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Guest Posts

Santander Re-Brand to San Tan D’uh

This is a guest rant post from the ever lovely Jules. She am the best.

Santander? Not so much.

I’m a pretty patient kind of a person. I honestly don’t mind waiting 20 minutes to speak to a busy customer care adviser. I mean they’re busy after all. In fact, I don’t even mind the 5 minutes it takes to enter my new telephone banking ID and pin (of which 3 minutes is spent trying the 2 different pins I was sent on the same day).

It might seem a bit odd that I can’t even talk to a human about my account without a login, but hey, for the sake of security, I don’t mind.

I guess that’s why I’m also pretty laid back when it takes a further 5 minutes to clear the security questions once I get through to said busy customer care advisor (note to self, shed some pounds, it’s darn right embarrassing to disclose that kind of weight to a total stranger).

But I guess where my patience tales off is thus:

BCCA = Busy Customer Care Advisor… Me = Me – clever, huh?

BCCA: One last security check before we proceed, can you just confirm your address Miss Lawrence?

Me: Why sure, it’s Lovely House, Quiet Road, Suburbia.

BCCA: Great, that’s what I have here. So, what can I do for you today?

Me: Well, my debit card, that awfully clever widget that lets me get my money out and pay for stuff like, oh I don’t know, food, well, it’s due to expire this month and you’ve not sent me a new one.

BCCA: Ah, I see the problem Miss Lawrence. We’ve updated your address on our systems but your postal address is still Noisy Flat, Busy Road, London. It’s been sent there.

Me: Oh, right. So I guess you thought I’d still like all my letters posted to my old address?

BCCA: Yes, that’s right Miss Lawrence, that was our thinking.

Me: Okey dokey. Um, so I guess we better cancel the new card and send me a new(er) one?

BCCA: Oh, well, we’d love to do that Miss Lawrence, we really would. The trouble is, the card was a replacement so it has exactly the same 16 digit card number as your current card. Oh and the same pin number. So we’d be cancelling both.

Me: Righhhht. Ok, so just so’s I’m clear, the new card, which doesn’t need to be activated with a new pin or owt, has been sent to someone who isn’t me. What happens if that person likes using clever widgety things to buy stuff like, I don’t know, high definition, flat screen TVs with built in 3D over the web?

BCCA: Well now, that is a conundrum. I guess we better cancel it Miss Lawrence.

Me: But then I can’t use my clever widgety thing to buy stuff like food?

BCCA: Now you’re getting it Miss Lawrence! Not for 10 days- that’s the legal requirement for sending out a new card btw.

Me: Ok, I guess I’m just a bit worried that I might get hungry or something.

BCCA: Oh no Miss Lawrence, you can get out money at your local branch. All you need is:

Photo ID
A bank statement
And proof of address (old and new)

We’re very good at security like that…

Said the man, working for the bank that sends identical cards to the wrong address.

Hmmm, that my lovelies is where my patience runs out. Santander, given your recent re-brand to San Tan D’uh, I’m moving to First Direct.

Middle Child Syndrome

Welcome my loves to this, an anonymous guest post. I’m sure you’ll agree it makes a welcome change from the shite which I normally spout – enjoy xxx

They say the middle child is prone to fall between two stalls: neither the first born nor the baby, it can be hard for them to get their fair share of love and attention. It’s a good theory; well, at least for the first 20 years. You see I’ve noticed something and I’m not sure if anyone else has? And it’s this…

Everyone talks about the middle child. There’s a syndrome dedicated to them when all is said and done. The parental world is wracked with guilt for them.  And if your middle child is anything like mine, they pick up on this pretty fast; admittedly maybe not when they’re children.

But that’s where the 20 years come in, see?

The baby got away with murder

and

The eldest got everything first

what parent could turn a blind eye to that kind of pull on the heart strings?

And so the tables turn.

I guess you could call it Karma. Maybe as the baby I did get away with murder? But I’d still like to count here and now, today. Not because of my age, not because I’m the baby, but because I’m me; one of three.

And if nothing else, because unlike the children with whole syndrome’s dedicated to them, I don’t believe I’m more or less special than my siblings.
Maybe one day my parents will have paid off their debt to our middle child. Or maybe I just need to invent a syndrome.

Whatever the case, I can’t help but feel I’m the one who’s fallen between the stalls…

Democracy… & My Friend Damon

Hello loves, this is guest post from the lovely Jules, about our very lovely friend Damon.

 

My friend Damon giggles when a manly laugh would be more suitable. My friend Damon giggles at his own jokes. He even giggles when they’re not that funny.

My friend Damon eats mayonnaise with everything. I worry about his cholesterol. Even our old boss worried about his cholesterol: when Damon took a sick day, his return-to-work interview revolved entirely around his mayonnaise consumption.

My friend Damon will not show up to a party without a bottle of wine or worse, a gift that only a true friend would bring. My only decent wine glasses are from my friend Damon.

My friend Damon is from Iran, and on the night of Saturday 13th June 2009, my friend Damon didn’t sleep.

He didn’t sleep because he sat up reading emails from his friends at the University of Tehran. He sat up waiting to hear if the siege had stopped; or if the bloody massacre had abated; but most of all, he stayed up to see if the government would finally let any medical aid in or out of the halls of residence.

He stayed up right until they started jamming the emails and blocking all communications.

Then he just stayed up.

 

I write this article on Thursday 18th June 2009. As you read it now, the situation may have resolved itself. Or it may not. Please go find go out.

 

Democracy is only a word until something is done.

The Fallout from the Iran Elections – Universities Under Attack

Dear readers, one of my very dear friends, Damon has asked me to post about the current situation in Iran in order to try to raise further awareness of the severity of the situation over there.

Damon is from Iran. He has been living and working in the UK for the past couple of years, but obviously still has many friends and family back home.

The following post is written by him, and contains accounts from his friends in Iran. 

Universities Under Siege – 5 Students Killed

Last night the Guard and Militia attacked the University of Tehran’s Halls of Residence and opened fire on the students, arresting some and destroying their rooms and property. The same thing has happened in the Isfahan Technical University. 5 students were killed.

Both universities are under seige. The students cannot get out or get medical attention as neither ambulances or medical staff are being allowed access.

Our friends who stay at the Halls of Residence were emailing us about this last night, but they have now lost internet access. Our other friends who live off campus nearby also heard gun shots during the night.

Jules WILL Learn Guitar

This is guest post from the lovely Jules, in response to Shooting for Mediocrity 

Sadly, due to creative differences our friendship is on hiatus… I’m hoping mediocre service will be resumed as soon as possible. We apologise for any delay caused to your onward journey.

I’m a little hurt. I sensed, at best a disbelieving; and at worst, a downright mocking tone to my beloved friend’s take on my learning guitar.

So, a comment just won’t do! I feel the need to write a response, and I’d like to call it “Why Jules will learn guitar!” So here goes…

Reasons why Jules will learn guitar:

  1. I’m pretty tall so I reckon I could definitely lift one up
  2. They’ve only got 4 strings (or is it 6?)
  3. I’ve seen those Guitar Hero ads – anyone can!
  4. My brother plays the guitar and he has children*
  5. I used to play the cello, which is basically just an upside-down guitar
  6. I’ve made it to the grand old age of 27 without any desperate desire to commit suicide or OD, so I’m already guaranteed to have much more longevity than any of the greats (sorry Jimi, Kurt and Jim – you were good in your own way, please don’t feel bad)

*I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but it sounds like a damn good reason.

And finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to say, I think it’s pretty unfair the way I come up with genius ideas for a website or a band with my mate Hannah, then she just hi-jacks them.

It’s almost as though she has more get-up-and-go than… oh sod it, I’m having a biscuit…

But then I’m learning to play guitar!