Posted by: petedx | 07/09/2010

iPhones, Baths and Rainwater

Back in 2008 I brought my first iPhone. I waited for the 3g as I didn’t want to go back a step to GPRS/EDGE data speeds.

The phone survived a 4 foot drop onto a kitchen floor very early on. The case was damaged and after 15 months I finally lost the volume and mute buttons, resorting to using a paper clip to push what remained of the switches inside the case.

I persevered with it determined to make limp on out of contract, enjoying a reduced 1 month sim only contract until the iPhone 4 was released.

With a month to go until iPhone 4 launch day I had a night out in Brighton. I booked into a seafront hotel and got a free upgrade to a suite with a jacuzzi bath.

8 pints later I got back to the hotel room and decided to relax before bed with a bath and to read the newspaper on the iPhone. At 3am I awoke freezing cold, wet, still laying in the bath. The iPhone was laying at the bottom and was completely dead.

Luckily I had insurance and a trip to the Carphone Warehouse was needed. They confirmed the water damage in store. You could see the film of water between the glass and the screen. I was told that they can confirm most phones as water damaged and replace it immediately in store, but as it was an iPhone it had to be sent off to their main repair centre who then may pass it to Apple.

Three weeks later, the phone had been from the store, to the CPW repair centre, to Apple repair centre, each of them confirming water damage. Then Apple repair send a new handset to CPW repair centre, CPW repair centre then ‘test’ the new handset and finally pass it back to the store for collection.

In the meantime my insurance gave me a cover phone. It was a mid nineties Nokia which had lovely rubber buttons and you could only call, text and play snake on it. Absolute torture after having an iPhone for 18 months.

I finally had my hands on the replacement handset five days before iPhone4 launch day. I was disappointed that I had got another 3G after the guy in store told me it would most likely be a 3GS replacement, but still.

On iphone4 launch day I half decided to queue and attempt to get one. In Swindon (where I was working that week) at 8:40 am the Orange store had a queue of 4, Phones4u I think could not have any left as there was no queue, Carphone Warehouse a queue of 20 and o2 store must have been 200 minimum. My choice of network 3 were not offering it on launch day. I decided to wait a couple of weeks.

Then the ‘grip of death’ reports started to come out. To the point I decided to wait for longer and still enjoy the £15 a month sim only tariff I was enjoying on my old but now unlocked handset.

All was well until 2 weeks ago when I was putting up a tent in appalling rain. Knowing that iPhones do not like water very much I took it out of my soaked trouser pocket and placed it inside the tent for safety whilst I continued to put it up. However the rain continued and went straight through the inner tent before I had a chance to pull the waterproof outer over the top.

Inside there was a pool of water and floating inside it was the replacement iPhone!!! The screen was flickering and despite getting the hairdryer on it five minutes later the poor thing died. I sent it on its way with the best expletive hymn I could muster. The B, F and C words were used.

So. I write this on my new iPhone 4 on a new contract. The iPhone 3G is going through the three week process as before, but be damned if I was going to use that bloody emergency Nokia again!!

But now I know just how sensitive iPhones are to water expect me to be posting from a Blackberry next week.

PS No ‘grip of death’ experienced so far!

Posted by: petedx | 01/09/2010

Apostrophe Use

Let’s sort out the apostrophe use once and for all. God knows what they are teaching the kids in school these days!

Posted by: petedx | 05/08/2010

Kev Dickson

Take a look at Kev’s website for more info. A local Swindon artist who writes and performs his own work.

Kev Dickson

Posted by: petedx | 06/07/2010

Working for free at the supermarket

A pretty obvious one to go for but I’ll moan about it anyway based on too many recent experiences.

I always viewed people who use self scan checkouts at the supermarkets as having a sandwich short of a picnic. Supermarkets sell it to you as having a choice to beat the queue for your benefit. If only, it’s to reduce staff costs and maximize profit. We all know it but if it’s there and helps us get out the shop quicker…

I however am a stubborn bastard!

My take on it is, if a tin of fruit retails at 50 pence then that includes the cost of the goods plus the mark up.

Contained in the mark up is the costs of getting the goods to me, and the cost of a checkout person scanning it, the rest is profit for the store.

So if we assume even a modest 2-3p built in cost for checkout staff, if I use self scan then I would expect to have that 2-3p deducted. Otherwise I provided willingly greater profit for the store.

So for me to self scan one of two things need to happen:-

1. An automatic discount of x % of the final shop total.
2. For the self scan machine to time how long I have used the till and pay me a reasonable hourly rate pro rata once I have checked out. Why should I work for Tescbury’s for free?

But now this ‘option’ has started to be forced upon me and everytime I go in to buy a few items I have to explain the above thoughts to another member of staff who comes up to me wishing to help. It’s not their fault it’s the managers so I always treat the ones at the coal face with respect when I explain my objections.

Recent episodes:
Sainsbury’s Swindon
5 normal tills at the market end only 1 manned
4 self scan, 1 member of staff wandering about.
1 very long queue for the only manned till.
This happens every day.
I always have the self scan wanderer come up to me to joyfully show me how to save time by ‘playing shop’,

I say, had they opened all the manned tills I would not be in a queue that would then need me to ‘save time’ and provide them bigger profits.

I always explain, pay me, discount the shop, or open more tills before asking me to work as a checkout operator for free.

You can tell the throttling of the manned tills is deliberate to condition customers to help Sainsbury’s eliminate staff costs.

I have the same at Tesco’s. Their machines don’t recognise their own recycling bags so you get invalid items in the bagging area. Daft sods! I once saw a customer told by a supervisor he had to use them due having a few items!!

B&Q have taken the brave move in most stores in my area by only having one manned till and providing 8-10 shiny self scan machines. ‘Come over to these tills to save queuing’ they say. I
never had to queue before you removed the manned tills!! FFS!!

After 7pm (IIRC) I have noticed there is no choice in my local store, no manned till in the evening. That’s when I go to customer services and ask to pay. When I am directed to self scan I explain I am illiterate and need help to read the screen. They then check it out for me.

Stand up all resist this change, it’s not good for anyone. But if there are 10 manned tills all with queues with just one lonely self scan in the corner I think we can all be forgiven for using it as a genuine emergency.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Posted by: petedx | 01/06/2010

The tight fisted eco warriors.

I’m fed up with this bull shine that the tight fisted throw about their businesses and personal lives, using the environmental argument to justify them saving a few pennies.

Hotels with that lovely sign in the bathroom. “Do you really need fresh towels? If you do place them into the bath, doing our bit to help the environment by reducing cleaning chemicals and electricity use”.

Piss off! The environment was furthest from your mind, the need to reduce your costs was, and then to get away with the skimping you throw the environment angle in to make me feel guilty and to ‘assist’ you to reduce costs in the thin veil of doing my bit for global warming.

The camp site I stayed at recently stated on the shower door “Campers are to keep their showers to under 5 minutes for the sake of the environment.”. Er no I think you looked at the fuel bill and thought f**k prices have gone up again.

Travelodge are the masters of this, closely examine the room. 1 lightbulb will be missing out of every 4 lights, 1 screw missing out of every door hinge. Extra pillows are available on request. Look you sods one pillow is insufficient, don’t pull the environment crap at me over a sodding pillow. Fact is 1 missing item in every four saves 25% on costs, and the room just about manages to continue function.

So tight arse businesses, be transparent in your costs, increase or prices maybe, but stop using the emotional environmental card!

Posted by: petedx | 23/05/2010

BOX – Temptation Girl

Japanese super group Box sing Temptation Girl.

Posted by: petedx | 19/05/2010

The New Evening Local

Excellent food and real ales at The Smoking Dog in Malmesbury.

Rev James and Butcombe pints are very good.

Posted by: petedx | 12/05/2010

CONDEM nation

The continued absurdity of needing hybrid words to describe things continues with CONDEM nation. Maybe conjoured by a disgruntled Labour supporters or maybe just a bit of mickey taking by the press?

Personally the implication does not bother me just the fact that the word has been constructed.

Previous ones include
Susan Boyle : SuBo
John and Edward : Jedward
Jean Leggings : Jeggings

So can we please stop this constant fuckery (fuck and buggery) with words? Whoops! 🙂

Posted by: petedx | 03/05/2010

Apostrophe Fail

I don’t know when I see these whether I am more angry at the person who wrote it or the signmaker for not proof reading it.

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