Swindon

… beacon of civic pride …

It’s Really Not First Class – an Open Letter to the Royal Mail

Dear slovens

I appreciate the stress that doing a job of work can sometimes cause, and fully understand that quite often there is the utterly justified reluctance to do the work one is being paid for, so it is with absolutely no surprise I find that you consistently fail to deliver my post on time, and even to the slack standards you have set yourselves.

To wit, one letterbox sized packet marked “Urgent and Perishable” which, when sent First Class (an oxymoron of the most erudite wit, if ever there was a candidate!), took a full eight days to arrive. This is a weekly, scheduled, package, which almost never arrives on time, and even if it does then it’s only by what must be sheer accident of scheduling.

I have to say that I don’t really irk at the recent price hikes, but what I really do take umbrage with is the fact that there really is no value for money in the service you provide. If you deem a service to be “first class”, and require a commensurate level of remuneration for it, then first class it really must be. Most organisations have SLAs with their customers, and many of those have penalties or some form of compensatory remediation, available upon breach of said SLA. something you might want to think about. No, wait – strike that – something you would NEVER want to think about, given your current approach to delivery schedules.

Could it be that the delivery address is a business park? Is that an issue for you, or is it just me that you can’t be arsed to deliver on time to? I’ve written to the sender each time this occurs (oh, did I not say – this is a regular occurrence!), recommending that they choose an alternative mail delivery provider. Oh wait, you have sole responsibility for the national delivery of mail. Sounds a little like a monopoly to me, especially in this day and age.

Or, it could just be down to our miserable postie, who opens the door and throws our post in, even when it’s covered in “FRAGILE” tape. He’s a love, a real charmer.

Oh, and now you want to give my post to my drug-addled skank neighbours (who, I have to be fair, are actually neither – for now). No, that’s not what you’re paid to do, and I don’t believe it warrants the moniker “first class”.

Pah!

 

There’s No Free Advertising Here, Matey

I recently posted a review of an Italian restaurant here in the sunny bohemian climes of our fair Swinetown. It was scathing, but honest, but I’ve received no feedback (I also posted it on Trip Advisor – though, in the interests of full disclosure, I had to add the restaurant first, in order to trash it!). Imagine my surprise when, this very day, I receive a reply to my post. I know what you’re thinking, but you’re very much mistaken – this was from a rival restaurant. This rival restaurant (who will remain nameless, not because I fear naming them, but because they will have no free advertising from me, after their heinous crime) had not only the shamefacedness to plug themselves on my blog, but then went on to suggest that I would “enjoy” Christmas with them. The bloody cheek of it! As if it was ever going to be possible to “enjoy” Christmas… But I digress – that’s not the reason I chose to put fingertips to keyboard, oh no. Why? I’ll tell you why – the idiot that tried to get a free post out of me couldn’t even spell “restaurant” – a fairly basic requirement, for someone in the trade, I would have thought. Not only that, they also managed to get the URL of their restaurant wrong as well…!!!

I mean… come on! Sometimes I despair, I really do.

Non ci sono pubblicita gratuità qui, Signore …

Gaetano’s Italian Restaurant: a Review

As far as I can tell, the ‘new look’ of Gaetano’s extends no further than the sign outside. The service is still woefully inadequate (we waited for an hour for the starters to arrive), and the food tastes as though it’s just been lifted out of a low-cost catering pack. Dried parmesan – in an Italian restaurant? For shame!

House wine is supposed to be affordable, but reasonably good. It’s not supposed to be overly delightful, but be sufficiently well-rounded to go with anything. It’s not, I repeat NOT, supposed to strip the enamel off one’s teeth.
Our shameful meal consisted of (amongst other things) gristley meatballs, undercooked pizza, dried basil on my caprese, tinned tomatoes passing as a “rich tomato sauce”. Not a thing was fresh.

Despite repeated complaints about timing, and a request (ignored) early on for bread and/or olives to fill the aching void of our bellies, we waited another 30 minutes after a “dear god, no” to the desert menu, before we’d had enough and screamed for the bill. No coffee, no digestif, no service, no tip.

All in all, it was an experience I would have gladly exchanged for a root canal.

The website proudly announces “the best Italian food outside of Italy”. If I worked for the Italian tourist board, I’d firebomb them.
Need I say “avoid”?

Arsehole Neighbour Update

Well, I think three times in five weeks allows it to be classified as a regular occurrence!

It would seem that the inhabitant of the downstairs front bedroom has thrown up out of his window again. I came home at lunchtime to find that someone had made an attempt that I can only describe as half-arsed to clean it up, by throwing a bowl of soapy water at it. Of course, this has just swished it around, and hasn’t cleaned up anything of any note. Before I couldn’t stand to look anymore, I noticed that it had spilled down over the window sill as well.

As the soft spring breeze caught the aroma, I almost … well, I assume you can imagine?

The other morning, as I was leaving for work, I heard shouting (of the gutteral “OI!” variety) coming the downstairs front window. When I turned around, I was greeted with a flick of fingers and a hearty “fuck off”. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such a send-off, but it’s always nice to be thought of as I begin my working day, to provide supported living facilities for my inconsiderate, ungrateful, swamp-donkey neighbours.

Have I mentioned how much I love this town?