9 out of 10…

I sent a letter by recorded First Class delivery – DG 0130 9530 2GB on the 22nd August 2008. I was offered to send the letter by Special Delivery to guarentee next day arrival. However the next day was Saturday and if I wanted it delivered on Saturday, I had to pay yet again another surcharge. let’s talk prices.

Service

Delivery Aim

Price

Second Class

3 Days

£0.27

First Class

1 Day

£0.36

2nd Recorded

3 Days

£0.99

1st Recorded

1 Day

£1.08

Special Delivery

Next Working Day by 1pm

£4.60

Special Delivery Saturday

Next Day being Saturday

£6.60

I chose to go with the recorded First Class Delivery Service based on the following reasoning:-

  • It was not necessary to be there the next day but I did want it there by the following Friday.
  • As 2nd Class was 3 days, I chose to err on the side of caution, chosing the 1st Class service.
  • I did have important documentation, that I wanted to confirm it arrival hence recorded.
  • Although important, it was not vital that it was delivered next day, hence 1st Class Recorded.

So off the letter went. I kept my fingers crossed because I thought there might have been a chance that it would arrive the next day (Saturday) but alas… that was wishing too much! Ah well, I would have to wait until Monday. It was bound to arrive, after all 9 out of 10 arrive next day, and legally they need to try to deliver 93% of mail by the next day. But no…. my letter was amid the 1 out of 10. Never mind, Tuesday was still fine. Alas, still no letter. Wednesday – this boiled down to Second Class Service, never mind as long as it gets delivered. No such luck. When it still had not arrived by Thursday, I went to Royal Mail’s website to enquire. To my dismay it stated

“Recorded Signed For™ items are only tracked after the item has been delivered. Depending on whether the item was sent first or second class, this may be a few days after posting. Please try again later.

Information on your item is not yet available online.”

Perhaps I was being a bit impatient. Friday –  a week later still no sign of my letter. The documentation was needed by then. Getting replacement documentation started costing money. £24 for a replacement rail card, as the recipient was due to travel on the Friday. A copy of the documentation was not sufficient proof for national rail that the person really owned a rail card and that it was somewhere in Royal Mail’s hands. It also ended up meaning a missed train too. Technically the missed train was not Royal Mail’s fault but reality was that it was a result of it.

End of the month and still no letter. There was the car licence in the letter. Replacement costs £6.00 or no driving possible.

Also included in the letter was an annual family fun park pass, which meant that no fun was had, as it was not possible to visit without the said card!

2 weeks later, still no means of checking online as the same message kept returning, I called Royal Mail. I was treated rudely and told to wait until the 11th and then consider it lost!! LOST!! I was fuming. I was dismissed like my letter was not important and as though I was an irrate customer. Well I was irrate. I paid for a first class service. I paid extra for a recorded service and they lose MY letter!! And they don’t care!!

So now I figured out what they mean when they say 9 out of 10 letters get delivered next day. 1 out of 10 simply never get delivered. If they cannot look after a Recorded First Class letter, what chance do simple standard second class letters stand?

And the reality is that we do not really have a choice, as they really do have a monopoly over the whole system!

The worst of it, is that according to the government (especially the tax office), if they post something to you, it is deemed as served! Ha! 

And in case you are wondering, proof of post, is not proof of receipt to the government. Apparently what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander!!

Taking Plastic Advantage

I have had it with shops. I really think they are taking the Mickey! You go in to shops like M&S and TKMAXX and spend a small fortune and they have the cheek to ask you to pay for bags!!

I went into TKMAXX recently and spent a substantial amount of money and was informed that as from the 4th August they started charging for bags. This time they were giving a free bag but next time I had to pay. I said, well if I have to pay to carry my things out, then I would not be shopping there again. I was then told… “but it goes to the Woodland Trust”. She was also very dismissive about passing on my comment that then I shall refrain from purchasing there again. Like I should be pleased they are insisting on deciding where my hard earned cash goes!

First of all, for all they know, I may not approve of their chosen charity. Second of all bags cost a fraction of a penny as they purchase in such bulk, yet they are trying to make a profit on the bags they are selling us! Thirdly, they have already inbuilt the price of the bags into their costs. I have not seen the products go down by the cost of the bags!! Also, the least they can do is be courteous enough to give their customers a miserly bag to carry the stuff they just purchased home.

If they want to talk about environmental issues, then perhaps they ought to provide paper rather than plastic bags (eg PRIMARK).

I was actually shocked how many customers just took this ill treatment in their stride.

I mean fair enough they make a profit of the items I buy but making a profit on the plastic bags to carry my purchases home is insulting.

So from my behalf, I will be refusing to pay for any bags to carry my new purchases home. In fact, I shall still be going regularly to the shops, picking up items and when they speak of charging me for a bag, I will refuse to purchase. I think that should make the point. After all, it is tantamount to being charged for cutlery when you go out to eat!!

Being Plagiarised!

Can you believe it, someone stole one of my posts. Frankly it wasn’t even one of my better posts but a lamentation about weight loss!! Yet they had the cheek to actually post it as though it was one of their own. They did not even bother crediting where they stole the post from (though they did say grumbler wrote it – reducing legal issues I guess).

Frankly I don’t mind people quoting me or referring to what I said, but the least that could be done is give due credit where it belongs. A little link love would not go amiss either!

The way it is posted makes it seem like I am a subscriber writing my post on their blog.

The reality is, they stole it from my blog from this post :- Fat Loss For Idiots.

This leaves me as a very unhappy bunny and I am not sure I can actually do anything about it other than grumble…. GRRRRR!

First Class Post – NOT!

I got my sweet hubby to post a letter containing a couple of loyalty cards and my oyster card which I forgot behind. This was last Friday. Because they do not do Special Delivery on a Saturday I requested that he sent them using their “Signed For” Service, which delivers on a Saturday. (I did find out that they now do Saturday Delivery but it is at a ridiculous cost but hubby still sent it as I had requested). This is now a whole week later… and guess what… I still have not received them.

I was under the impression that 1st Class meant higher priority. I was under the impression that 9/10 of 1st Class letters got delivered Next Day. I guess they still mean that 1/10 get totally lost even if registered!!

We tried to see where it is online… and yet… we are told that we have not given it enough time. Have I missed something? A week later and still thinks not enough time. Their paper work states that they will deliver in 1 -3+ days. Does the plus sign mean they can deliver 3 months later and it will be deemed acceptable?

Seriously, the fact that we paid to ensure it does not go missing in the post should mean something. The fact that we paid for a first class service and received a less than acceptable standard of service is horrifying! The worst bit is that they can get away as they really have a monopoly!!

The NHS

So I know someone whose health has recently deteriorated, and is seeking assistance and medical help. Ideally she would like to become better and regain her full independence, however she will gratefully accept any assistance that she can have because she realises that regaining her full health is tantamount to winning the lottery.

Let us give the devil his due… She does smoke and falls under the overweight category.

She has been diabetic since her twenties. Her diabetes plays around very dramatically and varies from a normal range to needing to be rushed into hospital as it hit 30 and she was lucky she did not enter a coma!! As a result of her diabetes, her eyesight has deteriorated to the point that she is practically blind. She suffers leg and back pains that sometimes mean that she can barely walk.

She has been referred by her GP for assistance in her home. However, apparently a GP’s word is not gospel. They are insisting that she attend a private clinic on a Sunday which will take her about 1 hour 25 minutes to reach there by their calculations. They have suggested that she should take no less than 3 different buses to reach her destination. No mean feat for a practically blind person!!

So now let us see it from a tax payers point of view. Aside from her normal NHS entitlements (which we should all be entitled to which is why we pay NI), which is also fair enough, there are unnecessary costs. These include:-

Private Treatment because our own government will not accept our GP’s word. Makes you wonder if we should take our GP’s word?

* The extra cost that it will cost for it being held on a Sunday.
* The reimbursement of her transport because she is not refereed to a local doctor or hospital.
* The extra paperwork because it is also printed in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujurati, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Turkish, Urdu & Vietnamese.

And then we are surprised that there is not enough money to pay for life saving treatments like Herceptin for Cancer Patients and IVF Treatments for Childless Couples!!

Fat Loss for Idiots

OK, so people know that I am dieting. Obviously they realised because they can actually see that I have lost weight. I must be honest and did not tell people I was dieting until they actually noticed weight loss. Made it a lot easier on me too. After all the first thing people do when they know that you are on a diet is look at you strangely when you consume any calories let alone if you crumble slightly and eat densely compacted calories (such as chocolate).

So anyway since it has been discovered that I have been dieting / losing weight I have begun to receive all sorts of emails. However this email takes the biscuit!! It is Fat Loss 4 Idiots!!

Just read the email…

“You are overweight for the most simple of reasons — because you’re eating the wrong foods, the wrong types of calories per meal, and you’re also eating meals in the wrong patterns each day.

Think closely about what we’re about to tell you, since it’s going to change the way you think about dieting…

FOOD is more powerful than any prescription weight loss pills, because the FOOD that you eat can either make you THIN or FAT. You don’t get fat because of a lack of exercising, that’s a myth. You get fat because you don’t eat the right foods at the right intervals each day.

Also, the pattern that you choose to eat your meals each day is more powerful than any prescription weight loss pills. This is true because your body is like an “engine” and it only needs certain foods at certain intervals each day, and if you don’t eat the right foods at the right times then it won’t burn those calories — and you’ll wind up storing those calories as fat tissue. (Hint: You need to eat more than 3 times per day to lose weight, but we’ll show you the details later).

You have gotten overweight by eating the wrong foods, that much is a fact. And guess what? You can get SLIM by eating the RIGHT FOODS at the RIGHT INTERVALS each day.

It’s not really any more complicated than that, and the way to start losing weight has nothing to do with starving yourself or jogging.

The reason you cannot lose weight by starving yourself (using a low calorie diet) is because your metabolism will detect any major drop in calories and it will then ADJUST ITSELF by burning fewer calories each day.

For example:
If you begin eating 2,500 calories per day then your metabolism will adjust itself so that your body begins burning 2,500 calories per day.

If you try to starve yourself by suddenly eating 1,000 calories per day then your metabolism will again ADJUST ITSELF so that your body begins to burn only 1,000 calories per day. That’s why you have failed in your past dieting attempts, that’s why you always seem to fail when you try and starve yourself. Now you know the reason why you can eat 1,000 calories per day and not lose any weight while your friends can eat 2,500 calories per day and not gain any weight.

Also, virtually every person in today’s society is buying mostly “low fat” or “non fat” food at the grocery store, everybody is conscious of the “fat grams” inside the food they buy. However, people are getting fatter than ever by doing this and people are not losing weight by switching to the “low fat lifestyle”.

Low carb diets have certainly become popular in recent years, but such diets often leave you feeling miserable each day (since they drain most of your energy and can leave you feeling quite awful each day).

Check out these facts below…

Did you know that several popular low carb diets are so strict that you cannot even eat a large apple during the first couple weeks? It’s true.

Also, many low carb diets won’t even let you enjoy a ‘normal’ restaurant meal (ordered without any carb restrictions) for many months after you begin.

Therefore, low carb diets can leave you feeling MISERABLE each day, which is not the answer.”

They then go on to ask for payment obviously!

Seriously…. do they take me for an idiot? This diet really is for idiots, because if you believe the crap they just wrote… it is no wonder that weight is not lost.

In case you need to know about the basic principals of dieting.

Food = Calories
We need X Calories a day. X is dependant on your size, weight & sex.
Exercise = Minus / Burn Calories

If we eat more calories than we burn, we put on weight.
If we eat less calories than we require, then we take from our stores (fat).
Hence our food intake in calories must be less than our requirements to lose weight! SIMPLE!

The only issue is how to do it without feeling miserable. There is no such thing. However if you want to do it without feeling hungry…. Veg is good low calorie food that you can eat lots of. Just don’t add stuff like mayo etc. And if you feel full and still have calories left – you can even treat yourself to a chocolate!!

People – good or bad?

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” Oscar Wilde

Fair enough. I fall into the latter category as you may have obviously realised. Mind you, so do most people. Thinking about it, so do the people who try to be charming fall into the tedious category. Are there any truly charming people? Are all people simply tedious? Hmmm….

Brangelina’s Babies!!

Like it or not, I seem to be inundated with spam emails about the Brangelina Twins. Seriously why would I care about strangers having twins or not? What I do care about is that since these two celebrities (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie if you are somehow out of the loop – what world are you living on – can I join you?) have had twin babies, my life has been adversely affected. I have received several emails (spam) daily trying to get me to click on a link for photos, and they seem to be everywhere. And my question is why? They are simply two people considered relatively attractive in the acting world who got married and had kids! Why would I care?

I really wish people would get a life rather than try to live someone else’s, and even more importantly, I really wish that people would let me live my own life. I really have no reason to want to live their lives. They really offer me no inspiration, so why would I care?

Hope

I shamefully often think that there is no hope left in the world. I think of all the horrible things that happen in the world… murder, theft, assault, rape, hunger, gossiping, bitchiness, inconsideration, reduction in family values, fighting for religion, wars, etc, etc… I do not think I need go on.

Yet sometimes I realise that Hope is still very much alive. Take the case of Madeleine McCann. Her parents have still not given up hope. I admire them for that. They hope that she is still alive and well. And for their sake I hope so too. Hopefully she was only taken to fulfill a mother’s void and that person will eventually realise the pain she has put Maddy’s parents through, and may return her safe and sound.

Perhaps I am sceptical and lack hope… but hope still seems very much alive and around, and perhaps that is why there is hope left for the world because each of us has precious hope!