*yawn*

OK, do you know the peak of my excitement so far today? Finding a shop in the market that sold the right kind of curtain hooks for my front room. That’s it. I’ve done fuck all work (there isn’t any to do), but I have ploughed through this month’s Bizarre and a few pages of my Stephen Leather novel.

I’m expecting to get sent home soon. When I say “expecting”, I mean “hoping to”. Although at least the office is warmer than the house, and probably quieter. I may stay on for a while before going home via the gym.

Good grief, this is a dull post. Fuck off and go browse for porn or something else more interesting. Haven’t you lot got lives?

Cold and ouchy

Brrrr

Our offices are nice and warm. I’m sat wearing a polo shirt and I’m comfy. However, the toilets are fucking freezing. So cold that when you go everything nips up tight so it’s nigh on impossible to lay a cable. I think I came closer to laying nylon.

Hmmm… wonder if I could scoop it all out and weave it into something. I may eat a lot of red meat tonight and see what results tomorrow.

Vicious circle

Ever noticed when you do something daft like bite your tongue or your inner cheek that a) it hurts and b) it swells up. The problem with b) is that it makes it all the more likely that you’ll do it again, resulting in even more incidences of a).

How fucking cruel is that?

Santa? Useless bastard

All I wanted for xmas – the only thing I wished for – was a dead neighbour. It doesn’t even need delivering, so the lack of chimney’s no excuse. I mean, I wasn’t even fussy about how it happened. Fall out of a building, gas leak, pummelling by low-flying reindeer hooves. Anything.

But, no. The rancid little bastard is still alive, well, and thumping his shitty fucking “music” through my wall. Why do I bother? Every year with the notes and the mince pie and the glass of milk. I even scaled down from asking for the usual world domination to something simpler.

Useless, fat, “ho-ho-ho”-ing tosser. And his fucking elves.

Crappy banks… and revenge

OK, this isn’t on a scale with Colin’s issues recently but does relate back to something I posted ages ago. You know those useless bloody automatic answering services you get that ask you about every service except the one you want? Here’s another example.

I wanted to transfer a balance onto my TSB credit card. This is a "good thing" for them, obviously. They get me in more debt etc. So you’d think they’d make this easy.

First stop, online banking. Nope. Absolutely no mention anywhere of how to organise a transfer. Bit poo. OK, next stop, back of a statement. There’s a nice list of numbers there, so I picked the one I need – labelled "balance transfers" and called it. No problem.

Recorded message, voice recognition software (I hate that stuff) to determine where you want to go and then key in your card number, expiry date and date of birth. Use the keypad to select another option then get transferred to a different network with a different voice asking you to key in another option and then use voice recognition to finally ask to speak to an agent.

"Hello, how may I help you?"

"Hi, I’d like to transfer a balance onto my card please."

"Oh, you’ve called the wrong number…"

"Well, this is the number listed on the back of the statement."

She gave me the number I needed (office closed by then, so I’d have to ring back the next day) and promised she’d do something about reporting the mislabelled number on the statement. Yeah. Right.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother being a credit card whore, but – hey – it’s netting me a fair amount of interest in a nice savings account.

Here’s how – and all legal. Check around for a credit card that’ll give you cash as a balance transfer – that is, transfer into a bank account rather than just pay off another store card. MBNA do a few. Depending on your credit rating, you can get a few grand from this.

Take this money and drop it in a savings account that pays interest from day one. Make a very careful note of when your interest free period runs out. Set up a direct debit to pay the minimum amount off the card each month.

Sit and wait till about 2 months before the interest free period expires. At this point, shop around for another card that gives free balance transfers, though it can be just from other credit cards this time (note – cannot be from the same company as provides the original one). Get this, transfer the balance over from the original before the free period ends, note the new expiry date and watch the interest grow on your savings. Again, don’t forget to set up a DD to cover the minimum payments.

Repeat until the balance on the cards are paid off, you get bored, or you can’t get a card. Worst case is you can’t get another card that’ll cover the balance. Simple – withdraw the money from the savings account and use it to pay off the balance. You still keep the interest you’ve accrued.

You just have to follow some simple, golden rules:

1) Never touch the savings account except to pay off the card or skim off the interest. Always keep enough in there to pay the card off. Remember that they can end their interest-free promotion early if they want to and you’re obliged to pay it back

2) Pay very close attention to those dates and don’t forget to pay off the balance (either transfer elsewhere or pay it off with cash) well clear of the end date.

3) Always set up a DD to pay the minimum as soon as possible, and also make a manual payment for the first month just in case they take a while to apply it.

You can further complicate things – like I’ve done – by introducing other cards. The card I got that offers money into a bank account gives me 9 months interest free and a maximum credit of £3000. So I got myself another card with a 12-month interest-free period which accepts transfers from other cards. Simple procedure: get cash from card A, pop it into savings account, transfer balance to card B. Repeat 1-and-a-third times to fill up card B and then do one more transfer from A. Result – two cards maxed out, and ten grand in a high-interest savings account… All I’ve got to do is make sure small monthly payments are made and that I watch my calendar in a few months!

They are catching on to this, so watch out as many charge a fee for the balance transfer in the first instance.

Another method is to get one of the cards offering interest-free on purchases for n months. Halifax do one, as do other places. Again, set up the direct debit for the minimum payment and each month transfer the difference between the minimum and outstanding balances into your savings rather than using it to pay the card off.

Depending on your spending, after a few months you’ll have maxed the card out, but will have at least enough in the savings account to pay it off before the offer expires. At which time, you do so and keep the interest you’ve made.

Hey, it’s xmas/that time of year/etc. You’re all going to be broke come January so I’m tying to help!

Back to one of the old favourites…

They’re just shit. The whole Post Office is just fucking shit.

Package delivered yesterday, too big for letterbox. Of course, I wasn’t in because the post now comes at 10:15 instead of 7am. It’s my own stupid fault for having a fucking job, I know, but I wasn’t in.

Needless to say, the gormless prick didn’t try any of my neighbours (2 or 3 were in and would have taken it). So back to the depot. Not the one 150 yards from the house. No, the one in the town centre. That’s open from 6:30 to midday so I can’t get there to pick the damn thing up.

So I ring the “helpline”, pick option 3 (arrange redelivery) and eventually it gets picked up… but all I get is a voice message saying that I need to ring… the same number I just rang.

So I called again (3 times), gave in after going round in so many circles I was ready to be sick (though that could have been the chocolate that Al insists on bringing into the office) and went for the “make a complaint” option. Which then offered me the choice of arranging a redelivery…? This one forwarded me to a woman somewhere else in the UK who said it’s now 48 hours to rearrange instead of 24 that it was a month ago.

So I’ve got neighbours in on Thursday who said they’d take the package… but who might not be in on Friday. Which means I won’t be able to get the thing till next week at the earliest.

And I just got yelled at by a very impolite manager last time I went to the sorting office. Cunts. The lot of them.

“Well we think the options for redelivery are perfectly substantial”. Well I fucking don’t, and I pay your fucking wages you useless fart-knocker. GRRAAAARARAGGAGHHH

No wonder people go “postal”.

I won’t feel better until the overpaid bastards who’re getting millions a year for destroying what used to be a reliable service are hanged, drawn, quartered and fed to pigs. Twice.

And on a lighter note

Kind of. I have eaten so much chocolate in the last few days that even my poo is coming out brown. How scary is that?