If brains were dynamite, you might just have enough to blow your nose.

Archive for the category “Cynicism”

Illness and Self-sufficiency

While I was ill last week, it occurred to me – I had a fair amount of time to contemplate things, after all – that really it’s one of the few times where I’m less good at being self-reliant.

Being unwell and alone is, frankly, No Fun at all. I think the only times in the last four-or-more years that I’ve wished I weren’t single, when I’ve thought “It would be nice to have someone” have been when I’ve been ill. Not even to be nursed, or anything pathetic like that, but just someone to be there and vaguely sympathetic.

Hell, I’m not even good at being ill, or being cared for when I am ill. It’s just a shitty time for being on one’s own.

And really, that’s no good reason for a relationship, or for stopping being single, is it?


This time of year, the run-up to Father’s Day, is an odd one for me. (The same applies for Mother’s Day, but in different ways)

Basically, every time it comes around, I find myself looking for a card or a gift, and realising that my family don’t fall into any of the standard stereotypes that manufacturers and retails think they should.

It’s odd – although I don’t mind it in general – and it explains a lot about my mindset in general, but it’s just interesting to see how little any of my family fit into these themes and typical behaviours.

Slack Data

In the car I hired last weekend, it had a load of built-in tech – Ford’s Sync system – that was quite interesting, not least for the fact that it worked really nicely and easily. Connecting my phone to the car was a doddle, the satnav worked well (and better than my usual stand-alone device in several ways) and it all just seemed pretty easy.

However. It’s obvious that it was designed for a standard “family car” scenario, rather than a vehicle that would be hired to many different users. Which makes sense, but leads to an interesting longer-term problem…

Basically, people are lazy – and don’t think about their data. So the convenience of connecting one’s phone to the car system for hands-free calls etc is great, as is the simple download of the phone’s address book to the system. But if you then don’t delete it when you take the car back to the hire place, it’s all available to the next user. The same applies to the satnav system – ‘recent destinations’ is a goldmine of activity, right down to house number and location. (And I suspect, with a bit of work, one could connect the destination to a phone number in that downloaded phonebook)

It just interests me, how little people care (or understand) about their information. I cleared down the whole car system before I returned it, which took less than five minutes all told. So it’s not much work, but it’s still work, which most people don’t seem willing to undertake.

I’ve suggested to the hire company that it should perhaps be part of the car sanitising process when it’s returned (or before it’s hired back out, whichever) although I realise that makes it more hassle for them, and there’s a lot of different setups in the various cars.

Of course, it’d be better if people cleaned up after themselves – or the car tech had a “forget everything” button/process (although that would still be too much effort for most people) that did the job. But that won’t happen until people realise how important this shit can be, and sadly that tends to only happen by negative paths/occurrences/events, and will always be learned too late.


As regular readers know, I have a few guidelines when it comes to spotting drivers who are likely to be idiots – I know it’s a lot of horrible generalising and stereotyping, but at the same time, stereotypes exist for a reason.

The current list is

  • BMW drivers
  • Citroen Picasso drivers (I’m sure that if BMW made a people-carrier, Xsara/Picasso sales would drop to zero immediately)
  • Drivers wearing hats in the car
  • Cars with a Christian Fish emblem/badge/sticker

With the rotten weather of the last couple of months, I’ve added a new one

  • Drivers who, at the first sign of rain, whack their windscreen wipers straight to double-speed

I don’t know what goes through people’s minds in these situations – surely when it’s just spray/drizzle and they’re at double speed, the whining/scraping noise must drive them crackers.

Still, none of it is my problem – as long as I notice these things, and pay more attention to these people on the roads, then it’s OK and handled.


Following on from a post a couple of weeks back, which involved abysmal service from the AA, it’s worth nothing that someone from there commented on the post, asking me to get in touch and see what they could do.

I did get back in touch, if only to explain that it had already been dealt with via Enterprise Car Hire – the actual customer in this case, rather than the poor schlub who was left waiting around (me) – and also that it was allegedly being further investigated by their Executive Team via Twitter. As such, I didn’t really need a third explanation (although it might prove entertaining, if the other two answers don’t match) So rather than waste more of their time, I told them I was OK with how things were.

It’s going to be interesting to see what they do come up with, though.

I was thinking about it this morning, and I know what I would do in a similar situation – if I were working in complaints (and particularly high-level complaints) for a company, with an unhappy person saying that on the evidence of being a recipient of bad service from that company and they’d never give that company money in the future.

I know what I would do. I’m pretty sure it’s not what they’ll do, but it’ll be interesting to find out…


Well, I’ve now posted my vote/decision on all the Brexit stuff.

My decision can’t be changed.

So can all the political bollocks about it please sod off?

Being A Bad Customer

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been wondering whether I’m a bad customer, whether I expect too much from people. I’ve had a bundle of things where companies have let me down, haven’t done what was expected, and have generally been pretty shit. Nothing major or world-changing, but just constant niggling let-downs and stuff that should be easy, but isn’t.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and particularly those supposedly high expectations – and I still don’t know the answer for sure.

Really though, all I actually expect is for people to do their damn jobs. I don’t ask for some kind of higher-level of things, just to be able to do the bloody job they’re paid for. I assume (and I know that it’s an error, because I’ve worked with too many fuckknuckle shitheads who can’t do their own jobs) that they should be capable.

  • I believe that a delivery company should deliver the package to where it’s addressed, on the day they’ve said they’ll deliver it.
  • I believe that a bank, when I’ve called them, should know who I am, and be able to put me through to my bank manager without asking who that manager is
  • I believe that a recovery company should be able to find a house, and fix a car
  • I believe that my business’s accountants should do things when I ask (or do them proactively) rather than saying “Oh, you don’t need to worry yet, the deadline’s not ’til September”
  • and a bundle of other stuff besides.

But really, I just expect – and hope – that people do their jobs, regardless.

Is that too much to ask?

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