Wednesday, 9 May 2007

I haven't disappeared (although I might wish I had).

It's been a while since I've written in here, so long in fact that any readers I ever have acquired have probably stopped checking for updates. One does not write to be read however (or at least one should not write to be read, since being in flow is ultimately more contributory to happiness than fame, as this book asserts), and I need to kill some time whilst I wait for a landlord-promised-workman to arrive to sort out the damp in my flat. The socialist part of me hates the culture of property ownership that holds strong in the UK, yet the selfish part of me knows I'd run out to buy a mould-free flat without a view of a scheme tower block as soon as I had the means (which looks ever less likely).

That's just ramble, however; and this blog is supposed to be one of shaken little fists and universally-relate-able (and random words hyphenated together, seemingly) rants rather than contemplations on my everyday life. Something minor yet universal that has irked me in the past week is the absolute and total rudeness of insurance salespeople. At the weekend my partner and I tried to set up contents insurance for our flat (the local neds are unlikely to be interested in our fickle computers and arthouse DVD collection, but they can't see that from the front door); yes, I know we should already have it, but insurance isn't fun and we are hedonistic young things (or lazy, you can make a judgement on that). Within five minutes of our submitting a quote request to (a business that has possibly one of the most annoying adverts on television) a woman with the sort of voice that makes you wish you never had ears was on the phone, requesting that she speak to the person who had submitted a quote request. I'd have told her to get stuffed straightaway, but fortunately for her the person who had used their name on the form was more polite and told her she could call back tomorrow. She did call back the next day, but since I use an answer machine to screen such unwanted calls, she was not greeted with an answer.

I'm aware that such salespeople are only doing their jobs, and that it is part of modern society bla, bla) to be hassled over the telephone, but I refuse to accept or welcome it. Yes, it might be helpful to be offered insurance when you've just looked online, but company phone numbers are there on the screen and if people are capable of filling in a form online they are capable of jotting down and dialling the numbers in their own time. I find it downright insulting that someone assumes I need to be called and am not able to choose when to organise such things by myself. Even more aggravating are the people who cold call you to sell you things in the privacy of your own home - how intrusive can they get? On the rare occasions I pick up the phone and am greeted by the voice of a company on the line I hang up without a word. Call me mean, but there are plenty of other jobs in the world besides cold-calling. At the rate things are going we won't even need to actively look for the things we need to buy in shops or online in a few years' time as we'll just sit at home waiting for a call: "I hope the bread people call today, because we're almost out".

To close I shall say a few words on the Scottish election, not that there is much to say as it was all such a farce. Firstly, I resent the fact that there is no decent mainstream left-wing party to vote for - you have the real Tories, Labour who are Tories with a cheesier grin and the SNP who don't really stand for much besides hating the British government. The SNP get votes because people don't want to vote Tory, but hate Labour and want a viable alternative (I'm not sure how viable independence would genuinely be, but the SNP are popular, and that alone renders them viable in most people's eyes). I gave the SSP and Lib Dems my votes, they got nowhere but at least I know I supported something I believe in rather than the lesser of several evils.