D4D

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Archive for the category “Cynicism”

PIDU – Blockage

Another in my list of “People I Don’t Understand” pieces…

I do wonder sometimes about people, and what goes through their minds. On occasion, I’m pretty sure that the only thing that should be allowed through their thought processes is a sledgehammer.

One of those occasions – which comes up with depressing regularity – is what logical process leads people to block toilets with paper. It’s not ‘used’ paper (it’s always surprisingly white and mark-free) so it’s more that they’ve just decided to fill the bowl with paper. Why? I have no fucking idea.

There are some places that seem more prone to it than others. Most Wetherspoons pubs, in my experience. The majority of cinemas. But really, it seems like anywhere that’s got shared facilities (by which I mean where they’re publically accessible, rather than a private “it’s mine and mine alone” set-up) is fair game.

I’d love to see someone who’s just done it, stop them, and ask why, ask what went on in their braincell to think it would be a good/fun thing to do. However, weirdly you also never get to see someone doing it, you just always come in to the aftermath.

Saturday – Slow

While I was walking in London two weekends ago, I posted a ranty bith on Facebook, asking

HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE, WALK AND THINK SO FUCKING SLOWLY, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!?!?

To which Gordon asked how I live with being so irrationally angry to others.  The answer to that ended up as a bit of a rant, but was still absolutely true, and I thought I’d add it here as well, rather than losing it to the vagaries of Facebook.

That answer was this…

In fairness, my friend, if any of them had any awareness of what was around them, I’d be fine.

I fully acknowledge I walk a buttload faster than most people, and think/move/avoid at similar pace. I take on at least 90-95% of the responsibilities for getting out the way, and for understanding/accepting that difference.

All I ask – well, hope for – is for people to have the ability to see this fast-moving juggernaut of a human being, AND NOT WALK AT ME.

Fair enough, I’m enough of a fat bastard that I obviously create a gravity well and people just fall at me. I get that, I accept it. But they could make a bit of sodding effort.

It’s not even like I’m hard to see. But still these motherfuckers walk at me, stop in my path, decide to suddenly stop and take selfies (which is how I’ll end up on fucking Crimewatch, I just know it) or just look me dead in the eye, stop, and see what I’ll do, like they’re expecting me to slam into them.

So yeah, if there were even a smidge of acknowledgement, avoidance, observation, or even just a conscious fucking thought, I’d be fine.

But no. None of it. So you get the rants.

 

All told, it was a bit of a throwback to the D4D of old…

Bad Headline

One of my free local papers had an interesting front-page headline this week.  It does seem a bit specific (and somewhat prophetic) though – I mean, if they already know that someone else will die within the week, wouldn’t you think they’d add in more guards, or make the area a bit safer during that time?

(And yes, I know what they meant to say – but it’s not what it actually says!  Or at least it’s rather more open to interpretation, anyway)

Quiet

For the first time in far too long, yesterday I had a day of doing absolutely sod-all.  And it was pretty good.

It wasn’t (quite) through choice – the friend I’d been supposed to be meeting up with was ill, and cancelled at pretty much the last minute. Which is fine, these things happen. So as a result, I didn’t have to do anything – and I chose to stick with that plan, for once.

This year so far has been pretty manic, and while the next five or six weeks are quieter than the rest of the year, there’s still a fair amount going on. After that, September and October are already booked solid, with November and December also pretty blocked up. So some downtime right now is no bad thing at all.

Of course, that doesn’t stop me from also feeling a bit guilty about it. As I’ve said before, I’m really not good at Doing Nothing. I get to the end of the day, and feel like I’ve wasted a day off by doing nothing, that I should’ve at least been doing Something.

It’s a guilt I should get better at assuaging. Sometimes, a day of zilch is no bad thing.

I’m just keeping on trying to remind myself of that at the moment – it was a good thing, not a waste.

Something New

Over the last week or so, I’ve been trying something new (well, new-ish) in the financial sector – Monzo.

I’ve been aware of a few of this type of “new banking” start-ups of late, but Monzo interested me when I read this article that talked about how closely it kept track of payments, and their whole customer service set-up.   In my own experience with banks, it’s customer service that is their greatest weakness, so I’m interested in how other ‘non high-street’ new financial organisations address it.

At the moment it’s “only” a pre-paid credit card option, driven entirely through a smartphone app – but they’ve got their banking licence, and are aiming to be starting a current account as well, again all driven through smartphone apps.

So far, the experience has been pretty good. (Note – for purposes of this, I used my iPhone – I can’t say anything at all about the Android version) I got the app through the App Store, and went through the initial stages.  Basically, just a name and date-of-birth for verification purposes, and then they order your card.

This took some time – but the expectations were managed all the way through, showing the queue of applicants, where I was in that queue, how many people were before me, and how many after.   Now, my cynicism kicks in slightly here, as I noticed that the number of applicants always stayed around the 25,000 mark, so it *could* just be a steady flow of incoming customers, or it *could* be all smoke-and-mirrors guff to make me think they know what they’re up to.

It took about four days to get to the top of the queue (I could’ve jumped places if I’d promoted Monzo on social media, but frankly, fuck off) and once that happened, I got a notification to say so.  This was where the identity stuff came in, and needed address details, plus an in-app photo of driving licence for proof-of-address, and a 5-second video to prove I’m real.

I’ve done an initial top-up (of a completely manageable amount – if the entire thing turns out to be a scam, I won’t be screwed) and the card has been sent to my home address. It’s due to arrive today, at which point I’ll have to connect it to the app – slightly annoying, as surely they know all the necessary details already – and then it should be ready to go.

I’ll write more about it in a month or so, once I’ve used it and seen how I feel about the entire thing.  So far, though, it’s been an interesting and positive experience – I hope it continues to be so!

Unintentional Racism

Yesterday, an MP got suspended for using ‘a racist term’ in public, while talking about Brexit.

Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot used the term “n****r in the woodpile“, in a similar context to ‘the elephant in the room’ – i.e. something that shouldn’t be discussed, but needed to be.

Her excuse afterwards was “The comment was totally unintentional.” – which is what I have an issue with.

You see, if a comment like that, with such a loaded word – and particularly if you’re also a politician, and thus likely to be recorded on everything you say, for fuck’s sake – then I agree, it probably was unintentional. As in “not thought about”.

But really all that tells me is that it’s likely that such words and attitudes are part of her everyday life, thoughts, and experience.  And that’s where the story should really be – that she perceives these words and phrases as ‘normal’, that they’re something that’s part of her unconscious thoughts and speech.

It’s not “I used the wrong phrase”, or “I mis-spoke”.  It’s just “unintentional” – used so normally it wasn’t even worthy of a thought.

I can (sorta kinda) live with people who use racism intentionally.  They’re at least voicing an opinion – albeit one I don’t like – and a mindset that goes with it.

But unintentional and unconscious racism? That shit’s pernicious, because the people who do it don’t even realise it’s bad…

 

Fixing Things

So far, this year has involved a number of customer service clusterfucks, some of which I’ve mentioned on here, and it looks like a number of those issues are now on the way to being sorted, thankfully.

That list includes

  • The Cat boots – successfully returned to manufacturer, and a replacement pair are (apparently) on the way
  • The Credit Card company – seems to be sorted, with outstanding issues rectified.
  • My Accountants – this has been something that’s been ongoing for a year or more, where they’re just ridiculously slack and uncommunicative. If it weren’t for the fact that they’ve been free (for the last 18 months!) then I’d have moved on well before now.
    The free stuff is a story of its own, but basically when I complained to director level at the end of 2015, they told me I wouldn’t be charged until they’d fixed the issues.  Eighteen months later, the issues are still there, although having had some productive conversations with the Operations Director, I think they’re turning the corner at last!
  • BT – Hopefully, that’ll be sorted today. The engineer is due between 8am and 1pm, and fingers crossed things will be sorted.

There’s a couple of other things coming up that so far seem positive, but I’m waiting for them to come through properly before I write about them.

All told though, yeah, it’s all feeling a bit more fixed and positive.

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