Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Island life

I watched Oil City Confidential: The Dr Feelgood Story on telly the other night and have to say it's the best rock documentary I've ever seen. Dr Feelgood are ace. It even beats an old film about the Kursaal Flyers I saw years ago. Wilko Johnson's ace. Lee Brilleaux's ace. The Big Figure's ace. John B Sparkes is ace. In fact, Wilko Johnson could quite possibly have become my favourite person in the world. Ever. And I love the grubbiness of the other three; they look like the sort of blokes you'd find having it off (and in their case that's the right terminology) with the local bike over the bins behind a pub at chucking out time.
Anyway, if you didn't see it, then watch it here. Or lose out. The choice is yours. Who'd have thought there was romance in a rundown seaside town with a not-very-picturesque oil refinery? I'm just sorry I was born early enough to have seen them in there pomp. I'm sure Johnson would have hypnotised me for the duration of their set. And seeing them with The Blockheads in support would have been one hell of a night out.
Their best, I think:

Monday, 26 April 2010

Mobile phone shops and the idiots who work in them

I know nothing about mobile phones, right? What I do know is that I'd like a phone which has a big screen to look at the internet while 'I'm on the move.' What I also know is that I've gone on to a new mobile phone tariff which means I get unlimited internet browsing* and texts. So I want to change my phone. I've got the money burning a hole in my pocket, what I don't have is the knowledge.
First port of call is Newark's O2 shop. I tell the bloke what I've just told you and he hands me tons of stuff to take home and read, recommending the Nokia 5800. Take the stuff home, I digest it and go on holiday. Last Saturday I went back into the store and said to the assistant "I'm an existing O2 customer and would like that phone please" pointing at the Nokia 5800. After a lot of toing and froing he decides they don't have any in stock but he'll phone me on Tuesday to tell me he's got one from somewhere else. The phonecall doesn't happen.

I had to go to Nottingham yesterday so thought I'd pop along to the O2 shop there and see if they had one. The shop was busy but that didn't stop three members of the staff talking at the till about one of them having problems with is flatmate. I paced up and down, sighing, finally grabbing the man with the flatmate issues. I said to him "I'm an existing O2 customer and would like that phone please" pointing at the Nokia 5800. After a lot of toing and froing he decides that there are none in stock. "Have you tried the store near the Broadmarsh Centre?" he asked. I replied I hadn't but perhaps he'd like to phone that shop and ask if they've one in stock to save me the walk. To do this he needs to go back behind the counter. He shouts, shouts, across the shop "THEY HAVEN'T GOT ONE EITHER! HAVE YOU TRIED OUR ONLINE SHOP!" I told him the Nokia 58-fucking-00 isn't available from the O2 online store (although I didn't really say "58-fucking-00" because I'm polite). "OH, MAYBE THEY'VE DISCONTINUED IT THEN!" he bellowed back. Right 1) if they've discontinued it, why is it still on display in the shops and 2) the little fucker didn't bother offering me an alternative, he just wandered off. I left in a huff.

Walked into the Victoria shopping centre across the road and tried the Carphone Warehouse. Told the guy my requirements and he sold me on something that would have suited my needs perfectly. "Right, I'll take one" I said. Apparently if I wanted one he'd have to order it from Head Office. Jesus wept, all I want is a new mobile to take home. What's wrong with these people?

Phones 4 U next (God, I fucking hate their name). Didn't even get to speak to anyone in there because the shop was empty and the five members of staff were bust jerking each other off behind the counter. What looked like the manager was peering out of the shop front and down the concourse. As I passed him on my way out I said to him "You've just lost a sale, mate."

I fucking hate mobile phone shopping. Why is it so difficult? I know the staff are probably underpaid and bored, but I was always taught about customer service when I worked direct with the public. Sorry for boring you...

Why can't all mobile phone shops be like this:

*subject to fair usage

Thursday, 22 April 2010

How to make cuckoo clocks even better pt.2

Thanks to a very lovely Facebook friend of mine, here's something that trumps even the Flying Scotsman clock. Who wouldn't purchase one after reading this:
Handcrafted and handpainted RAF 90th Anniversary Dawn Patrol Clock, officially endorsed by the RAF and featuring genuine Spitfire sounds!
As dawn breaks across the grassy airfield, the unmistakable sound of a Spitfire's Merlin engine roaring to life fills the crisp morning air. In the cockpit, a brave RAF fighter pilot waits for the signal to scramble and defend our skies…
Now is your chance to join him in this exhilarating moment, with the official RAF 90th Anniversary Dawn Patrol Clock.
Boasting authentic 1940s detail, this exclusive first-of-a-kind RAF edition salutes the courageous men and women who have served the Royal Air Force over the past 90 years – and also pays homage to their remarkable flying machines! Intricate handcrafting and handpainting give each edition a unique finish. A replica Spitfire appears every hour along with the sounds of its Merlin engine roaring to life. An abundance of features make this a one-of-a-kind clock - officially endorsed by the RAF!

Brings a tear to the eye, don't it? The 90th anniversary of the RAF was 2008, so they're obviously not selling. Wonder why..?
Here, have some rousing music to play while you read it again.

Monday, 19 April 2010

How to make cuckoo clocks even better.

I'd love one of these. I'd never tire of the thrill of the seeing LNER No. 4472 make its way around the base of the clock on the hour, every hour. And the joy that one must experience as the Station Master pops out of his little hut to announce the Flying Scotsman's arrival must be better than any heroin hit. I want one, and I want one now. And all for the bargain price of £124.90 (plus £9.99 p&p), a snip!
Surely this Bradford company must be up for some sort of innovation award, what with this clock and their kitten fleece, not to mention the limited edition Concorde chronograph and the classy I Wish You Angel.