Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Blind as an old blind bat

I couldn't get in to my blog! It was awful. Anyway, I'm back now. I'll have a biscuit to celebrate.

I've finally booked an eye test. I've only been promising myself one for the last seven years, so it's been pretty efficient for me. I seem to be okay reading and with distances, but even half an hour on the computer leaves my eyes dry and stinging, and they're often sore when I wake up. Is it possible to just need glasses for looking at a screen? Quite possibly, but I wouldn't know.

My mum says her eyesight got a lot worse after she got glasses. Maybe your eyes get used to the magnification so everything without them looks tiny. My dad drove me a job interview a couple of weeks ago (I didn't get it - imbeciles) and handed me a street-by-street. I couldn't read it - it was too small. He gave me a pair of glasses he'd bought in a pound shop. My dad has all sorts of interesting and varied problems with his sight and equally interesting and varied ways of avoiding the eye hospital. He's worried they'll find out he hasn't been wearing his contact lens (he's blind in one eye) and berate him, so despite his complex prescription he just buys glasses for a pound. Marvellous. But I could SEE the tiny wee print. And that's when I knew.

But really I've known I've needed glasses for ages. In fact, I've probably needed them since I was about seven years old, since I've always had to squint to see things properly. I've heard it called the "California squint" because they have such strong sunlight a lot of people have to close up one eye to see anything. I live in Scotland, though, so I've got little excuse in that department. Squinting to see in the dark at 3.30pm, aye. But sunlight's not the issue.

And, more seriously, I think I'm going night blind. Most people's eyes adjust to the dark after a few minutes, but mine don't anymore. If it's black it stays black. I'll discuss that with the optician. Then I'll have to find glasses that suit me. I have shaky hands and long nails, so contact lenses are out, and the thought of laser surgery scares me half to death. But it's a new experience, and I'm always happy to have those.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Delivering happiness

I went to leave a good review for the delivery service Yodel, because they got my dad's book to me about a week before I was expecting it. All he has to do now is read it. Any day now I'm sure. It seems I'm in the vast minority in my happiness with Yodel, and I got sucked into reading all the bad reviews. I've had a few thoughts about this.

1. I didn't know it was possible to spell "appalling" in at least eight incorrect ways. Also general literacy levels are not good. Some of them are barely coherent, and at least one woman's parcel must have contained a full stop button for her keyboard. If you are going to complain to a company and you're barely literate, it's a good idea to get someone with a grasp of basic spelling and grammar to spew vitriol on your behalf. If the complaints team have to spend two and a half hours working out what the hell you're on about it slows down the process considerably.

2. A heart transplant is urgent. A DVD boxset is not. And why order next day delivery when you know you won't be in and then bitch that you weren't in when they came? Logic fail. And who waits a month for something without once contacting the retailer? That doesn't ring true to me.

3. I used to work for a well-known UK department store in their .com customer service. This is how I know all delivery services have their contracts with the retailer, not the recipient. All the people complaining that they can't get through to Yodel are stopping the only people who can do something about it getting through to Yodel. Why do they think it takes the retailer so long to get hold of them? The exception to this is people who have ordered a lot of stuff at once or aren't expecting anything so don't know who the sender is. They should be able to speak to someone.

4. Ordering all your Christmas presents on the 22nd of December for next day delivery just isn't going to fly. Do you think you're the only person in the UK who thought to shop online and left it to the last possible minute?

5. Buying a mirror online and expecting it to arrive in an acceptable condition is far more optimistic than I'd ever be. I once got the train home with some glasses and that was as much stress as I could handle.

This isn't to excuse drivers who steal, lie about attempted deliveries, or throw parcels over eight foot fences. I know that happens. I know some drivers open everything first to check if it's worth nicking, leave lamps under bushes in the pissing rain, and turn up at people's doors with fags hanging out of their mouths. This time last year I had a thick ear listening to complaints about what some delivery drivers get up to. It's just as well people don't know what goes on or no one would ever buy anything online. I just think some people lose perspective at times, and there's an awful lot of special snowflakes out there. I do laugh at people who say they'll sue for breach of contract, or invoice for time spent in waiting. £50 an hour! And they're obviously not lawyers because then they'd know there's no breach of contract because there IS no contract. They'd have to go after the retailer, and very good luck with that.

Anyway, happy new year. I'm still a curmudgeon obviously. Some things never change.