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This is a question Waste of money

I once paid a small fortune to a solicitor in a legal case. She got lost on the way to court, turned up late with the wrong papers and started an argument with the judge, who told her to "shut up, for the love of God". A stunning investment.

Thanks to golddust for the suggestion

(, Thu 30 Sep 2010, 12:45)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Flight madness
I was once flown to Chicago from here (UK), then from there to St. Louis, put up in a hotel for nine days (as I couldn't get a flight back the same day for some bureaucratic reason to do with someone flying a couple of planes into some buildings or something), fed and watered, plus incidental expenses that came to about 400 dollars, flown back to Chicago then to Philadelphia to be told that I had to go to Charlotte NC due to an admin cock-up with the flights, then back to Heathrow, picked up by a driver and taken home, just so I could rebuild some indexes on a few database tables when in St. Louis, that I could easily have done remotely from here. Apparently, it was best if I go there in person.
Surely it would have been cheaper to go to a local IT guy and pay him for the day?
(, Thu 7 Oct 2010, 7:50, 2 replies)
For the next step in my career, I'm expected to stump up:
Application fee: £450
Entrance fee: £131
Charity contribution: £15
Annual subscription: £441

And £441 per year thereafter.

Passing the exam will be the easy part. Coming up with the £1,037 will not be. Most employers would pay this. Not mine.

Waste of money? Most people pay for this stuff because it allows them to get PI insurance so they can practice.

I'm not in practice. All I'll get for this are five letters after my name. £200 each.

(, Thu 7 Oct 2010, 3:06, 6 replies)
rp so pardon me
but IT exams? Bollocks.

Especially when you can download the cracked Prometric exe from RapidShare or somewhere equally dubious, learn the answers parrot fashion, then book an exam, and pass first time.

So of course they're totally worth every penny and a real indication of the candidates ability.

If you passed legitimately, you need them _and_ someone else paid, then fair play to you.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 20:01, 4 replies)
just three words
Government IT expenditure
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 19:07, 2 replies)
Second Life [no funnies].
A few years ago now I purchased a laptop powerful enough to run the "virtual reality world" that is Second Life.
Thanks to a friend who was already using it I quickly made new friends and even had a virtual stripper girlfriend. Now, I know that already sounds pathetic but, to be honest, it was good fun -- I had no illusions that this was anything but a MMUD with no game element.
All went well, and I began to spend real money on this thing (an outfit for one's avatar can run to $5 or more). Still, I was having fun and it passed the time, so it was worth it.
Next I needed some land, so I could have a house with my new (not the same as earlier) virtual girlfriend -- so I spent around $50 a month on that, and much more on houses and boats and the like.
Then I wanted [virtual] power -- so I rented an entire 1/4 primitive simulator [a virtual island which runs on 1 core of a 4 core CPU]. This was fun for a while, and I was picking up a virtual family in the process, so spending a few hundrd dollars a month on virtual clothes and toys for me, my virtual wife and virtual kids. Then I got a [real life] credit card bill I needed to pay, so I had to give up this island. As this was happening I also divorced my virtual wife, due to the fact she was supposed to love me in real life, but was married and "couldn't" leave her husband.
So, you would think that would be the end of it?
No... I paid my bill, and continued to play, and actually met more people and had more fun -- the virtual missus was jealous, you see.
So, I then decided I wanted ultimate control, and started paying for a full sim [island that runs on one processor on a server].
The sim was great fun, and I got to make a volcano lair and all sorts of cool stuff -- I even gained a new virtual girlfriend who wanted nothing from me (she was single in real life and paid her own way, same as me) and all was good.
I suspect most readers are thinking I'm some pathetic loser and this is dull, tragic and boring. The thing is, I am sorry I spent quite so much on "clothes" and the virtual wife and kids -- but it really was fun creating my own virtual perfect home and I don't actually regret much. I have given up my virtual existence though, because I found a great friend on the game and I fell in love with her -- so now I spend my money on air travel and not mind travel.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 18:14, 5 replies)
It's a clothes story, boys look away now; girls, gather round
I ordered a dress to be made for me for my sister's wedding. made for you means it can't go back. It arrived and Ihated it, I tried it on and I hated it. I put it in the wardrobe and brought it out every week or so and I hated it. I bought a bag, shoes and jewellery to go with it in the hope that they would magically make it look gorgeous. Nope. I hate it. £160 of posh frock for wedding and it makes me look like a brace of hippos in a duvet. I hope ebay have a category for 'seriously unflattering dresses that I hate'. Meanwhile, I will be attending the wedding in a pair of spanx and some lovely silver shoes because I am NOT going to wear that dress.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 17:39, 5 replies)
Some reason every Christmas, the Missus spends a mini fortune on me (£250). Now this may sound good but those that have GF's/Wifes like this, know it can be a flaming nightmare, generally because you know that's the sort of money you have to spend on them back, especially if you are the higher earner. Also she will be skint afterwards and you will end up paying her share of the bills. This year i'm asking for fuck all and this time I mean it!!!
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 17:07, 11 replies)
When a young lad
I was quite the keen fisherman. One year I thought I'd take up ice-fishing, the winters being long where I live and boredom quickly sets in. I found this ad in a fishing magazine for an assembly kit of an ice-fishing rod. I happily placed my order and waited patiently a couple of weeks, and then came the joyful day of collecting the package from the local post-office. A quick rush home. and then start ripping up said package and finally getting my hands on... A block of wood. And a round stick. With instructions showing how to glue the stick to the block. And the tip: "You can carve your block into a handle-shape if you so desire".

"Line and reel not included"

Luckily, puberty struck not so long after this incident and I discovered better ways of spending all those long and cold winters...
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 16:58, Reply)
Champagne Terry
I know friend-of-a-friend stories don't carry much weight in terms of credibility, but my friend does tell this story about his friend to anybody who fancies a laugh, so I thought I'd share it with you. All names altered to protect the innocent and the downright stupid.

So, it was Terry's birthday, begins Jon, Terry being a colleague from his old job, and one of those irritating twats who likes to act like a "Lad," despite actually being the sort of pathetic sod who'd panic, lose the power of speech and probably simultaneously spluff his pants if a young lady actually came and spoke to him. Being a "Lad," of course, when the question was raised of what he was doing to mark his birthday, he answered,
"Going for a night out in Soho." (He may have added 'innit' to the end of this, but as I say, I wasn't there.)
Reluctantly Jon accompanies the brigade heading down to Soho. It's going to involve a lot of expensive alcohol in places that will either be trendy and twattish, or incredibly seedy and full of transvestites that Terry has mistaken for real women, but at the same time, it his the feller's birthday.

After several drinks in several bars, last orders is called. Do people want to call it a night (as many look at their wallets and wince), or do people want to go somewhere else? A few disperse, a few stay. Terry has decided it's time they went to a strip club.

In the middle of Soho, as they were, it is not hard to find a place in which women can be persuaded to remove their already scant clothing in exchange for bits of paper with Her Majesty's face on. (Some may even accept loose change, I don't know) Unsurprisingly they walk past several such premises.
"Terry, what about this one?"
"No, mate, follow me, I know a really good one. Think it's just down this way."

So they go down this way. Then that way. And then the other. And back the way they've just come. And then that way...and then eventually away from the bright lights and gratuitous sexual imagery down a soggy, poorly lit alleyway. Terry leads them an unmarked but rather secure-looking door. The others exchange confused, even worried glances. From the description I had, you could be forgiven for thinking they'd wandered onto the set of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, particularly when Terry's knock on the door is greeted by a hatch opening in the top of the door, through which an irritable looking doorman stares down at Terry.

After haggling to some success over an exorbitant entrance fee, they are welcomed in through the door and into a strip club that even the strip clubs they passed by would look down on as seedy.

Noting, in between brushing flakes of falling plaster off their shoulders, that all the drinks cost a small fortune, they buy the cheapest bottles of shite lager available and sit down round a table. It is not long before a scantily-clad lady saunters not-all-that-seductively over to their table and tries to entice one of them into accepting a lapdance. The rest of the group try to decline politely. Terry, on the other hand, is right up for it.

She sits down on his lap and jiggles about a bit.
"Would you like to buy me a drink?" She whispers in his ear.
"Sure, what would you like?" He replies as the others stare at him with the sort of expression that is normally intended to read "NO! DON'T! SHE'S JUST TRYING TO - OH, YOU'RE ACTUALLY GOING TO DO IT AREN'T YOU? YOU'RE AN IDIOT."
Such expressions were well-founded, as, at her suggestion, Terry ordered a bottle of champagne. The bottle is bought over to the table, as is the credit card machine, to spare him the inconvenience of having to ask this beauty to vacate his lap so he might head to the bar to exchange some £150 for a cheap bottle of Cava.

By now, the rest of them are feeling very awkward, as Terry and his female entertainer share this bottle of Lidl's finest bubbly. When she suggests they order a second bottle, the worried expressions are repeated, and followed by extensive facepalming as the card machine once again arrives at the table to suck another £150 out of Terry's account.

Over the course of this bottle, things seem to get a little more raunchy between Terry and his stripper. Just in case there was any doubt, she leans to Jon, and giggles in his ear,
"He's fingering me."
Jon shudders as Terry and his new friend drain a second bottle. Time for a third, maybe? Well, Terry obviously didn't want his fingers to dry out. Unfortunately, this time round, his card is declined.

Third time lucky? Most sensible people would have taken this a sign that it was probably time to stop buying extortionately-priced bottles of fizzy wine. But Terry was drunk, and knuckle-deep in the psiren sitting on his lap. Through his drunken, sex-crazed haze, Terry had a flash of inspiration. He briefly left the club and hot-footed it to the nearest cashpoint to withdraw a large wad of cash with which to purchase a third bottle.

By the time this hideously embarrassing spectacle finishes, Terry has missed his last train home and so comes back to Jon's to crash on his sofa. Jon wakes up the following morning with a murderous hangover and a somewhat addled recollection of the night's event, when he spots three receipts on the kitchen table.
Oh, fuck...how did I spend £450 last night? What was I doing?...Oh. Hang on. That's not my card number...

Jon goes into the living room, prods Terry and pushes the receipts under his nose. Apparently the poor chap's expression was priceless. Which is ironic.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 16:12, 3 replies)
Box Clever
This happened a couple of days ago, and i still can't believe it.

Our fantastic company know exactly how to keep costs down.

We had a delivery of a couple of PC's to do some temporary work, that needed returning to Le France when finished with.

An email turned up 2 days ago advising a box and prepaid postage would be sent for the return of these machines. Before i could contact them and advise i have a stack of prepaid postage labels and boxes (we have these in the UK as well. There is no national corrugated cardboard shortage to my knowledge.)

They had sent a box filled with bubblewrap across europe on Express Postage.

I did a quick check on the couriers website for this sirt of delivery and the correct dimensions and weight. This could have cost over 200 euros. I know because we have a prepaid company account it may be a little cheaper, but who the fuck sends an empty box across europe!!.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 16:05, 1 reply)
How do you spell "repost"?
I'm sure I'm not the only one here to fall for this (at least, I hope I'm not).

Picture the scene, if you will. Four guys in their early twenties have just stumbled off the train at Euston. They're down in London from deepest, darkest Shropshire for a stag weekend.

Naturally, being young, stupid and horny they head for Soho. And, naturally, they head for the nearest "gentlemen's club." But, also because they are young, stupid, horny and poor, they don't head for a reputable establishment such as the Raymond Revue, or the like. Oh no, they head for the seediest, most out-of-the-way, back street strip club they can find.

The girl at the door is extremely friendly. She tells them that it only costs a fiver to get in. A fiver? That's practically free! They all troop downstairs and duly hand over their 5 pounds.

They are seated in a waiting room, and more friendly girls come over and chat to them about where they're from and what they're doing in London. The lads chat away and, every so often, grin at each other - they've truly stumbled upon an onanistic pleasure palace here!

At this point a slightly older woman comes in. She wants to talk business. She points out to the lads that, just by entering the premises, they now owe £250. Each. The lads are quite taken aback by this, and quite reasonably point out that this wasn't mentioned earlier. The woman also quite reasonably points out that it is written on the door, if they had only cared to look, and would they be paying the £250 now?

The young lads say no, really quite firmly. At which point the woman shouts "SECURITY!" and four beefy black guys appear from around the corner. The young lads change their tune and, after pleading poverty, manage to escape having handed over about £100.

They fall out of the door, gasping and spluttering at what's just happened. They look around with dead eyes. Never again will they see the world the same - never again will they be so naive.

Yes, ladies and gents, that is the story of how I and three others got done over in a soho clip joint. We imagined we were shrewd, men-about-town. In fact we might as well have had barley stalks sticking out of our mouths.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 15:29, 4 replies)
Inspired by the mention of Franklin Mint/Viz adverts...
These are just a few of the genuine products from www.Bradford.co.uk

And here's Viz's Bourbonhenge:

(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 15:21, 10 replies)
Dr Who
My friend is a Doctor Who nut. I had no idea how much. He asked me to help him move. First job, packing up the Who memorabilia. Bad idea to offer to help.

29,000 items. You've never seen anything like it. Imagine a square room, about 20 feet square, 8 feet high. Other than a small 'corridor' through, every cubic inch filled with stuff. He has two of everything in case the first one "breaks" (and that includes books, comics etc). I estimated at least 4000 figurines.Almost everything is in original packaging, never opened.

He's about 50, and owns a pub. Married, no kids. Estimate? £150K at least to purchase. God knows how much to sell. Could it be sold? God knows.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 15:18, 7 replies)
Very nearly
Was in Dixons in Nov 2000 and was looking at the TiVo system. It was £400 plus I think there was a subscription on top of that. The salesguy was pushing it but we stood our ground and said no. It was a large outlay and the subscription on top of that put us off.

So we ended up buying a decent DVD player. This Sony affair that played R2 dvds and fuck all other formats at all. Video CD, audio CDs, nothing. It was £299 and was very nice though.

A few weeks later my brother bought one. He asked me how much mine cost. His response was,
"That's a fucking lot, ours was £80 from Asda" and he showed it off. The tray mechanism was modelling on Arkwright's till from Open All Hours and appeared to be made of that plastic that the little compartment trays in boxes of chocolate are made from.

Ours lasted 9 years, his lasted just over 18 months.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 14:40, 7 replies)
The Franklin Mint
In an earlier post on this QOTW I mentioned the Franklin Mint. Now for those of you who don't know who they are, they are the kind of people who put full page adds into Sunday magazines advertising complete and utter worthless tat. Utter shite that is so expertly lampooned by viz here:


Anyway, while I have fallen foul to a few things of theirs (namely Star Trek memorabilia) for which I am eternally shamed and out of pocket, my mum is the main offender. Before we get to that, have a good laugh at what I bought as a 13 year old porn addicted bedroom hermit:

Star Trek Tri-D Chess set - bought for £90, never played resold years later for £80 to an even bigger nerd....not too bad

Star Trek TNG Character Chess set - sent to me 2 pieces every 2 months, at £20 a piece - yes...that's a lot when you total it all up and I still cringe to this day. But I resold it years later when I moved away from home but I never recovered the hundreds it cost me. There are lots more but my credit report cries in pain if I talk about them.

Anyway, my mum is the main culprit and still buying from them. So far she has bought a 'Faberge' Miniature-Egg basket at £100, my mother is convinced it's an authentic House of Faberge product even though she bought it from Franklin.

The 'Ice Princess' a charming and authentic 'Royal Doulton' piece depicting a princess reaching a wish from her crystal balcony. Yes it's as trashy as it sounds and looks like it was made by a GCSE art student.

The 'Winter Clock' another winter style piece depicting a cathedral made of crystal with a cheap quartz clock inset. The spires are supposedly plated in 24 Carrat Gold, yet if you tap them they are obviously tin and hollow.

And fucking commemorative plates, the marriage of Charles and Diana, the death of Diana, the Queen Mother, the wedding of Fergie and the other Prince...you name it she has it. I know when I go home at Christmas there she will have a Norman Wisdom commemorative plate in the hall, i just know it. All in all she has spent over £1000 on utter worthless shite that I will probably inherit.

I cringe at the crap I used to buy but at least my spendthrift youth has made me a little wiser, I no longer buy collectibles of any kind.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 14:30, 6 replies)
I've only ever bought one car...
it cost me £3k and my wife now drives it.

However, we've been given 3 cars by our families (2 of which we right royally ran into the ground and sold each for £120) and I've been given 3 company cars (just got a new one a year on from starting back at my old company after a break of 3 years and I'm very gay for it). I reckon I've done about 400,000 miles of driving over the last 10 years so (apart from running costs etc) I think I've done fairly well for £3k really!

oh... rules me out of this QOTW then...

(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 14:21, Reply)
El Diablo
I bought this:

The chances of being able to use it without being thrown in the clink are slim to fuck-all.

EDIT : I live in Glasgow. Waving one of these around is liable to have you shot (by cops or criminals, makes no odds).

This message has been sponsored by Red Stripe and Poor Impulse Control.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 14:12, 10 replies)
I always wanted a complete set of Star Trek (original)
But the cost was ludicrous - about £400 for a complete set of VHS tapes, back in the day. Then BBC2 started a complete run, so every Wednesday I'd record it - rushing back from work so I could manually start it to get the cleanest joins

Even doing it this way, the number of tapes required meant that the cost was high. The original estimate was about £60 for blanks, but I eventually got it down to about £35, by shopping around. Finally, after more than 18 months, I'd done it. Sits back with smug grin and sense of quiet satisfaction.

Cue wavy lines, and a caption: "Some years later". DVD now rules supreme, and I decided it was time to transfer them onto disc for safe keeping. (Still not prepared to pay £150+ for a set of DVDs!).

Guess what? The tapes were unplayable. By choosing cheap tapes I'd blown the whole idea.

So, a total waste of money, but I still feel satisfied that I got the lot that way. Bought a replacement set on eBay for £20.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 11:32, 11 replies)
When I was about 6...
We were at some or other fast food place. My brother threw a chip at me during the course of the meal. I replied with, 'You know mum and dad work really hard. You're wasting their money'. Then he punched me in the stomach and drank half my milkshake.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 11:07, 4 replies)
The external disc storage format wars
Way back in the ether of the mid 90's while Oasis and blur waged war over the headlines and charts another battle was being fought in the IT world... the battle for the external storage market!
Hard disks were stupidly expensive and my 500mb drive was quickly running slower than heather mills, not least as back then the hard disk would also frequently run as virtual memory since actual RAM memory was even more expensive.
The only option was to archive off the old files (which I now know to have been junk) and restore my overpriced computer to it's former glory.
Now the headline grabber at the time was the Iomega Zip drive (see local car boot sale for about £1), which priced at £120 used 100mb disks costing about £10. Not bad. However also grabbing the media attention was the SyQuest EZ 230 drive, again priced a little more than the Zip it's discs were a massive 230mb Woo Hoo!
The battle reigned with every manufacturer getting in on the action. There were optical drives (think CDR in floppy disc format) and magnetic drives (think big capacity floppy disc) like the Zip drive. Then what I knew would be the ultimate solution came to the market. A conglomerate product between Nomai and D2 they released the DZ540 drive. This beast could cram a massive 540mb onto a single disc!!! I could back up my whole hard disk in one go! Woo Hoo! Ancient review here: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/components/3570/electronique-d2-nomai-540
Having a Mac Powerbook 5300cs (yep, an apple laptop at a bargain price of £2400!!!) I needed an external drive version so the extra cost of the external case brought the drive in at a bargain price of £350. Plus 3 discs costing me £45 each. All this on a student loan.
Once I got it I formatted the discs (hours), backed up my hard disk (hours) and cleaned things up.
Over the next few months my laptop crashed and became increasingly hard to use. Then the college bought a CD writer and I was able to back my stuff up to CD instead. The DZ drive went unused.
A year later I tried to retrieve stuff from the disc and discovered the drive no longer worked anyway. Nobody sold the discs for it anymore and the format was dead.
Just under £500 to back up and fail to restore a few pieces of coursework and an assortment of animated gifs and other junk downloaded from the web.

New hard disks with gigabytes of storage for £25, Flash memory cards under £5, kids today don't know they're born!
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 11:06, 3 replies)
I kicked the fucking shit out of my dad's car
The cunt!

(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 6:58, 8 replies)
Misleading advice
I spent £20,000 on a Honda Accord. The top models and massive drugs have yet to materialise.
(, Wed 6 Oct 2010, 2:44, 1 reply)
Spore. Special Edition. For the PC.
I know I did video games already, but EUGHHHH.
(, Tue 5 Oct 2010, 22:26, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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