knows they work on commission. So they can sod off trying to guilt trip me into giving to whatever charity they happen to be working for. If you care that much pal, get another job and then the money that the charity save by not paying your commission can actually, you know, go to charity.
When they try and reel me in by making some grotesquely patronising comment such as ‘hey there trendy hair!’ or ‘hi girls!’ (when I’m with my 60 year old mother, for god’s sake) are they expecting us to giggle girlishly and immediately sign up to give ten pounds a month to the retired dogs’ bowls society for the rest of our lives? Because that’s not what happens. What happens is I swallow back my barf as I politely say no thanks and attempt to walk around them as they get into my personal space with their invasive bodies and their stupidly inane fake smiling faces. Next time I plan to place one hand on their chest and shout NOOO in a very deep and loud voice as I continue walking.
The title of this blog post is a clever, ironic and highly satirical comment on the fact that we’ve just had a general election (in case you missed it) and everything’s a bit buggered, like what it is in Aldous Huxley’s book. It’s also display of my considerable literary knowledge, in that it shows I’ve read a book. Actually, it doesn’t. It shows I know the title of a book. Pretty impressive either way.
Speaking of which, I like my books like I like my men: exciting, many layers, and purchased from a charity shop for 50p. (A shiny cover and a moth ball-like smell are desirable but not compulsory.)
Hilarity aside though, I do love my thrillers and consume them like I consume nachos: fast. Any thriller will do as long as it keeps me in suspense and keeps me turning those pages.
What I don’t like, is crap ‘chick lit’. For starters, the name sounds like a part of the female genitalia. Men, you might need some help from a lady in identifying which part. HA HA HA. I made a sex joke. Hilarious. Anyhoo, I really don’t need to relate to a genre in such a personal way in order to want to read books from it. You may as well call them ’books for people without penises’. This would be slightly more cumbersome to say, granted, but at least it doesn’t sound like clit. We’re British for god’s sake.
Another crap thing about crap chick lit is the way in which they all seem to be stuck in the fucking 1950s. The female protagonist in these books is always ‘sassy’ and ‘independent’ to begin with, but that’s just a silly front. What she really wants is for a big strong man to rescue her from the scary modern world and occasionally throw her over his knee when she gets a bit flighty. It’s for her own good. We may have the vote, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here girls! Yep, that’s the world according to low grade chick lit. I’m exaggerating slightly for comic affect (I know, you’re in stitches), but seriously, read one. You don’t even have to be a bone fide English Literature aficionado like myself to read the startlingly subtle subtext.
A particularly bad one, if you feel as though your brain cells are weighing you down these days and you could do with discarding a few, is Love Rules by Freya North. What a pile of utter dross. The sex scenes were a particular revelation. Note to Freya: MY VAGINA IS NOT MY ‘SEX’. Nor is it my ‘heat’. No woman has or ever will call her vagina her ‘sex’ or her ‘heat’ in the history of womankind. It’s a vagina. I can’t fully remember what she called cocks, but it may have been ‘mound’. And I can’t imagine any man has ever got his ‘mound’ out in a moment of passion, unless he’s Ken, of course, in which case, he’s always bumping mounds with Barbie.
You’re thinking about dolls having it off now aren’t you?
You disgust me.
I’ve just realised this blog post has become much more about genitalia than about books. Brilliant.
I disgust myself.
On that note, I’m off to find me a man with a nice big mound to take me away from all this scary grown-up world stuff.
Before we begin the ‘fun’ I should make it clear that the title of this blog post is a purposely misleading lie. I didn’t. If that’s why you’re here, you should probably leave now as there will be no love involved. Only bitterness and resentment.
Anyway. Phones. Phones are good aren’t they? These days they can do all sorts: go on the internet, take photos, play music, make you cups of tea, wash your feet, cut your toe nails.
All of these things are great and much appreciated, of course. But it would be really great if they made phone calls and sent texts with some degree of reliability too. Just for a laugh like.
Because, let’s face it: I’ve got a computer, I’ve got a camera, I’ve got an MP3 player, I’ve got a kettle, I’ve got a flannel and I’ve got nail scissors. However, I haven’t got anything else that can call people or send text messages; that’s what I got a phone for.
The latest pile of Sony Ericsson-branded crap, masquerading as a mobile phone, that I have in my possession is the sixth I’ve had on this contract alone. Granted, once or twice I may have dropped my mobile phone somewhere like down a pub toilet, but on all other occasions my phone simply rendered itself useless due to massive Sony Ericsson and Orange FAIL.
The first Sony Ericsson started turning itself off at randomised intervals after a few months of being in my ownership.
(I should come clean at this point and admit that I chose it mainly because it was pink. The people at Orange assured me that it was also very high tech and top-of-the-range, however. “Oh good”, I said, “how marvellous”. “Just to clarify once more, is it pink?” “Yes”, they said, and sent me my high tech, top-of-the-range and, most importantly, PINK, phone.)
I didn’t think to ask whether it would actually work, however. SILLY ME.
It didn’t of course. Not after a few months, anyway. And so began the long and torturous process of dealing with Orange. The future may be bright, Orange staff are not.
(That’s not necessarilly true actually. The staff I dealt with over my several hundred calls to Orange customer ‘care’ were of moderate intelligence for the most part. I just wanted to make a joke using the word ‘bright’. Well worth it. )
And so, the cycle began:
Orange: “Hello. Customer care! Can I take your name, password, address, date of birth, dog’s breath type, favourite pasty filling and the circumference of your left toe (the third one in from the middle)?”
Me: “Don’t you need to know what’s wrong so you can put me through to the right department first?”
Orange: “No. Please answer all the questions.”
Me: “Oh, okay, my mistake. Me, Barry Chuckle is my Dad, Leeds, the eighties, don’t have one, jam, two and a half.”
Orange: “Lovely. Now how can we help you?”
Me: “My phone’s not working. It keeps switching itself off”
Orange:” Oh dear, that’s no good. I’ll just pass you through to the right department. BYE BYE.”
Repeat questions & answers once more.
Orange: “Right, we’re going to run a high tech and very specialist DIAGNOSTIC now. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to understand, you haven’t been specially trained to do DIAGNOSTICS like we have.
“Now. Switch your phone on and off again.”
“Done that? “
Orange: “Is it working now?”
Orange: “Yeah, it’s broken. We’ll send you another one.”
Me: “But you’ve sent me this model four times now and I’ve had the exact same problem each time.”
Orange: “Yes, this model of Sony Ericsson has had a lot of problems unfortunately. But you can’t get a different model until we enter the same DIAGNOSTIC code five consectutive times in a row”
Me: “So, can’t you tell me what the code is and I’ll make sure I tell the next person to enter it next time my phone inevitably has the same problem and I call for a replacement”
Orange: “No. We don’t know it. It’s automatically generated based on the answers you give us during the DIAGNOSTIC and then the computer says yes or no to a new model.”
Me: “So you’re telling me the computer says no?”
Orange: “Yes. Bye now!”
On the fifth instance of my phone messing up, I got sent a different Sony Ericsson model. Which has now stopped working for the second time.
AND IT’S NOT EVEN PINK.
Mercifully, I’m due an upgrade.
So I can look forward to locking myself into another relentless 18 month round of phone calls to Orange customer care, many, many diagnostics and a phone that promises the world and yet fails to deliver those most basic of phone-related human needs: to text and to call.
Hip hip hoo freaking ray.
I took a trip to the cinema recently and it reminded me why I hate people.
When I say ‘people’, I don’t mean me. And I don’t mean you, if I like you. (If I don’t like you, I definitely do mean you). No, I mean the ‘general public’.
Before we get into why people are rubbish however, I’d like to address the issue of why cinemas themselves are rubbish. Beginning with the fact that there is nothing to drink for under £2.50. Nothing, that is, other than tap water from the urine stained toilets or cartons of juice, which are about £1.80 and, on this occasion, had sold out. Naturally.
The only other place to get a drink from at this time was the Starbucks across the road, which, as we all know, charges approximately eighteen pounds for some Kenco tarted up with syrup and served by alternative student types who are smiley and ‘happy’, presumably in some sort of an ironic fashion.
The handy thing was that it was around thirty five degrees Celsius in the cinema, seemingly in order to speed up the spreading of as many different types of cough and cold virus as possible. As a result, I was forced to buy an overpriced drink. But you can’t beat me that easily. I purchased a small Diet Coke, with no ice. Thus maximising liquid to cash ratio. Hell yeah, sticking it to the man.
After all that slowly sipped small Diet Coke, the inevitable happened: I instantly needed the toilet. Which were located a corridor and two flights of stairs away. How convenient. Seriously, can these places not cater for those, such as myself, who are cursed with the bladder capacity of a pensioner? And indeed, pensioners themselves! Although, you never really see old dears at the flicks do you? Why is that? Maybe it all went downhill once ‘talkies’ were introduced.
Actually, after seeing The Ugly Truth not so long ago, I’m almost inclined to agree.
The Ugly Truth is a Gerard Butler/Katherine Heigl film and literally one of the worst things I have ever done with my eyes. Buy it on DVD for someone you really hate or watch it if you’re bored of your brain and want to kill it slowly with terrible acting, shit stereotypes, crap clichés and horrendous dialogue.
Anyway, I digress. Back to why I hate some other stuff.
Oh yes: very overweight child eating various packets of noisy food ALL the way through the film. What a marvellous way to occupy your obese infant; give him several packets of junk food to ‘keep him going’ for a strenuous two hours of sitting.
I’m being terribly judgemental of course. For all I know, they could have been off to a badminton class afterwards. Or KFC.
The man three seats away from me was a particular joy too. The way his phone kept lighting up like a fun little torch when he checked it for texts every fifteen minutes really added to the plot of the film and enhanced my viewing experience no end.
His too, I would imagine. What better way to really get involved in a film that you’ve paid nine pounds, yes, that’s NINE English pounds, to see, than by texting your friends all the way through it?
All of these factors conspired to bring me to the realisation that the cinema has the potential to be a very stressful place for a person like me. If someone so much as touches my chair or whispers too loudly, that’s it. I’m then on edge, waiting for them to do it again, totally distracted from the film.
Quite what the answer to this is, I don’t know. I could watch DVDs from now on and never go to the cinema again. Or I could not let other people bother me…
Obviously what I’ll actually do is carry on getting very annoyed at people and life and let all the irritation build up inside like a healthy volcano of rage until I explode and suffocate someone with their own Haribo Tangfastics.
The general elections are looming and, as a nation, we appear to have bent over in reluctant submission in preparation for a Tory government, fed up of Labour’s style of loving after thirteen years.
Personally, I’m not overly excited about the prospect of a country run by a man who wants to overturn the ban on fox hunting (good to see where David Cameron’s priorities lie as we struggle out of a global recession) and won’t be voting Tory. I’ll be ‘wasting’ my vote on Lib Dems instead, in the faint hope that maybe they’ll have some influence in the unlikely event that there’s a hung parliament.
I should say at this point, by the way, that my knowledge of politics is ill-informed and limited at best. So, if I’ve got anything wrong here, feel free to let me know. If I don’t like it I’ll just ignore it, obviously.
On that note, I think I should stop talking about things I know very little about, and move on to what the Smellmycheese Party could offer the country, were it in any way real.
- Some kind of force field around train doors that stops passengers slowly edging forward, as if no one else can see what they’re doing, before everyone has got off the train. The force field would have a movement-triggered sensor which, upon activation, would announce “WAIT YOUR TURN!” in Brian Blessed’s voice. Because Brian Blessed is brilliant.
- A similar system in coach toilets, or any public conveniences, which detects people pissing on seats. Instead of Brian Blessed’s voice, Gok Wan’s, shrieking “It’s all about the confidence!”, will be broadcast around a three mile vicinity, along with a projection of the offender’s image, caught mid-piss.
- Air conditioning in doctor’s surgeries. Seriously. If you weren’t ill going in there, you’re sure as hell going to be ill after waiting for twenty five minutes in an unvented room reaching temperatures of approximately 40 degrees Celsius, while pensioners and small children hack up their phlegm in your direction.
- Three year henna tattoos on the foreheads of cheats, reading “I’m diseased, have bad breath and definitely won’t make you come, so I really wouldn’t bother if I were you love”, or words to that effect. On reflection, that’s quite a lot to fit on a forehead. “Twat” will suffice.
- Self checkouts that shut. the hell. UP. No, I don’t have a ‘clubcard’, yes I have placed my item in the bag and, yes, I have already inserted cash you cocky little shit, and, in a minute, I’m going to insert an ‘unexpected item’ somewhere else. Like my foot in your stupid smug face. Ha! Face, screen, whatever…
- A nationwide ban on people wearing pyjamas to the shops, unless you live in a shop or you’re a homeless person with a mental illness. Yes students, I’m talking to you. If you’ve had time to tuck your pjs into your UGG boots, you’ve had time to put a pair of fucking jeans on. Oh how avant-garde you are with your devil-may-care attitude to clothing and your tramp chic, as you drive two metres to the Co-Op in the car Mummy and Daddy bought for you.
Right, I’m bored now and can’t be arsed thinking of any more today so I’ll continue this party political broadcast at a later date (maybe). As it stands I’m pretty sure my maifesto pisses all over Cameron’s anyway.
I stole that title from this site, which is very funny.
I’m not writing about fire engines though, or children’s drawings. Although both are subjects close to my heart. No, today we’re going to talk about coach journeys.
I say that now, but most likely I’ll digress into a series of rants and side-splittingly funny anecdotes about a variety of loosely-related topics.
My blog is a bit like a coach ride actually: unexpected twists and turns, a ‘journey’ and a driver with a moustache.
One of the things I hate most about ‘people’ is how they look at me. I mean, I really, really hate it. It makes me feel angry inside and a little bit violent. Although I never actually get violent (I’m not working class).
To clarify, people looking at me when I’m talking to them or they’re talking to me is acceptable. Polite, some might say. That kind of looking is fine.
The kind of looking that really gets my goat, however, is when I’m not talking to someone or in any way inviting them to look at me for longer than a cursory glance.
Case in point: girl sitting opposite me on the recent coach journey I took. I got something out of my bag, she looked. I adjusted my cardigan, she looked. I picked up my phone, she looked. I started taking a dump on the coach seat, she looked.
Okay, so the last one is fair enough. And I know I’m extremely fascinating but, really, there’s no need. I could have said something witty and urbane such as “take a picture, it’ll last you longer, a ha ha ha” but I refrained. And she got off halfway through my trip, thankfully. Leaving me free to move, fart and scratch myself, without all the ‘looking’.
Speaking of farts. The coach toilet situation needs addressing.
Despite my hilarious references to farting and dumping earlier, I am able to use a toilet. I’m also able to operate a simple flushing system and aim my ‘toilet parcels’ into the relatively large hole provided. I never realised what a talent this was until recently, when it dawned on me that in fact it must be, seeing as no other fucker who uses public toilets seems able to.
First toilet trip on coach journey: textbook. Clean toilet, plenty of paper, no worries. Second trip, by which time several people had used the facilities: more like a fair ride. The kind of fair ride where, if you don’t hold on whilst maintaining a hovering position, you’re going to fall into a mass of strangers’ urine. So kind of like Alton Towers on a budget. But with slightly less queuing and a lot more faeces.
And before anyone thinks the toilet mess situation must be down to the unisex nature of coach toilets. I’m sorry ladies, but it’s not.
Here’s a tip girls: stop squatting to piss on public toilets. You know why they’re minging? Because you squat to sit on them. Thereby missing the massive hole and pissing on the seat. Therefore encouraging others to squat. Get it? Wipe the toilet and deal with it. You’re not going to get AIDS.
(Well, you might, but it won’t be from a toilet seat.)
On that note, stay safe and rubber up kids.
Dancing On Ice is on at the moment and watching it has made me think about how totally shit at sports I always have been and always will be.
As a kid, I was always picked second to last (just before the fat kid) as I have basically no coordination and no desire to run unless it’s away from a rapist or toward a bus. Although the last one’s unlikely to be honest. There’ll probably be another one soon. And I can have a fag while I wait. Double health bonus.
I turn into a red-faced, awkward and totally inept pile of useless shite if ever faced with something active where an element of competition is involved. It makes me feel like an inferior human being and long for the safety of my keyboard, where I can once again feel superior. I might not be able to catch a ball (or anything else you may wish to throw at me: a Frisbee, a child, a small poo… use your imagination) but, fuck you, at least I can spell.
Because I’m not overweight, some people seem to think I therefore must be ‘sporty’. Couldn’t be further from the truth. From bowling to netball to skiing; it all makes me feel equally as nauseous and equally as repulsed. Not that I’ve ever tried skiing, but I can pretty much vouch for it turning out the same as all of my other encounters with any kind of sporting activity.
Sports I have tried and failed at, include:
- Rounders (urgh, that one brings back particularly horrible memories)
- Ice hockey
- Ping pong
The list is pretty much endless. Think of a sport and I can guarantee I cannot do it. The only exercises I can do are walking (just, but not in heels or if I’m drunk, which is the case more frequently than one might expect) and my exercise DVDs. The latter because no one can see me and I’m only competing against that cheeky little cockney yo-yo dieter, Natalie Cassidy. And she can’t see me either.
As an adult I’ve often thought that perhaps school PE lessons put me off sport and that maybe I’m not actually that bad at it at all, I just think I am.
And it is true that I did have a sadistic bitch from hell as a PE teacher. “Hi Miss Armstrong, how’s the ‘tache coming along?” You harridan from Hades.
Actually, the boys fancied her a bit I think. She was blonde and young and that probably made up for her facial hair and the fact that she was pure EVIL.
To elaborate – one day I forgot my swimming costume. And I would imagine I actually did; swimming was the one PE lesson that didn’t fill me with overwhelming fear and dread, involving, as it did, very few competitive elements.
So the bitch made me wear a costume for a ten year old. I was about 13 and going through puberty, so fairly uncomfortable about my body in a swimming costume as it was, never mind in one several sizes too small.
She also had a problem with girls not doing swimming because they were on their periods. So she insisted we use tampons and get on with it. “Oh, okay, Miss. I’ll just tell my hymen to fucking BREAK already, shall I? Then I can dive right on in there whilst you flap orders at me with your hairy top lip. Yay!”
Like I said, evil bitch.
I went to secondary school in Otley. There’s only one, as far as I’m aware, so, if anyone reading this knows the charming harpy of whom I speak, I would hate for you to direct her to my blog so that she can assess the affect her ‘teaching’ style had on some of her pupils…
Anyway, long-winded, bitter diatribe aside, turns out I was incorrect. I am still shit at sports, long after leaving the cesspit of torture that was my school life behind.
For example, I did six months of a teacher training course not so long ago (I quit when I realised there was a bit more to it than reading stories to children all day). As part of this we had ‘practical’ lessons in PE, one of which involved ball games in pairs. I was so crap I ended up playing with the tutor. And then against a wall.
Another example of my physical shitness presented itself on my recent trip to Australia, when I went kayaking around Sydney Harbour.
Except I didn’t. Everyone else went kayaking. I went round in circles. The trip leader offered me a rope to hold on to more than once. I declined, thus salvaging the one shred of dignity I had left and holding everyone else up by a good hour.
Thing is though, I don’t actually give a single, solitary shite anymore. I’ve come to accept what I am – crap at sports and happy with it.
So, on that note… I can’t think of a good way to finish this post.