I am drinking FairTrade tea. I bought it last week and am pleasantly surprised by the taste. I don't know what I was expecting, but when it claimed on the box that it had been hand picked by African tea-farmers, I thought "eugh - people!". Did I think that Tetley tea was harvested by Terminator style robots? Maybe it's because I have a hand cleanliness thing, and didn't want to make the connection between something going in my mouth and the fact it had touched somebody's hand. That's why I won't drink PG Tips, as the filthy hands of monkeys have been involved. I live in a state of denial about any of the other foodstuffs that I consume which are prepared in similar ways. Hand-cooked crisps? Fuck off! Give me those made by Metal Mickey style crispbots!
Anyway, the tea is nice. I was thinking that I'd love to have the money to be a bit more ethical in my consumer purchases but surely that's not the point. I should buy this sort of thing anyway, why have evil nestle KitKats when I could have FairTrade chocolate. I bet it's not the slab of mud and twigs that my mind would have me believe. Even if it is, twigs are a good source of roughage. Yeah, and if mud was good enough for my ancestors (I am half Scottish after all) then why shouldn't it be good enough for me? You can stick your spacefood and three course meal gobstoppers up your arse with the hand cooked crisps!
Reader: Hang on, isn't a bit rich trying to be more ethical in your consumer purchases when you work in the defence industry?
Glenn: Yeah, but I work on Nimrod.
Reader: I don't really see your point.
Glenn: The Nimrod is effectively used as a reconnaissance aircraft, to find fishermen and other sailors who are lost at sea.
Reader: That is true, but doesn't it also have the capability to be modified to hold anti-submarine missiles? Couldn't it easily be converted into an object of destruction?
Glenn: Yeah but couldn't the bits of paper you shuffle at work be scrunched up into a ball and thrown at somebody? Maybe you could poke somebody's eye out with a pencil?
Reader: Yeah, but it's unlikely isn't it?
Glenn: Ahh, but is it? Ahh!
Reader: No, not 'ahh'!
Reader: Anyway I use excel spreadsheets.
I am actually at work today. BAe move the August bank holiday to the Tuesday after the May bank holiday, so I have to come into work whilst evryone else lies in bed. Not the same bed, we've not all got that incestuous yet. There are very few people in here today, yet annoyingly all the managers have turned up.
With the departure of Nige I'm now all alone in my pen of desks, so it's more apparent now when I'm skiving. Still, maybe they should give me something to do. It's not my fault that other teams did their software shittily.
So what am I going to do today? I just wandered down to check out the snack machine, and I didn't even want anything. I was going to go on a toilet visit but I saw one of the most horrific sights imaginable in a cubicle, so I decided not to. I have a few gig reviews to write for indietron
, but I'll do them this afternoon. Maybe I'll go for a wander in a bit and see if I can find a 29.
On Friday afternoon I visited the dentist. I hadn't been since January when due to what I believed was malpractice, I caught parotitis. It was the illest I've ever been in my life (not in the Gangster Rap sense), and I thought it was the fault of the dentist. I actually wrote them a letter, looky…Dear Oasis Dental Care,
I attended your practice at 6pm on Tuesday 13th January, for what I believed would be a routine appointment.
Before I was seen by the dentist, I paid up-front for the two fillings I was due to receive that evening. I was then taken to the actual surgery and injected so as the filling wouldn’t hurt. Now, I’ve been a member of your surgery since I was a teenager and have become accustomed to the fact that not much time is given for any anaesthetic to work. The evening in question was one of these occasions, I’d been in my seat in the waiting room for just a couple of minutes when the dental hygienist took me back to the surgery.
The surgery itself was quite painful, the action of the dental drill causing me to wince with pain, and my tongue to move involuntarily. The dentist told me to ‘relax my tongue’, calmly at first, yet after having to do so two more times, she seemed to lose her temper, and raised her voice.
All the time whilst this was taking place, little concentration seemed to be given to the job. The dentist and the hygienist were discussing their work rota for the forthcoming days. It became quite clear that I was of secondary concern, especially as I seemed to be the last patient of the day. Even compared with the considerably average service I usually receive at your surgery, little care seemed to be given to my treatment.
I believe that two of my teeth were subject to drilling, one on the left upper, and one at the bottom left of my mouth. This was as I expected from the initial check-up a few weeks earlier. The filling was applied to my lower tooth, and I was expecting the same on the other. Yet, surprisingly my chair was raised and I was told that I’d have to make another appointment.
I was confused at this but went downstairs to speak to the receptionist. She seemed as surprised as me that I would have to come back, having already paid for both fillings. I brought up the fact that I thought that my upper tooth had received drilling, yet had not been filled. As the receptionist insisted that this would not be the case, I took her word for it. It did seem unlikely, yet as I had been treated with what I consider to be a lack of professionalism, I still wasn’t 100% sure.
When the dentist herself came down to reception, she left quite quickly. I was left with the total feeling that the whole job had been rushed to allow her to get home. If this is going to be the case, why have appointments at 6pm? Would I have received better service if I had a mid-day or morning appointment?
I was then given my second appointment for the 30th April. It seemed that I would have to wait about 15 weeks to have my other filling. I thought this was ludicrous but it seemed to fit in with the whole experience that I’d just received.
I had sore teeth for the following few days and believed –no sorry, make that ‘hoped’- that this was just down to the shock caused by dental work. Well, I write this letter almost two months later and I still have tooth pain. Any attempt to put pressure on the tooth that definitely received a filling (lower left wisdom tooth) gives me a sharp burst of pain, the teeth in the upper left of my mouth hurt intermittently. I almost found it impossible to eat my lunch today, as biting into a sandwich fills the left side of my mouth with pain.
The reason I haven’t written this letter earlier is that in February I had a severe bout of parotitis. This involved a swelling of the gland in the left side of my neck, and I had a few weeks of sickness which I would never like to repeat, as I was given a large dose of antibiotics to try and get rid of whatever infection had caused the swelling.
Now, I cannot definitely link this to the dental surgery I received and have no intention of pursuing this. However, the fact that this occurred a couple of weeks after the events described above, and that only one of my parotid glands was infected and this was the one on the left side of my mouth, makes me highly suspicious. The whole left side of my face round the jawline and neck was swollen, my lower left wisdom tooth seemed to be at the centre of this area of infection.
Whether this event was linked to my surgery or not, it confirmed to me that I need to write this letter to both you and the dental complaints board.
I consider the treatment I received at your surgery to be completely unacceptable, and would like my money refunded for the second filling, one which I didn’t get on the night and have no intention of ever coming back to be receive. I will have the dental problems I believe that you have caused, rectified by a dentist who I trust will do the job properly and with care.
I would also like to be removed from your records, as the thought of receiving further dental care at you practice fills my already painful mouth with absolute horror.
I didn't send off the above letter as it was confrontational and wouldn't solve anything. Instead I phoned up the practice and had a bitch at the manager. Rather annoyingly she was calm, reasonable and very friendly so I quickly felt a bit of a bastard for telling her off. She eventually persuaded me to think about what I wanted to do, and about a month ago I decided to get my other tooth sorted out.
It was obvious on Friday that my dentist had heard I'd complained, and probably got a bit of a bollocking. Gone was the fake-friendship of previous visits, instead I wasn't spoken to, in fact I was left standing after the surgery and made to wait until she could be bothered to speak to me. I actually found it all quite funny as to how childish she was being. I made sure I said "bye-bye" in a happy fashion as I left, and even did a little wave.
She'll probably fuck me up badly with that drill thing next time I go.
On Friday evening we went to Lancaster. We were there as a way of celebrating Dave's birthday the week before, due to the fact that a few of us (me included) couldn't be there for the official celebration.
I got stupidly drunk, trying to consume as much alcohol as possible before they stopped serving. Still, I wasn't the only one who did that, was I Liam Astley?
As usual it took us ages to get home, what with people climbing on scaffolding, purchase or pizzas and chips (my pizza was mighty-fine), threats from people trying to sleep etc etc..
I felt really ill on Saturday and remember bringing up a couple of packets of frazzles just before we went to the cinema. That make me sad to see such terrible waste of something beautiful.
We went to the cinema to watch 'The Village'. I'd been told that the twist in the film was ludicrous. They way I saw it, the twist isn't a twist at all, but rather just the whole plot of the film. A twist should be completely unexpected and turn everything on its head, yet the 'twist' in the film was quite easy to spot and nothing of a head-fuck at all. As a film with a normal plot it was okay, but rather uninvolving and predictable.
We saw 'Dodgeball' yesterday, which had it's funny moments. The things that make me cry with laughter are often the most puerile and basic things (such as the TV series Bottom), yet American films of that genre tend to make me squirm. Dodgeball didn't make me squirm, it made me smile. It didn't make me struggle to breathe through laughing though.
Right, I'm off to look at car number plates…