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Profile for Davros' Granddad:
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I'm a wrong side of 30 middle aged regeneration adviser with a penchant for all things Dalek. Self confessed geek, ex old-school goth, amiable, beer swilling, armchair footballer. Except I don't get much chance to watch footy as I recently moved in with my sweary other half and neither she nor her 11 year son can stand football... and we haven't got Sky or Setanta, which cuts down the opportunities even more...

I'm usually on QOTW, possessing as I do a total lack of photoshop skills despite originally training as a graphic designer (mind you, that was 20 years ago when magic markers were the height of technology and computers were still a science fiction concept).

Introduced to this site by Legless (hello mate and thanks. Hope you enjoy Oz).

Founder member of the b3ta flappy coat club.

This is me, exercising my right arm on holiday last year:

exercising the right arm

Even though David Tennant's replacement has been announced, I thought I'd place this here for future reference. Are you watching, Mr Moffatt...?

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For those who have been wittering on to see a pic of the famous Dalek, here it is:

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And, in for a penny, in for a pound (courtesy of the lovely chickenlady)
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Recent front page messages:


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Best answers to questions:

» Customers from Hell

The only time I've ever told a customer what I was thinking... or, The Day I Told a Punter to Fuck Off.
I posted the edited version of this on ‘off topic’ a short while back; here’s the extended special edition version.

Some background: as many people now know, and are no doubt sick of hearing about, I worked for the DSS (or Benefits Agency as it was then, or Department for Work and Pensions as it is now) for pretty much all of the nineties. For the most part it was a shitty job, but compensated by working with some good people. However, one stint I had to do was working in a satellite office attached to a Jobcentre, on my own. This ‘caller office’, as it was known, had limited facilities and was essentially a waiting room on one side, and my space on the other, with a private interview room. The staff side of the office was an inverted L shape, and I had a work desk tucked away around the corner, out of sight of the information desk. With the only telephone on it – there wasn’t one on the information desk at all.

The office was basically somewhere that scrounging mongers benefit recipients could come in and have queries answered, pick up forms, or just piss on the seats, and it was my job to help them, point them in the right direction, or put ‘please do not use this seat as it is covered in piss’ signs up in the waiting area. Most of the time it was a lonely job; I think the most human traffic I had in one day was 15 people. Usually it averaged about 10. The days were often long…

Anyway, the situation of having the only telephone situated away from the information desk meant that on the occasions when I had to go back to the main office for further advice, it often entailed a very difficult three way conversation. Not ideal when you’ve got Mr or Mrs Fuckwit in the waiting room wondering why their giro hasn’t turned up, and Mr or Mrs Couldn’t Really Give a Toss back in the office half heartedly punching a few numbers into their computer and trying to cover up the fact that the giro hadn’t been sent because they forgot to press a button when inputting a change in details.

And so it went, until a change in job mean that I would thankfully no longer be manning the caller office. Woo and Yay!

On my last day, which was unusually quiet, I was looking forward to closing the doors at 3 and buggering off. At 2:40 I heard the door, went to the helpdesk and was confronted by a woman.

“Can I help you”? I asked her.

She said nothing, but thrust a letter under the counter. I looked at it. It was from the Contributions Agency and seemed to be some indecipherable nonsense about her pension forecast. Not my bag, really, in fact, absolutely nothing to do with the Benefits Agency at all.

I looked at her again and asked her, perfectly politely “And how can I help you with this”?

“I want you to ring them for me”, came the snotty reply. I sighed. It was bad enough holding three way conversations about stuff I was familiar with; this was way over my head and would be a nightmare. OK, tactics – try and find out some additional information first, like has she spoken to them herself at all?

“Have you tried speaking to them yourself”?

“What”?

I repeated my question.

“No, I want you to do it for me”.

Christ. “Is there any reason why you can’t talk to them yourself”? I began, “it’s just that…”

“Oh, I can see you just don’t want to help”, she snapped, snatching the letter from the gap under the screen.

“No, it’s not that, I’m just trying to find out some more information, and the phone is round the corner which makes having…” She stormed out. …”a conversation a bit difficult…” I trailed off.

Five minutes later a man burst in. “You’ve upset my wife”! he roared at me. “You refused to help her”.

Sigh. “Sir, no I didn’t. I was trying to find out some more information, and merely asked she had already rang the Contributions Agency herself before coming in here. It’s not really my area of knowledge, see, and the phone is round the corner making a conversation a bit difficult; she would probably be better off speaking to them herself was all I was suggesting”, I explained, confident that he would see the rationale to this logic and go outside and slap his wife for being so dim.

Except, what happened was he went off on a rant. “I know all about your sort”, he yelled.

“Excuse me? What do you mean by ‘my sort”?

“Your sort! You don’t give a toss about other people”.

“I can assure you that I do”, said I. “As I was saying, I was merely trying to…”

“You see? You refused to help my wife, and you’re refusing to help me now”.

“No, I’m not”

“I’m going to report you for this”.

“Sir, you can do what you want; I don’t really care”.

“Oh, so you’re admitting it now then”?

“No, I mean that I don’t really care as today is my last day so it doesn’t matter if you report me or not”.

“Ah, now I see. I bet you’ve been like this all day have you? Think you can get away with it”?

Dear God. “No, if you would listen to what I’m trying to say to you instead of ranting at me…” but it was no good, he wasn’t listening by this stage. Somewhat dramatically, I swung my right index finger towards the door and yelled at him, “GET OUT”!

“WHAT”?

“You heard me. I’ve been trying to be helpful to you and your wife, and explain a few things to you but neither of you have had the politeness to actually listen to what I’ve been trying to say. If you can’t be bothered to be courteous to me, I’m not going to be courteous back. You’ve been rude to me, insulted me and threatened to report me, so I don’t want you in this office any more. Go on, get out. Fuck. Off. Please”. And put my head down to count how many A6 forms were left in case I had to order some more.

Stunned silence. I looked up again, aware of a presence. “You still here, then”?

He left. Quietly.
(Fri 5th Sep 2008, 12:01, More)

» Flirting

Ah divvent flirt
Ah cannat even swim, man, pet.
(Thu 18th Feb 2010, 13:18, More)

» Impulse buys

30 something bloke turns into excited child...
Not so much impulse buy as carefully calculated and just waiting for the right moment buy…

The ex missus buggering off with someone else was probably the best thing that could ever happen to me. Didn’t feel like it at the time, but I’m older and wiser and have the love of a good woman to keep me sane. Plus, I probably wouldn't have found this place either. However, at the time, I spent a few months bouncing off the walls and stuff, renting a flat which was a nice flat but which I also hated for some completely illogical reason because really, there was nothing wrong with it.

When she bought me out of my share of our house the first thing I did was put a hefty deposit down on a 2 bedroom house in the town, using some of the spare cash to help furnish it properly. I got fuck all out of the contents of our home together, even the bed, which was mine before we even moved in together. Well, except maybe some odd bits of duplicate crockery and stuff and a nice painting which I ‘liberated’ from the place when she wasn’t in, but apart from that it was a case of starting all over again from scratch. This used up all of the cash pretty quickly.

A few months later, though, her mum died and left me a tidy little sum, which I used partly to pay a chunk off the mortgage (you can tell I was married to an accountant can’t you?), and partly to get some double glazing put in and some new flooring. Sensible bugger, me. Oh yes. This left me with about 3 grand in change...

Hmm. I could put it in an ISA, as a nice little bit of rainy day money. But no. I’m done being sensible, I think I’ve been sensible enough up to that point. OK, put some of it an ISA. Good idea. About a grand; that’ll do. So what to do with the rest?

Hmm again. What had I spent years threatening the ex with in an “Ooh, if I ever had a spare bit of cash, I’d get this” type of way?

Conversations on the subject usually ran thus:

“Over my bloody dead body”.

“I would you know”.

*Jokingly* “I’d leave you if you ever put one of those things inside this house”.

And so, rattling around in a new two bedroom house on my own and with space to fill, I got on the internet, placed an order, and waited. Eight weeks later, this little baby turned up on the doorstep…

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So the leaving bit occured before the purchase; I'm not about to quibble over such a minor detail :)

Now I just have to work on Tourette's regarding that Cyberman the company does...
(Thu 21st May 2009, 14:00, More)

» Kids

Why I'm glad I'm not a child today. By Davros' Granddad, aged 37 and a third.
I’m soooo glad I’m not a child today. I grew up in the 70s / early 80s and life just seemed so much less hassle.

School: We weren’t tested to death and actually learned stuff at school rather than learning by wrote. Teachers today aren’t there to impart knowledge, they’re there to meet Government targets. If we pissed about in class, the teachers could discipline you. I’m not advocating the random beating of children (I had a teacher who would throw those heavy, wooden blackboard dusters at you if you misbehaved, and he was a twunt), but if teachers had a bit more leeway to dish out some sort of meaningful punishment (not just a breaktime detention, FFS) without fear of reprisals from (a) the education authority, and (b) little Johnny’s parents maybe lack of discipline wouldn’t be such a problem. I was well behaved at school mostly because I had some respect for the teachers counterbalanced with the tiniest bit of fear of what might happen if I fucked about.

We had little, if any, concept of what stress was. How many kids today can be classified as suffering from depression? Okay, I know it’s not a new thing, but it does seem so much more pronounced and obvious these days. Not helped by the sheer stress some of these kids must be under. And what’s the choice available to them when they leave school? You need a bloody qualification in landscape management just to be able to sweep the roads… What’s wrong with on-the-job training?

There wasn’t the relentless peer pressure that there is today. Kids today seem to be judged on what trainers they wear, whether they have the latest mobile phone, how many games consoles they have. All we had to worry about was whether our parkas had blue or orange fur in the hood.

We had some concept of the value of things. We received new toys on birthdays and at Christmas, and the shops would drastically reduce their range of exciting new toys between the months of January and October. Consequently when we got something new, we treasured it. Kids these days just think ‘easy come, easy go’ and the most common question asked seems to be “can I have?” No recognition of the fact that ‘things’ cost money and that you don’t have an automatic right to have something just because it’s (a) in the shops and (b) your friends have got one. And the relentless TV advertising doesn’t help either. My family had little money, and as a consequence of that plus subsequent working environments (DSS / jobcentre), I have a rabid fear of being in debt that I'm not in control of. In fact, I get all clenchy if I think I'm about to go into my overdraft by £20...

We were protected from exposure to inappropriate images on TV but allowed to play freely in the street, wander off, climb trees, and go off on our bikes with our mates. These days, some fuckwit parents will freely allow their kids access to some of the most horrific and inappropriate TV / films / computer games, and yet will not allow their offspring to voyage more than a stones throw away from the house in case they get abducted and murdered. WTF?

Boys were dressed as boys and girls as girls, not like cut-price pimps and hookers. I mean, high street fashion stores selling padded bras for girls aged 8 for Christ’s sake? I despair, I really do. The utter spaktardery of some people beggars belief.

I could go on.

Rose-tinted spectacles? Perhaps. But I’m so glad I was a kid then and not now.

*EDIT* This makes me sound like a grumpy old man - I'm not. Honest guv. I just think that kids should be allowed to be kids, be allowed to be taught at school rather than tested, and not indulged constantly by fuckwit parents that think loving a child is about buying them stuff on tick, letting them watch what they want and feeding them processed junk.

*Makes indignant 'harrumphing' sound*.
(Tue 22nd Apr 2008, 12:30, More)

» Unemployed

Tales of the Unemployed volume one
I may not get around to volume two as this week is a bit busy for me. (Hoo-fucking-ray I hear you cry).

So, back in the day and having worked as a jobcentre monkey for a relatively short space of time, but long enough to saddle me with a lifetime's worth of unhealthy cynicism, I had to do a 6 monthly review with Darren.

Darren was one of those lads that the system had written off as terminally unemployable; no qualifications, no skills, and an attitude not to be trifled with. "Good luck with him", my earstwhile and similarly jaded colleagues giggled. "You'll be lucky if he even turns up".

Sure enough, after 20 minutes of waiting, I was about to give up and close the book on him, when the door flew open and he dashed in. "Sorry I'm late, the bus was late and I only just got here".

"Darren", said I, "You're 20 minutes late for a 30 minute interview, I can't really see you now".

"Please", he asked, "It wasn't my fault, and I don't want to have my claim closed".

Whether it ws the look of panic in his eyes that did it I don't know, but my benevolence chip kicked in, and I asked him to take a seat. "This'll have to be quick, just a quick jobsearch and your signature, OK"?

As it happened, Darren was looking for basic labouring work, and a job had come in that morning for such work on a building site in Morpeth; £300 a week - not bad for unskilled labour. Trouble was, it involved an 8:30 start, the site was on the southern outskirts of the town, and Darren didn't have transport. Given the fact that he lived 16 miles away in a town with a bus service that didn't start until 8:30, it looked like a long shot. He might as well have lived at the arse end of the Outer Hebrides, the local transport was so shit. But Darren was convinced, and took the details away with him.

I was completely unprepared for what happened the next day. As I was about to head for lunch, the door of the office flew open and Darren ran in waving his ES40 card triumphantly and making a bee-line for me. "Won't be needing this anymore" he beamed. I must have looked puzzled, so he elaborated.

"That job you gave me details for yesterday; I got a lift off a mate and went straight down there. The bloke said I was the first person to actually bother turning up, so he gave me the job straight away. I start tomorrow. Really brilliant. Thank you for seeing me yesterday, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have this".

"That's brilliant", I said, "but what about transport?"

"My mate works in Morpeth and starts at 8:45, he can drop me at the site before he goes into work".

And he shook my hand, thanked me again, handed his ES40 over, and disappeared out of the door as my colleagues watched on, dumbstruck.

I never saw him again.

Just goes to show, even the most apparently 'hopeless case' can turn around and surprise you.
(Sat 4th Apr 2009, 12:17, More)
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