almostwitty: (monkey)

I was at my local Tesco’s lunch queue, patiently waiting with 30+ people ahead of me in a long snaking queue that goes right across the store. Then a little old lady walks up and down the queue, holding aloft one of those new Tesco tablets, going on about how they’re cheap as chips at £60 and great toys.

A few huge problems with what’s happening:

  • You already have 30+ customers waiting patiently to be served. Instead of trying to sell them something they’re NOT going to buy casually in their lunch hour, why not put your resources into serving your existing customers, before they get fed up of the queue and go somewhere else?
  • You can talk about the new Tesco tablet all you like – it’s NOT something people are going to casually buy while waiting to buy their sandwiches in their lunch hour.
  • The little old lady, bless her, has zero idea what a tablet is. She is obviously just repeating the selling points by rote

The list of failed big companies is littered with examples of where they went chasing after a new product, while in the process totally forgetting about or taking for granted their existing customer base (Blackberry etc.) Looks like Tesco are going the same way.

Harumph.

* Well, ok, not EVERYTHING wrong. There’s the fact that rampant consumerism is burning up what’s left of our planet’s resources while we’re simultaneously still in one of the worst economic recessions ever, while the 1% are still well-off… but hey ho.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Disney characters starvingOne of the many many reasons for living in London is that it’s meant to be a world-class city, the place people flock to.

Well, I hope they don’t want a simple takeaway delivered on a Saturday night because it seems nigh on impossible.

Our first choice was Sufi – a Persian restaurant round the corner rated by Jessie J and Time Out, amongst others. We’ve ordered from there before without any problems, but of course that was on a weeknight. We called them tonight, to be told they don’t deliver on a Saturday night.

Next stop, another Persian restaurant called The Piano in Chiswick. We ordered it via Hungry House seemingly without a problem – thirty minutes later, with our hunger pangs getting ever more desperate, we get an email only to be told they rejected our order without any explanation as to why. I really should have checked the website earlier – they manage to spell Persian wrong on their homepage. Seriously.

Ditching the notion of such exotic cuisine as Persian altogether, we thought we’d retreat to the safety of Chinese food. So tried to call the Drunken Tiger restaurant (great name, amiright?) in Shepherds’ Bush. After five minutes of them not answering their phone, we gave up.

We finally resorted to the tried and tested Seven Stars takeaway round the corner – really, we should have stuck with them from the start, because they took our order without any problem and it’ll arrive in thirty minutes. Fingers crossed.

And now we’re starving and ready for bed at the same time. Not a great combo!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (monkey)

Decades ago, when I was a mere media student with dreams of doing something great, I used to stare lovingly at a huge coffee table book about the work of Industrial Light & Magic. Then one day, I saw it on sale at a discount bookshop, and grabbed it immediately despite being a poor student (though obviously not THAT poor if I could afford to waste it on a discounted heavy coffee table book).

Then for the next two decades, it’d follow me from room to flat to flat, down to London, across to Cardiff, North Wales, Manchester, and then back to London. And each time I struggled to lift the box that I’d put that book in, I’d curse its heaviness before eventually finding a place on a heaving bookshelf. Where it would stay, dusty and unread but peripherally loved, until the next move.

Earlier this year, in an Hyperbole-and-a-Half-style attempt at rationalising bits of my life and sorting stuff out, I listed it (amongst many many other things) on Amazon for sale.

Now someone’s bought it for £60 or so. And I’m sitting here putting off the decision to box and ship it, mostly because I don’t want to let it go, for purely selfish reasons. I’m never going to get round to reading it – the best I’ll do is coo at the pretty pictures. But it’s a huge hard heavy book, and really it ought to go to someone who’s willing to pay out £60 for it.

But I haven’t sent it yet. And now I’m getting nagging emails about it.

What would you do?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)

Way way back in the early days of YouTube, when viral videos were a cool neat thing, the Back Dorm Boys made a name for themselves by miming outrageously to Backstreet Boys tracks. Like this:

Unfortunately, it seems this may no longer happen. China has blacklisted 100 songs, including – you guessed it – the above track, which was released over a decade ago. Bad timing, Chinese censors…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)

Every so often, I have ordered (online) a pizza from Pizza Hut. I must have spent at least £100 with them over the last few months alone – what with having a pregnant wife with cravings, and then being a family too tired to actually cook anything and craving some sort of treat.

So it was in this atmosphere – as well as being my wife’s birthday week – that we ordered a pizza online from Pizza Hut on Tuesday. I duly entered my credit card details, and got a receipt number. Then waited for my pizza. And waited. And waited.

After an incredibly hungry hour of waiting, I called the relevant branch only to be told that as they had never received my order, they wouldn’t be doing anything at all. They just told me to contact customer services, who of course aren’t in on a hungry Tuesday evening.

So I filled in the web form to complain, and got an email with an apology and that they’d refund the cost. No mention of whether they’d try to make it up to me, or offer me vouchers or discounts on my next order. Despite the fact that I’ve been a loyal customer in the past.

Since Pizza Hut don’t value me as a customer, I won’t be valuing them as a company.

Besides, in my furious hungry anger, I ordered with Domino’s instead – who sensibly take payment when the pizza is delivered – and their pizza was, it has to be said, far more delicious.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)
Why does it always rain on me??

Every summer, Britain seems to get collective amnesia at the first sight of substantial rain. Even now, on Twitter, lots of UK people are lamenting Where has our summer gone?.

This somewhat neglects the fact that less than 6 weeks ago, we were in the middle of a summer heatwave, with hosepipe bans and weather health alerts posted. For days and days it seemed as if the weather would do nothing but bake golden sunshine.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but it happens EVERY YEAR. And without fail, people will come back to work in August or September and lament where has my summer gone. It hasn’t gone anywhere – we had it, and we loved it at the time. Remember?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

So, the time has come to try and hire a posh suit. I can’t be the only male who has to hire a posh suit and yet hates the entire experience of shopping for clothes – so you’d have thought the male tailors would have tried to make it as easy as possible. But oh no.

Thus to Suits You Westfield. Which is a total nightmare of a shop.

  • The first time I popped in, the sales guy kept trying to get me to hire a package for the exorbitant cost of £100. And then when I refused to do so, he put the order on hold so that I could “think about it and come back tomorrow”. He said he wouldn’t be there but he assured me that someone else would be.
  • I popped in the next day. A very disgruntled and pissed-off salesperson eventually deigned to try and recreate my order, but gave up with their insanely slow systems after 20 minutes, and asked me to “come back tomorrow”.
  • The next day, neither of the salespeople I had dealt with were there, and instead there was one guy there – a right geezer of a salesman – who literally said “We can’t help you”. I asked why, and he said the store was closing down in two weeks. Strange I don’t see any sign of a Closing Down sale…

Thus, I went into another department store – and they had the opposite problem in being understaffed – thus, every time I try to pop in, the staff are rushed off their feet dealing with other customers. I’ve tried to pop in at three lunchtimes and not had much success – the one time I actually did manage to get measured, I had to wear something that was 4 sizes too small – just to see how it would look – and then realised they didn’t have the lilac waistcoat I wanted.

Online was no help – despite the smartgrooms.co.uk website claiming they could supply a suit by the desired date, when I called them it turned out they couldn’t. And I’m still waiting to hear from another website.

That’s not even getting into the outrageous cost of hiring a suit – and everyone seems to charge the same prices. If that isn’t something that deserves a complaint to the Monopoly Commission, I don’t know what does.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
You’re in a mid life crisis
Your ears aren’t what they once were and you have resorted to doing online hearing tests.

The highest pitched ultrasonic mosquito ringtone that I can hear is 12kHz

Find out which ultrasonic ringtones you can hear!

Bah. Time to buy a Ferrari. If I can hear it coming.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
You’re in a mid life crisis
Your ears aren’t what they once were and you have resorted to doing online hearing tests.

The highest pitched ultrasonic mosquito ringtone that I can hear is 12kHz

Find out which ultrasonic ringtones you can hear!

Bah. Time to buy a Ferrari. If I can hear it coming.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Nigroids from Ernest Jackson [livejournal.com profile] sentience popped down to her local chemist, and found a tin of liquorice lozenges. Called Nigroids. Through a bit of Googling, we discover that the manufacturer of said Nigroid liquorice lozenges - Ernest Jackson & Co. Ltd - are apparently owned by Cadbury’s.

I’m still rather amazed they’re still called that. What possible reason would you have for calling liquorice lozengs Nigroids ?!

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.

almostwitty: (Default)

Ever since my enforced leisure time started, I’ve been happily able to indulge in two hours of my secret vice every weekday - repeats of Top Gear on television. For someone who’s constantly preaching to others about car usage and whose ideal dream car is a Toyota Prius, it seems odd - even to me - that I find Top Gear so darned entertaining, but I do. Even if I used to get confused between the two non-Clarksons.

But not any more. I was surprised at the huge amount of press coverage that was given to Richard Hammond’s accident - he was second on the news agenda that day, and there were live broadcasts from outside the hospital he was stationed at. I mean, it’s a terrible accident that didn’t deserve to happen - but he’s only a TV presenter. A loved one, at that.

I guess I’m surprised at the press coverage because I always felt Top Gear was a cult TV programme - one to be enjoyed furtively with the windows closed, and not to be discussed with anyone. Bit like Doctor Who really.

Luckily, he’s now out of intensive care and appears to be on the mend. But in the meantime, you can donate money to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service which ferried him to hospital in the first place, and I leave you with two newspaper headlines. They can’t even agree on one thing…

Two UK newspapers differ on Richard Hammond's accident

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.

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