Funny poster: Faith

July 13, 2009 Leave a comment

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Amazon.co.uk’s ‘free’ delivery costs too much! (Conclusion)

July 11, 2009 2 comments

I woke up this morning still fuming about my Amazon order so I phoned their customer services line. The customer services representative told me that Royal Mail could not deliver my items and my refund had already been processed so I have to place a new order.  That made me more annoyed. In my normal voice, I replied,  “This is out of order. You won’t believe how angry I am” which I think was rather pointless. I mean, if you are angry you are supposed to sound angry, right?

I have a ploy I use on customer services staff.  When they refuse to grant my request, I don’t raise my voice. I ask again very politely and if they still say ‘No’, then I start complaining and rambling on about how I have always been a loyal customer and will stop using their service blah blah blah. I know they don’t care if I leave or stay but all that whining, done in a monotone voice, usually wears them down and eventually they either tell me an emphatic “sorry but there’s nothing I can do” or they give me what I want.  Most of the time,  I get what I want.

So I tried my strategy with the Amazon customer services woman. First I asked her, “Is there anything you can do to sort this out without my having to place a new order, please? I would really appreciate it because I don’t fancy paying double for an item that cost much less just 10 days ago”. “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do”, she replied.  So I took a deep breath and started whining, “I just can’t pay double the latest price for this item. It’s more than double the original price….I have been a loyal customer for yeeeears… I will take my custom elsewhere ….This is not right…This is sooo unfair…. how can my address be ‘undeliverable’ when the postman has been delivering my other mail all week…I neeeever have this problem when I use your express delivery…You can’t treat customers this way…” I just went on and on.  I must have been speaking for about 3 minutes before she said, “I will see what I can do. Can you stay on the line please? I’ll now put you on hold.” A few minutes later she was back and she said, “You will have to place a new order”. I took a deep breath, ready to start complaining again when she quickly added, “BUT while we are on the line, I will edit the price so you pay the amount that was on your first order. It will also be sent to you by first class delivery for free.”  My voice returned back to normal. I thanked her and said I would prefer to use Express delivery. She said Amazon could only give me a refund for half the cost of the express delivery. “No problem”, I replied.  I was not even expecting a discount on it.  So, while she was still on the phone, I placed the order and since the express delivery was going to be half-price, I added some more items that were not on my initial order. I suspect she did not say anything because she did not want me to go off on a tangent again.  She adjusted the price. I thanked her and apologised for subjecting her to my whining. She laughed and told me to have a nice day. I wonder if she meant it :mrgreen:.

A happy ending!

Amazon.co.uk’s ‘free’ delivery costs too much!

July 11, 2009 28 comments

I ordered some items from Amazon about 2 weeks days ago using their ‘free delivery’ option. Estimated delivery date was 5 days ago. Well,  the postman arrived on that day, there was no delivery so I phoned Amazon. The customer services officer suggested that I wait another week and if I don’t receive it, I should ring them and they’ll send out another one.

I just checked my emails and there was one from Amazon (sent 2 days ago) telling me that they are refunding my payment because my shipping address is ‘undeliverable’.  My address has not been undeliverable all these years so why now? Anytime I use their free Super Saver Delivery, I have all sorts of problems.   Amazon’s website states that

When a postal carrier returns an undeliverable package to us, we issue a full refund (including delivery charges).

We are unable to re-send packages that are returned to us as undeliverable. If you would still like to purchase those items, you’re welcome to place a new order on our website.

I checked the latest price on one of the items that I had ordered and it now costs more than double what I paid for it 😯 ! I’ll ring them in the morning. Hopefully, they will agree deliver my items at the price I paid when I first ordered them.  If that does not work, then I’ll have to go shopping on the high street.  It’s so annoying.

Duke Amachree – Things you don’t do at work

July 9, 2009 Leave a comment

A Wandsworth Council worker has been sacked for encouraging a woman to turn to God. In January, the woman went to the council for housing advice because her landlord was selling the privately-rented flat where she lived.  She was hoping to find alternative accommodation near a hospital because she has an incurable bowel condition. Duke Amachree, a homeless prevention officer with the council, was moved by her plight. He told the woman that ‘sometimes doctors don’t have all the answers’ and suggested that she put her faith in God.  The woman was offended and made a complaint to the council.   Mr Amachree was initially suspended but has now been dismissed from his job. He claims that the decision to dismiss him is a breach of his human rights and he is now going to sue the council.

Here are my thoughts on this: However good his intentions were, Mr Amachree exercised poor judgement by preaching to the woman. She was a vulnerable woman who went to the council for housing advice. If she wanted spiritual advice, she would have gone to a place of worship. While Mr Amachree may have acted out of compassion, I think that promoting his beliefs during the course of his duties can be seen as an abuse of his position as a council employee.  I think that The Christian Legal Centre, who has appointed a solicitor to handle his case, is sending out the wrong message.

In a news article, Mr Amachree said,

I was stunned when they suspended me. I thought it was a dream.

He worked for that council for 17 years so how did he not know the consequences of his actions? Discussing religion is discouraged at work for this very reason – your religious views could be offensive to others. I can appreciate some people’s desire to promote their beliefs but these people should be aware that others may not share their enthusiasm or belief.  At work, preaching to your colleague is bad enough but doing it to a member of the public, now that’s treading on dangerous ground. If preaching is not part of your job, then just don’t do it.

I think it’s a real shame he lost his job. I will wait and see how this plays out.

Bullying in the public sector

July 3, 2009 1 comment

I have just finished reading The Bullied Blogger’s blog and, though part of it is fictionalised to hide her identity, it is riveting stuff.  The Bullied Blogger, a UK university lecturer, was being victimised and fought to bring her bullies to justice.  Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop though I already knew how it would end – no matter what happened, she would lose.  You see, her situation is one that is played out very often.PD*996698

In the UK, the public sector is supposed to be where all the employment laws are rigidly followed but this is often not the case. Working in the public sector can be a positive and rewarding experience if you work in an organisation or institution that actively discourages unacceptable behaviour in the workplace and protects employees from any reprisals for reporting inappropriate behaviour.

In recent times, bullying in the public sector has taken on a new form:  it is now ruthless, relentless and increasingly becoming commonplace.  I am not referring to one-off episodes of unacceptable behaviour but to a pattern of behaviour which, over a period of time,  is designed to demean and humiliate the target and make them feel worthless. It is awful to witness and even worse for the target. I have seen hard-working, enthusiastic, assertive colleagues reduced to broken, quivering wrecks due to victimisation. When I was going through my own experience, I read as much literature as I could on bullying –  “Stand up to the bully”, “Complain to someone higher up”, “Take out a grievance” they all said.  ‘Fight back’ was the general advice given.  You see, fighting back is okay when you are a child being bullied in the school playground but when you are an adult in the workplace, it’s gets a bit complicated because office politics come into play.  When the target approaches HR for help, HR all too often tries to cover up the bullying and if  the target continues to complain about the bullying, they suddenly find that spurious allegations have been made against them which require  ‘disciplinary action’. Those spurious allegations will pre-date the date of the target’s complaint about bullying to give the illusion of any disciplinary action being fair in the eyes of the law.  It is a tried-and-tested formula used to shut up the target. 

My suggestion to anyone in that position is that if you value your mental health, family life and career then don’t bother fighting. Put all that energy into finding another job instead. Get out of there before your sickness or employment record becomes so tarnished that no other employer will touch you. Some may see this as a coward’s way out but I see it as an opportunity to change your job while your life and health are still intact. You can fight your case all the way to an employment tribunal if you wish but even if you win the battle, you still would have lost the war. The  experience will adversely affect your health, your family life and your career and no amount of compensation or justice can make up for that. And after the ordeal, while you are busy trying to put back together the tattered remnants of your once happy life, the bully has already moved on to their next target, with no remorse for the damage they have caused in your life.

After-effects of bullying

I now refer to that employment as the place where my career almost died.

An appreciation of my father

July 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Father’s day got me thinking: any time I see or speak to my mother, I tell her that I love her.  I am ashamed to write that I don’t do the same with my father because, in my little mind, I expect him to KNOW. Why?

I love my father very dearly and we have a great relationship.  HNew Picturee taught me a lot and taught me well.  His mother (Nana, hope you are sleeping well) raised him on her own and life was tough for them but he uses that as a motivator, not a hindrance, in his life.  He and my mother instilled in us the values and discipline we needed to guide us through life and encouraged us to take  responsibility for our actions. I never wanted to go to school but my father (aka the fountain of wisdom) would tell me,  “There will come a time when I can no longer protect you. These values and knowledge will be your weapon in life. So as long as you live in my house, you live by my rules.”  Now I’m all grown up and I just can’t stop studying – always have to be reading something. My dad now pokes fun at me for this 😆

I only began to appreciate my father’s lectures when I became an adult.  They have been a guiding force in my life. I have made some really awful decisions but by holding myself accountable and learning from my mistakes, I’m constantly growing as a human being.

As one of my wise friends reminded me, fathers also need to be told that they are loved and appreciated and not just on Father’s Day. I will tell my father,  more often, that I love him.

A taste of his own medicine

June 29, 2009 3 comments

My neighbour started blaring his music again this evening.  I was trying to watch the evening news and could hear his music over my TV.  I just couldn’t be dealing with his loud music in this hot weather. I know he likes listening to rap, R&B and rock so I put on some jazz (Spyro gyra) at full blast until he turned down his volume.

I hope he finally got the message but I’m not taking any chances, I’ve got some opera ready for the next time he plays his music too loud.  I’m sure he’ll appreciate Andrea Bocelli as much as I do :mrgreen:

Now, why did I not think of this before?