Had a bit of an accident! (Day 1 & 2)

      1. Day 1
      2. Day 2

This and similar posts are just going to be me moaning about a minor tumble I took the other day and are mainly presented only for others to take amusment from.

Day 1 ^

Day 1 (1)

On the morning of Tuesday 26th I was crossing the railway level crossing at Feltham when I did what I always reflexively do and looked both ways to see if a train was coming (which I know is a bit silly because the barriers wouldn’t be up if there was, but still). I saw a train in the station and as I was staring at it wondering if it was my train, I tripped up.

I had a bottle of orange juice in one hand and the remote control for my iRiver in the other and before I could decide what I was doing with those, my nose had smacked into the ground with a bit of a crunch. My vision went black for a second and I thought I had broken my nose. Touching it produced a lot of blood (both from the bridge and from the nostrils) but no blinding agony so at least I knew it wasn’t as bad as that. The image to the right is what it looked like by the time I’d got to dayjob and washed up a bit.

Day 1 (2)

I also found out that the expensive sunglasses I bought about 10 days ago have a massive scratch across one lens, and my iRiver remote is even more broken than it was already.

In hindsight it was probably lucky that I was on the level crossing as most of my nose went into the groove of the track. If I hadn’t been and had smacked the flat ground I’m thinking it would be far more likely that it’d have broken my nose.

Day 2 ^

Day 2, finger

By Wednesday the throbbing in my nose had mostly gone away, but the bruising really started to show and it began to look a bit uglier. I must have landed on my left little finger as well, as that started to swell up during the night and by the morning was making it difficult to type properly or get the God-forsaken on-call phone out of my pocket.

Day 2

More to come!

Don’t shop with Laptops Direct unless you enjoy marketing email and a hard sell

In the last year I have bought an Eee PC 900 and a Thinkpad R61 from laptopsdirect.co.uk. The purchase of the Eee PC went smoothly although I did get a call a few weeks later from someone who wanted to sell me an expensive additional warranty.

When I ordered the Thinkpad, I got a call back within a couple of hours saying that they had some “security problems” with my phone number. They claimed that my home phone number did not work. I knew I had input it correctly, and when I asked them to tell me what I had supposedly put in, I got a string of numbers that was too short to be a phone number and which I knew I had never put in myself. I gave them my correct number, and then immediately I was asked a number of sales questions.

They attempted to sell me Microsoft Office (I’m a Linux user), a “pre-delivery dead pixel check” for £39.99 (no thanks), a 3 year warranty for about £80 (I went with manufacturer’s warranty) and laptop insurance (covered by my home insurance). Each time I politely declined, the woman made comments like “oh, you’re just going to risk it then?” By the end of the call I was pretty annoyed and strongly got the impression that the original story about my phone number was a complete fabrication in order to get me on the phone for a hard sell.

Still, the goods were a fair price and arrived on time so apart from making a mental note to be wary of this in future, I forgot about it.

Today I have just received this email:

Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 19:18:20 +0100                                                                                                                                               
From: "Alice@AirConDirect.co.uk"                                                                                                                          
To: "[redacted]@[redacted]" <[redacted]@[redacted]>                                                                                             
Subject: End of Summer Sale - Further Reductions AND Free Delivery, Ends Sept 1st                                                                                                   
Reply-To: noreply@aircondirect.co.uk                                                                                                                                                
X-Mailer: aspNetEmail ver                                                                                                                                                   
Summer's almost over and we are clearing out all our stocks of air conditioners with a further reductions off sale prices AND FREE DELIVERY to boot.                                
Offer must end 1st September so click on the link below to see what difference the final reductions make to our prices.                                                             
Alice Taylor                                                                                                                                                                        
AirCon Direct Advisor                                                                                                                                                               
Tel - 0870 160 3191                                                                                                                                                                 
Prices and titles correct at the time of sending e-mail and are subject to availability.                                                                                            
You are receiving this email as a previous customer of                                                                                                                              
Laptops Direct / Appliances Direct / Direct TVs / Servers Direct / Acer Direct / AirCon Direct / Shop Targus.                                                                       
You are subscribed to the mailing list with the email address                                                                                                                       
If you have received this in error or would like to unsubcribe please email unsubscribe@aircondirect.co.uk with "unsubscribe" as the subject

At no point did I give my permission to Laptops Direct to pass my email address around as I have no desire to receive these (completely unrelated) “offers”. I realise that they are owning up to why I am receiving the email and have therefore not done anything illegal, but it is exceptionally rude in my opinion.

This together with the routine with the phone call have ensured that I will never shop from Laptops Direct again, nor any of the other companies listed above. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to use a tagged email address so I can now send mails to that address into oblivion.

I attempted to complain to Laptops Direct about this, but their web site contains no contact email address. They do have a web form. Here’s what happened when I submitted it:



From: Overclockers UK <mailinglist@overclockers.co.uk>
To: "andy@strugglers.net" <andy@strugglers.net>
Subject: Overclockers would like to hear from you!
X-Mailer: JMail 4.3.0 Free Version by Dimac

This mail cannot be read in a text only client.

They did include a text/html part though. Maybe that has what they want to hear from me about?


   Reply with 'unsubscribe' in the subject to be removed from the mailing

Okay! Thanks Overclockers, will do.

Legal in UK to refuse to employ smokers?

Martin, yes it is legal:

I consider myself a non-smoker but this sort of policy would actually put me off working there. If they banned smoking breaks on work time, that would be okay. If they encouraged people to quit smoking, that would be okay. But this seems like an unwarranted intrusion into the employees’ personal lives.

I do wonder how they define “smoker” also. As I say I consider myself a non-smoker but I have probably smoked about 6 cigars in my life and probably will continue to do so at the rate of a couple per year at special occasions and such.