For the past four years, I have been involved in a dispute with a utility company over a sum that ultimately amounted to several thousand pounds. The company will remain nameless here because, today, thanks to the intervention of the relevant government watchdog, we finally settled without having to go to court. It is a classic Damian Counsell life-disaster story: because of his scrupulous chopping-off-his-nose-to-spite-his-face honesty, the Geek sentenced himself to half-a-decade of consumer hell.
The first of many bizarre facts about this dispute was that it resulted from my trying to pay the bill for my own use of their product, rather than the much lower use of another, non-resident, consumer at my premises, and from Nameless Utility Co doing its damnedest to stop me from doing so.
The last bizarre fact was that, last month, when, after all these years, an amicable agreement finally seemed to have been reached, and all that remained was for me to sign the relevant documentation authorizing payment, Nameless Utility’s representative in the negotiations (and apparently one of the few competent people in its employ)—let us call her “K”, for that was indeed her first initial—suffered an acute life-threatening viral infection that put her in a coma for a week. Nameless Utility’s replacement negotiator reviewed the relevant documents, declared that their representative had acted without proper authority, and ripped up the deal. It’s both depressing and funny that her colleagues at Nameless Utility were puzzled by my behaviour when I began my telephone calls to them by asking about her well-being.
I had to threaten legal action to get them to negotiate this new position. They returned to the table—and confirmed the original settlement. I am merely worse off now, but a hell of a lot less badly off than if I hadn’t fought my corner. K isn’t fully recovered yet, but better, thank goodness. Still, I’m not counting on this tale having reached a final resolution until I’m escorted to a quarry for execution.
Does the modernist writer whose name is rather over-used actually qualify as Austrian? I know that he was born in part of the Austro-Hungarian empire – but isn’t he usually counted as a Czech/Bohemian or an Ashkenazi Jew?
For example Henry Lawson still counts as an Australian writer – even though he was born in part of the British Empire.
I have no idea. He wrote in German though.
I’ve just come back from a business trip to Poland and Slovakia. Every time I arrived in a new location, my host or one of the natives would explain that the reason Place X looked this way was because it used to belong to the Prussians/Hungarians/Germans/Russians/Smurfs before it was invaded by the Smurfs/Russians/Germans/Hungarians/Prussians before it became Polish/Slovakian.
Damn those Smurfs
Sorry, PG, it’s modern times now. You will be going to the quarry for the execution by your own self, unescorted. Voluntarily and singing all the way.
> because of his scrupulous chopping-off-his-nose-to-spite-his-face honesty, the Geek sentenced himself to half-a-decade of consumer hell.
Oh, God, yeah. I learnt that one when I was nineteen, and remember the incident clearly: some mail-order firm accidentally sent me an extra item in a package, without charging me for it. I was honest, so tried to return it. They punished me, and punished me, and then punished me some more. I have stopped being honest with bureaucratic organisations now, on the grounds that it’s clearly not what they want from their customers. Besides, the few instances of their accidentally giving us freebies are surely vastly outweighed by the number of times they screw us around.
That being said, I did try to be honest with the DVA last year, but to no avail: they absolutely insisted on giving me a free MOT. Mustn’t grumble.
The final scenes of The Bourne Supremacy were shot in Moscow, whilst the opening scenes of The Bourne Ultimatum, ostensibly continuing from the same scenes, were shot in East Berlin. The continuity is absolutely perfect. The Soviets really did make everywhere they went look identical.
The final scenes of The Bourne Supremacy were shot in Moscow
Yup. And it’s the only film to date which makes Moscow actually look like Moscow looks.