Why we should respect the Police

Spotted last night at the end of my parents' street, a police paddy wagon parked outside the local pizza joint in a No Stopping zone while the copper was inside waiting for his pizza. There's a car park right next-door to the pizza place, and it was by no means full.

So who polices the police? These things are the way of the future, but with the rule that they cannot be switched off and a copper's testimony isn't worth shit if the camera inexplicably "isn't working". Get yourself a set today!

ARGH! Real estate scum!

Turned up at 11:30 this morning to move in, and it turns out the tenants are still in the house. Still asleep even! Do you think this elicits an apology from the estate scum? Course not. "Nothing we can do," is all they say.

We're going for a week's free rent. Fuckers.

Moving in tomorrow now.

I'm a resource

I love it when project managers refer to human beings as "resources". It would be okay if they were using it in the general, but you never hear them talking about equipment as a resource. When they say "we moved three resources in place" they're not talking about three servers or trucks or manufacturing lines. They mean three people.

What is it about project managers that they can't just use a straightforward term that everyone understands? Could it be that they're hiding something?

Estate agents: how I love thee so

Ahh doncha just love estate agents? They're so honest!

Here's an ad in our target area. Let's decode the real estate-speak:

FANTASTIC LOCATION!
The house is shite, but what a great spot!

Two bedroom, two storey terrace with separate lounge and dining areas,
One bedroom and one cupboard, standard Erskineville terrace layout which means front-bedroom downstairs is the lounge, middle room with two doorways and a staircase (you try arranging any usable furniture) is the "dining" room.

bathroom with bathtub, good kitchen and sunny courtyard,
No shower, tiny outdated kitchen, concreted backyard.

smoke alarms fitted. Fantastic location close to all amenities.
We comply with the law but call it a feature. Did we mention the location? Notice we didn't put in any photos of this crumbling, damp shitbox?

Wot me, cynical?

How to treat your customers

When phoning to ask for a piece of information, unless you are sure the customer has screwed up, don't use language like "you didn't give us your..." as if you are in the wrong, you give the impression you are blaming the customer. Instead, assume you screwed up somehow or there was some miscommunication. Language like "we don't seem to have your..." is nicer.

Yes, my recruitment agency lost my Tax File Number Declaration. They phoned me with "you didn't give us your Tax File Number Declaration" when in fact I did. In their office. And handed it to them. Signed. With my Tax File Number on it.

Kind of interesting that they've discovered this today, when I was told my pay would be in my account by Wednesday.

Recruiter blacklist: Sapphire Technologies

I applied for a job advertised by these recruit-scum. Turns out they're flogging training, not jobs. I didn't hear from them, and saw the same ads getting posted day after day so I assumed there was something odd about them.

Just now I had a call from them trying to sell me training. Scum!

A quick look shows they're still advertising these illusory jobs.

Wonder if this breaks any laws?

Shittybank does it again

Last Friday I had a rather unfortunate experience with my bank card. It stopped working, with conflicting messages from different points: ATMs said "your bank is unable to process your transaction" while POS terminals just said "Declined" (just before the checkout clerk looks at you like you're a bum).

So I ring the bank and they lie to me twice. First they tell me that their fraud detection system has suggested there might be fraud on my account. Not unreasonable considering I've been buying lots of stuff all over the world for our big trip: train tickets in Germany, SIM cards from Switzerland and Hong Kong, flights and festival tickets in Denmark, hostels and trains in Spain. Fair enough, that's pretty unusual activity given my past usage. She then tells me that they called and left a message: they didn't; lie 1.

Next she goes through some of the transactions. The useless thing about all this is that for most of the transactions she couldn't tell me more than the date and the GBP amount. She couldn't even tell me the currency of the transactions, let alone the merchant putting the transaction through. I don't know about you, but I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the transactions I've made recently, converted into GBP!

Anyway, I get through that and figure it's _probably_ kosher, so she says she'll unlock my card. This will, of course, happen immediately. Lie 2 comes in and my card still doesn't work. Another call later in the day and, whaddaya know, it's not unlocked. Grrrr.

Fortunately Scott spotted me some cash for the gig we were going to. Thanks mate.

Now the interesting part: it seems that Shittybank's ATM network has been cracked. At least my situation wasn't as bad as this poor guy visiting Toronto.

Guardian starts spamming

The last two days, I've received emails through two addresses registered over the years with The Guardian. These were addresses used to register for competitions, forums etc. I never gave permission to be spammed with "GuardianUnlimited Today". That's rather sad as they used to be The Good Guys.

Fortunately, the addresses they were spamming are (or were, as you'll see) Sneakemail addresses. Sneakemail allows you to createdisposable email addresses for just these kinds of things. When they start spamming you, you know the source and how conned you into supplying the email address. What's more, once it starts getting spammed you can delete it. Lovely!