susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I've had a rotten cold. It's pretty much over now except for the annoying cough, but for a while there, combined with all the Other Stuff, it was using up my cope to the extent that I was neglecting the housework and playing free browser games instead of doing anything useful (or sociable) that would take both energy and brain.

Part of the Other Stuff was Sudden Short-Notice Interview, which was a surprise. My (latest) adviser thought the job was "ideal", whereas I thought it was "very ambitious". I actually came out of the interview a lot more convinced that my skills and experience were relevant to the job, but obviously I didn't convince the interviewers. It's just down the hill, part-time, and mostly IT back-office work, which is me, but they want someone who can do project management and "customer care", which isn't.

Another part of Other Stuff was this (non-diplomatic email to $UTILITY-CO; translating into HTML loses some of the formatting):
cut for length )
(I haven't had a reply to the email, but the original problem has been sorted out. The guy at the bank had no problem with the voice recognition system, but waited at least 8 minutes before getting through to a person.)
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
Dear Channel 4,

Dispatches "Africa's Last Taboo" was an uncomfortable and necessary program to watch, but I noticed that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were described as a gay couple. They were sentenced as a gay couple because Malawi's laws don't recognise the existence of trans people, but Tiwonge self-identifies as a woman, according to the South African human rights organisation Gender DynamiX; see http://www.genderdynamix.org.za/content/view/475/204/ for example. It's a pity you couldn't mention that not only people who are straightforwardly gay are being persecuted, and avoid misgendering Tiwonge.
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I've just listened to this evening's Report [on Radio 4] and was struck by the way piracy was viewed as just a law and order problem, with no mention of the reason for it. The program ended with a comment that until the legal issues are resolved, Somali pirates will continue to plunder the High Seas.
The pirates may be "armed gangs" out to make a fortune on the "high seas" now, but they started out as, in effect, the coastguard, protecting their local waters, since there wasn't a Somali state in a position to commission an official coastguard. The original plundering of the seas in that region was done by illegal trawlers from Europe; European shipping was also dumping toxic waste in the area, secure in the knowledge that no local government was likely to stop them.
I first read about this on the internet last year.
The problem isn't going to go away until we address the cause.

I wanted to include a link to http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html but there wasn't room on the comment form. I actually first read about it on Dreamwidth.

Dear BBC,

Mar. 9th, 2010 05:02 pm
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I've almost finished watching my recordings from the Winter Olympics (getting annoyed at the number of times people say it's "our turn" in 800-and-something days, without acknowledging there's another event first), and the new Radio Times is out, so it's time to plan my viewing for the Paralympic Winter Games, which starts this Friday. But where is it?

Typical daily coverage, Winter Olympics:
6 hours live-ish overnight, BBC2
2 hours highlights after lunch, BBC2
3 hours in the evening, BBC2 or BBC3
a dedicated channel on Freeview
several more on cable & satellite

Coverage of Paralympics: nothing!

Apparently there's one hour after it's all over.

This is going backwards from Paralympics 2008, which was pretty inadequate in any case.

Why do you hate sportspeople with disabilities?
susanreads: cake with "WTF" written in icing (wtf cake)
Posted on the Home Learning College feedback page. I would have used something a bit more subtle than capslock if the form said anything about allowing HTML.

I tried to request course information for the VB.net source, but the form has all the phone numbers as required fields. I do not have a mobile phone, and avoid using the phone wherever possible. I am HIGHLY OFFENDED and if I knew how to PROSECUTE YOU UNDER THE DDA I would threaten to do so. WHAT CENTURY IS THIS? YOU HAVE EMAIL ON THE FORM FOR %^&* SAKE. Your site should say up front ONLY PEOPLE WITH GOOD HEARING AND SPEECH NEED APPLY. As for MOBILE phones being compulsory, WORDS FAIL ME.

I tried to fill in the required phone fields with "please don't" and "I don't have one", but it threw them back at me. Therefore, ranting.

(Oops - just noticed I put source instead of course. Tough.)

Maybe I should be more diplomatic, but the answer to the question I really wanted to ask is probably "more than you can afford", so.
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
Some people on my reading list are better at writing snarky letters than I am, but then they have more important things to write about (including medical malpractice, OMG). This is just a minor bureaucratic annoyance.

(in a font that pretends to be handwritten just enough to be slightly harder to read than regular type, but not enough to be even slightly convincing):
Dear Ms $NAME

I notice from our records that we don't have your phone number. So that we can keep you informed of our work, could you please send it to us on the form enclosed.
Thanks.
Perhaps my old-fogy-ness is showing, but whatever happened to including a blatantly scanned signature?

There isn't enough room on the back of the compliment slip for everything I thought of saying, so I cut it down to:
Dear unidentified person using naff fake handwriting at $CHARITY,
That is not a very well-written letter. It should start with something like, "Is it OK to call you about [something that gives you a reason for calling instead of writing]?" Then I'd be less tempted to answer "What part of phone-number-not-in-your-records don't you understand?"
Here's an idea: you could keep me informed of your work by post; then you can include pictures, like in the seasonal updates I've been getting for years.
Email also allows for pictures, and is better than the phone in every way, unless you're planning to meet someone face-to-face or cancelling something at short notice.

Susan

I could perhaps be snarkier if I was sure that any of the people who've looked me up in the book, called, been Told, and said they'd remove my number from the records, was from them. Maybe I should start keeping notes.
 

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