Friday 1 June 2012

I've lost a pair of shoes

Once upon a time I was told by a university lecturer that by the year 2000 we would all be consultants.  I think he wasn't wrong.  But increasingly there seams less time to be a consultant as we all become social media addicts.  That's you and me and everyone else doing that.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Instagram, Blogging (even) and any number of  digital means for us to interact.  I could spend the whole day and night just social media-ing.  Truth be told, I think we all prefer the real human touch...speaking to, hearing, touching, feeling and smelling a human.  I was going to add tasting...but there's been one too many cannibal stories in the press this week...I know because of my Twitter feed.  The trouble is life has got busier and busier and time is against us.  The upside of our digital lives is that it opens us up to people and places we wouldn't otherwise know about.  And I'm not complaining as that's really been a wonderful experience, but I do wonder whether the whole soshul medja thing isn't a little out of hand....

In the meantime, I've lost a pair of shoes.  I keep a pair in the office for emergencies...and so I don't have to wear motorcycle boots or cycling shoes on all day long.  They were there at the start of the week.  The I spilt a whole mug of tea on my desk.  It made a mess, and there was quite a cleaning operation to sort it out.  And then they were gone.  I don't know what was in the tea. But if it does that to the shoes, what's it doing to my stomach?

I've given up being polite to my personal bank - LloydsTSB.  They ring me regularly now wanting to give me a loan.  It's the usual umbrella when the sun shies policy which banks have always done well.  Their offer of helping me manage my finances always makes me respond with the comment that accepting advice from a bank that's broke doesn't sound like a clever thing to do.  This week I spent nearly two hours on the phone to them as an electronic payment I made last week had evidently not gone through due to a server problem.  They blamed my server, I blame their IT.  In the course of the two hours I had to go through security eight times.  Eight times, even when they were transferring me on an internal line.  Of course, I want my money to be protected, but really eight times?  It wouldn't be so bad if the basic security for internet banking there was good - when I log on I have to enter a password.  Most companies turn the letters or numbers into * when you enter them - not Lloyds whose website proudly displays your password for everyone to see and copy.  For my two hours, I've been rewarded with £40, which is double the minimum wage, so I may take this up as a full time occupation.

On the business bank front, today I need to pay the VAT.  So I went to log on, entering all the necessary details.  It rejected me as inputting the wrong details.  As these are written out on a sheet of paper which I copy, this seems unlikely. It then made me answer some security questions.  The second one was 'What was your first car?'  Not tricky...a Ford Cortina.  Evidently the bank thinks this is wrong.  The question I have asked myself is would I have ever put down something else? It seems unlikely.  In the meantime, the VAT needs to be paid's the only way the jack-booted Inland Revenue will accept it.  And I have no way of doing that.  What's the betting the bank will deny any responsibility?

Over at the Leveson enquiry, the politicians are coming increasingly unstuck.  Clearly they've had their noses, tongues, and anything they could muster up Murdoch's well-formed bottom.  Not really very comforting is it?  Tony Blair, swanned, reeled off the usual rubbish, before escaping with just a rotten egg thrown on his car for his troubles.

I read yesterday that Cameron is a great admirer of Tony Blair.  No wonder I despise the toffy-nosed idiot so much.

Well it seems we're done for.  All of us doomed.

In Spain, although it's not being reported, people are apparently queueing outside their banks to retrieve their cash.  When it rains in Spain you can bet we get a good soaking over here too.  Evidently, it would be sensible for the Greeks to be doing the same, but they're all too busy lying on the beach.  I suspect when history is written, the phrase 'fiddling whilst Rome burns' will be writ large.  The politicians have done it again...or rather not.  Not forgetting that the banks and the whole financial sector who played a major part in getting us all into this state are continuing to party hard.