Tag Archives: Curmudgeonly complaint

Progress report

Why yes! I am a little flustered, turning about in little circles, and having to remind myself that this is all for a PURPOSE.

Some things have gone very well this week. We have moved into a holiday cottage, everything in our house has been cleaned and packed up and sent on its way to New Zealand, the house itself has been thoroughly cleaned and the roses pruned and the paths swept, and the sale went through very smoothly yesterday. Mostly.

We had one issue. And it was a corker.

On Thursday evening, after a hard day of cleaning (I was exhausted!), we went out for a meal. I took out my eftpos card to pay, only to have it rejected, twice. That was embarrassing. I put it on our credit card instead, but wondered why on earth I couldn’t access the funds in our account, especially because my last lot of wages had gone in that day.

On Friday, we both tried to withdraw some cash, with no luck. It turned out that our bank had frozen the funds in our account way back on Wednesday, without telling us, so that they could process settlement on Friday. They kindly told us that we should be able to access our money again on Monday. We were left facing the weekend with only a small amount of cash, and an aversion to using our credit card to get a cash advance (the interest rates are outrageous).

Mr Strange Land saw red. He also went to see the bank. It turned out that instead of freezing enough money for settlement, and leaving the remainder of the funds in our account available for us to use, the bank had simply frozen the entire account. We had money sitting in the bank, that belonged to us, that was not needed for settlement, and they would not allow us to access it. Sorry, they said. That’s just the way it is.

Faaarrrrcccckkkk!

My husband has many excellent qualities, and one of them is a refusal to give way in the face of mindless bureaucracy. He sat in the bank, and insisted, persistently, that they give us OUR money. Eventually, one of the bank officers found a way to process a manual transaction to give us the amount of cash we should have been able to withdraw from any ATM. “Would that do?” Mr Strange Land said “Yes” very promptly, got the cash, and left quickly, before they could change their minds.

While he was sitting in the bank, watching the bank officers flap around trying to work out what to do, he calculated the difference between asking our bank to manage sending our money back to New Zealand for us, and doing it ourselves via HIFX. The fees are neither here nor there, but the exchange rate they offer does make a difference. $10,000 difference.

We are very glad to be leaving this bank, which offers callously indifferent service and high fees. We could have coped with the freeze on our funds, if they had the decency to let us know in advance that this was their process, so that we could have ensured that we had enough cash on hand for the weekend. But it’s a bit richly ironic that their advertising slogan is: “Determined to earn your business.”

Grumble grumble grumble.

Grump

1. Don’t blare your horn at me because you are behind me and you’re having to wait for a few seconds until I judge that it is safe for me to turn right across two lanes of traffic. You may be able to zip across a line of traffic in your nippy little car and rush over a pavement with impunity, but I am driving a family sedan, which takes a little more time to move. Risk your own life, not mine, if 20 seconds is such a big deal.

2. Don’t patronise me because you are a young male sales clerk in an electronics shop and I am a middle-aged woman. I may not have your technical expertise, but I still have money to spend.

3. Don’t reach over to grab more groceries to stuff into a shopping bag when I have carefully lined up my groceries and shopping bags in such a way as to indicate which items should go into which bag (per Dr Cat’s helpful hint). You may be able to lift a shopping bag stuffed to the hilt, but I can’t. You may be happy to mix up fruit and cleaning products, but I am not. You might even like putting heavy containers of milk in the same bag as soft, ripe mangoes, but I do not. And don’t cap it all off by glaring at me when I ask you to stack the items in the bags in the order in which they are presented. There are plenty of other supermarkets nearby, and I am quite happy to take my annual supermarket bill of about $20,000 elsewhere.

Grump. Grump. Grump.

And while I am grumping, a local supermarket categorises its magazines into Men’s Interest, House and Garden, Food and Wine, and Women’s Interest. Guess where I found New Scientist. And the news magazines.

On seconds thoughts, perhaps I shouldn’t be troubling my feeble lady-brane with that.

Seen at the Royal Adelaide Show

Sign on a coffee stand, offering "grownd" coffee

Grownd coffee

“Grownd” coffee.

I didn’t have any.

I would love to see the print edition

Snapped on the Sydney Morning Herald today:

"Judge orders juror to right five page essay"

(Description: The headline reads: “Judge orders juror to right five page essay“)

Helpful hints for supermarket checkout operators

If a customer hands you two shopping bags, it is a clear indication that she wants her groceries packed in two bags.*

Do not put heavy bags of apples on top of loaves of bread. Instead, you should use the second bag the customer has handed to you.

When a customer hands you a dozen or so ordinary bags, all tidily folded and packed in a chiller bag, do not take all the ordinary bags out of the chiller bag, and ask the customer to unload the chilled items straight away. Chances are that she has her trolley well organised, with all the chilled items together, ready to be unloaded last of all, so that in the meantime, all the other grocery items can be packed in the ordinary bags.

When a customer hands you a dozen or so bags, and asks you to pack just a few items in each bag, so that the bags won’t be too heavy, do not cram each bag as full as possible. I swear, the next time you do this, I will delay paying you until I have repacked all the bags with just a few items in each.

Do not thrust the change into a pile in my hand, and then sigh heavily when I take 15 seconds to put it safely into my purse. My custom pays your wages. I don’t want obsequious service, but a little politeness would be nice, especially when I spend several hundred dollars at your supermarket every week.

I promise that I will continue to smile, to treat you politely, to thank you for doing the work. But FFS, could you please, please, please, treat my groceries (and everyone else’s) with a little respect.

* South Australia has outlawed the use of giveaway plastic shopping bags. We all have to bring our own. We can’t even buy biodegradable bags for 10c each anymore – the bags that supermarkets were selling as biodegradable turn out not to be biodegradable at all. These days, you have to bring your own bags, or buy some more reusable ones, or have some cardboard cartons stashed in the boot of your car, so you can load groceries from your trolley into the boot.