Something has gone wrong, somewhere…

As my (possibly now long gone) regular readers know, I have tried very hard to moan about everything.  I have gone out of my way to be unpleasant, and I have never cared about popularity.

I took pride in it!

Three and three-quarter years ago, my world changed completely.  My partner of three decades passed away.  (And I still tear up a little when I write that…)
I’m proud of the way I recovered from that blow.  I can honestly say the months that followed it were the darkest I’ve ever known – and the fact that I’m still here can be attributed entirely to my little dog: he made me eat, he made me go to bed, and he made me get out of the house every day.

Hmmm… this is going in entirely the wrong direction…

OK.  When I started to live again, I got a job.  At a supermarket.  (Yep, goes against most of what I’ve said on here in the past.)
The job was making deliveries in a van, and I loved it for two and a half years.  But I was too good at it, and they took me off the road.  (True, in fact I was SO good, I did a five hour shift in three hours.  Pity they were tracking my speed, really…)

For the last year (roughly) I’ve worked IN the store – stacking the shelves, officially.  During this time, I’ve volunteered to learn, and become qualified as, a picker, checkout operator, and petrol station attendant.
Very useful, that – it means I can get overtime in any one of four departments!

Our company has an awards scheme – the service superstars.  If you creep enough with a customer, and the customer makes it official by writing or emailing their praise, you can get a ‘wow’ comment on your record.  A ‘wow’ will probably mean you get the bronze service superstar award, which is supposed to be a badge, but I’ve never seen anybody with one.

Once you have a bronze, you can be considered for Silver.  To get silver, you have to be the best in the month.  You either get more ‘wows’ than anybody else, or get special notice for some reason.
For Silver, you get a certificate and a badge.

Twice a year, all those who got Silver (since the last Gold award) are eligible for the Gold Service Superstar award.  Now this is the biggie.  To get the Gold, you do not have to be nice to customers, you do not have to creep around management… No, all you have to do is be liked.  Period.
Every member of staff in the store gets a vote, and the one with the most votes wins.
When you win, you get a special badge.  Yay!  Oh, and you get presented with the badge at a Social event along with every other Gold winner in the region.  As I understand it (I could be a little wrong) the last awards were given in a box at a football match, at Manchester United’s ground, after dinner.

Oh, and once you have the Gold, you cannot ever be considered for Silver or Gold again – you have reached the highest pinnacle in customer service.

All sounds grand, right.

Well I hope so.  Because I just got Gold.


To my recall, I never got a ‘Wow’ comment from a customer.  I do not recall ever getting the Bronze – I certainly never got a badge.

I got the Silver because a Manager nominated me for it.  Apparently, the fact that I always said ‘OK’ when they gave me a job to do was exceptional.  Seems that many of my colleagues prefer to argue, or find reasons why they cannot do the job.  But… I’m paid to be there, I’m paid to work, so I work.  And I smile while I do it.
(I had around twenty years where I wanted to go to work, and was unable to – so I’m really happy to be working!)

The last few weeks, my colleagues have been voting, and I found out yesterday that they had voted for me.  I won by a comfortable margin – in fact, the person I really wanted to beat got half as many votes, in total, as the difference between me and the nearest competitor!  (e.g. If they got ten votes, then I got twenty votes more than the second placed colleague.  Those are not the real numbers, but give you an idea.)

I’m now waiting to find out when and where the award will be made.  But in the meantime, I’m making the most of my position:
The store manager complained to me yesterday that he now had to find something nice to say about me, but he relaxed when I gave him permission to lie.
Two other managers yesterday gave me a job, and I said ‘no.’  When they got annoyed, I reminded them that I was now at the top, and didn’t have to try any more!  They agreed, and went off to annoy somebody else.

The thing is…  How on earth did I become popular?  I’ve tried so very, very hard to be annoying!

Something, somewhere, is very, very wrong!

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Militant Vegans – why?

Every week, we have friends to dinner.  And every week, we go to them for dinner.  So what? I hear you say.  Well, the friends in question are vegetarians.

It’s not easy, but every week I manage to come up with a meal that we can all eat.  Usually, this means doing two separate main items – one meat, one not.
Conversely, my friends will cook meat for us when we go there.

We work around each other, as any decent people would.

Which is why I’m so annoyed at the militant vegans.
They choose not to consume animal products.  Fine.   That’s their choice, and I will support it. (By consume, I mean eat, use, or wear.)
But they also insist that nobody else should consume them either.


You have made a choice – but why do you think you have the right to force that choice on others?

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Big bother

In the news today is a story about organ donation.  It seems that Wales now has a policy of assuming that everbody is happy to donate their organs unless they ‘opt out’.

For many years, the system has been that hospitals/doctors had to check for, and find, an organ-donor card before they could remove organs from a recently deceased person.  For many years, there have been arguments made that many valid organs were lost to the transplant pool because the card giving permission was not found.

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What SPAM is and isn’t

On the menu bar across the top of every page is a link to the ‘Scumbags’ page, which is updated many times a year.

Part of the reason for this page is to highlight how the rules for Direct Marketing are a total waste of time. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have a ‘code of conduct’ which they claim makes what they do different to SPAM. Their code states that they will not just send emails to any address they can get hold of, but will instead only send marketing materials to those who have ‘expressed an interest.’

Now, they will argue that visiting their website is expressing an interest, or that clicking on an advert is, or having your eyes open when they walk across in front of you – all of those, I admit, can be argued for.

The code also requires any email sent to include an ‘unsubscribe’ link – giving the illusion that we, the recipients, have some say in whether we are on their lists.

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I can’t ignore it any longer

It’s less than a week away, and it’s taking over the TV, Radio, and print.  I’m talking about the election, of course, and I’m already sick of it.

I watched the ‘leaders’ debate, where the leaders of seven parties all talked over each other.  Why only seven parties?  Why were there no independents?  No Monster Raving Loony?  Why were we limited to those who ‘might’ win the election?

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I need to get this post done before midnight, because if I post it tomorrow you’ll assume it’s an april fool gag.
It feels like one.

My partner had a daughter in their previous marriage, who married her present husband 23 years ago.  Big wedding, family came from all around the country to attend.  They have four children together.

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What nonsense

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been caring for my partner for many years – until recently.  For most of those years, I’ve been driving a Motability car.
My partner was cremated yesterday, and the car will be taken away from me next Thursday – so I’ve been sorting out an alternative…

I found the car I wanted, at a price I was happy with.  The garage has put a 12 month MOT on the car, and as soon as I arrange insurance and Road Tax (and paid, of course) I can collect my new toy.


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“Minimum unit pricing”

I’ve touched on this subject before, I know, but it’s in the news at the moment so I thought I’d spend a few minutes talking about it.

‘It’ is ‘minimum unit pricing’ – an idea that the government is rather keen on whereby they do away with low price alcohol.  The reasoning behind it is that a large proportion of incidents that the police deal with involve low cost booze.
Do away with the low cost booze, and you do away with the problem…

Yeah, right.

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I’m surprised

A little while ago, there was a big furore about MP’s expenses.  After this, a system was introduced whereby the pay, benefits, expenses etc for MP’s would be controlled by an independent body.

No longer would MP’s be able to award a pay rise to theirselves.  Yay!

Now, at the end of a year where every area of life has seen enforced economies – either a reduction in wages, or a limit on the payrise – this independent body wants to give MP’s a payrise of 11%.

Anybody who asked for an 11% pay rise this year should not be surprised when the negative answer was followed by an immediate dismissal!

And this got me thinking…

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From a line to a point

Once again, a story in the news has prompted a blog post.  (Well, it’s about time something did…)

Apparently, a recent study has concluded that as much as a third of under 16’s have had sex.
So what’s the big news?

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