D4D

Home of Hound and Psycho Cat

Archive for the category “Cynicism”

Satisfaction

Yesterday, I had a (non-urgent, outpatients) appointment at my local hospital.  All went well, and I’ll be returning occasionally over the next few months.  Which is all as expected.

What was less expected was a text message today from the hospital, containing a “Patient Satisfaction” survey.

The first question? “Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?“, and a set of five options for the likelihood of doing such a thing.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I really don’t recommend that my friends or family visit a hospital. Certainly when none of them are even in that hospital’s catchment area.

What kind of cretin comes up with this shit? Even more relevantly, what kind of cretin approves this shit?

And if I’d been – for example – visiting the Oncology department (I wasn’t) for treatment, I wonder if I would have received the same survey?

A Break In The Weather

At last, today we’ve had some rain for the first time in ages. It’s been lovely.

The heat’s supposed to be coming back next week, but for now it’s just nice to not be roasting away.

Maybe I’ll even get some sleep tonight…

Current Scams

At the moment, there are a couple of interesting (and fairly well-crafted) scams going around.  I’ve seen/received all of these in the last week or so.

Firstthe ‘we know what you’ve been up to‘ scam email.

It says something along the lines of “I know what you’ve been up to – when you were on that porn site (it’s noticeably non-specific on details) I loaded a screen-grabber to your machine, so we could record your ‘activities’“.  Some of them also have something like “We know your password for the site was [whatever]” – the password is usually an old one that they’ve taken from a record including your email address, and gambles on people using the same password across multiple sites. (In fairness, most people do exactly this)  And then it asks for a ransom “or your shame will be available for all to see” It’s pretty basic, but is apparently enough to scare a certain sub-set of people (AKA gullible idiots) who so far have forked out around $250,000 to the scammers.

Second – and there are two types of this currently bonging around – are the HMRC scams.

These basically draw on the whole paranoia about HMRC losing payments, or trying to take the business owner to court.

I’ve had umpteen emails about “Your payment hasn’t gone through” along with attached links or forms to fill in – always a pretty damn good clue that it’s a scam.  And again, they’re all ridiculously non-specific, don’t mention a company name/details, or what the payment is supposedly for – another warning sign

The second type, which is a bit nastier, is the phone message – I’ve had a couple now, with a message saying “We’re issuing a warrant in order to discuss this matter with you“, and sounding a lot more official.  Still no details though, or anything about what they’re wanting to discuss. (I know, in theory GDPR would also stop them from discussing, but that’s a side point for now)   However, they show the phone number – in my experience, calls from HMRC and the like come through a switchboard, and usually show as “Unknown Number” – and a quick search on that number provides more than enough evidence that it’s a scam.

 

Of course, there are plenty of other scam emails out there – it’s just that these are the ones I’ve noticed specifically this week, and particularly after having received a couple of the “HMRC” calls yesterday and today, so I thought I’d write a bit about them.

Calling 101

Every so often, I decide to play the role of “responsible human being”. Today, it turned out, was one of those days.

When I got in to work, I could see that three cars in the vicinity had been broken into (or at least had their windows smashed) so opted to do the ‘responsible human’ thing, and called 101 – the UK Police’s non-emergency number.  No point in doing an emergency 999, as no-one else was visible, and the damages could’ve happened any time overnight.

So 101 it was.  And while I get that it’s for non-urgent stuff and so on, but man alive, what an absolute faff.

The call goes through, and starts off with “Which police force do you require?”.  (Probably because I called on my mobile – calling from a landline would’ve localised things. I assume)  That’s fine, if you know who you need to speak to.  But if I hadn’t known that Milton Keynes is covered by Thames Valley Police, I’d have been knackered from stage one.

Then we go on to a recorded message from the chief of Thames Valley. Why? No idea.  I assume it’s part of the script of 101 – I’ve heard similar on other calls to different forces – but it seems (to me) to be utterly pointless.

And then we get the voice-response asking what you want to do. If you know the name/number you want to speak to, type it now, or press [whatever] to report a crime.

And then we get some piece of crap recorded message about victim support.

And finally, finally, when all that’s done, I finally spoke to someone – who was helpful, and made sense.  But what a horrific fucking faff in order to do something I didn’t even need to.

All told, it certainly makes it easy to see why people prefer to call 999, even for non-emergency stuff.  At least the response to it is quicker, and gets rid of all that recorded bullshit.

 

Sporty – Semi-Completed

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about sport, and how we seemed to be having a surfeit of it this summer.

Thankfully, We’ve finally finished with the Kickyball World Cup (although I believe it’s less than a month ’til the next season starts off, FFS), and the Wimbledon Smashyball stuff, and the British Grand Prix is over and done with too.

The Tour de France is still ongoing (thanks, Gordon, for reminding me that this was on too) although that’s a lot more tolerable than the others – if nothing else, I still find myself in awe of the people who can ride 100+km in a day up idiot mountains and so on, and still do a sprint finish…

Anyway, it’s nice to just have fewer sporty-ball things on TV for a few weeks, at least. Happy, happy day.

The Thermal Properties of Coke

In the UK, we’re in the middle of a heatwave.  Other countries would absolutely laugh at how crap we are at dealing with heat (and in their eyes, it’s “only” 30° C, after all) but for the UK it’s more than enough. As with snow, we’re a nation of mid-range and changeable weather, so we’ve never had any need to invest in infrastructure to deal with more ‘extreme’ (and again, that’s in the context of our weather, not other places in the world!) temperatures. We generally don’t have air-conditioning in houses and offices by default, nor the stuff for dealing with snow, winds, rain or anything.

Anyway, for us, it’s hot.  And every time it’s hot like this, I’m remembered that Cola (whether diet or full-fat) is a strange, strange beast.

Obviously Cola is best drunk cold – as cold as possible. But it’s crap at staying cold.  Leave it for ten to fifteen minutes and it’ll be warm.

On the other end of the scale, leave it in a car to get hot, and it’ll stay hot for hours.  The full-fat sugary one is the worst for it, but even the diet ones do this, so I don’t think it’s a facet of the sugar content.

There’s no real point to this – I just find it interesting that it’s a liquid/substance whose thermal properties are different according to whether it’s hot or cold.

Yes, I need to get out more.

 

Sporty

Fuck’s sake.

So not only do we have World Cup kickyball, cricket and rugby gubbins going on, but as of today we’ve got Wimble-bloody-don as well?!?

I give up.

Post Navigation