Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Estate Agents

Estate Agents are like a good pair of sunglasses. When you find one, hold on to it and never let it go. I had one and let them go. (They're still there, I just have the misfortune of not using them at the moment.)

Of course, sunglasses have a higher IQ than most estate agents, so the metaphor ends almost as soon as it has begun. I spent quite a while trying to fix my flat after some people smashed my front door in (not a euphemism), the latest in my series of bewildering agency calls went something like this:

The door fixing company came to survey the damage and make a quote. They spent a week making a quote. A WEEK! I chased them a few times, and each time I did they said they would mark it as urgent. I don't think they know what it means to mark something, or what urgent means. I imagine their online record of my case just has the word urgent written by lots of different people in many places, sometimes repeatedly in the same place, and no one really knows what that means. Or they all know that it means nothing. Like adding the sticker 'fragile' to luggage.
Finally, after more than a week, they were ready! Well, inasmuch as they then had to await authorisation to do the work. That comes from either the landlord or the building management people.
I called the estate agency asking them to get the authorisation from whoever it needs to come from, to the door fixing people, straight away so that it can get done.
A day later I called the estate agent to see what was happening, as a door that works would be nice.
She said, she's been chasing people. I asked who, she said the door fixing company! I said, I was calling them last week (when she was on holiday), and their part is done and they need authorisation to continue. She told me she had received an email this very morning from them saying they have submitted a quote and are awaiting authorisation. I didn't say anything as sometimes there are no words. She continued by saying she will chase up people to get authorisation. I asked who she would be chasing, she said the door fixing company! I got confused so stopped talking.

The next day I received a call saying she now knows that she needs to call the management agency who run the flats and will call them.

As for what happened after the 'fixed' the door, i shall leave my story of crime to another day...

Friday, May 29, 2015

empathy

one of my favourite things about poker is how it shows most people have no empathy whatsoever. I say favourite, but it's really quite a sad realisation.

case in point:
someone posted something about religion on facebook. cue, many posts, and there always seems to be one person saying something like, "religion teaches people what to think, not how to think"
My favourite comment was "religion deals in absolutes", i'm trying to not reply, "unlike people who talk negatively about religion".
and then there's atheists who think that by proclaiming they're atheists makes their arguments more logical. like football fans who support awful teams, believing that this makes their opinions about football more important than fans who support premier league sides.

How self centred do you have to be to believe you know about all religions, and more importantly, what people take from them? and then to generalise about all of them, complaining about how they are the ones dealing in absolutes?

Poker players, especially when they start playing, always think about what they would do in their opponents shoes instead of what their opponent would do in their opponent's shoes. Even as you improve, you assume other people know some of the new things that you've just learnt! It sadly seems like human nature is to assume that everyone else does or should think like you.
i don't know how most people think this way, how they can be so sure about what they 'know'.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

rash

Not making terrible decisions, but an actual rash.

yesterday after returning home from a chum's house, the knuckles on my left hand were rather dry. so i washed them and put some vaseline on the skin. Not long later I noticed that the knuckles were going really red. And then the thumb knuckle (is it still a knuckle? it seems different to the others) also started to turn red.
I thought i'd check the symptoms on the interent, and that was no help whatsoever.
so once again i ventured onto uk's webMd. as before, when i mention the word rash, EVERY SINGLE QUESTION for about 40 minutes is another question asking about a symptom of meningitis. and after answering no to all of them, the recommendation is go get help. as it was past midnight, i thought i'd call 111, the non emergency version of 999.
i spoke to a guy who asked me all sorts of inappropriate questions like have you ever had AIDS.
eventually he told me he was going, and someone else would call me.
as it was now past 1am, my phone went in to do not disturb mode so while watching 30 rock to stay awake, i missed a couple of calls. 3rd time lucky and i answered to a women who was a trained medic (nurse) who then asked me a similar set of questions. after this she said bye, and a doctor will call me back.
i managed to answer the first time to someone who really didn't sound like a doctor. at this point, i was so tired and unimpressed by my knuckles that i figured just going to bed was the best option and if i died then at least i wouldn't have to deal with anything in the morning. the redness had gone down a bit, so i told the lady on the phone that and she just let me go.

i woke up as usual today before my alarm at about 730, in a state of unbearable tiredness so i just stayed in bed for about 2 hours. after lunch i had a siesta, and then early evening i had another. i have been tired today. went out to do some exercise tonight, and then have to be awake tomorrow for a day full of actual work and leaving the house.

Friday, April 17, 2015

being open!

this has not gone well. I realised that i don't like being open with people i don't like. Perhaps I need to change this and just be open with everyone including those i dislike....

Monday, April 13, 2015

more things i've learned while cycling

Gastroenteritis is very painful.
I've had hangovers where i whispered into the phone that "i just want to die" to make it end.
High interval training is probably worse. Just 4 minutes is excruciating - 20 second cycling super fast, 10 seconds slow, repeat and repeat and ..... After 2 minutes of that everything in my body is already telling me to stop, and when 4 minutes is up I collapse onto the floor where i lie in the foetal position for about 15 minutes to recover. This may not be so painful however, it is definitely mentally very tough to keep going when you could so easily stop.
And yet all of those pale into insignificance compared to the heartache (and perhaps depression?) of the past few months. The easy way to keep cycling is to remind myself that the pain of the intervals is so short and weak compared to the torture that my brain has put me through recently. (Although maybe it's the torture that i've been putting my brain through?)

And then the training doesn't seem so bad after all.

In other news, I have discovered that LinkedIn can be better for tracking people down (read: stalking) than Facebook. Of course, you have to be careful not to be signed in, otherwise they see you watching them and then you might end up talking to them, and i've just had an idea.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

things i've learned while cycling

most people cannot judge the speed of a bicycle. or they think because you're not a car it won't hurt if you hit them at 35km/h. or that they, as pedestrians, have right of way on the road.
following on from the above, some parents care not for the safety of their children, crossing the road with them in buggies, or allowing them to wander into the road because it's just a bike coming.
it may be the most efficient form of transport humans have ever invented but it's hard work.
% of terrible drivers is probably quite similar to % of terrible cyclists.
pushing yourself to the limit is probably tougher mentally than physically.
i am very unfit.

Friday, April 03, 2015

existential crisis number 132

Showers are great for thinking.

In today's shower I realised that about two years ago I mentioned on here I need to get some new friends. The criteria was whether they liked the TV show Derek.
In the intervening time, I have been doing what all poker players know is the number one sin - lying to themselves. You'll never get better if you can't be honest with yourself about what you do. And I realised that in life, while I know it's best to be open and honest (except at the tables), I convinced my self that I was. I wasn't. I also managed to convince myself that I don't care what other people think (well, I know I'm a good actor. I really haven't been good at this, while thinking I have been. I may be improving but very slowly due to my overestimation of my abilities. I just didn't realise I was so good at convincing myself.
And this is why two years later, I only made 1 real friend (as linked to above). They were the best friend I ever had, and I realised I've not done any better because i've been lying to myself all along.

The book (and definitely not the film) 'yes man' is great. The idea of saying yes to everything to be open to opportunities is great. I am going to be honest AND open about everything in a similar manner. Only for a week, mind. I dread people asking how I am, as my reply will be "terribly depressed." That is seriously frowned upon in England and probably punishable by hanging. Anything other than "fine, you?" is a criminal act.

I wonder where this will take me...
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