I don’t know about you but I have always been the sort of person who, if I am in need of a service that someone provides I make enquiries accordingly. If I am out shopping I like to browse before I make any decision to buy. So my feathers become somewhat ruffled if I am approached without my asking. I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase ‘You could be eligible for reimbursement from a miss-sold PPI (payment protection insurance)’, more especially as I have never taken one out! My mobile phone constantly receives messages from companies willing to get me any compensation that is due to me. If I reply with a ‘STOP’ it makes no difference, the next company along the line makes the same claim and I get another message. The problem is that there are hundreds of these companies all seeking a piece of the action and no doubt I will still be receiving unwanted and unmerited messages for the next ten years! I could scream!
I hate it when out shopping I get pestered by pushy sales persons who ask ‘Can I be of assistance’? ‘Well no you can’t, I just want to see what is on offer all by myself thank you very much’, is what I am thinking but have to reply with a ‘No thank you, I am just browsing’. They may be on commission but they will never get me to buy something I do not want or persuade me that something else might be suitable when I am told they haven’t got what I want. If I cannot see what I want I ask, simple! I don’t wish to but a substitute thank you very much!
In today’s world we are bombarded with sales talk, sales pitch, leaflet drops, junk mail, unwanted phone calls and text messages, television adverts, even radio adverts. I cannot use the Internet without coming across an advert. One of the most annoying traits by advertisers these days is to have dynamic adverts flashing away to one side of the screen whilst emails are being read. Another favourite of theirs is to have an advert preceding a short video you have clicked on to watch and you are obliged to watch it before you can watch the content you clicked to see. They usually last around thirty seconds so I look away until the advert is finished. Don’t like adverts, never have, they don’t influence me one bit. If I want a product I will buy it after checking it out myself. Adverts tell lies anyway. How many of you have seen the adverts for face creams all claiming to reduce ‘the effect’ of ageing in older women and then show younger women with flawless skin as if they had been using it! They obviously don’t need it in the first place. The best adverts for me are the ones I cannot see or hear!
It is pressure from all sides. It seems we are unable to live our lives without the support of a ‘smart phone’ these days. They can do all sorts of wonderful things using the applications they have installed in them, many of the ‘better’ ones of course come with a price-tag. The phones themselves often cost a small fortune too. Now I use my mobile phone but infrequently, usually to answer voice calls or messages for work and little else. I don’t wish to spend my whole life looking at a screen with my fingers frantically pushing little buttons. I was in the pub the other day and quite a few folk in there were doing just that. Well I went there for a few drinks and company, you know, actually speaking with people! I could scream. I know people who don’t use the Internet, haven’t even got a computer, don’t have the latest phone but carry a simple one ‘in case of emergencies’. I would think that is sensible. However people are gradually being coerced into having computers and one day none of us will be able to conduct business of any kind unless we do it through the Internet. It’s happening already. I heard recently that people wishing to pay their gas or electricity bill by any other method than by ‘Direct Debit‘ are charged more for the privilege. Furthermore if they have to set up a Direct Debit they have to do it over the Internet because they are restricted from doing it over the phone with an actual human being! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me though because this is intimated in Scripture along with so many other things that the ‘blind’ cannot see. I could do without it all. Give me the quiet life any day. Do you suppose there is a reason for people to say that if they came into a lot of money they would go and live on a tropical island away from it all?
I had a couple of small jobs to do on Monday but had nothing planned after that until Thursday, which will be today as you read this. I had another sleep-in on Tuesday, something I am finding I do often these days, either it’s because I work hard or am just getting old, probably both theories are correct! So there I was sitting at home when I got a call for help. Someone I had done work for in the past and for her daughter and friend too called to say that she needed my services as she had lost all power in her house. I told her I would be there within a half hour as she only lives about ten miles away. It had been raining rather hard for the previous couple of days and was still raining hard when I left home. I took the road which cuts across country rather than the main trunk route which I know is undergoing resurfacing at the moment with all the unavoidable delays that result. The roads I took to however were severely flooded in parts and I might have been better off using a canoe! I got to her house and soon discovered which circuit was causing the problem and I isolated it. Unfortunately it was the circuit supplying all the power points. Splitting the circuit into two halves quickly pointed to which area the fault lay and further analysis pointed to a junction box up in the loft area. I discovered the faulty cable and disconnected it. I had to locate where it was going but it wasn’t connected to any of the power points I could see. At that moment the lady told me that she had a power point behind the fireplace that she had forgotten about! I removed the fire to find a single socket that appeared wet. I removed it and tested the cable which I found to be alright. It was the same cable I’d disconnected in the loft. I tested the socket, now removed, and found it to be faulty, this was due to the fact that water had gotten inside. It was then that she told me that the chimney stack had been leaking water and that someone was waiting for the weather to change so that it could be repaired! Had I been given that information in the first place I could have solved the problem much sooner and it wouldn’t have cost her half the amount I was obliged to charge her.
E had been waiting for her car to be repaired but by the time I returned home around three o’clock they had not called her to say it was done. I needed to visit my wholesaler for the materials I needed for today’s little job so I asked E if she would come along with me and afterwards visit the repair depot which is only a half-mile from the wholesaler. We saw her car on the forecourt meaning that it had been repaired but they still hadn’t phoned her to let her know! They had repaired the fault but said that there was another issue that needed investigating but would cost more money for it to be done. We couldn’t understand why, when testing for the other fault on the same diagnostic computer they couldn’t have checked for this new one at the same time but they made some excuse why they couldn’t do that. We were told that this ‘new fault’ would not cause the car to break down but it was more of an irritation rather than a serious problem. We were shown the invoice and found they had added an extra £18 to their original quote and for no apparent reason so we questioned that and had the bill reduced to the original quotation. However, it wasn’t the £800 I had originally thought it was. Although E had told me how much I had misunderstood, the cost amounted to £894 approximately! Definitely more than I’d thought
I used my credit card to pay, at least I will be credited with a small refund as my card operator offers ‘cash back’ on all purchases. I pay off my credit card by Direct Debit from one of my current accounts so I only have to ensure the money is available. I do not run up credit card debts but always pay them off in full when they are due. You can now see why continuing in work is still a good idea so it is a good thing that actually like work!
Yesterday morning, as planned, E and I went to buy the windows for the garage and the plastic trim and the sill (for one of the windows), which we will fit ourselves. The day was hot and sunny, a day for relaxing and doing nothing. I had plans to dine out with a friend and she arrived a few minutes after midday. E was staying at home, though I had invited her to come along. We left around one o’clock and drove the fifteen or so miles to a place E and I often go. My friend has been there too whenever we have chosen to celebrate a birthday or other event there. We enjoyed a lovely meal together and were in no rush to return home. When it came to pay the bill my friend went to the toilet whilst I paid it. She had given me her share in cash but I intended to pay by card, a debit card rather than a credit card. I opened my purse but could not find the debit card. I have three debit cards and one credit card but the card I wished to use just wasn’t among them! The previous day I had used the card to buy the telephone extension lead and I know I had it with me when I returned home. Not wishing to use either of the other two debit cards I was forced to use the credit card instead. No problem, it just meant that I had to transfer funds from the current account I would have normally taken the funds from to the one that pays my credit card by Direct Debit. I do that via the Internet. I am at a loss as to where the debit card might be but rather than worry about it I telephoned the bank and had it cancelled. They will send me a replacement in a few days. I was a little annoyed that I had misplaced the card but that is just one of life’s minor problems. I paid the bill and we both left for home. My friend stayed for an hour or so as we sat in the patio and chatted over a couple of drinks. E was busy at the other end of the garden doing some weeding and planting but she joined us after a short while. The weather remained warm and sunny until sunset but my friend had returned home and we had returned indoors. Although I like the weather to be warm and sunny I am not overjoyed about it being too warm. I get hot and bothered if it gets too warm. Today looks like being a hot day and I have work to do in the garden. I am not looking forward to that. Fortunately the work I want to do (sifting the soil in the vegetable plot) will be done in the shade if I do it in the morning. Having said that I am signing off to do it!