b3ta.com user ThomsonsPier
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I am a male human, two-and-thirty years of age and perfectly normal.

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» Impulse buys

Never buy things on impulse.
Use your warp drive, instead!


So very, very sorry.
(Thu 21st May 2009, 12:10, More)

» Broken Promises

At the end of high school...
...all of the students are given a wooden katana and released into a disco hall to fight it out.

That's what a bokken prom is.
(Wed 8th Dec 2010, 16:46, More)

» Irrational Hatred

Reflexive pronouns.
I know it's a common usage and a common loathing, but people who say 'yourself' or 'myself' when the correct word is 'you' or 'me' results in my quite disproportionate ire. 'Oneself' doesn't seem to crop up quite so often.
(Thu 31st Mar 2011, 16:57, More)

» Banks

Alliance & Leicester
My girlfriend and I acquired our first flat last year and thought that it might simplify things to have a joint account for expenses related to said abode. Alliance and Leicester offered the best deal at the time, so we duly opened an account in readiness for our moving monies. As we had just moved, this was opened with reference to our old address and correspondence undertaken with a short delay via the (surprisingly reliable) Royal Mail forwarding service. All cards, PINs and cheque books arrived in short and correct order. So far, so good.

Then came the change of address.

A simple procedure, the change of address can be easily done by wandering into a branch, showing some official document with a name and the new address on it and letting the bank's machinations occur, in much the same way as one might change other minor account details. It was wonderfully successful and our new bank cards arrived a few weeks later.

New bank cards? That's a new one for a simple change of address, given that piece of information doesn't usually make it onto the card. A brief examination of mine proved it to be in fine order, bearing my name in embossed plastic. My other half's, however, was not quite so accurate. Evidently, A&L's upper echelons object to those living in sin and had changed my beloved's surname to match mine. Who would open a joint account with a non-family member, after all?

This should be easy to rectify, we thought, popping into the branch with some ID and proof of address. You can probably see what's coming here. Given the nature of a joint account, I was only able to make changes to my own details, leaving my other half to deal with this spot of administrative confusion herself; this would have been fine were it not that her ID didn't match the name on the account, the account being, as it was, in the name of my apparent spouse. Some cold staring occurred, and not a little incredulity. Never mind; after that initial meeting, A&L graciously agreed to change the name back, giving the impression that they were doing us a huge favour by doing so. We left to await bank cards with the correct details.

Lo and behold, they arrived within five working days and at the correct address! Or one did, anyway; mine, with a new PIN. My beloved, now frosty in her thoughts toward the bank, made a brief several hour telephone call to the number supplied in case of error, only to find that she was unable to make any changes to the account because she wasn't named on it. I was absent for a hefty part of this, but I imagine terse and displeased language was employed (neither of us are fond of raised voices).

Another full set of cards were forthcoming through the postal service, this time one each: both bore my surname. At this point, it became apparent that it may have been quicker to get married and rectify the problem that way. A trip to the branch seemed in order, so off we jolly well went on a sunny Saturday morn. The barely literate chimps behind the desk stared in blank confusion whilst filing their talons and not listening to a simple and accurate list of events to this point, relayed in words as short as possible. Once they had grasped the tale to this point, they sought to make amends immediately and asked for some ID with the correct name and address so that they might update their records. Upon receipt of this, they wandered away aimlessly to make copies and returned our papers to us. Well, I say they returned them. They meandered back to their previously vacant slots and placed our documents atop the counter, then resumed their vacantly staring at a monitor behind the desk, ignoring us until we enquired as to the next step in this operation. Returning from their reverie, the apparent banker seemed to notice us for the first time that day and said that nothing could go through the system until Monday morning. Quietly seething, we left to do something more productive, like turning each individual brick in the local shopping centre upside-down, or trying to cure AIDS with by blowing in people's ears.

When the new cards arrived (yes, a new one for me as well), guess what name was on them. Go on, guess.

When this was finally resolved (after four months), I nearly proposed solely to see if the resulting name change on the joint account would cause the bank staff's heads to implode and crash their computer system, but I fancied rather that they would simply forget they had ever seen us before, as they seem to do every time either of us try to contact them (which is blessedly little now that cash flow is smoother).

They've also installed a completely pointless glowing wall that changes colour every few seconds and makes me nauseous when I go in even perfectly sober (something I try to avoid). I'll wager it's some form of hypnotic device designed to lull people into docility so they don't notice the god-awful service. It might go some way to explain why the place seems to be staffed by zombies without the appetite for brains.

That was intended to be more amusing. Sorry. EDIT: And shorter.
(Tue 21st Jul 2009, 16:03, More)

» I don't understand the attraction

The Mighty Boosh.
I have no particular story or rant to go with this; they just seem half-arsed to me. I think I laughed at one of their jokes once.
(Thu 15th Oct 2009, 15:05, More)
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