Just recently I must admit that I've become a little bit career minded with some of these thoughts. By that I mean that I've been thinking, "I had better not criticise (name of company), I might end up working for them someday."
There are a few exceptions to that, but not many as I'm pretty broad minded in regard to where my next career step might be. The exceptions are:
1) Bird Semple. I wouldn't work there again for all the tea in China. I hated just about every minute of my time there and I wouldn't hesitate to criticise them. To top it off they keep sending me company magazines in the post! I really don't care what's happening with the company, unless there is ever an investigation into their business dealings which might make them go bust. (Like my Murphy's, I'm not bitter.)
2) The Police (as in the force, not the band - although they don't appeal much either. Bunch of nutters!). I thought about going into police work a few years ago. I then heard about some of the things that they have to go through (e.g. going into a flat and finding someone who had died and fell onto their own electric fire) and thought, "I couldn't do that." Let's be honest, it isn't exactly smart to criticise them either, is it? So I couldn't do that either, not even if you played the Juliet Bravo theme music on a loop for a full calendar month.
3) Nurses. My wife's one, so I know I couldn't do that either. And who really criticises nurses and thinks they can get away with it (besides the politicians who think that the recent below-inflation pay offer was acceptable)?
Anyway, with all that waffling out of the way, this week I'm pleased to lower the boom on two companies I'll certainly never work for, while hopefully proving that the pen (or in my case, keyboard) is mightier than the sword.
Outfit number one is a tinpot clothing store in Hamilton that goes under the name Enigma. About two weeks ago Lorraine went into Enigma in the desperate search to get me a birthday present. Despite asking for my size, she came home with a pair of jeans that were too big for me. (N.B. I'm not going into exact details of these sizings. Let's just say that the jeans I wore at University would be on the tight side if I still had them and leave it at that.)
So as an additional birthday present I got to return this pair of jeans in the hope of getting a new pair. Small problem - they didn't have those jeans in my size, and being a trumped up shop for tarts with too much money all the other pairs in the store were approximately double the price of the pair I was returning. We wanted our money back, only they have a stupid returns policy which only issues credit notes.
Credit notes? This is 2007 - who only gives returns via credit notes? I'll tell you who does, poxy stores who struggle to get people through the door and can't bear to return customers' money to them because they know they'll never come back.
Unfortunately I did have to go back, so I went back the morning after and waited for them to open. At 9.30am they were shut. "Hmm," I thought, "I guess they open at 10am." It was a guess, because they didn't have their opening hours on display. 10am came, went, and then sailed to nearly 10.30am. They still weren't open. I gave up on waiting (and killing time in Hamilton's fantastic range of stores) and went home.
I returned later and swapped my credit note for an overpriced Lacoste polo shirt, which I'll have to put on eBay to have any chance of getting anything back from. It was interesting to notice that I was the only customer there among what appeared to be three members of staff. Sound economics! Perhaps my credit note would have gone further in their inevitable closing down sale (or appearance on the upcoming Sky show "Badger or Bust", which looks like it might be hysterically funny).
The second operation I would like to criticise is a gym called Curves. Why do I want to criticise them? Simple - I'm fed up with them putting their leaflets on my windscreen! I'm not a big fan of anyone putting anything on my windscreen, but when it is nearby local pubs promoting meal deals or just-up-the-road tanning salons offering three sessions for the price of two I can understand it. However a gym nowhere near where I park which isn't offering any kind of deal? Please.
I park alongside other commuters in Motherwell. If I was a gym rat I'd be more likely to go to a gym in Glasgow where a) There's more choice, and b) Where I can go straight from work. Curves, you just appear desperate with your constant and badly aimed leaflet drops. In fact the only thing that matches your desperation is my desperation that you leave me alone.
Have a good week!