Monday, July 5, 2010

Minor inconveniences and irritations

There are some days it just doesn't pay to be me, last night I worked a 12 hour nightshift, wasn't a bad shift as these things go, but by the end of it you just want to go home and sleep and that's where the problems started. The damned car wouldn't start, oh yes it would turn over, but I had a pesky engine management system light flashing. Nothing wrong with the car, just a "safety" issue caused by a minor electrical fault (dodgy fuse connector) meaning the injection system control wasn't working. Took a very nice RAC guy and his computer 5 mins to track it down, but it was still 2 hours later that I finally set off for home. On the way I called at a garage to stick a bit of fuel in the car to cover me coming into work tonight on a wing and a prayer + diesel fumes and discovered that the money in my wallet wasn't legal tender anymore.
Seems if you're lucky enough to have £20 notes in your purse/wallet/under your mattress/in a biscuit tin, you should check that you haven't got any of the old style notes as they ceased to be legal tender on 1st July.  Fortunately I had a credit card, unfortunately it's one that I couldn't remember the pin for as I usually only use it for online shopping. So a frantic phone call to Lady QM ensued and a queue behind both me and my car gathered in the usual patient English style. Fortunately my good lady has a better memory than I do, or at least knew where to look for the details, though she didn't appreciate being woken up herself, still, it got sorted. I also went to the cash machine at the garage and changed the pin to one I tend to use for everything, it's only as secure in the detail that I only know it now, but I really can't be arsed to learn 5 or 6 different pins anymore, I'll take my chances.
Later on after a less than usual sleep I headed down to the bank/building society, with various £20's from around the cookie jars in Castle QM only to discover that it's at their discretion whether or not they change them I was given a form to send them to the Bank of England to be changed. I'm afraid lack of sleep and stress over the car overcame me and the red mist descended and I demanded to see the manager in preparation to closing my account, this seemed to do the trick and apparently they decided to use their discretion, but shouldn't have to lose it just to get them to do their job, yes I know about discretion, but I've been banking there for nigh on 9 years, longer if you add on the times as a customer at another branch.
As it is, I'm sitting here fuming at jobsworths, the car and the fact I still have another 11 hours to go before I go home.
Still at least I'm not out of pocket and I got my moneys worth out of the RAC.

5 annotations:

JuliaM said...

Funnily enough, buying a new aquarium bulb at the weekend, I noted the sign (hand drawn) at the cash desk and quickly checked. 'Not to worry, love' said the cashier, 'We'll take any old ones anyway'

James Higham said...

Poor boy. I checked my twenties on Jun 30.

The Boiling Frog said...

Ergh...12 hour night shifts, I hate them, so I feel for you. Thankfully I no longer have to do them, the hallucinating bit on the Friday night / Saturday morning after a week of nights was always 'fun'.

Macheath said...

Much sympathy over the car business - you don't drive a Fiat, do you?

I had much the same thing happen - when I checked the handbook, it said in bold capitals IF THIS WARNING LIGHT APPEARS, STOP AT ONCE AND CONTACT A GARAGE..

Then, in much smaller type underneath, 'Sometimes this light may come on for no reason. If it does, ignore it.'

John R said...

Sorry to hear about your rough day...hope things are better today.

One thing about the pin on your card, you're right about being unable to remember loads of different PINs, most folk can't. Also having them all the same is a bit risky, but there is a really simple and safe way to have different numbers and never forget them or have to write them down.

Dont have a single PIN - have a single rule.

Look at your card(s), they each have four blocks of four digits. Now decide on a rule to generate PINs....for example you might make your rule "first digit in each block" or "last block in reverse order" or "last digit in each block" or absolutely any rule that suits you.

That single rule will give you a different PIN for each card 'cos all the cards have different numbers, so you dont have to remember the PIN, just remember your rule...people are good with rules, you wont forget it - ever. Nor will you ever need to write it down. So your PINs will be much more secure 'cos you just look at each card and you'll be able to see the number right in front of you.

So go and change all your PINs to match your unique, personal rule and away you go. Change any new cards as you get them.

Hope this helps.

PS tell your mates!!

PPS it goes without saying you never tell anyone your rule...but tell them how the system works!!