Saturday, October 14, 2023

How many servings?

4 people for tea, that’ll be a full packet of fish fingers.  My memory tells me that there’s 12 in a packet.  Always been 12 in that size box.  But now it’s 10.  What a useless number.  12 divides by 1,2,3 and 4 – so that’s quite a good spread of the number of people you might be feeding.  Or 4 meals for 1.  Or 2 meals for 2.    10 divides by 1 and er 2.  So assuming that most people will have 3 fish fingers it’s a shit number. I’m intrigued as to how many ‘servings’ they say that is.  Turns out it’s ‘approximately 3’ – it says so on the packet.  Without a ‘I mean, I know, right?  What are we like?!’

So it’s 2 ½ fish fingers each.  Shrinkflation.

On a similar theme I think the 1 Kg tubs of chocolates they’ve been shrinking down for years have finally reached the 500g I’ve been predicting.  


 Look out folks – “Your station gateway is transforming”.  This is a sign at Leeds railway station.  What can it mean?  Building work is what it means.  Accompanied by fences, cones, temporary walkways, barriers, kerbs and all sorts of general mayhem making it pretty impossible not to walk in front of cars.  Of the 5 words in that sign 2 seem to be useable in the sense of er, sense.  ‘Station’.  Yes, OK, you can have that one.   ‘Is’, OK, yes, OK in context that too.  But what can ‘your station gateway’ mean?  Do I have a station?  Do you have a station? Do we as a collective have a station?  I suppose we kind of do.  The station maybe.  I’d say ‘railway station’ though ‘train station‘ seems to have taken over.  But what is a ‘station gateway’?  Is it different to a station?  Is it a thing in itself or does it mean the gateway to the station?  But wouldn’t that be the entrance to the station?  Is it a ticket barrier (have they stopped using the phrase ‘revenue protection barrier’?  For the sake of taking the piss I hope not, for the sake of sanity I hope so).  

I fear that a ‘station gateway’ is indeed a concept.  A ‘destination’ as they say.  Translated as a ghastly shopping centre you have to endure on your way to a train.  The way the railways are ‘invested in’ by adding cafes and food places rather than actual trains.   

It's also ‘transforming’.  Do we stand and watch?  Is it doing it without help (as in transforming rather than being transformed) – and why is that different to ‘being changed’.  It seems that nothing can be changed or adjusted these days, it has to be ‘transformed’.  Hence the CEO or head of a charity or college or whatever who joins, has a massively expensive re-structure, decides on a hugely expensive vanity project then moves upwards before the shit hits the fan having ‘transformed the organisation into a basket case.  Maybe the station will transform into a big monstery truck or something?  

In the case of what will surely amount to adding some shops to the station making the trains really difficult to get to (I expect they think the modern St Pancras is a good thing) I guess the folly will lie in the modern buildings that will look smart for 3 or 4 years before the rust stains and damp patches appear and they get demolished 25 years later to make way for a similar building a few hireable floors higher.  And God help us if they still that fashion of putting some plant pots in the walls so they can use the word ‘green’, or even worse ‘sustainable’, in the publicity.  Gets it past the Council maybe until the plants all go in the bin 18 months later when the initial maintenance budget runs out.  For the moment it’s just a mess… 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Just give us yer money and **** off

 Why do companies act like they’re doing you a big favour by you giving them money?  And why do we have to do their work for them?

I’ve been filling in a form so that Royal Mail can swap my stamps to the new version with a barcode on – and hey, they’re much bigger so they’ll use more paper – great!  I have to Google what NVI stands for, find out how much the stamps currently cost (the answer is between 2 and 3 times what you’d expect), tot it all up, fill in a form, post it off and wait for replacements.  They give ‘examples’ of the kind of stamps that you can ‘swap out’ which, aside from the fact that they should provide a proper list not some examples doesn’t mention large letter stamps (surely quite common ones?) unless you search about.  All for their convenience it seems.  So they can provide innovative new products apparently and ‘improve security’.  Having used up a lot of my time.  Mm…

And while I’m on if you can be bothered check out the tangle about whether they’ve extended the deadline for ‘swapping out’ and using old stamps.  It’s something to do with the fact that they’re giving you more time but not extending the deadline.  By the way, are there other products you buy and are then forced to use by a certain date by the company that provided them?  Perhaps their management is a bit rubbish now half of them are in jail after the Horizon scandal.  Oh hang on…

Similarly, I do a big shop in Morrisons and how many tills do they have open?  The answer is none.  That’s Zero, not even a tobacco kiosk with a queue of 25 people.  When asked most people will guess that they only had one or two and that there was a massive queue while the supermarket has several staff floating round the self-service bit to sort out all the times it goes wrong and generally to make sure we’re not trying to rip them off in retaliation for ripping us off (we’ve all been wondering how increased energy costs doubles the cost of a particular product over a few months – I particularly notice the price of tinned grapefruit nearly doubling – presumably because of the closure of the Ukrainian grapefruit farms or something?) So it’s zero and I have to do it all myself with a massive queue behind me.  When the machine says I need a member of staff (to  check I’m over 18 it seems) I have to walk round half the shop looking for someone.  Similarly I key in ‘bananas’ (why am I going through menus on a screen just so I can give them my money?) and it says to place them in ‘the weighing area’.  I turn around to ask the queue if they know what that means.  No-one does though one bloke says ‘I think there might be on over there mate’.  Finally the single member of staff who’s looking after the entirety of the checkouts comes over and plonks the bananas down in what you or I might know as ‘the bagging area’. 

In other areas (let’s say gig and event tickets) the people selling you the tickets think it’s OK to insist that you have a working / charged phone that you must use (and no, you’re not allowed to print anything out) and in order to buy a ticket (for someone else in this case) you must sign up and have a ‘digital wallet’ in their app.  If you want to give someone a ticket as a present in some physical form just forget it – have a smartphone, have it charged, have reception, pay to use it, sign up to them, give them your money and **** right off, OK? I mean everyone has a phone right?  And no-one would ever need a back up in case they had no power or reception or their phone was lost or stolen would they?  That never happens. 

So…here I am resentful again about the set of so and sos who just want my money and seem to think I should do half their job for them, be grateful and just sod off.