When my concerned Mother wrote to her local Queensland bank.
I am writing to thank you for dishonouring my cheque with which I wrote out for the plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my disappointingly financial practices. I noticed that when I personally get placed in a queue by your answering service, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.
From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.
Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no other alternative.
Also please note that every copy of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, at my convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.
I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let me level the playing field a little further.
Immediately after dialing, press the star (*) button for English
Next step is to press buttons as follows:
#1. To make an appointment to speak with me
#2. To query an overdue payment.
#3. To transfer the call to my loungeroom in case I am entertaining.
#4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not present.
#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorised Contact mentioned previously.
#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options #1 through to #7.
#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.
The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English. Also, there is a reminder to stay on the line to answer some questions as to whether your problem was satisfactorily resolved today.
While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.
Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
So might I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous coming New Year?
Your overwhelmed client
"And remember: Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place so it wouldn't take much to make me whack you with my walking stick."
I'll show them I'm still fighting fit!
This is for those who hold the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives.
At a previous computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry, stating: 'If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'
In response to Bill's comments, Ford issued a press release stating:
If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car could crash up to twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you can continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single 'This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation' warning light.
7. The airbag system would ask 'Are you sure?' before deploying.
8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10. You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off.
PS: And when all else fails, you should call 'customer service' in a foreign country and be instructed in some foreign accent how to fix your car yourself!
Could you ever be happy alone?
This may sound slightly boring but I’m not trying to be. Possibly that is part of the problem. Have you ever Googled it around the world and then asking yourself, "What am I doing here?", "Who are these people?" or "How will I ever find my perfect match?".
Often when a certain group of my friends, men and women alike, gather over booze and bits of trendy gourmet food, conversation seems to orbit around The Future.
From most of my 30 year-old friends is the question: "Will I ever share a future life with someone?" It seems weird because we are the sharing generation. At least we are, when sharing means sharing ourselves. We openly discuss the minutiae of our daily lives on the internet. And strangers on the bus often get a quite an earful of our personal mobile conversations.
We share our bodies with ease as well. Too easily, it would seem, with many of us dangerously vulnerable when it comes to climax…
Below this shallow, Facebook, skin-deep sharing, our lives are perhaps geared more to the individual than ever before.
We like independence. We were born into individuality. Indie-clothing, indie-music, indie-news, indie-lifestyle …
Hence, the primal indie fear: "Am I really going to be okay if it is just me going solo?"
It’s a fear that extends to the lives of those slightly older, such as the second-time-around divorcees. Those over 30 may have found themselves free from the heavy burden of being paired off and ready for the solo glory those Generation Y kids (possibly even their own) appear to be overtaken by.
"Can they truly be happy alone?"
Some people are leaning towards monogamous partnerships while others believe in a polyamorous approach to human relationships.
Whatever experiences you have experienced in previous times will steer you in that direction when dealing with others. You may not want to fill the space for convention sake and settle down with a partner.
You might want to settle down with many, then again, you may not choose to settle down at all.
Easy-peasy. Just understand where you're headed before you involve others. You need to disclose the fact that you’re not quite sure before you let things get serious― and it's alright if you keep an open mind, as long as there is sufficient communication throughout.
Now we will return to the situation of being alone. Society has always classified things to be seen as normal if we are together. That has been the way as far back as I can recall. It seems that this is the only way to fulfil the Aussie dream, our parents' dreams and the personal fairytale dreams of happily-ever-after.
So, if one might choose on life as a solo citizen, solo citizens also have social responsibilities, so it’s probably going to be quite challenging at times. With such options available to us I have been dealt the role of the loner with lashings of social interaction. There will always be something that seems not-quite-right but I think all of us would like to achieve a successful life overflowing with naturally gifted happiness?
Something we might need?
In today’s climate all political leaders are enduring an unpredictable moment in history. You can see on their faces the concern for keeping up their end of the bargain by being elected in confidence to manage those communities which voted them in.
When Madonna had divorced, a sum of $600 million dollars was being swirled around besides recent film clips. All that money... Most of us do not have such fame and fortune that many stars have accumulated but any performer deserves huge amounts of cash because if it wasn’t for them we would be living in a monochrome world of predictably mundane events.
Our biological four-legged partners who simply prefer caring parents with a grassy yard have been living out their role of a simple life since life began― so why do human beings often expect more than they might need? Has that need for more been transported from our ancestral bloodline? Human beings are somewhat more complex but I haven't seen enough change to warrant several untoward attitudes that have been surfacing.
That's when I began wondering when told that the worst bad attitude situation is when a foolish individual abuses power. What does it take to convince any offender that there is a natural way to reaching a calm state without a backyard remedy of an irate attitude, from drugs or alcohol― usually accompanied by devastating and regretful results. Experiencing or observing such heartache helps us to understand what the answer may be.
If someone with a broken heart does not see that a serious problem is there, perhaps it is their way of avoiding further heartache. For me, if a personal problem ever does arise I have always looked at all angles to solve it, knowing that once solved, that problem is no longer present― to be caste away and left floating "up there" in cyberspace with anyone else's unnecessary and unwanted tasks.