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This is a question Sticking it to The Man

From little victories over your bank manager to epic wins over the law - tell us how you've put one over authority. Right on, kids!

Suggestion from Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic

(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 16:01)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

A ltter two teh ferrys
As it's Fathers Day, I think I should treat you to the tale of when my dad finally swallowed his pride and asked me for help. There's two things you should know prior to this story: 1. My father and I get along like kittens and a lawnmower. I've undergone 22 years of physical and psychological hell at his hands, only staying because a bunch of Tories got together 30 years ago and decided to make it impossible for me to get a place of my own while simultaneously affording luxuries such as gas, electricity and food. We exchange maybe two sentences a month. 2. Helen Keller could write a better letter than my father. Anyway, here we go....*wavy lines*

A few months back, the rest of the Badger family are off on a day trip to France. I'm not invited. After doing their bit of shopping and whatnot, they go to head back on the ferry. The bloke at the stall points out that my Dad, somehow, misbooked the tickets to state he'd be coming back a month later, not the same day. It's a choice of spending a month in France, or coughing up £80 to rectify the error. They choose the latter. The next day, Dad is at the computer writing a letter, giggling. He prints it off and shows it to my mother with pride, going on about how 'the bastards will pay'. She goes to the kitchen, tears welling up. Me being a curious chap, I take a look when he's not about. Below is the gist of the message:

'Dear Sir:

We booked a ticket with your company on [this day], aiming to come back the same day. I realise now that my wife must have made a mistake as I have never gotten it wrong myself in the past, and we were charged 80 quid to come back. Clearly she shouldn't have been allowed to book the tickets herself because she's dyslexic. If you give me my money back we'll call it even.

Thank you

Mr Badger'


'Well,' I thought 'I think I know how this is going to end.' Sure enough, a week later a letter arrives telling Dad in as many words that a) it was his own silly fault b) his letter was incredibly sexist and c) stop wasting their time. Faster than I could say 'I told you so', the letter is thrust upon me and I'm told that I'm far better qualified to do this than he is, so why don't I stop smirking and solve this problem myself. Yes, where I come from, that's the closest I've gotten to my father passing the torch. I got to work:

'To whom it may concern,

I am writing in regards to the aforementioned letter from my father in dispute of the additional charge incurred at his own ineptitude. I would like to apologise for the ill-mannered and sheer incompetence in which he addressed you. Clearly, he was in the wrong, and made a laughing stock of himself under the misguided ideal of redemption. However, to pin the problem on the dyslexia of his wife of 25 years when the fault was in reality his own, is barbaric at least. We don't want the £80 back, but would you please reply consoling my mother that the guilt shouldn't be hers?

Regards,

Foxy Badger'

I didn't expect to hear anything back. A fortnight later, I get a letter from the company.

'Dear Foxy,

Attached is a cheque for £80, addressed to you. Buy your mother something nice. There's nothing wrong with being dyslexic.'

We went out for a fancy meal with the rest of the family. Dad wasn't invited. In reflection, I feel rather fluffy.
(, Sun 20 Jun 2010, 17:12, 21 replies)
Clamp it to the man
A few years back I was delivering tons of stuff to my University department (in Lincoln) to help set up my final show. I came downstairs after delivering the final load to find that my sh*tty old Ford Fiesta had been clamped by some vicious fascist clamp bastard. Considering how little the car was worth, and considering how skint I was, there was no way in hell I was going to pay the 80 quid fine. Little did he know that because my car was so sh*t, I carried a nearly complete tool set in the boot. Half an hour later my suspension was disassembled and I had removed the wheel, suspension strut and lower wishbone (car gubbins to those who don't know) and the clamp was safely removed. Another half an hour later and I had reassembled the car and was on my way. One week later I get a letter through the door from Mr clamp bastard asking where their clamp was, so I phoned them up and explained that...
"Someone illegally altered and modified my vehicle without my prior consent, this illegal addition to my vehicle was removed and was safely disposed of by flinging it into the River Witham."
They never did get back to me. :D
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 19:32, 10 replies)
Every little helps
I paid my speeding fine with my Tesco Credit Card.
So in fact crimes does pay. It pays in clubcard points.
(, Tue 22 Jun 2010, 11:06, 15 replies)
British Gas took Dad to court
As a teenager I lived with the parents in a new house which, due to my Mum's demands on the builder, had no gas whatsoever. An all electric house.

So when the gas meter man knocked on the door one day and I answered it he said he was here to read the meter. I pointed to the cupboard outside. "That's the electric meter" he says, "it's the only meter I know of" says I. "It's probably inside, can I come in?" he asks, "No." I say simply because I didn't want some perve with a beard looking around the house for a non-existent meter. "I'll have to estimate it then" was his parting comment.

That got the ball rolling, as some weeks later we got our first estimated gas bill to a house with no gas supply. Dad ignored it.

That bill became a red one, then another red one. Then came the threats of court action etc etc. Dad was clearly enjoying this and kept quiet while all the paperwork arrived.

In time a lady called at the door asking if we were having trouble paying. "I don't think I have to pay it" says Dad. This clearly made up their mind that we were being stubborn and Dad was summonsed to the court to defend his case of why he'd not paid the gas bill.

I gather the court process took less than 10 mins and went along the lines of:

Blah blah blah - you've not paid, taking services without payment, breach of contract etc.
My Dad's defence was a one liner: "I don't have an account with British Gas and the house doesn't have a gas supply".

Red faces on the BG side of things who decided they'd have to check their records.

My Dad was able to claim from them for his time, travel, inconvenience etc etc whilst they also had to pay their own costs simply because they couldn't actually be bothered to check if we actually had a gas supply.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 12:40, 16 replies)
Hm
Quite a few years ago (mid-1980s) a friend of my grandfather had a dispute with the Inland Revenue over his tax return. Letters were exchanged with increasing ire on both sides until the elderly gentleman snapped and started writing two or three letters a day to the Revenue. They replied, demanding he stop writing to them so often. He then took it to the next level and started putting the stamps on the envelopes in odd places (halfway down the back, upside down at the bottom below the address). As the story was told to me, this meant that the letters had to be hand processed by the Royal Mail as the sorting machine couldn't read the stamp. So the Royal Mail attach irate notes to the letters asking the recipient to tell the person writing to them to put the stamp in the right place. Sure enough, the next letter my grandfathers friend gets has a PS asking him to ensure that he stamps the envelope correctly.

My grandfathers friend considered this request, mulling it over in the British Legion, then promptly sat down and wrote five letters to the Revenue with the stamps all over the place. Again they write back to him. This goes on for some time. Eventually they cave in, accept they made a mistake, refund his money, and plead with him to correctly address and stamp any letters to them.

This OAP anarchist had one last letter to send. He got a large envelope, put a stamp smack bang in the middle, wrote the address in a spiral around it, and enclosed a single sheet of paper that said:

"Dear Sir,

Hey diddle diddle
The Stamp is in the middle

yours sincerely,

Annoyed OAP"
(, Mon 21 Jun 2010, 1:26, 4 replies)
The Honda Accord (*) Tax Disc of Justice
Well, if weíre doing correspondence...

Not so much sticking it to the man, more life conspiring to stick it to the man for me.

I got the first letter about six months after I bought my tax disc. The entire correspondence (which was pre email being used as the primary communication tool) took place over the following six months. Note: exact wording may have been changed.

Dear Ms Rakky,
It has come to our attention that during the purchase of your most recent vehicle tax disc, the moron at the post office charged you the incorrect amount for the disc. Thus we require you to return the disc to us immediately so that we can issue you with a new one, reflecting the correct price and send you the balance which you have over paid of £1.73.
Lots of love
The DVLA


Dear DVLA,
Gosh, thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I would be happy to do so, but, could you please advise me? My car is parked on the street; removing the tax disc will mean that it will be sat there untaxed, I wonít be able to drive it until you issue the new disc and I donít really want to incur the wrath of the Old Bill. What should I do about this?
Kisses
Rakky

Dear Ms Rakky,
Further to our previous correspondence it has come to our attention that you have not returned your tax disc as requested. Naughty naughty. Please do this immediately, or bad things will happen to you.
All the Best
The DVLA


Dear DVLA,
Hi again, thanks so much for getting back to me. See, the problem is, as I pointed out, if I send you my tax disc, I have no tax disc. Will your records show that my vehicle is taxed, but there is no disc? So if there is a problem with the police theyíll be able to see that itís all fine? I really donít know how this works. I have no problem complying with your request, Iíd just like a bit of help. I tried calling your help line (you should really think about changing the name of it by the way, maybe to ďSitting on hold being shunted from department to department until youíre finally cut off lineĒ, it would be more accurate.)
Take care now,
Rakky

Dear Ms Rakky,
Further to our previous correspondence it has come to our attention that you have not returned your tax disc as requested. Weíre going to come round and put salt in your sugar bowl and read your diary and make a kitten wee on your pillow, just out of spite, because we donít like evil little girls who donít send their tax disc back we when ask them to.
Cheers
The DVLA


Dear DVLA,
Oh please donít do that, I donít want kitten wee on my nice fluffy pillow. See, I just want you to send me a piece of paper, like a letter, like the ones you keep sending me, saying that youíre replacing the disc. I donít think thatís a lot to ask, really. I just really donít want my car parked on the street without a disc, nor do I want to be pulled over for driving a car with no tax disc visible. I got pulled over by a shouty policeman once before, I didnít like it and it made me a bit scared, so Iíd prefer it not to happen again. Iím a very law abiding person and Iím really only asking for some advice here. I tried phoning again, but a welsh lady answered and gave me another number to call and when I called it made that screechy fax machine noise so I called her back but itís been engaged for 3 days Ė do you think she may have left the phone off the hook or fallen and not been able to get up? I hope she's okay...
Anyway, hope youíre enjoying the sunshine!
Rakky

Dear Ms Rakky,
Send us your tax disc or weíll have you deported. To Iran. Where your sort belong.
Warmest Wishes
The DVLA


Dear DVLA
Please find enclosed my tax disc as requested. Sorry if itís a bit crispy round the edges. My car got nicked by a bunch of chavs in Bristol and was found as a burnt out shell in Hartcliffe, so Iíve had to have it scrapped. Ironically, this happened on the day before I went to buy a new tax disc as this one was about to expire. Isnít life funny like that, eh? Donít worry, Iíve done all the paperwork and I guess I wonít need this disc anymore. Anyway, you can call off the ninja kittens now.
Itís been a rollercoaster and Iíll miss our chats.
Rakky

I got a cheque for £1.73 in the post a week later. I spent it on pop and crisps.

(*) Actually a Vaxhaull Nova, but let's face it, no one ever shagged a supermodel or did massive drugs in one of those.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 13:33, 26 replies)
Pearoast from the captain
As I am a salesman (what's the difference between a salesman and a rep I hear you ask? About £20k/yr) I use the road system a LOT. One day a few years ago I was stopped on the slip from the M69 on to the M1 by the police. There were about 8-10 cars all stopped with 3 police cars at the front. I noticed while waiting that all of the cars were newish mondeo/vectra/passat types with single occupants all in suits. Sales types.
So! When the noddy PC arrived at my car I wound down the window. He stuck his head in and asked, very politely "Good morning sir, sorry for the inconvenience but, can I ask where you're going?" To which I replied, equally politely "no officer".
He appeared taken aback somewhat and said "pardon?".
The conversation went like this from then on
"No I won't tell you where I'm going"
"Sir I must ask you again, where are you going?"
"I'm not going to tell you"
After several rounds like this the Johnny-no-stars PC (I still have his collar number) went to get reinforcements.
Over waddled a Sergeant. Sergeant says "Sir, we require to know where you're going"
I replied "Unless you tell me why, I'm not going to tell you".
By this time quite a queue had formed behind me and something of an audience was earwigging.
Sergeant spoke on his taking brooch for a little while. A higher-ranking policeman turned up, somewhat younger than both coppers (and myself!)
"Be reasonable sir, we only want to know where you're going" said the young officer "and, if you'd take my advice and answer you'll get to your destination a lot quicker".
I calculated that enough of a crowd had formed by this time and, as I was out of the car by now, it was time to let them have it.
"RIGHT! You may ask my name and address. You may ask to see the documents for the car. You may ask to see my driving licence. However, as a freeborn Englishman on the Queen's highway going about my lawful business YOU MAY NOT ASK WHERE I'M GOING".
They appeared a tad crestfallen by this time. To add insult to injury I then said "Now are you going to tell me why I and all of these motorists have been stopped? Or am I going to call your Chief Constable?"
The three were standing like naughty schoolboys at this point.
One piped up (to glares from the others) "We're checking that you've budgeted enough time for your journey"
THAT. WAS. IT.
I replied very icily and loudly enough so that the other drivers could hear
"You mean to say that I and these other drivers are being held on suspicion of "driving with intent to speed"!?" "As far as I am aware there is no such offence officers and, unless you are going to arrest me, get out of my way". After scrutinising my documents and the car (4 days old)and finding nothing untoward they obviously decided that discretion was the better part of valour and were about to wave me on (I had all their collar numbers by now) As they trudged defeated to their cars, I wound down the window and as a final remark I said to the young ranking officer "by the way, as to taking your advice? I own shoes older than you!".
I could see him in the rear view mirror, shoulders slumped, with his two cronies giggling behind him as I drove away.
Cheered me up no end!
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 22:57, 22 replies)
The TV License people. Again
A lot of people have already posted about how they don't own a television and the TV licensing people refuse to believe them. In a way, if you don't have a TV you are unusual - figures from the TV Licensing Authority suggest that 99.5% of households in the country have a telly in them and such is the ubiquity of the gogglebox that the Joseph Rountree Foundation uses non-ownership of one as an indicator of poverty (this surprises me, as the people I know who don't own a TV tend to be both better educated and in better jobs than the average).

There are distinct advantages to not owning a TV. I don't run the risk of wasting my time watching witless crap like Eastenders, X-Factor, Big Brother or the new Doctor Who, and anything decent like Life on Mars I can pick up DVDs of at Cash Converters six months after they come out. However, the disadvantage of not owning a TV is that I occasionally get threatening letters warning me that if I don't buy a license for something I don't have I could go to prison.

In the past I've written back to them pointing out that I don't actually own a TV so would they stop contacting me, but as a tactic this obviously hasn't worked because another letter arrived at David Towers recently suggesting, once again, that any moment now a television inspector might be rolling up at my door and if I don't fancy a hefty fine it would be in my interests to send them a fat cheque right now.

It's the hectoring tone which rankles most - the problem with Civil Servants is that despite the name of their chosen profession they are neither civil nor servile and this really gets my goat. This, coupled with a presumption of guilt and ignoring my sterling rebuttals of their accusations in the past, means I have taken a new strategy in my ongoing correspndence with the TV license authority.


Dear Mr. XXXXXX

Many thanks for your letter of 18/5/10 which I received today. I would refer you to my correspondence of [dates] 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and early 2009 in which I informed the TV licencing authority that I do not own any form of visual broadcast receiving equipment, but the futility of referring your organisation to previous correspondence has now become clear.

You have now been threatening to send an inspector to my address 'soon' for more than nine years. I would put it to you that nine years after your initial promise is now longer 'soon'. Indeed, I would call it 'tardy', or possibly even 'sluggish', 'unpunctual' or even 'dilatory'. I'm glad I did not take any time off work to wait for your promised inspector, because I would have run out of holiday long before now.

You may be surprised to learn that I have no great desire to be visited by some jobsworth functionary with a peaked cap and bristling moustache (who will undoubtedly rifle my underwear drawers when I'm not looking) to demonstrate that I am in fact telling the truth when I say I haven't got a TV. However, I was prepared to put up with this offensive intrusion if it would get you to leave me alone.

With the receipt of your latest letter, and the non-appearence of your long-promised, never delivered inspector, I have come to a shocking conclusion; it is not I who am the liar, it is you and your agency. This 'television inspector' whom you have threatened me with for years is never coming at all.

With this in mind, I am issuing you the following challenge. If the Inspector whom you have been promising me would be visiting 'soon' for the last nine years has not visited me by July 30th, 2010, I shall take this as your personal permission, as a representative of the Television Licencing Authority, for me to go out and buy the biggest, most illegal television I possibly can and watch it until I am blue in the face. Furthermore, I shall take a failure to repond to this as your agreement to indemnify me against any and all fines, fees, charges, costs, forfeits and levies which I might incur resultant to this action.

I must ask that you cease your presumption of guilt against me forthwith and send your inspector - as you have repeatedly promised to do - by the end of next month. They will easily recognise my house. It is the one with the large and shiny new television aerial which I look forward to using after August 1st.

Yours, etc,


I'll let you know if they reply.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 12:04, 20 replies)
To all the people with the ĎHark at me! I shoplift! Awesome!í stories Ė
Do you really think youíre Ďsticking it to the maní? Do you really think that corporate will ever Ė EVER Ė take a wage cut owing to rampant shoplifting? Oh, Gosh, the fat man in the suit says, shoplifting is up. Iíd better rethink that emerald toilet.

Of course bloody not. Theyíll fire the single mum with the Saturday job. Theyíll ditch the person who needs the money the most. Youíre not acting as a modern day Robin Hood and I wonít pat your bloody back.

I donít want to worry my pretty little head about the lawlessness, the morality or the general human indecency of theft Ėyouíre fucking over people who need money more than you do. But go on, use your excuses about how Tesco has loss margins to cover your theft habit, maaaaaaaan.

You. You there. Shoplifters. You donít know what it is like to be poor. You donít know what it is like to be starving. Youíre just stealing lipstick from Boots because you want to be pretty and you donít want to have to pay for it.

When did this myth start that shoplifting is a good thing?
(, Mon 21 Jun 2010, 15:14, 22 replies)
How I stuck it to the bitch in charge
Once upon a time I worked in a residential home. Although those who lived there became residents before they needed nursing care the home operated what was cheerily called a 'till death policy' which meant the home would cater, as much as it was able, for the changing needs of the residents stepping up to nursing care where required.

I was a young 17 year old girl, my career advisor had told me to that I would be suited to becoming a nurse. I quickly secured a job at this exclusive residential home in a very upmarket location on the Wirral. The home looked like a beautiful place to live: large open living rooms, a large dining room with linen table cloths, everywhere was carpeted with expensive looking swirly carpets, high ceilings, large doorways. The interview process was brief: I confirmed my name and interest in the position, was issued with a uniform and told to arrive at 8.00am the following morning. I was contracted to work 36 hours per week.

The work at first was hard and soul destroying. As I was the most recent recruit the tradition was that you are made responsible for residents who are incontinent. I was given no training on how to change residents to ensure their dignity and no manual handling training. At the time I was too eager to be well liked and progress that I didn't speak up. I was also shit scared of the manager who had a sharp tongue.

After I'd gotten over the initial shock of what the work entailed little details began to cause me real concern. The heating was on high 24 hours a day to keep the residents warm, it also kept the staff in thick cotton uniforms and tights a veritable candida breeding ground. However the itchyness of my muff was not my concern. The servery which housed cups, plates and glasses was also home to the condiments which accompanied the residents' meals. Huge wholesale containers of Happy Shopper mayonnaise and tartar sauce. Checking the labels of these hydrogenated fat filled vats of cholesterol, becoming translucent in the heat confirmed they did contain egg. That's right, egg based product held unrefrigerated in the equatorial temperatured servery being dipped into with buttery knives meant cross contamination was rife.

It was common knowledge amongst the staff that many of the residents were thought to be weak stomached, suffering from diarrhea and vomiting with reasonable regularity. Being keen of eye and shy of mouth I began to keep watch of which residents were ingesting the foul salmonella laced condiments and sure enough they were being ill. I voiced my concerns to the nursing home manager as tactfully as I could, she went ape shit and accused me of being a mole from the environmental health, called me a busybody and a jobs worth and made me feel like shit for speaking up about the health of the residents. She then proceeding to make my life increasingly difficult for the next week. She locked the incontinence pads cupboard and then went out shopping meaning I had to leave residents in filthy soaking pads for hours with no means to change them. She put me on the bath rota for 5 residents per evening meaning I had to rush the weekly baths and upset the residents.

In short - she was an evil bitch.

I started to notice more and more things. There was a cook in employment by the home who prepared the meals for the residents. The kitchen, in the basement, was a complete health hazard. None of the sides had been cleaned properly in a long time, there was raw meat in the fridge above cooked meat, supposedly vegetarian meals were made with beef dripping. One resident's special dietary requirements of low potassium were completely ignored.

Fast foward about four weeks I come down with a terrible chest infection. I really shouldn't go into work for risk of infecting the residents. The elderly with weakened immune systems could quite easily be finished off by a chest infection. I called up the manager and said that I had a chest infection, she lambasted me on the phone and told me I must come in as noone could cover my shift. I arrived at 8.00am just as my colleague who had covered the night shift was leaving, she met me at the staff entrance with the message "[the manager] says that if you're not well to go home because she doesn't want to listen to you moaning". I saw red, not only because I had a dragged myself in partially out of fear and partially from a mistaken sense of duty when I was very unwell but to met with that message made my blood literally boil. I stomped into the staff room slamming my feet on the parquet floor to show my annoyance. The manager looked up from her morning cigarette with disbelief at the level of noise I was causing. Before she could speak I barked

"SHALL I GO HOME THEN? BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO LISTEN TO ME MOANING?"

She looked away amused and said 'Yes' dismissing me with a flick of her hand.

"RIGHT THEN, GOOD LUCK FINDING SOME NEW STAFF"

And with that I unzipped my stripey green uniform, stepped out of it and marched out in my bra and tights, my head held high. Two days later I received a letter from management stating that I wouldn't be paid my owed wages due the manner of my resignation and not working the required notice period. I wrote them a very polite letter back stating that they were legally obliged to and also referencing in a veiled threat that I had never signed anything to say I opted out of the 48 hour working week arrangement (I had regularly been working over 60 hours per week). Within two days I received a cheque for my owed wages. I then shopped the fuckers to the Care Standards Authority and the Environmental Health.

The home was sold shortly afterwards to a private Healthcare agency who took it over and improved the standards so I heard from my former colleagues.

Bastards, served them right.
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 21:12, 12 replies)
The Place: Small supermarket branch in the UK. The Time: The morning of the second Sunday in November.
The Background: Quoting Wikipedia; "In the United Kingdom, although two minutes of silence are observed on 11 November itself, the main observance is on the second Sunday of November, Remembrance Sunday."

(skip to end for summary)

As the shift began early that morning, we asked the boss what the plans were for later on. We were told that company policy was for the silence to be observed only on the 11th, a couple of days previously, and that we were to keep trading as normal today. He was one of the better managers, known to sometimes break unjust rules in the interests of his staff; and he seemed to be making it clear that this was what only the company wanted, distinct from his own opinions; maybe that's what triggered what happened later.

Mutters of discontent led into a rebellious air as the morning progressed. Due to the circumstances of rota and timing; most of us Sunday shift staff had not been on duty on the 11th itself, so (aside from wearing poppies) we hadn't yet been able to show respect in some small way by laying down tools. Many of us were angered at headquarter's apparent fear of 'losing' even a couple of minutes-worth of profits - I mean, if someone's already in the shop at the time, they 'd just be paying slightly later; so where's the harm?. The dissent crystallised into rare agreement amongst the workforce: in a feat of unified rebellion not seen before or since; we decided to do it anyway, and to heck with what the company wanted. Although it barely compares, it was sort of our own 'christmas armistice'.

10:58 clicks over to 10:59; and we're underway. We see the boss is safely out of the way doing paperwork in his office; he's a half-decent one, but he's still a manager. With few words and knowing nods, we move into final position; most workers to stand by at the checkouts, me to the front door to discretely intercept people as they enter. A radio, smuggled out the warehouse, is switched on for timing.

11:00 arrives, in the broadcast from distant whitehall, the cannon fires then the radio falls silent; the conveyor belts are switched off, cashiers and customers join in dignified silence. A couple of customers wander in during the next two minutes, but with a simple gesture to my watch they immediately understand and join us.

11:02 arrives, "Last Post" starts playing; with honour satisfied and dignity intact we start things up again. I'd like to have done more, it felt wrong not to wait at least until "The Rouse", but we're not on parade and we're pushing our luck as it is. The manager had CCTV monitors in his office, but if he saw anything he wisely said and did nothing about it. Sometimes I think he expected defiance and just let us get on with it. But in any case:

That year, at least in our branch; a disgraceful order was soundly ignored, and the wheels of commerce were briefly paused while respect was paid.

(summary: Shop staff unite to disobey direct order not to show respect)
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 17:29, 5 replies)
My Younger Brother...
..is only 5 and like most boys his age is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. I was looking after him for a day just before Christmas and I had to go to a supermarket (the name of which is an anagram of 'Tesco')to stock up on food etc.

We ventured down the toy aisle and he spotted the latest toy engine, one that he didn't have,and one that I knew was on his Christmas list. Being the great brother I am, I said that he could have it early as he'd behaved so well.

At the checkout, there were a few issues when it came to scanning the item, and it wasn't registering a cost. A manager was called over who informed me that the particular model was not in fact meant to be on display until a weeks time, and that they would not be able to sell it to me.

Obviously, I kicked up a fuss and my brother was starting to get a bit upset upon hearing he could not have the toy. After a heated discussion, the manager agreed to sell it to us at the price of the other similar trains.

As we left the checkout, my brother turned to the checkout assistant and said, "You should have more respect for children, you should, because we aren't inferior", which had me in fits of giggles. I don't know where he picked such a phrase up from.

The train was on sale the next week, for £10 more than what I paid. Take that, Tesco.
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 10:30, 8 replies)
Clampers
Quite a few years ago now, Mrs. Linbox popped out on Friday night to collect a Chinese takeaway and arrived home in a bit of a state because her car had been clamped. I drove up there to check it out and she had parked in an empty 100+ space carpark opposite the takeaway, which was protected by a private clamping company. I doubt the office occupants intended to prevent people from parking there at night, but the clamper wanted his pound of flesh. Sadly for him, he couldn't produce any ID, so I phoned the police and reported what looked like a giant attempted fraud. God bless 'em, but it must have been a quiet shift because Hampshire plod turned up in droves - three cars, two motorbikes and all of them with their blue lights flashing away merrily for the hour+ they were there, preventing anybody else from getting caught. They made the "operator" get his boss out of a dinner party to answer questions and produce paperwork, before having to admit defeat. After a VERY long time buggering about, I paid the fine.

And wrote down all the contact numbers from the signs in the carpark. And then found out the phone numbers for the head office of the clamping company. And then went into work Saturday morning and fed all the numbers into a computer based dialling system that phoned each number in turn every 15 seconds.

Twenty-four hours a day.

For two weeks.


Take that you fuckers!
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 19:03, 4 replies)
Have a pea
In mid 2005 I changed jobs and went to a crappy little place that never paid wages on time and was a dingy crap-hole.
The first time I was due to be paid it was about 7 days late, meaning that all my direct debits etc... bounced. The bank charged me about 400 quid that month.
This continued for about the next 13 months, until I read a few books about contract law and discovered that to penalise a party to a contract for a breach was unlawful. I wrote to the bank and told them this and demanded the dosh back (about 6k by this point). They refused, and ultimately I sued them in the county court.
Their solicitors wrote to me and demanded that I withdraw. I refused. They paid up in full, but part of the settlement was that I agree to confidentiality.
I told them that if they wanted to keep their dirty little secret that it would cost their client 50k.
They refused (and just paid up) on the grounds that their client didn't believe I could cause them 50k's worth of damage.

So I set up a website (consumer action group if anyone's interested), letting people know about how to get their dosh back from banks if they'd been charged.

I advertised it, phoned newspapers, wrote to the CAB, MP's etc...

I now have 140,000 - (now, 260,000) members and have cost the banks at least 100 million quid in the last 2 years.

That'll learn the f*ckers!

(sadly I don't think it will - 100 million is bugger all to these money grabbing capitalist scum - still I like to think it at least hurts a little)
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 16:16, 12 replies)
Up yours, copper.
New Year's Eve 1999/2000

My (ex) wife's father has a chauffeur company, and I was working the millennium evening for him. In a Chrysler Voyager of all things.

I'd taken a group to Chelsea Harbour in London, and stayed with the other chuaffeurs while Hooray-Henry and Chums got more and more stocious. At least the organisers ensured that we had food and drink laid on for us.

Come about 2am, my party (of about 5) are ready to leave. The nearest one lived in West Wycombe, so off we set along the A40 out of London to drop hime (or her) off.

Now, bear in mind that this lot are all city types, and pretty much off their trollies, but I'm keeping them in check, and they're not being too rowdy.

As we cross over the M25, I spot a Police Patrol Car pull onto the motorway from the slip road. It's now about 2:30, nothing on the road, so he accelerates to pull past us. As he does so, I see the passenger glance in our direction, say something to his colleague and point at us.

He pulls past us, tucks into the lane in front of me, and slows down. This forces me to overtake him, and, when I tuck back in, he just sits on our tail.

"Oh" thinks me.

My turning is coming up, so I indicate to pull off. He does the same.

"Oh, oh" thinks me.

"Guys, I think we're going to be pulled over" I intone, to the sort of cacophony normally associated with the pub after a rugby match.

Sure enough, as soon as I'm on the sliproad, on come the blue lights.

I drive down to the roundabout at the bottom of the sliproad, turn left, and pull over as soon as it is safe to do.

The Police car pulls up, the passenger gets out, and walks to the car, making a big show of looking around it and searching for something to nick me for.

Finally he approaches the driver's door, and taps on the window. Imagine Reg Holdsworth from the Bill. Very officious.

As I wind it down, the waft of alcohol nearly knocks him over. I can visible see him reel.

"Good evening, sir. Can I ask where you're coming from?" says he.

"London, officer" says I.

"At a party, were we?" says he.

"Well, we were" says I.

"Had anything to drink at all?" says he.

"Errm, I think about three or four pints" says I.

"And do you think you are safe to drive with that in your system?" says he.

"Errm, yes?" I hazard.

"Well, I don't. Please take the keys out of the ignition, and step out of the car" says Officer Pompous. Oooo, he's so excited, he's got me.

So, I do, and he leads me to the Police Car, and gets me to sit in the back seat.

All this time, his colleague, a portly, jolly fellow is sitting behind the wheel smiling gently to himself.

"Right, I'd like you to blow into this" says PC McSquirt, proferring a roadside breathtest kit. "Just keep blowing untill I tell you to stop".

I do so.

Green light.

He looks at the kit as if offended. Gets out a new mouthpiece, and fits it to the machine.

"Let's try again, shall we?" says he.

I comply.

Green light.

"I thought you said you'd had something to drink tonight" says PC Bemused.

"I have" says I. "About three or four pints. Could be more."

"Well, this machine says otherwise" says Pc Copper Plod-Mc-Plod.

"Did you aske him what drink he'd had to drink?" says PC Santa laconically from the front of the car.

Cue colour drain from PC Full-Of-Self's face.

"What did you drink?" he says, spittle at the corner of his mouth.

"Errm, orange juice and apple juice" says I.

"Ahh" says PC Egg-On-Face. "Why didn't you say?"

"You didn't ask" says I.

PC Happy-Chappy now takes over. He admonishes PC Tail-Between-Legs (and myself for "wasting Police time") and sends me on my way.

As we pull away (to cheers from the crowd in my car), I can see PC-My-Bumhole-Is-Now-Tighter-Than-A-Cat's being yelled at by his colleague.

Not so much sticking it to the man, but more not stopping him sticking it to himself.

And it was worth a few substantial tips, as I regaled the passengers with the full details.
(, Tue 22 Jun 2010, 12:33, 10 replies)
Stairlift to heaven
Dr Fishfinger's story about Safestyle UK has reminded me of my Nan's victory over telesales.

She was plagued with endless phonecalls from peddlers and snake oil salesmen who like to prey on the elderly and vulnerable. I signed her up to the TPS and that cut a lot of them out, but some of these bastards just don't quit.

One company that was particularly virilent kept trying to sell her a stairlift. In the end she just gave up, talked to the guy about her hip replacement for half and hour and how it'd certainly help to have a stairlift to get up stairs.

It ended up with one of their goons coming round to give her the hard sell and quote for installing a spanking new stairlift... in her bungalow. They never called again.

We miss you Nan xx
(, Mon 21 Jun 2010, 14:41, 2 replies)
Bringing home the bacon
I'm one of those passive-agressive souls who loves nothing more than fighting the establishment (those bastards) in disputes from deposits to item returns, and after a briefly-lived career as my office's go-to guy for those looking to get their bank charges overturned, I cant say I feel anything more than humbled to finally be portrayed as 'the man' in this following tale...

I'll introduce firstly our protaganist, Ryan. Ryan is the brother of my former housemate, 17 with 2 kids and no qualifications after spending most of his childhood in a young offenders' institute, and in that gaping void of education Ryan would pop over our place most days of the week to freeload us of our internet bandwidth and read up on conspiracy theories. Lots of conspiracy theories.

There was the pretty bog standard stuff to begin with; 9/11 organised by George Bush Jr, dollar bills predicting the destruction of the Pentagon, Freemasons and Jews controlling society; the general crock of shit that gets 3,000,000 views on Youtube.

After a while, Ryan began spouting utter tripe about secretive cults stealing original holy scriptures and keeping them locked up in Alaska, his abduction by aliens, and, most interestingly, how meat products are injected with the eggs of maggots who burrow into your brain and control your thoughts. Apparently after smoking himself onto a stupor on our sofa while watching something about food hygiene on the Discovery Channel, 'the truth' came to him, and we'd all get it in the ear daily if he so much as saw a meat product in our possession.

Obviously, the Freemasons had planned that one, and that's why Ryan was a vegetarian alongside his refusal to own a bank account (the Jews monitor how much money you have and automatically steal it when you have enough) and also wear condoms (they make your sperm gay; like I said, he's 17 with 2 kids).

These suspicions naturally made Ryan a 12ft by 12ft glowing neon target for my boisterous activities, and I would take any chance to rip into the little guy, from putting up captioned pictures of aliens about the house ('Come back to us Ryan; we miss your anus'), to cutting out and sticking together words from magazines to fashion crude ransom notes from the Jews ('gIVE uS yOUR MONEY rYAN, BUT reMEMBER WE'RE not oPEN on SATURDAYS'). I was generally a horrible fucker to the guy, but I enjoyed myself nethertheless.

Would you believe it, one day he got me back. After returning from a particularly heavy night out - without Ryan, as like I said, he's only 17 - I get a thump on the door as I'm busy trying to straighten out the room from its needless spinning. Ryan's been in most of the evening looking after the cat and (most likely) downloading as much porn as our ISP could provide in our absence, and is off to the 24 hour shop to stock up on snacks and wondering if I needed anything.

'Grblowf' I said, as I violently snuggled into my pillow, blanking out for a few minutes before I get awoken by a bang.

Then some rustling.

Then the sound of the fridge closing.

Then giggling.

When I scarper out of bed the following morning, Ryan's already awake with the biggest shit-eating grin exhibited since those Hobbits got back from their 9 hour walk only to proceed to frolick over each others' bodies gleefully. I disregard it and head to open the fridge.

It's full of bacon.

Full.

To the brim.

I turn to Ryan. He stares at me, points and yells "I got you Foxy, enjoy your brain maggots!", before running with great speed out of the house. Somewhere in his mind, the perfect revenge for months of torture was to give me no choice but to give me the very brain maggots he'd warned me so vividly against.

Defeated, I got out the frying pan, buttered the some bread, and pondered whether my children would ever be that stupid.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 11:02, 8 replies)
job interview...
not funny but i thought i'd share it with you.
over the years like many people i've right royally failed at job interviews and on many occasions taken abuse and rude comments from my would-be managers.

personally i've always thought this behaviour is unprofessional, arrogant and unfair, after all the interviewee has made the effort to visit them. i'm sure most of you have been in a similar position.

i went for an interview at for a job as a recruitment consultant at hays, the set up was pretty much a good-cop bad-cop situation with an interview with two self indulgent fuck-with managers.

obviously the bad-cop was the more cretinous of the two, with an sense of arrogance & overly proud of percentages and typical boring shite that doesn't really matter in overall existence.

he started by saying "well martyn, i am very impressed with your CV, i can see you can make an impact here, but i have to say i am disappointed!"

"eerr? why?" was my reply.
"well you've got your name tag on from your current job, your tie is 'snaking' down your shirt and your shoes aren't leather, it's just unprofessional".

Sensing this interview wasn't going any where i had to interrupt:
"look, can i stop you there, where is this interview going? i've made an effort with time off work and i already feel that this interview isn't going any where. if this is the case i may as well leave now and get back to earning some money and not waist any further time".

"well that depends on how you feel, do you feel that you can salvage this interview and impress me?" he replied, then going on to state that i could be earning up to £3k a month. "if you feel this interview isn't going anywhere then you're welcome to leave, i must say though that you're appearance just isn't good enough, you've got to ask your self is it worth it?"

deciding for a brief few seconds, i eventually made my mind up and informed them "well you mentioned my appearance is 'unprofessional', i a vegan which is why my shoes aren't leather. i'm not sure what 'snaking' mean but the general rule of gravity usually cause ties run down shirts and as for the name tag... this was given to me by your receptionist, it's the name tag for this very interview, it even has your company's name on it...

...you also asked me if i feel it's worth trying to impress you. although the money is tempting, it still would never be worth working with a manager as self indulgent as your self. so i'm calling an end to this interview, you simply aren't worth it."


upon leaving i even handed him the "unprofessional" name tag. leaving that building felt so good, i felt more proud for sticking it to the man than i ever would if had i got the job.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 12:43, 14 replies)
The old days
My Grandfather was a flying ace in WWII. He flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain and also in the South Pacific, nearly being caught by the Japanese in Singapore. Although he made ace and was Squadron Leader of 3 different sqns, at the end of the war he was "promoted" to a desk job being OIC Flying Training at RAFC Cranwell.

At the end of 1948, Grandad was approached by Hawker, the company who made Hurricanes. At this stage they had outsourced a lot of operations to Canada, as the RCAF (Canadian Airforce, buddy) had bought around 650 of them, and they wanted him to go over, on a much increased salary, to train the trainers. So off he, his wife, and his 6 year old daughter (or Mum, as I now call her) toddled.

On arrival in Toronto, Grandad was quickly introduced to his new role. Unfornately, Uncle Sam's big blue flying machine had seen the shiny new, manouverable, quick beasties that Hawker were producing and wanted a piece of the action. So Hawker, as any orgainsation would do, put their best man on the job. Grandad.

Grandad, due to the rules of how pilot training was conducted, now held the ceremonial rank of Wing Commander in the RCAF. USAF, however, sent over a Major to oversee test flights. Part of this deal was that the Major had a personal aircraft for his own private test flights.

Unfortunately, this Major was a complete and utter bellend. He took every opportunity to criticise the Hurricane's performance, saying how the Mustang was "a far superior airframe in every respect." He treated my Grandad with not one modicum of respect, disregarding his combat service (the Major had none) and of course his superior rank. He also went on at various times about "how Uncle Sam saved you limey bastards" and so on. At length. Turns out he was the son of some congressman, so he got the job on the never-never.

One of his particular irritating behaviour traits was insisting that his aircraft was faulty (rather thann him being a shite pilot). This regularly resulted in my Grandad and his team of excellent Canadian mechanics taking the aircraft out of service and giving it a full overhaul about once every week, when it should have happened once every quarter. This meant that they were falling behind with the other USAF aircraft, as well as some of the RCAF ones.

One day, the Major came over to my Grandad after a flight.
"Did everything go OK?" Grandad asked
"Did it hell!" the Major replied. "Your aircraft is a piece of shit."
"What seems to be the problem today?"
"It's just not flying right. The P57, you take to the sky, you feel like you are flying the airplane. This one feels like you're gonna crash. Sort it out by tomorrow morning"
And off he strolled to the RCAF Officers' Mess, where he was also about as welcome as a case of the clap.

Grandad hatched a little plan. That night he called all his mechanics out to the hangar to (and I quote) "teach that Septic bastard a lesson in manners."

The next morning, Grandad was in his best flying suit next to his mechanics standing on the apron as the Major strolled outside. As the increasing look of bewilderment, shock and anger passed his face, Grandad smiled a shit-eating grin, snapped off a salute and said:

"As you can see, Major, we have completely taken your aircraft apart and not found any fault with it at all. Now, would you like my mechanics to put it back together again?"

Yes, indeed, lying on the apron (on a tarpaulin, of course) was a Hawker Hurricane IX reduced down to its constituent components. Including 5 jerry cans of engine oil, coolant etc that had been siphoned off. The Major just stood there in open-mouthed shock before nodding his head once.

My Grandad led him to one side "Now Major, one other matter, you may want to ensure for smooth running of the aircraft, that you don't spray any of the controls with bodily fluids again. That isn't how you make new Hurricanes, I'm afraid. Oh, and I think you can call me Sir now."

/length
(, Mon 21 Jun 2010, 10:09, 2 replies)
Sick to death
As my father was, of receiving unsolicited CD's from the ISP 'FreeServe' he decided to do something about it.

On the wallet that houses the CD was a bit of small print that said, 'If you don't want this CD, you can return it to us free of charge at the following address'.

So that's what he did. He posted the CD back to them. After first stapling it to a large bag of spuds.

These freepost addresses charge based on the weight of the parcel received.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 11:09, 4 replies)
Wear A Tie - Die!

In the late 90's I was hired to run a project at a large insurance company in the North West. I got the job as the new head of IT was an old boss who I got along with famously. As part of my TOC I'd insisted that I wouldn't have to deal with users and I wouldn't have to wear a tie. A suit - yes, but no tie. We also agreed that I could wear scruffs (jeans and t-shirt) when needed.

So I started work and, on day one, was hassled by the head of HR for not wearing a tie. I calmly explained that I didn't work for his company, I was an external consultant, and if he had a problem with that to take it up with the IT Director. This didn't go down well. For the next month, on and off, I was getting copied in on snippy emails where my act of defiance was being held up as the first step to the moral disintegration of the company.....

Then, one day, I came in in scruffs. He went fucking ballistic! He was about a cunt's hair away from actually frothing at the mouth. He did have little bubbles of spit on the corners as he ranted and raved about my attire. It could have been frightening if he wasn't such a short-arse but he eventually wound down enough to actually let me speak.

"I'm going to be spending most of the next week under the floor tiles, running cables. Do you really expect me to wear a $1000 suit to do that?

"Yes" he snarled. "Unlike you, WE have standards"

"Talk to John" I sighed "I don't have time for this. I, unlike you, am only bothered about getting my job done properly"

So this was the pattern of the next few months. He'd bitch and rant, I'd ignore him. Until the glorious day (for him) when I walked into the office at 2pm wearing a suit and tie. He looked as if all of his birthdays had come at once.

"Well I won't be needing that anymore" I said as I walked past his desk, taking my tie off...

"What? What? WHAT?" he spluttered "Why were you wearing a tie and WHY ARE YOU TAKING IT OFF!!!"

"Oh - I had a meeting with an external supplier. As I was representing your company I felt it appropriate to be properly dressed. You have a problem with that?"

"but...but..but.."

"Take it up with John I" said kindly.....

Finally my project was completed. Brought in under-time, slightly over budget but everyone was happy and I made my rounds of the floor shaking hands and saying goodbye to people. Head of HR bustles up. Shakes my hand and says:

"I know we've had our little ups-and-downs but I'm sorry to see you go. If you ever need a reference, give me a call"

Insincerity shone from him.

"That's very kind of you" I said (considering he'd been doing his level best to get me sacked from the day I walked in) "Could I have your business card?"

Beaming, he handed his gilt-edged,embossed, card over to me. I looked at it.

Then tore it into tiny pieces in front of him and let the pieces drift to the floor.

"Won't be needing that anymore" and picked up my bags and walked out.


Cheers
(, Sun 20 Jun 2010, 12:33, 4 replies)
I quit smoking when I reached my 21st birthday
and part of the 'deal' I made with myself was that every year, I'm allowed to smoke on National No-Smoking day.

And I bloody do.

Ha! Nobody tells me what to do. That's showing the bastards!

I'm just hoping they never create a national anti-incest day or summit.
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 20:36, 7 replies)
PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP - or how the vuvuzela ruined my weekend
I live in Cape Town. Right opposite the world's biggest toilet seat Cape Town Stadium. For said stadium to be built, seven sports fields and a golf course had to be bulldozed and approximately 50 million homeless had to be coaxed to put down their Crackling* and be moved to a less salubrious area for the duration. Sounds awfully familiar *coughapartheidchoke* but I digress.

When this whole World cup thing kicked off (see what I did there?) there were numerous restrictions placed on residents living around the stadium area. Among these

*No parking in the road before and after games
*No loitering on pavements before and after games (in other words, unless you're going to a match, fuck off back inside you cheap bastards)
*Residents are encouraged to vacate their premises during the tournament in order to facilitate housing (we want your house, and good luck getting anything out of us for it).

My housemates and I duly considered this situation, and decided that we'd comply, whatever, it's just a fucking game, right?

Until the tourists started in on local customs. Namely, the vuvuzela.

From June 11th, we've been subjected to a never-ending cacophony op retards and drunks playing the only note the Devil's FOghorn can play. From 6.30am to Pooflake-knows-when, we hear all the greatest hits:

6.30: PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP
9.30: PA PA PA PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRP
12.00: MEEP (Bafana had a shit game)
14.30: BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART (Kuduzelas start)
20.30: PARP PARP PARP PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP (WE SCORED!!!!!! LADUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! PARPARPARPARPARPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP)

Revenge, as they say, is best served loudly.

MY mate Tiaan installs car audio in taxis. As those of you who have come to SA know, our minibus taxis are known for their ability to fit a primary school inside their clapped-out deathtraps and for their sound systems. One can hear these guys' bass (above the screams of his passengers) from about a KM away.

We built a rig consisting of 4 of the biggest fucking bassbins I've ever seen (here) coupled to a truck horn. We aimed this behemoth out of the window of our ground floor flat, pointing at the traffic lights.

Take 1: We have 4 young guys, drinking from cans of Castle and shouting at each other. THey have the horns. Good thing we have the horn for them!

Drunk aggro guy (DAG): Aweh BAFANA!!!! *PAAAAAARP
Us: OK then BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURP

That's what it sounded like. Those guys just ran.

10 minutes later, the cops turned up and made us dismantle it. We were fined for disturbing the peace, and warned that next time we would be locked up.

So that's it, really. How the man stuck it (the vuvuzela) to us.

First serious (and vaguely coherent) post - *pop*

EDIT: Linky now fixed. Apologies :)
(, Tue 22 Jun 2010, 23:44, 8 replies)
Purely psychological and totally petty.
A forum I frequent used to be dominated by a regular who was normally reasonable and intelligent; however, sometimes he would become a frothing egomaniac and take a completely irrational, vehement dislike to certain people. Anyone who tried to stand in his way (i.e. defuse the situation) was guaranteed to receive threatening private messages and/or a request for their immediate banning. Naturally, this created quite a sour atmosphere.

As time went on, he got more and more power-crazy. One of the things he liked to do was obsessively search for his own name, and have the last word with anyone who had mentioned him in a less than complimentary fashion. Often, these threads would be days old and so no-one would see his sparkling wit, but the important thing was that he'd had the last word. At some point, I heard about his ego-searching and decided to throw a (rather small) spanner in the works.

If you used the search engine on this forum, it would look through the entire message for the text you were searching for - including all the special tags (bold, underline, image embed etc.) that aren't normally visible. One of these tags allows you to create a hyperlink; on b3ta, which uses standard HTML, you insert such a tag by including <a href="link to website goes here"> text goes here </a> in the message. Like this. Now when you click "post", the tags in your message are reduced to a standard format before what you typed in actually gets posted. However, the hyperlink tag is left unaltered, and it is entirely up to the poster to make sure their link points to a valid website. And if there is no text in between <a href="..."> and </a>, the link will be completely invisible. Like the one at the end of this sentence.

So by copy/pasting <a href="this user's name"></a> into every single post I made, I mananged to fill his ego-searches with completely irrelevant results. I've no idea how effective it was, but the thought of him sitting at his desk, searching for his own name, clicking through page after page after page of rubbish, slowly getting angrier and angrier generated enough amusement to keep on doing it till he left.

By the way, if you know of any online egomaniacs/self-proclaimed authority figures like this, please feel free to try this on them.
(, Sat 19 Jun 2010, 12:27, 11 replies)
Not another Honda Accord
This one is about my wife's Vauxhall Corsa.

In 1996 herself decided she wanted a new car and duly chose a spanking new Rio Verde (green) pearlescent Vauxhall Corsa Premier 1.2. As she's a nurse, the car would regularly be parked on the shonky hospital car park, protected only by poor lighting and convicted sex offenders (a post for another time), so she opted to pay an extra £270 for the official Vauxhall alarm system that was Thatcham category 1 rated.

Unfortunately, the alarm was a dealer-fit item, and we subsequently discovered that they didn't know what they were doing.

The alarm was of the type that automatically armed 30 seconds after you got out of the car, and required you to reset it by going back into the car and pressing a dongle against a dashboard-mounted plate.

In practice, this meant that the missus just had time to park outside the house, lock the car, find her house keys and open the front door to the house, before the alarm set itself and immediately went off. At the end of a late shift, or in the early morning following a night shift, that made us very unpopular with the neighbours.

Over the course of the next couple of months, when we could spare the time from work, the car went back to the dealers five times. On each occasion, they completely failed to find any fault. In the end, I told them I wanted the alarm removed and a full refund.

They removed the alarm promptly enough, but pissed about when it came to giving us back the money. They claimed that they couldn't refund us until Vauxhall had approved the refund. Unfortunately for them, I knew enough of the law to know our contract was with the dealer and it was their responsibility to pay us back. It was irrelevant if they ever got their money off Vauxhall.

After seven weeks of snotty phone calls and snottier letters, we'd had enough. The dealer's premises was adjacent to a small council-owned pay & display car park, so we formed a plan.

As an impecunious, then childless, couple, our weekend days were often spend lazing around doing very little so we decided we'd park the Corsa next to the dealer's entrance and make a small protest.

We covered the car in balloons and mounted two big printed signs on it saying "(name of dealer)'s customer service is rubbish if you have a problem with your car" and "expect to fight to get your money refunded even if you're legally entitled to it" (or something like that). And we stayed there all day Saturday, and returned on the Sunday, passing the time by reading newspapers, writing out our Christmas cards and drinking Thermos coffee - oh, and chatting to numerous potential customers who came to find out what had pissed us off so much.

We were also approached a couple of times by staff asking if they could help, before they phoned someone senior and were obviously warned off. Before we left on the Sunday, we told them that unless we got our money back, we'd be there the following weekend too, and every one thereafter.

By a strange coincidence, the cheque was ready for us on the Monday, along with a letter saying they didn't want our business any more. Surprise, that.

Yes, I know it was a petty and fairly weak protest, but we felt better for it and, hopefully, contributed to them losing the Vauxhall franchise the following year.

Apologies for length, monster drugs, etc.
(, Fri 18 Jun 2010, 16:50, 8 replies)
I don't have a television license.
I also don't have a television. Instead I have the radio, and books, and the Internet, and actual real-life friends to occupy my time. If I had a television it would probably still be in its increasingly dusty shipping carton, doing duty as a coffee table or similar.

I've stopped bothering to reply to the stream of threatening letters telling me that the TV Licensing records need "updating" and warning me that I could be committing a crime and could face vast penalties for my troubles. It seems that if I repeatedly take the trouble to fill in the bit at the bottom which says "I don't have a television" I can get them off my back for a month or two before they start hounding me again, or so prior experience suggests. Well, their records don't need updating. Their records show that I don't have a license because I don't have a television, therefore their records are correct. If I finally do take complete leave of my senses and get a television I'll let them know. Until that happens they can leave me alone.

I'm fed up with their continual pestering of me - and their almost-accusations which cleverly skirt the borders of libel without quite crossing over - as well as their ignoring my previous reminders that I don't have a television, so now I just ignore them in turn. Every so often I arrive home and see a standard template letter telling me that some officious little rat-faced twerp has knocked on my door while I was out working at a proper job and that I could be breaking the law and liable for fines, etc. etc. etc.

If they want to waste my time, I'll let them waste theirs.
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 19:51, 40 replies)
Balls Up
A student (A grades, exceptional attitude, member of teams yadda...) told me she had been picked as one of ten kids from the school to speak to the Rt Hon Ed Balls back when he was still important. She asked me what she could ask him. I replied with "Is his home Wakefield as he claims, or down in London where he sends his kids?" and "Why do you and your wife spend so much of the taxpayers money?" as a playful joke.

Except she then looked up what I was talking about online, and entered the interview with a raft of uncomfortable questions. The headmaster yanked her out of there after two questions described by the politics teacher as "toe-curling perceptive".
(, Thu 17 Jun 2010, 17:54, 2 replies)
Pleh....
It's results day tomorrow, and I'm cacking myself over whether I'll get a 2.1 or a 2.2. I have averaged a 2.1 for the past two years, but am now breaking out the Tena Lady because I fear I've fucked it up at the last hurdle. However, everything about tomorrow represents me sticking it to the man, so whatever happens, I'll be proud as fuck.

Here's why:

1. I've done a degree in Law
2. I'm a girl (whatever your opinions, the fact is that 100 years ago, I couldn't have even graduated because of the fact that one of my chromosomes has an extra leg)
3. I'm from a very working class background
4. I've had a 28hr a week job my entire time through college and university just to pay my way
5. My partner (now fiancee) lost his father (and thus became an orphan at the age of 22) when I did my exams last year. I had to help his two brothers find a house. He is still grieving horrendously, as am I
6. I don't want to go into any of the major areas of law, so have had no mentor support


Apologies for the message, but at this point (13.5 hours before finding out), I need everything I can get to make me feel better. And I will let you all know as soon as I find out what my results are...



EDIT: 2.1 mofos! Thanks for all the support guys, you made me feel all fuzzy inside...
(, Wed 23 Jun 2010, 0:24, 31 replies)
Stuck it to The Man.
A number of years ago, sadly before the days of camera phones there was a common affair, a completely loopy, aged, leatherfaced, old, aussie man who had obviously decided to come to London to teach the sinners the errs of their ways decented on my neighbournood.

This mainly involved him standing if from of Earls Court tube station, bible in hand, preaching and shouting demagogic piffle at passers by. He was there for hours at a time ranting, shouting and casting presumptuous, tenet-based insults at passersby.

After about four days his constant drone started to get on my nerves and I though some sort of retribution was in order. I hummed and harred for a bit and came up with a master plan.
I recruited some friends and aquired supplies; white sheets, flip flops and wigs.
We mustered at the rear station entrance and assembled our costumes, walked through to the front entrance and behind the spittling preacher.

Ah he continued preaching people started to stop, he took this as encouragement and stepped his tyrad up a notch or two. Realisation slowly dawned that something was wrong. He had the wrath of the Almightly at his disposal and these depraived sinners were not meant to be laughing.

It took a further few minutes to realised that behind him there were about ten Jesuses standing in the 'arms-a-kimba' pose.
This sent him balistic and he turned his ire unto us, streams of scriptured abuse punctuated with more and more avid shaking of his leather bound tome.

He finally gave up and stalked off preaching at the top of his voice with an entourage of flip flopping Messiahs on tow.

He never came back. It is a shame it never got videoed as it would have gone down a storm on Pootube.
(, Tue 22 Jun 2010, 13:53, 9 replies)
Getting it stuck to me by The Man as a result of my own incompetent attempt at petty criminality
Only this morning, I was wandering merrily down the streets of Edinburgh not doing an awful lot when I became increasingly conscious of the fact that my fringe was flopping about in an irritating manner, getting in my eyes and generally looking a bit shit.

'Time for a trim', methought. I bent my steps accordingly towards my usual hairdressers', only to find that the entire place was boarded up for a fortnight-long refit. Curses.

For those of you not in possession of a fringe, suck on this fact. Hairdressers will trim fringes for free, as many times as you like, providing you got the original cut at their salon. As mentioned above, though, said original salon wasn't open for business. And my fringe was still looking shit.

Disconsolate, I began to mooch homeward, but as I went (dodging the slack-jawed bumbling tourist hoardes who seem to emerge from the pavement at the slightest hint of clement weather) a plan began to form in my mind. Why not, I thought, just dodge into any old hairdressers', and try my luck at pretending to be a regular client? We probably all look the same to them, considering how many punters they must coiff in a day. So, sparing little thought as to the details and giving my lieing muscles a mental rub-down, I trotted into the first salon I came across, which happened to be a branch of a popular nationwide franchise.

All went well at first. I successfully negotiated the desk-gimp by distracting her with a compliment on her t-shirt. She told me to take a seat and wait for the next available hairdresser.

'Oh,' she said, almost having forgotten, 'when did you say you were last here?'

'About three months ago,' I lied smoothly. This was easy.

'And your name is...?' she enquired, leaning across to her computer keyboard.

Shit, I thought. Think quick. 'Er....Sarah,' I replied.

'And your surname?'

'Er....er....Williams. Sarah Williams.' I have no idea where that came from.

Fuck. This was not going well. She turned to the computer, a slight frown overcasting her orange-masked features.

'What's your address?'

Oh, balls. Why did I do this? I'm in way over my head. 'I've er, just moved actually,' I lied frantically.

'It's just we've got four Sarah Williams on our database. Were you the one at **** Street?'

'YES!' I cried desperately. 'But I moved, now, and....er...I've already forgotten my old postcode, so....'

This was dire. I very much wished I hadn't got myself into this fix. I cringed inwardly, waiting for the management to be called and massive embarrassment to ensue. Unexpectedly, though, she smiled. 'That's fine,' she said. 'Take a seat, it won't be long.'

Relieved, I dragged myself to the nearest chair and pretended to look at some magazines detailing the breakfasting habits of the various members of Girls Aloud. Sure enough, soon I was seen to by an anonymous scissor-bint and emerged ten minutes later, triumphantly pleased with myself at having scored a free (partial) haircut. Take that, overpriced chain of salons! I was just about to leave the building as quickly as possible when the desk-girl called me back.

'Just a moment,' she said. 'I'll need your new address to update our records, and as it's been over two months since your last visit, there'll be a £5 charge. Is that OK?'

Shit. This was really not worth it. The upshot was I had to stand there babbling some made-up address (it's harder than you think on the spot) and generalised postcode) while she ran my card through the machine. I had utterly failed to take into account that this might happen. On the front of said card in glorious silver letters, is, of course, my actual name. Neither 'Sarah' nor 'Williams' make up any part of it. Once the payment had gone through she took out the card and very conspicuously stared at the name upon it, then at the screen, then at me.

'I got married!' I squeaked in a strange, strangled accent. 'That's why it's not my name! I didn't have time to get it changed yet!' I carefully shifted my satchel so as to conceal my ring-free left hand.

'Right,' she said. That was all she said, but what a weight of disbelief, disapproval and pity was contained in that syllable. She knew, and I knew she knew. I was a fraud. I got out of there and hurried away down the street, very red in the face indeed.

So I suppose I didn't really get it stuck to me in any financially punative sense, but I do feel extremely silly. Oh well, plus ca change, frankly.

Length? About a centimetre shorter and much tidier than it was.
(, Mon 21 Jun 2010, 15:49, 3 replies)

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