Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh phone companies... how I hate you all.

I recently had a few issues with o2 being a bit retarded in regards to my account. So I called them up and yelled at them. They didn't do anything useful, just said "That's the way it is" and listened to me rant at them. I was pissed off with it that I was trying to remember why the hell I joined them in the first place. Just now I was trying to top up my (Vodafone) dongle for the first time in almost a year. Could I remember my account log-in details? No, of course not. So I clicked the "reset password" button, and received the email with a link where I could reset my account. Then the problems started. I the page didn't load properly. Eventually it timed out or something, so I thought I would try it again. Now all I can get is a message saying "There seems to be a problem with your account, please contact us or try again" (No Sh*t!) well, of course trying again doesn't achieve any better results. Can I contact them? Oh hell no. Firstly, here are a variety of numbers. Have fun working out which one is one you can even call from your particular phone (Landline? cellphone? Vodafone? Non-vodafone? Pre-pay? Account?). Then, when you do call... well, did you call? It seems to be dropping the call without connecting. Have I got the wrong number? Repeat x3. Nope, definitely the right number. Call again. Line drops. WHAT THE HELL VODAFONE!!!! Now I remember why I switched to o2- because you are complete MORONS! If you are closed at this time of night, then you could at least have a recorded message to say so. Just arbitrarily refusing to connect peoples calls is a DICK thing to do. At least when o2 piss me off I can tell them they're being brainless morons. But no, Vodafone can't even do that. So I will resort to slagging them off on my blog. Sorry, I'm sure most of you (probably all of you) don't care, but I felt the need to vent. Boo Vodafone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dr Greg Dawes

Of the philosophy department at Otago University once said that young children are some of the best philosophers around. Following my recent discussion with a five year old, which started "Sam, why don't pirates believe in God?" I'm am really appreciating that point. I love my job!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A new national identity?

Okay, so, if hadn't been working, then I might've gone, if I had somebody to go with. But that's more out of boredom and a lack of parties to go to than an actual desire to mark the occasion.

I was surprised when leaving the house yesterday (Saturday 04/02/12) to find a bit of a crowd of Kiwis at the tube station, but I eventually recalled there was a pub down the road hosting a Waitangi day celebrations. "Fair enough" I thought, and didn't think of it again. Upon coming home several hours later (early/mid afternoon) I was shocked by the rowdy crowd of drunks in the tube station. I had a small child in tow, and squeezing past the people dressed as sheep, cans of Double Brown and Tui (seriously people, get some taste!), the occasional Kiwi (bird) costume was no easy matter. Upon reaching the threshold of fresh air I discovered a scene of mayhem, beer and bottles spilled all over the street, a crowd so thick you couldn't get to the street to cross it, and general drunkeness. There was a lot of swearing and manners were entirely lacking- people stumbled in to us several times, with one apology in total. "shocked" is the only word I can really think to use when I saw that a whole street was closed off, a crowd of people spilling over it, police vans and a line of police fencing them in.

Now, I've not seen general, drunken pointlessness on a scale like this since my student days. At least in Dunedin you knew where they were and they stayed in the student quarter. Oh the reasons I never lived on, or anywhere near, Castle Street.

My point being, this disgusting display of drunkness was supposedly in the name of Waitangi day. Come on people. Since when did anyone celebrate Waitangi day, really? A long weekend at the end of summer maybe, but I don't ever recall doing anything to actually mark the occasion, merely taking advantage of a public holiday. It isn't even a public holiday here.

I'm not a patriotic person, and while I count myself a Kiwi, not a Brit, I felt entirely compelled to mention to a police officer I was speaking to (wanted to know how far the damage extended) that I was also a Kiwi, and not a drunk one.

I don't care about Waitangi day. It's a day that a piece of paper was signed some time ago which was of questionable legality then and has caused racial friction since. It is a national holiday, vaguely related to the formation of the nation state. Other countries have Australia Day, Independence day, or whatever. Meh.

Now Waitangi day will be etched in my mind as the first day that I was embarrassed to be a Kiwi.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Regrettable life experience:

Using the loos at Marks and Spencer. It didn't sound like a good idea, but it did sound like a convenient one. What I hadn't counted on was 4 out of the six toilets being out of order, the state of the loos, and creepy middle aged women. The one in front of me looked like she was trying to do the 'I'm an eccentric grandmother and I can make kooky cool' except she fell rather wide of the mark. The woman behind me was perhaps Eastern European (in and of itself not a problem), with a (presumably bladder-related) 'problem' and appeared to have no concept whatsoever of personal space.

Now any sensible person might have taken something from this experience and fled. But no, not me. I then headed for the cafe in M&S. Why? Very poor judgement apparently. I recall the one in Worcester having decent, if somewhat overpriced, food. Here (High Street Kensington) they seem to think that packages of food from the food hall are perfectly sufficient- they even toast the pre-made toasties for you! I am currently trying to consume some oily, yet also sweet tomato soup, accompanied by stale bread rolls. Seriously, I thought M&S was better than this. This is like a school cafeteria, not a café.