Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Tomorrow Belongs To Me.
I've decided that you need to change. I've been thinking about you a lot lately and, although you seem lovely, you're all wrong. It's a new year and you've decided to start it positively but clearly you have no idea what positively means. You're going to read at least one book a week in 2012? WHAT FUCKING GOOD WILL THAT DO? You're going to do more travelling? POINTLESS. YOU CAN'T GET AWAY FROM YOURSELF SO IT'LL BE AWFUL. You're going to start going to the gym? I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO PUNCH YOU IN EVERY ONE OF YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS WITH AN 8 FOOT TALL METALLIC FIST. TWICE.
Has every other year of your unnecessary, tear-strewn life taught you nothing? Making personal changes makes no difference to anything at any time ever. Self-improvement? Selfish bastard, more like. By improving yourself all you're really doing is making the rest of us look bad. When you go to bed at 10pm every night, just like you promised yourself you would do, do you ever think of me still awake until 4am sitting in my pants and socks watching Toddlers & Tiaras while eating biscuit after biscuit of dry Weetabix? Well, stop thinking of me doing that. It's not doing anyone any good. But that's typical of you. Why would you care about other people now that you've taken up painting or started volunteering at a local shelter for slapped cats? I think what pisses me off most about you is your new 2012 approach to work. It's a new year so I'm going to really knuckle down and work hard and get that promotion I deserve. WHY? ALL JOBS ARE SHIT. No matter what you do for a living, it's agony. Whether you're a toilet cleaner in a diarrhea hospital or a Hollywood movie star, it's all the same. Every day you're up to your knees in shit. Think Michael McIntyre's happy? Well, of course he is but he's clearly mentally ill so that's a terrible example. I don't know why you brought him up. All these self-improvements are improving nothing. So listen, Sugartits (or on the bizarre off chance that you're a man, Liquoricepenis), you need to buck up your ideas in 2012. You need to stop being so selfish. You need to start complaining.
The British are well known to be constasntly moaning but never complaining. If a hairdresser gives us a shit haircut we will smile and say it's nice and then walk home, pile furniture up against the front door, hide in a wardrobe and then, when we thought it was completely safe to do so, we tut a little bit. The last thing we would ever do is actually complain out loud that a professional that we've paid has left us looking like a dead pensioner's garden. We've been like this all our lives, friends. Ever wondered why everything is so completely terrible all the time? IT'S OUR FAULT. We let it happen. Because we don't like to cause a fuss, the trains are always late. Because we don't like to make a scene, our food in restaurants is cold. Because we musn't grumble, 9/11.
Those are all simple facts. Do we want to keep going with everything being broken, delayed, tasteless and rude? No? Then let's start complaining. It's my New Year's resolution. If I've paid for it and it's not right then I WANT COMPENSATION. I want my money back, I want an apology and, if I'm in the mood, I want a song and dance routine. And there's only one way I'll get those things. COMPLAINING!
I've started already and I can't wait to let you know how I get on. I'm expecting my money back from National Express for a trip I made to Newcastle just before Christmas. Actually, I don't just want my money back. I want free National Express travel for life. NO ONE should have to pay for that sort of torture and I think I deserve to be begged by National Express for me to ever set foot in their Moving Hell Boxes ever again. The coach...fuck it, let's call it what it really is...the bus started and for the first three minutes of the journey it was fine. Only another 8 and a half hours to go. The seat was uncomfortable, it was freezing cold then boiling hot and the sound of everyone elses personal stereos filled the airless bus. So, it was all perfectly normal until this git walked up the aisle.
I don't know how to describe this git. I know he wasn't the driver because the driver was just behind the steering wheel and he seemed to be driving. No, this git was something else. I'm going to call him The Driver's Elf. It seemed to be his job to walk up the aisle counting how many heads people had. He stopped right in front of me, not to talk to me but to talk to the passenger on the other side of the aisle beside me. The Driver's Elf didn't look at the passenger or even excuse himself to talk to the passenger, instead he looked at the celing and said "What are you doing?"
What The Driver's Elf meant to say was "Excuse me. I'm very sorry but unfortunately we don't allow hot food on the coach. Would you mind wrapping it up and I'll give it back to you when you get off, please?" Instead of that, The Driver's Elf looked at the celing and said "What are you doing?" Now, considering the passenger was listening to music, reading a magazine, sitting on a bus and eating chips, it was confusing as to what the correct answer to this rude question should be. The Driver's Elf then went on to say "There's no hot food allowed on the coach. You know that".
Wow. This man hired by National Express actually said that. "You know that". It never ever crossed his fat mind that maybe the passenger didn't know that or had forgotten that, no, HE KNEW THAT. He got on board with Burger King chips with the sole intention of completely undermining the rules, guidelines and values of National Express. And he would have got away with it if it wasn't for The Driver's Elf. The passenger then went on to explain that he didn't know and The Driver's Elf tried to reassure him that he definitely did know. The passenger wasn't being rude but The Driver's Elf's attitude was clearly getting to him and I can't blame him. Soon, the threats starting to come out with "You'll be thrown off at the next stop" being shouted on a loop. The Driver's Elf was just getting angrier even though the passenger was being compliant and calm. Then he said "You can eat a sandwich if you want" and the passenger pointed out that he also had a sandwich so, while The Driver's Elf started spouting more pointless information about National Express policy, he got his sandwich out. His sandwich was a hamburger.
Rude, I thought, but somewhat justified. The Driver's Elf was plainly nasty so being rude back seemed OK to me. The Driver's Elf did his best Don't-You-Dare dance and got furious again and that's when the passenger said "But you were eating a burger when I got on board".
YES! Very good move. I started to like the passenger but The Driver's Elf still had more up his sleeve. "I can do whatever I want", he childishly cried. A pathetic comeback but I didn't expect much more. Oh, but what happened next was just perfect. Beautiful. A textbook case of how not to speak to the public. He leaned over to the passenger and said "Why are you being an arsehole?"
The passenger was speechless and then The Driver's Elf only made it worse for himself. He turned round and brought me in. Stupid move. "You understand what I'm saying, don't you?" he said but I explained that the game was over. "You called him an arsehole. That's not National Express policy" I explained to him. "I don't care", he replied. "It's my last day tomorrow".
He continued to argue with the passenger and while he did it I phoned National Express. It took me a while but I got through to his department and explained the situation. By this time The Driver's Elf was red in the face with fury and the realisation that he's an idiot. My bag was sitting on the seat next to me. Normally, I wouldn't do that but as the bus was only a third full I felt confident that there would be enough seats for everyone and I could have my stuff next to me. The Driver's Elf didn't care about that. He'd argued with one passenger for ages and embarrassed himself and now he hated me too and needed to save face. "Your bag goes in the overhead rack. Seats aren't two for one". Once again, that was unneccesary rudeness but I had something good for him. "I've got your boss on the phone", I said.
"I don't care", he replied. "Call my boss if you like".
"No", I said. "I have your boss on the phone. Want to talk to him?" I then handed him my phone. He went even redder.
I'm not sure what was said on the phone but he was definitely a lot quieter when he handed my phone back. No more polite but definitely quieter. "Here's your phone", he grumped. I asked him to hold on for one moment while I spoke to the other man on the phone. "Is he leaving his job tomorrow?" I asked. There was a pause before I followed up with "Fully employed. That's what I thought".
What a pointless wanker. But that pointless wanker has pointed me in the direction that 2012 should be taking. I'm not paying for stuff that's going to make me feel horrible any more. I'm going to complain. I'm getting my money back. I'm going to be covered in compensation this year. So from now on, no more paying for an internet service that won't work every time I actually need it. No more accepting that people working in bars just don't know which wines are vegan. And if you work in a conveniece store then do me a favour and get off your fucking mobile phone when you're serving me because I AM A CUSTOMER AND I WILL HAVE RESPECT.
I'll let you know how it goes. Happy New Year.