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» Restaurants, Kitchens and Bars... Oh my!

Death by McJob
Well, not quite, but a couple of nicely dangerous moments while working at my college-funding McJob, in addition to the regular burns on hands and arms (especially the knuckles when toasting buns or removing burgers from the grill.

Turning round to see an inch-thick power cable glowing brightly and burning through a couple of feet from my head was an interesting experience. Dodge to the other side of the kitchen, all the staff watch as it burns right through and trips all the electrics in the building off.

The vats of hot oil were always fun as well. Drop a bit of ice in, or fail to dry them properly after cleaning and they have a tendency to suddenly start bubbling up wildly, resulting in a lunge for the power switch and a dodge across the kitchen until they cool down.

Best though was during a huge downpour. Blocked guttering meant that a huge waterfall suddenly came pouring through the ceiling into the kitchen. Approximately 3 feet away from the vats of hot oil. Slightly more to the right, and that would not have been much fun. Although a huge spray of steam and hot vegetable oil would perhaps have been fairly pretty from a safe distance.

Edit: Also forgot to mention the fun of huge amounts of stock in a relatively tiny (about 8' square) walk-in freezer. And the associated obstacle course, climbing over assorted boxes of frozen food in order to get stuff from the back.
(Tue 25th Jul 2006, 13:26, More)

» Buses

"First" Manchester
I don't really know where to start with this bunch of fucktards, so here's a few lowlights:

The "simplification" of fares a few years ago by completely withdrawing the concept of return tickets. You can still buy them, but they just cost double the single fare making them utterly pointless.

The gradual phasing out of double-decker buses over the last decade or so along my route (81, Oldham-Manchester), meaning rush-hour single-deck buses are usually packed. Other routes operated by First have had lots of new double-deckers, but the 81 only gets a token one every now and then (usually around 11am, so it stays mostly empty and they can 'prove' the extra seats aren't needed)

Recently part of the normal route was closed for water main replacement, so a diversion was put in place. First's official policy (this was actually confirmed in an exchange of emails and posters on the stops) was that they weren't going to bother stopping at any of the 9 stops on the diverted part of the route, because it would slow down their timetable. And GMPTE were apparently powerless to do anything about this.

Will also say a quick thanks to the traffic planners on the council for their sterling work in structuring local roads, meaning that buses have to make tight 90-degree turns at several points near me. Was on one a couple of months ago that managed to kill its drive shaft by clipping the kerb at such a point.

And also the obligatory bus weirdo, again from a few weeks ago, a creepy and smelly old guy eating an uncooked fish pie ready meal straight out of the box with his fingers. Classy.
(Sun 28th Jun 2009, 9:59, More)

» Dentists

While I was in the chair...
Start of a course of several sessions of treatment, since I have rubbish teeth and needed 4 or 5 fillings. All goes well, first couple of fillings in one corner of the mouth are done, and I emerge from the surgery to find everyone in the waiting room clustered around the TV. This was just before 2pm (BST) on September 11th, 2001...

And another...
Another series of fillings, a few years later. One of which turned out to be particularly deep, as the pain from the cavity was what had caused me to go in in the first place (after having to wait and re-register after my registration had been allowed to lapse). The filling didn't work, and I was still in pain, so I was given 2 options:
- Root canal treatment. £75, 2 hours in the chair, and only about a 50% chance of success
- Take the tooth out. £10, half an hour, job done.
Bit of a no-brainer, really. So I had the tooth out. On 21st December 2004 IIRC. The morning before going out to the pub for a family Christmas meal, with a bloody hole in my mouth where a molar used to be, and strict instructions from my dentist to avoid chewing and alcohol. Arse.

Another check-up looming 2 weeks today...
(Fri 3rd Nov 2006, 14:15, More)

» Call Centres

Internet Service Providings
Haven't seen this link on here yet, apologies if bindun

And a related story:

- Tiscali are incompetent liars.

Having sold me a 2Mb connection following their line tests, after 3 weeks of 5-seconds-max-at-a-time internet and regular calls to "support", a BT engineer was sent round and tested the line directly, only to find we can only support 1Mb at best. Contract duly cancelled as Tiscali didn't offer a lower-speed option, so we switched to Virgin who did.

- Virgin are incompetent liars.

Having sold me a 1 Mb connection, I found myself with an intermittent 2Mb connection, which was up about 50% of the time. Repeated calls to Virgin to sort this out failed to produce any result as their computer system said we were on 1Mb, and as they were only charging me for 1Mb (and I was sick of calling people by this point) I let the 12-month minimum contract roll around.

- Tesco are surprisingly competent.

Having had no problems with their 512k connection prior to the Tiscali "upgrade", I went back to them and have had no problems with their service since. Well, except for what happened next...

- Virgin are incompetent liars.

Transferring the line to Tesco and cancelling the Virgin contract didn't seem to get through to Virgin, however, as they charged me for the next month. A couple of phone calls later, all is "sorted". Until they charge me again the next month. Another phone call and it's "sorted" again. A few days later I find I have no broadband. As Virgin have now realised I've cancelled the contract, but conveniently forgotten I'd transferred to someone else. So have contacted BT to disconnect the broadband (that Tesco have been providing for the last 2 months) from my line.

- Tesco remain surprisingly useful.

One phone call and their checks reveal Virgin's cock-up. Another netless week and I'm finally back up and running.
(Tue 8th Sep 2009, 16:14, More)