Tag Archives: shit

There must be more to this

I really would like to be able to switch off for a bit: to not constantly worry about things that teeter on the brink of being in my control in the slightest sense. But I can’t.

In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, but then in the grand scheme of things nothing matters. In fact it was decided with a colleague on the walk to work this morning that everything does in fact tie itself up nicely at the end like a good film or TV show.

Not necessarily when you die, of course, but in hundreds of thousands – or millions, or billions – of years when everyone and everything there is ceases to be on this earth. If we’ve gone beyond this planet? Fine, wait a bit longer until the entire universe collapses in on itself and everything becomes nothing, and nothing becomes everything.

Then all your loose ends will be tied up. So nothing matters, or something.

Still, it doesn’t stop my brain from worrying. It doesn’t stop me from always being switched on; from being unable to properly relax at any point. Things are always there at the back of my mind, eating away and pissing me off however they can.

And you have to stop and think: why do we do this? A job I like does this to me, so I wonder what I job I hated would do. We, as people, in the majority, aren’t made to work like this every day – we aren’t made to serve, to repeat tasks, to be bored, to just get on with functioning in a glorified slave-driven economy until we expire. That’s just not what people are about.

We should all be running around fields or some such shit, chasing balls and shitting in ditches and… oh, wait, I’ve gone and got people mixed up with dogs. My mistake.

As you were.

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Swinton: not that shit?

Walking down the big hill from my childhood home to the train station yesterday, I felt a pang of something. I looked out to the view stretching out ahead of me: the rolling hills, green fields and huge, open expanse of country. Beautiful, someone more poetical than me might say.

I felt a pang that said to me, in not so many words: “maybe you misjudged this place. Maybe living here the first 18 years of your life coloured your judgement too negatively. Maybe being so heavily ingrained in the day-to-day grind of dealing with the people and places of this town made you think unfairly of the area around you. Maybe – just maybe – you were wrong about Swinton.”

I was in a particularly hungover, tired and otherwise bad mood, so this thought stuck with me as I sat in the windswept train station as dusk washed over the town. Even though I was staring straight  at a scrapyard, it looked… nice. It was so quiet. Bournemouth isn’t a huge place, but it’s noisy all of the time. It was weird to be somewhere without planes flying over every ten minutes and a stupid bastard living on this street who idles his stupid muscle car for ages before driving off way too fast for the residential streets we live on (and I’m definitely not jealous of his car no siree not me).

It was pretty, and it was relaxing, and I felt calm for the first time in quite a while.

I thought my opinion of my hometown might have suddenly changed; that I had hit that realisation that comes in later life when you see something isn’t as bad as you once thought.

Then I remembered that on Friday just two minutes after arriving in town I was forced to change my route home in order to avoid the behooded men attacking a parked car with a golf club.

So yeah, Swinton is still shit.

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The Facebook update, or: ‘how to do shit things’

Yes, it’s an obligatory post on the changes made to Facebook. It’s to be expected, really. But I also think it’s fair because what the hell have they done? I mean, do they actually think before implementing things? There have been changes in the past that I haven’t understood people taking issue with, but this one just doesn’t seem to make any sense.

It’s as if someone had a vague idea and half-mentioned it in a meeting, only for an engineer who wasn’t even really paying attention to work the changes into the site. Basically it’s about 9% as good as an idea that wasn’t even a good idea in the first place.

In fact, it’s the equivalent of Jez’s idea for a tattoo on Peep Show: “What about an extra Facebook… on my Facebook? Yeeeah, double me.”

It’s not important and it will either get changed back or simply ignored – eventually – by the masses. It won’t break the site, people won’t leave in droves, we’ll all get over it or forget about it eventually. Mainly because it doesn’t matter. At all. In the slightest. Even in a world where you accept you’re allowed to be annoyed by things that aren’t just the Big Concerns (starvation, AIDS, almost out of jam etc), this isn’t any real concern.

But right now it is annoying. It immediately looked shit, then it did something to annoy me which forced me to do something I didn’t want to have to do. Basically it’s one of the most misjudged and ill thought-out changes I have ever seen on any site in my life.

Still not as shit as MySpace, though. God that place went so bad so fast.

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Topshop? MORE LIKE TOPSHIT.

I have a headache, so posting a complaint email I sent to Topshop’s customer service department a couple of hours ago will have to suffice for today’s entry. They are useless whelks and I hope they burn. No individuals, just the whole concept of Topshop.

Hello,

I have just received the email quoted below. Seeing as it provides no reason whatsoever, I would like to know why this order has been cancelled. This is the fifth time this has happened now – four for my girlfriend, who has been trying in vain to make an order and now, as far as I can tell for no reason whatsoever, an order for the same item made with completely different details – i.e. mine – has been cancelled too.

What on earth is going on? I have money in my account, the billing and shipping addresses are present and correct, the card details were in order – I’m even on the electoral register, so it can’t be ‘proof of address’ nonsense I’ve encountered before. What is the problem? Why is this happening? Why are Topshop seemingly committed to not taking my girlfriend’s money?

Of course this does mean neither I or my other half will be using your site again to make any orders, such is the monumental stupidity of a system that bans legitimate buyers from making purchases. So please – no offers to placate or sort the order out. The issue has been raised many times before and it has never been sorted out thanks to some phenomenally poor customer service, so we’re beyond that. Your competitors win this round, because they’ll be the ones getting her cash.

I just want to know what in the blue hell is causing our orders to be cancelled? An allergy to Bournemouth, perhaps? Jealousy that the coat might look too good on my girlfriend? Maybe we’re considered too low-brow to be allowed to spend our money at the Mecca of classy clothing that is ‘Top’ ‘Shop’? Any answer is better than “YOUR ORDER HAS BEEN CANCELLED, CALL THIS PREMIUM-RATE PHONE NUMBER TO FIND OUT WHY”.

I await your response on the edge of my seat. No, literally – I’m perched here. My clammy buttocks are clinging on for dear life. I hope you respond before they run out of energy and I plummet to the office floor. Really, I do. Otherwise I’ll have another thing to be royally peeved about, and I’ll blame that on Topshop too.

Ian Dransfield

I haven’t heard back from them yet. Bastards.

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Alliance & Leicester are great. When you need to cancel.

I may have made my feelings on the bank known as Alliance and Leicester known on this blog earlier in the year. Mainly because they were shit, awful and insanely annoying when I wanted them to be good and work well for me. I switched accounts with the express intention of actually changing accounts, as they offered a couple of reasonable rates and blah de blah.

It ended up with me closing the account in little over three months, and it was all their fault. But I’m not actually here to complain about an insanely boring topic. I’m actually going to praise the bank. In an insanely boring topic.

See, I had enough of A&L’s online service being utterly shit, as well as their seemingly random decision when it came to money transfers. “Today we will be… INSTANT!” “But today we will be… SLOW!” Arseholes. It was a genuine inconvenience, so after making sure all bills/direct debits etc were no longer anything to do with that account, I phoned up to cancel.

Take into account I have never had a call with them lasting less than 20 minutes. I wasn’t looking forward to having to make excuses for a decision which is entirely mine.

But I was put through in about 30 seconds, and the bloke didn’t even ask why when I said I wanted to cancel. He put it through, told me I’d be getting my info in the coming week and that the account would be closed after seven days. The easiest and best service I’ve ever had from a bank, and it came at the time when I was cancelling the account. Le sigh.

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Rumble Road: Untold Stories From Outside The Ring book review (7/10)

As I visited the US over the weekend to attend a couple of things for a new WWE game, we were given a goody bag of branded nonsense to take home with us. Aside from the Rey Mysterio mask(s, actually, as I nabbed two), the weird flask thing and the hoody (which I’m sure Anna will claim) there was an interesting looking book – Rumble Road: Untold Stories From Outside The Ring.

Now I have read my fair share of wrassler books, and they all have road stories in them. It’s just such an intrinsic part of the business that everyone has them – and they tend to be quite funny. So I was looking forward to this as a good old fashioned bog-read.

I’m trying to think of another way to write “sigh”.

I’m not sure what contractual obligations by the WWE were placed on Jon Robinson, the collector of these tales, but it looks very much like one of the clauses read ‘do not put anything entertaining in the book whatsoever, in case you run the risk of offending someone or making out that these wrestlers are real people who have real problems/mess up/get into fights’.

Or maybe the clause was just ‘don’t go into any detail – wrestling fans can’t read anyway so it’s a waste of ink’. Either way it makes sense, as this is a book full of half-baked, half-told stories that – in the majority – go nowhere, say nothing and rarely make you smile, let alone laugh. It’s like if this blog were in paperback form.

This is taken verbatim from the introduction to one chapter:

“Think spiders crawling in your bed, rental cars spinning into ditches and hotel keys hitting you in the eye are bad?”

That’s three examples of actual stories in these things. You know they type – complete non-stories that any numpty who has had any interaction with the world has probably had at one point. Where are the stories like in Mick Foley’s book about the unknown gay beach abandonment? Like in Bret Hart’s with the knife-threatening bus “joke”? The one’s like in Bobby Heenan’s that I’ve completely forgotten?

No, instead it’s clearly heavily vetted corporate bullshit. There’s the mention of a stripclub at one point and a clear allusion to someone having themselves some sex in another. But there’s no mention of actual violence, no talk of people being busted for drugs, going mental, having accidents or anything else that would make it interesting in the insider/tabloidy fashion the wrassler books get it right with.

Basically it’s just not honest enough. Insert your own hilarity about it being as fake as wrestling.

Oh, and the categories make no sense, in that the stories contained within each sometimes don’t apply to what the category is actually about.

7/10

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The fine, noble art of customer reviews

I love customer reviews. No, wait – I hate them. Oh, I something them I’m sure, I just can’t decide what. Regardless of my feeling(s) towards them, though, there’s no denying the fact that they’re a bag of useless shite. Sure, it’s good to be sorting through a bunch of identical items on Amazon only to see that one of them has half a star more than the other four dozen, but if you were to check the reviews of the lower-scoring items (potato hammocks, or whatever it is you’re buying) you would see they were ranked lower because some schmuck bought one when they wanted something else, like a hamster detonator or something. This, in their tiny mind, therefore means the item in question deserves one star out of five. This has the knock-on effect of bringing the overall score down, if only slightly, and can then mean the difference between a purchase and non-purchase.

Yes folks, I do indeed work for the Potato Hammock Advisory Board.

I don’t actually know why this irks me so, but it really does. Reading reviews of things only to see someone going against the grain just because they think the brand is shit, or the one they bought was broken (even though they got a working replacement)… it just annoys me. I’d make some comment about being a professional reviewer, but that would be amazingly cunty so I won’t. Instead I’ll just blame it on the fact that I fucking hate idiots and – having worked in a couple of shops – know exactly what these pricks complaining look, sound and smell like.

“I bought this phone and I don’t want it.”

“When did you buy it?”

“February 10th.”

“Okay, it’s the 12th so you’ve had it less than a week, so I can refund you. Can I have your receipt please?”

*hands receipt over*

“Umm… this receipt is two days old, yes. Two days and a year old. You cannot return the phone.”

“Why not?! This is ridiculous! WAH WAH WAH ENTITLED WAH RIGHTS WAH!”

Balls, my example actually seems to have drawn from the ‘why working in a shop was shit (but amazing at the same time)’ pile. I do apologise. I’ll do a proper entry on that one day. For now though: Don’t give them the opportunity to have some kind of critical evaluation of any product ever. They are fools and deserve no such privilege.

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