Archive for the ‘rants’ Category
You know what gets right on my wick?
Everything, obviously. But apart from that, charity b*stard muggers get on it royally. I’m aware that having a pop at these irritating slimeballs is like shooting fish in a barrel, but sometimes shooting fish in a barrel is called for.
I hate them. I hate their faux chirpy bullshit, I hate the fact that they try to guilt trip you into giving money, I hate that you can’t walk down a street in Leeds without tripping over at least ten of the pesky little vermin and I hate that they’re getting paid to be annoying wastes of space.
Seriously, if you care so much, go volunteer at a soup kitchen or do a sponsored silence instead of getting in my face with your wacky, wacky comments. “Hey denim jacket lady!” Nice one. I am definitely now going to sign up to give £10 a month to The Royal Society for Retired Gerbils for the rest of my life on the basis that you’ve noticed a thing I am wearing, and have commented on it.
In case your sarcasm detector is defunct, I’m not. I’m actually probably never going to give money to The Royal Society for Retired Gerbils purely on the basis that you’ve annoyed me, and many retired gerbils may now be slightly less fulfilled as a result. I hope you’re happy, charity muggers.
So, if you feel like I feel, you can assuage your niggling sense of guilt by instead sponsoring me to do a fun run tomorrow for Children with Cancer UK.
See what I did there? I ambushed you with a charity request. Sorry about that, but at least I’ve not commented on your clothes (although they are GREAT and if I could see them I would definitely comment to that effect in the hope that it would somehow appeal to your ego and therefore make you give me money).
If it makes a difference, this particular ‘fun run’ won’t be that fun for me. Thanks to a bout of insomnia for the past couple of weeks, I’ll be dragging my weary body around the track wondering why I signed up to do this thing in the first place. So that should make you donate, shouldn’t it?
And it IS for children. With cancer. In the UK. Okay, so the third bit of that isn’t too relevant but if the rest of it doesn’t tug at your heart strings then perhaps you haven’t got one and instead there is a small, shriveled raisin in its place, pathetically pumping dribblets of cold blood around your body. I’ve lost the metaphor… point is, please donate if you can.
(If you don’t I take back what I said about your clothes. I hate them.)
Christ on a bike, I’ve not written a post for almost a year! And the last one was well depressing.
So, just like Christ, I’m getting back on my bike and pedaling. For bike, you can read blog, and for pedaling you can read typing. And for Christ you can read whoever the chuff you like. He doesn’t care, he’s too busy having a right laugh on his proper ace bike. (Sons of God do not have crap bikes, and that’s a fact.)
A lot has changed in a year. One thing is I have finally left (well, finally left AGAIN) the utterly soul-destroying period of my life that was working in marketing behind. HURRAH!
I mean, not all of it was shit. We had some good nights out and got free sandwiches once a month at the agency meeting. But the sandwiches weren’t great and the work was on a par with a massive tuna bap: you think you want it, you enjoy it at first, but after a while your breath just stinks.
What I mean by that of course is that I was terrible at it. Every single solitary aspect of my personality, interests, opinions and morals is not in any way compatible with working full time in a marketing agency.
I don’t care about making money for companies or having ‘conversations’ with consumers in their online ‘journey’. I don’t want to hear about a deck unless it’s a deck of cards and we’re playing some form of drinking game. I do not have a ‘capacity pocket’. You can keep your marketing baloney in your own pocket. Mine is full of a probably used tissue, 1p, an old train ticket and a potentially hazardous extra strong mint circa February 2011. Because that is what pockets are FOR.
I couldn’t give two tiny rats’ buttocks if a brand resonates with an audience. I don’t want to know where people go online, what they do when they’re there, what they’re thinking when they click a mouse or how we can ‘engage’ them. Plus everyone knows the answers to those questions are: porn sites, watch porn, show them more porn. (Apart from my Mum who thinks the internet has one website, Google, and looks at how to make patchwork cushions on it. Probably.)
If no one reads this post, I don’t care. I only ever wrote stuff online because I liked it, it was fun and I could rant away with no one telling me to shut up. But then I accidentally got a job doing it, but not writing fun stuff anymore and, ironically, sucking all the fun out of the fun thing that accidentally got me the job in the first place.
But no more! I’m alive, I’m back and I’m here to rant whether I’m simply shouting into the empty abyss or to a varied and diverse audience of engaged consumers. I just don’t give a TOSS.
Smell that? That’s the sweet smell of freedom my friends.
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.