Fuel For Thought

Very few of us actually enjoy shopping, least of all me, and of all places a petrol station has to be the worst. The new dynamic of shopping for groceries whilst filling the tank up has always been a bit alien to me, although beginning to appreciate the concept, so much so, I also shop at one of these “Express” type places regardless of my need for fuel. And it was on such an occasion that I encountered a very unpleasant individual, and the events of a few seconds screamed volumes of the kind of people who are employed to deal with the public.

Foolishly, I had chosen a time in the afternoon that is dedicated to Mums up and down the country to collect their offspring, and although I am fully aware that many do this on foot, you can not argue that our roads fill substantially during this period, and I make no jokes for the need of a 4×4 vehicle at all.

As with most forecourts, the general flow leads you to a pump, although you can normally bypass the area and proceed to the parking spaces for the supermarket, while preforming this manoeuvre I saw an opportunity to park in a soon to be vacant plot in an otherwise busy car park. Pausing briefly to allow a young mother and small child to reverse and leave the space, my attention was drawn to a heckle of abuse aimed in my direction. For it was completely without my knowledge that I had intentionally caused the momentary delay of someone who had more rights on the highway than a lowly shopper, The foul mouthed torrent of abuse was coming from a van emblazoned with company name and logo, and from it’s drivers window the occupier was publicly sharing their displeasure in front of an audience of parents and school aged children, I was further surprised that the culprit was a woman, who could have quite possibly bore children of her own years previously.

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Although I initially calmly sailed through the mire of English vocabulary, I was aghast at the thought that this person was not only representing her employer sat in the van, but was totally unashamed of her actions and said employer was equally unsurprised when I phoned to report it, to this end, shame on them!

Something For Nothing

It was my great pleasure to meet two individuals, both from “backstreet” businesses, who were a massive help to me this weekend, providing realistic and free advice on a problem with my car. Although unable to help me practically, it was refreshing to see and perhaps a little humbling, and I have no doubt that their multi million pound competition would have charged for such a privilege.

mecTransversely, I had a similar experience with a sales assistant, but with a cruder effect. Do not misunderstand me, she was neither impolite or disrespectful, but her whole manner and sentence delivery came directly from the corporate training manual (verbatim). And quite apart from thinking that my money was well spent, I came away feeling as though I had inconvenienced the next victim of the “Headmistress” waiting behind me in the checkout queue, but really had no real cause to complain about my sturdy patroniser.

baqSo while my faith in humanity is momentarily restored by professional courtesy of tradesmen, I wonder that perhaps humility should have a box to be ticked on the B&Q training check list?

 

How Was It For You?

Now that our doorways are safe from grinning politicians, our letterboxes from reams of “Printed on recycled paper” leaflets and headlines are slowly returning to hamster eating puns, we can raise our heads and take a look forward into the unknown.pol

For regardless of whether the “General Election 2015” resulted in how you would favour, this is how it is going to be for the next half decade. Again, rights and wrongs of the election process are brought into question, causing the cloud of politics to loom over us a little longer and speculation into the honesty of the incumbent government will no doubt rage on.

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But, rest assured you are not likely to see your “New” M.P until they require your vote once more, so, sit back and enjoy the journey and maybe, just maybe we can continue our daily lives without a stakeboard telling us what to do.

In The Long Run

The Grand National is a sporting date that has been followed by many for decades, whether you love it, hate it or believe it to be cruel, you can’t get away from the attention it is given every year. And this event often inspires people that hardly ever gamble to take a punt, and that adds to the excitement of this multi horse race.

rrWe are not talking thousands of pounds and few annul gamblers place the rent money on an outsider, but hopefully only what they can afford to lose, which unfortunately invariably you will. The bookmakers environment, although has changed over the years, does still daunt some when entering. A far reach from the smoke filled cramped rooms of yesteryear, the modern turf accountant premises gives you a bright welcoming area in which to “buy” their products, easy to read instructions and normally helpful staff who undoubtedly can spot the once yearly customer in a heartbeat.

Not everyone enjoys the atmosphere or thrill of the “sport of Kings” and over the years it has had it’s share of controversy over alleged cruelty and false starts, but rest assured the biggest winners of the day are bookies, because I’ve never seen one riding a bicycle.

Negative Advertising

Although my door is adorned with signs asking not to be included in the myriad of junk mail that is frequently on offer, I often still get it, and if I am about at the time, I remind those responsible that I do not care for this particular type of letterbox invasion.

Generally, I am met with a lethargic response in a accent of foreign shores, and sometimes squeeze an apathetic apology from the unsuspecting canvasser. But today that all changed when I received a foul mouthed tirade from someone spreading the news of a pizza shop under new management.

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This time when I objected, I was met with some objectionable behaviour and what appeared to be the only English language our European friend knew and could pronounce, which was clearly not taught at a citizen class at evening school. Quite astounded I withdrew and returned indoors to review my options in response to this assault on my ears, the council, although sympathetic, could do little, the police recorded an incident under the public order act, but I expect to hear no more, and it was at this point I realised the enormity of this guys actions.

It had suddenly occurred to me that because of this attitude his whole day was a waste of time, no amount of posting leaflets will give you a return on bad manners, and for every shiny mailshot distributed there will be ten families that will hear from word and mouth of the poor staff choices made by this apparent fledgling company.

Feeding National Pride

Food banks are becoming more and more common in the UK, helping struggling families to meet a basic standard of living, and I am embarrassed that we should need them. These charities are kept running by either a sterling donation or one of food directly, with support from the public, some supermarkets and local churches, and quite apart from fixing the problem, politicians are more than happy to pose for the camera supporting their great work.

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In order to qualify for this support, generally, you have to be referred by an agency or such like, social services, Doctors and in some cases the Church. On arrival you are given up to 5 days of food stuffs in relation to the size of family in question, in some cases clothes and footwear are offered, which have also been donated. We are reminded daily by media puppets and their parliament string pullers, of the benefits culture, but some of these families are just low wage earners, who are quite literally working themselves into poverty.

Historically governments have treated the poor and the reliant with an appalling attitude, entire families in workhouses, orphans shipped off to countries in need of labour, and asylums locking away the mentally fragile, and yes, all this in the 20th century. Hopefully the mistakes of the past will not be repeated in this century and to provide help where it is needed domestically before outpouring our resources to the rest of the planet.

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Return To Sender

Tearing open the parcel that had arrived for me, I quickly realised it was the item I had ordered from the on-line auction site Ebay only days before, a very specialised piece of equipment that I will not bore you with details of. After checking everything was just so, I continued to read the invoice and what I thought were shipping/specifications/instructions, so, imagine my disbelief when I discovered the dreaded junk mail.

ebaywThe very thing that manages to instantly upset me and something I have dedicated my life to preventing, well maybe that’s a little extreme, but nether the less still annoying. The vendor of said object had taken their time to carefully pack the instrument for dispatch adding not one but three unrelated mail shots in the packaging, it is not as though they were advertising the goods they have on offer, but those of another company.

Armed with my new found knowledge of UPVC windows and an internet casino site, which I have need of neither, I decided that I would take action in the form of sending them back directly and to broadcast my opinions on the auction feed back forum. A slight strong you may think, but, if they are being paid to distribute these leaflets in the outgoing orders, then it may effect business if somebody were to highlight this.

Caveat venditor, seller beware.