Posted by sean on September 6, 2020 at 10:06 pm in Me Vs. The World with No Comments

There is a well-known saying that there’s ‘no such thing as a free lunch’. That may be true, but it is possible to get the thing you eat the lunch out of totally gratis.

Claire and I were lucky enough to receive a kind gift of an Amazon gift card. We decided to spend part of our pressie on a beautiful set of Peter Rabbit egg cups. We’ve been after a new set of egg cups for a while, and considering we have an ever-growing collection of bunny bric-a-brac, these were perfect.

A day later, the egg cups arrived. Despite what we believed we had ordered, there was not a bunny in sight!

Shock! Horror!

Amazon have an excellent returns service, and in any normal circumstance we would happily pop down to the local post office and send the unwanted egg cups back, in return for a full refund.

For various reasons, it was not possible to get to a post office this time. Considering this innocent mistake wasn’t my fault, I wanted to ask Mr Bezos if he could arrange for a courier to come to my house. He could turn up personally in his Vauxhall Corsa and as long as he had adequate identification, I would happily hand over these now infamous cups.

This was impossible to arrange. Not getting Jeff to pop over, but to get any of the corporation’s one million worldwide employees to drop by and collect the cups.

The biggest obstacle was trying to explain to some computer bot what the problem was. The computer bot forms part of Amazon’s customer service chat system. It is clearly there to screen as many nuisance customers as possible – preventing them from chatting to a human being and instead directly them to an FAQ page.

Therefore, whenever I typed in the egg cup problem, as soon as the pesky robot thought I was on about returning anything, I was redirected to the familiar, yet ever frustrating, Returns FAQ Page.

I suppose I could have tricked the bot into putting me through to someone with a central nervous system by not telling the truth. I’m not suggesting I tell an out and out lie, maybe just a little fib. There’s no harm in that – is there, Mr Prime Minister?

I’m thinking… “that electric toothbrush you sold me the other month… well it burst into flames and is now burning my house down… what do I do?”

DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME: Although if you’re stupid enough to even consider doing this, you’re clearly not responsible enough to own a home… or even a toothbrush.

I didn’t do this.

After many boring hours of negotiation, I was finally able to chat to a real person. It all dragged on far longer than it should have done. I am sure wars have been settled in less time.

Anyway… good news. Although I don’t have any Peter Rabbit egg cups (and don’t think I ever will), I remain in possession of the original ones sent in error, as well as a full refund.

Free egg cups! I am still yet to discover if they come with a Lord and Lady title.

Posted by sean on August 10, 2020 at 7:23 am in Me Vs. The World with No Comments

The team tasked with removing my household recycling clearly dislike me…

A week or so ago, they appeared to drop kick a bag full of our rotting food down the street, before leaving it for Claire to clean up.

Most recently the good-for-nothing-so-and-sos left behind our cardboard recycling, despite taking away all our neighbours’ rubbish. I guess that I should be grateful for the small mercy they didn’t throw each bit of cardboard onto the roof of our house. Would that have caused them greater amusement than playing garbage ball with a bag of decomposing leftovers?

Worse still, is that our food recycling box has been stolen! I’m certain that the recycling dudes didn’t take it – they can probably get a brand new one whenever they like – all jobs have their perks.

They do have an awful habit of leaving our box wherever they can be bothered – i.e. not by our house where we left it.

As a result, Claire has to hunt for the box every week once it’s been emptied. Not too much of a problem, except last Friday it couldn’t be found. Some swine had nabbed it!

I’m not too aware of the resident-bin man etiquette. Perhaps I should have tipped them at Christmas. Place a fiver underneath a bag full of cold, stinking baked beans? What about at Easter? Should I have left a chocolate egg out? No doubt I would be fined for mixing cardboard, foil and food waste.

Do I confront the bin men? Yes, I have resorted to calling them that – I don’t mean any disrespect. Shout at them from my doorway, while shaking my fist in the air. These men are pretty burly – I would worry that if things turned nasty, someone would get hurt. I would hate to be responsible for injuring one of them!

I think it’s best to take the British approach. Write a letter of complaint. Although as I don’t live in 1978, I’ll send an email instead.

Posted by sean on August 7, 2020 at 10:12 am in Me Vs. The World, Pizza with No Comments

Something which is starting to increasingly ‘get my goat’ is companies who appear to believe that vegetarians are the same breed as vegans.

I am in the former if the two and have been so for two years. My wife has been a veggie for as long as I have known her.

We are most definitely not vegans. Giving up Nandos and Big Macs was difficult enough for me – I would never be able to wave au revoir to yoghurt, ice cream, cheese and milk – to name just four dairy delights. Then there are eggs…

On an increasing number of occasions, I have encountered problems where, upon ordering something vegetarian, I am given a vegan dish! Why?

Worst of all is when I am given a vegan pizza. I cannot stand non-dairy cheese, and may as well be given a rare steak, dripping with blood. I wouldn’t be able to stomach either.

This is exactly what Asda subjected me to when, either because the staff are stupid, or simply playing a sick joke, substituted my vegetable pizza – with normal cheese – for a vegan pizza – coated in what can only be described as rubber.

Finally, I think I have mentioned this before on my blog. I have absolutely nothing against vegans or those unfortunate enough to be unable to eat dairy products. Apologies for the terrible pun, but my beef lies with anyone who gives me vegan food instead of vegetarian – namely, pizza.







Posted by sean on August 1, 2020 at 7:35 am in Me Vs. The World with No Comments

Cheers to the refuse collectors at Bath & North East Somerset Council, for leaving the street in a worse state than it was in before they arrived.

Posted by sean on July 3, 2020 at 7:02 am in Me Vs. The World with 1 Comment

As you will know from recent blog posts, I made the interesting discovery that drivers for the courier firm Hermes have a lower IQ than a gerbil.

This morning, another parcel delivery firm has managed to grind my gears. The company responsible – Yodel.

I can guarantee that a quick search on social media or just Google, will tell you a lot about Yodel’s reputation and approach to customer relations. The only thing I am not certain of is who has the worst overall feedback – Yodel or Hermes.

The good news for Yodel is that I see no reason why their drivers should not at hold intelligence greater than, or at least equal to, a guinea pig.

The bad news is that they appear to be suffering from a severe case of Monkey Shoulder.

I originally encountered this disease in my first job, when I was a young, bright-eyed whippersnapper. A manager gave me some advice on how to have a successful career…

If you are given a task to complete, the situation should be handled in the same way you would treat a monkey on your shoulder.

No, not scream as the demented ape sinks its fangs into your neck. The idea behind this approach is to get the invisible monkey off your shoulder as quickly as you can, by any means necessary.

This may involve delegating the task to a colleague beneath you on the payscale. If that is not possible, deal with the job yourself in a way which is as quick and effortless as possible, regardless of resolution quality.

I don’t work with this manager anymore, but we remain in the same organisation. Since growing older and more experienced, I have learned that this anonymous manager is well-known for cutting corners. To his credit, he earned more money than me 17 years ago and he still does now. He must be doing something right.

Back to Yodel. Based on a number of personal encounters with their ‘service’, I think it is obvious that their employees follow the Monkey Shoulder approach to work. Great for them. Shit for customers like me.

Their latest debacle occurred yesterday, while attempting to deliver a mop to my humble home. This is not a mop of hair – think one half of that famous duo ‘mop and bucket’. I know what you’re thinking – Claire and I are forever treating ourselves to luxury items.

This is where things become hilarious. Hilarious in a sense of ‘how the hell could someone get something so simple so wrong’…

It was late morning when Claire checked the Yodel tracking tool. Apparently our mop had been delivered. Bollocks.

This felt incredibly familiar to Hermes and my missing face mask. While contemplating what our next move should be – my preference being to dress up as a highwayman and hold up the Yodel van – our doorbell rang…

A man was stood at our front door, clutching what looked very much like a mop. As he wasn’t offering to clean our house, we could only assume it was our missing delivery.

The very kind gentleman, who we later established lived around the corner, handed us the mop, explaining that a courier had entered his back garden, where he dumped the delivery.

So, as well as committing fraud by lying about making a successful delivery, the courier also trespassed onto a random property to dump a parcel they could not be bothered to deliver themselves.

As the theme song for the famous Australian soap tells us – “Everybody needs good neighbours”. With couriers leaving parcels, packages and letters wherever the feck they like, those words could not hold more truth.

I feel that I must name and shame the company responsible for subjecting their customers to Yodel. In this instance, it was George, Asda.

I do sometimes wonder why online retailers continue to use the likes of Hermes and Yodel. One would imagine that maintaining a positive reputation is pivotal to any company. Would it not make commercial sense to entrust a reliable courier firm to handle their deliveries?

Then I remembered that Fawlty Towers episode… “because he’s cheap!”

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