I am investigating the phrase ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’. If I get a boost to my viewing stats I shall conclude that it does. If they remain at the extremely low level they have been at since I last posted almost two weeks ago, then I shall conclude ‘out of sight out of mind’ is more apt.
During my abstinence from blogging I have spent much of my time ‘sorting’ stuff. My hoarding/untidy house has been covered in previous blog posts and I won’t revisit the topic now except to say that the same amount of stuff, minus about 2%, has been shuffled around the house and some has made it to the garage/halfway house on its planned journey to the bin. I have managed to compress the stuff in the house so that it takes up less space. An achievement which has not impressed my family, who are still urging me to ‘get rid of it.’
I have also been in dispute with Virgin mobile who have no business sense whatsoever. Due to my misunderstanding of their terms and conditions I have inadvertently paid them £100 for a service I haven’t used. Several phone calls and emails have been exchanged but my pleas for them to demonstrate that they see me as a valued customer have fallen on deaf ears. They appeared not to see the logic in refunding my money and retaining myself, Frodo and D1 as customers. I pointed out that within 6 months they will have lost more than £100 when we shift to another company but all such appeals to common sense were met with repetition of the clause in the terms and conditions which indicates I had made a mistake. I eventually gave up after hearing “It states in our terms and conditions…….” for the 35th time (or thereabouts). Now I am committed to carrying out my threat and the hassle of changing to another company and having to get a new mobile number. Frodo has fully supported me throughout and will be shunning Virgin too.
In contrast, Tesco were very apologetic when I selected the wrong wine for the ‘meal deal’ and had to pay £16 instead of £10. They refunded my money when I returned the items and sent me a £10 giftcard with an apology for the ‘upset and embarrassment’ I had suffered (their words not mine).
Whilst on my trip to London I was twice saved from making myself look foolish by complaining unnecessarily. The first incident took place at the self service checkout in a Tesco Express. I tried unsuccessfully five times to insert my debit card into the card reader and after checking the various orientations I was convinced the problem lay with the card reader. Before I could summon a checkout operative, my companion (Will) stepped in and immediately spotted that I was not inserting my card into the card reader slot after all but into the space between the reader and the holder it was in. Ooops. Shortly after this my travelcard failed to open the barrier to the underground station. Again I tried removing and reinserting it and was ready to summon a tfl worker when Will stepped in again and informed me that I was trying to enter through an exit barrier. All’s well that ends well though and the travelcard worked perfectly when inserted in the entrance barrier.
My sense of fun and my sense of what is acceptable were in battle during the London trip. Will, along with my other companions, played the bogies game in the Olympic Park (here’s a link for anyone who unfamiliar with the game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mblkUZgOwPQ&feature=relmfu ). I was disappointed that it didn’t raise many smiles, although Will and friends were at times giggling furiously especially when one middle aged man joined in with a “bogey” before disappearing into the crowd. I knew if I joined in my companions would enjoy my participation and for some reason it seemed like a fun idea but I’m sorry to say that on this occasion I kept my ‘bogies’ to myself. Another example of society’s norms curtailing the freedom of an individual. Maybe next time I’ll break free.