Sorry, but this is my space, it IS the THREE R'S blog and one of the R's does stand for RANTS - the others being RAVES and RAMBLINGS for those of you who don't know - so here goes my rant(s).
Recently we bought some roller blinds from a certain DIY store - I won't shame them by naming them - and had to take one back. Mr A, my other half, took the unwanted one back, looked at all the others, saw there was a space for the shorter width one we wanted in its place, but the space was empty. Went to the customer service desk to enquire when they would be getting one, to be told that this particular store wasn't designated to carry this particular size (even though there was space for it remember, and they had it in all the other colours!) and therefore couldn't order one for us. Mr A came home disgruntled, convinced that somehow we were going to have to cut it down to size, not easy as it had stitched edges and flattened pleats. Mrs A, that's me, yet more disgruntled (common occurrence) decided to go on the website of this company and speak to someone. I was told by a schoolboy (for that is what he sounded like, too young to be in charge of the 'customer-services-my-name-is-blank-can-I-help-you? telephone) that the staff member should have offered to have one transferred to the store from any other store in the region that had stock. Had they done so? No. He asked which store I was referring to, checked in his little machine and found that a couple of others in the region (an hour away) had stock and then just disconnected me. Next thing, the customer service desk at my local store was answering the phone... so we went through the whole rigmarole again. She checked, found there was stock of the blind at Peterborough (over an hour away) and that she would get one transferred. Which was OK, until she then said that she wasn't sure when it would be as they didn't have an inter-store delivery/collection service but relied on members of staff, in this case a man who lived in Peterborough but worked in my local store, going to the store to collect the item and bring it into work with him. Can you believe that? Surely they have large lorries going from one store to another, why not simply put the item on the lorry? Is that it, too simple? I shall be writing to head office of said DIY chain to see what they have to say about it all, but to me it seems crazy, and well worth a rant.
Next.... no doubt many of you have been watching the news items on anti social behaviour on the main ITV news... the ASBO loutish family making life hell for two sisters in a cul-de-sac and so on. My old friend FYLDECOASTER on his blog has his own remedy for it, and whilst part of me believes that if you can't get mad you get even, I am not advocating violence. But somehow you think this might be the only language these people understand. They know that the police do nothing, or that when they do, the punishment is derisable (is that the right word, my brain has white out at present) and they laugh it off accordingly. They wear their tags like a badge of office, they flaunt their ASBOness as something to be proud of, they make life absolutely miserable to put it mildly, and think, somehow, this is funny, or clever, or makes them look big. Even their small child shouted foul-mouthed language. Hardly surprising you can see a mini-thug in the making, someone who is going to come to no good as they say, not living where he does. But whilst we all shout at the television screens in our anger and frustration and sympathy for the people who are subjected to this bullying, it may assuage our feelings, but does nothing to help the people suffering. What can be done? Well, it seems that persistence and not giving up even in the face of bullies and physical attacks might be the answer, as shown by the two ladies who stood up to them. In fact there were two lots of women in different areas who were making a difference to their neighbourhood.... what strikes me is.... why is it women? What's wrong with the men doing something? And more generally, what is the answer?
Next... switched on to watch the Hairy Bikers and their Mother Knows Best cookery series which began last night, and absolutely loved it, love the idea of it and everything. But was gobsmacked and dismayed and angry, in about equal measures all three, when the opening titles revealed the word FAVOURITE spelled the American way... FAVORITE. I couldn't believe my eyes, am still not 100% convinced that I saw such a bastion of Britishness resorting to American spellings. Did anyone else spot it? Were you annoyed by it?
Next.... why can't our binmen replace the bins where they got them from? The council are quick to TELL us (not ask) the specific place we should leave our bins ready for collection. So is it too much to ask that they are put back in the same place? Apparently so, because there have been innumerable complaints to the council from myself and others, about bins left littering the pavement, all day in some cases, until the householder returns from work. The pavements are not the widest, we are on a busy main road through the village, there are a lot of elderly folk on mobility scooters and the like, mothers with buggies, who all have to walk into the road to get around the bins. When I complained last, I had a visit from the appropriate head of department who told me that the contractor would be warned about it, fined and if it continues, then his contract would not be renewed. That should be incentive enough you'd think, but not so. A man from the council sat in his car early one morning to watch them, highly visible (surely better to hide up a bit?) and lo and behold, all the bins were nicely put back in place. And for a couple of weeks after as well. But then they resorted to their old ways. There is one culprit in particular, a little runt of a man who wears completely black clothes, not even the regulation dayglow vest, and he has a hat pulled down to his eyebrows, and a scarf pulled up to his lower eyelashes. He scuttles about the place, looks weedy but can fling a bin with the best of them. Sometimes they end up roughly where you put them, but more often not... often not even near your own house. I'd like to go out and slap him... but I don't condone violence do I? Shame.....
Well, the last one might seem a very minor rant... but when you have to look for your bin, drag it back through thick snow, take someone else's back to their own house, you get a bit cheesed off, to put it mildly. You want to jump up and down and ask why people can't do their jobs properly, surely it's not asking for much, it would take less effort to put the blessed bin back properly than simply swing it around. I'd like to swing him around...but I don't condone violence, did I say that?
Of course, had we seen hide or hair of a council gritter, then the pavements might not be ankle deep in snow, or ice, or slush, and not as hazardous to walk on. But that's another rant, and I bet there are lots of you out there with a similar rant waiting to come out! So go on, let it out!
I am coming up to my 100th posting soon, and will be having a GRAND KNITTING-THEMED GIVEAWAY, for those interested. But more of that later, meantime, take care when you go out and keep warm when you stay in.
PS... A late rant. I should explain first of all that we never answer the phone, but leave it to the answering service to take the message. This is because (a) we hate using the phone and friends know that so don't bother calling unless in an emergency of some sort and (b) despite not wanting nuisance calls and taking appropriate steps, we still get them. So, there were a series of calls last November and when I did 1471 it said that someone had tried to make a reverse charge call. Now not anyone I knew, of that I was certain, but there seemed no way of finding out where they originated, since there was no call back number, no message about number withheld, just the reverse charge bit. So in desperation I wrote to OFCOM, and six weeks later a reply has been received, the upshot of which is they can't tell me who the 0800 Reverse calls were from due to the Date Protection Act, Freedom of Information.... the long and the short of that is they can't tell me where the calls originated, nor if there had been other complaints. Nor did they answer my question as to whether or not calls that just left a recorded message when you checked them, were illegal, as I had always thought they were. So writing to OFCOM was a waste of time.