The Patch

January 15, 2007

Monday 15th January

Filed under: Miscellany — alice86 @ 12:23 pm

The modern day problem of incompetence:

incompetence occurs everywhere. It’s best not to seek it; you’ll probably be disappointed for such is the nature of life. There are, of course, different levels of this particular bane of existence, for example, good incompetence, bad incompetence and that predictable malapropism which requires Tena Lady or Pampers Plus.

The former should get even surlier members of society skipping or mentally jigging. Or perhaps even grinning a toothless grin. It’s when you’re undercharged, given too much change, or as the Monopoly Board puts it, “an error in your favour” with the same profitable result. Similarly, a half price bus ride followed by entry into a club, or student prices minus the ID card. When large profit engulfing companies such as Starbucks give you a cold cup, a cracked cup, you complain and get your free drink voucher as well as a rectified beverage. Though that’s technically not strict-speaking incompetence, there’s no point in feeling guilty. They can afford mistakes like that (and the loss of a few mugs). Also, anyone fool enough to drop twenty-quid on the floor and not bat an eyelid deserves the next lucky keen-eyed passer-by to pocket it.

However, when it comes to bad incompetence, everyone is screaming inside and ripping out their hair. Why is it that you can pay extra to ensure the safe recorded delivery of your precious mail (yes, it includes the receipts to the insurance company so they can cough up vouchers to replace items lost in the burglary) and find out that they’ve lost it, that though it says Signed Delivery, the post(wo)man has not received a signature and thus Royal Mail (the failure that they are) have absolutely no idea where the aforementioned important letter is and no-one within the stupid company can give you any information whatsoever apart from: “Oh…they don’t always sign for mail in Scotland.” Moral: don’t pay extra as they are already ripping everyone off with this large/ small letter thing and your letter may never arrive at its destination anyhow.It gets worse: Northern Rail. Funny how they rhyme, not so funny when you’re pondering this at the train station staring at your watch, wondering if you’ll ever see home again because every time they up the prices, they change the timetable. Every time they modify that, they make it so it is impossible to make the connections so you’re still stuck their waiting and the conductors just don’t have the manners they used to, oh no. They won’t hold up the train now, adding a slight delay to the already late running train due to a late arrival of a further incoming locomotive or a points failure or a lump on the line or adverse weather conditions, oh no. I’ll walk. I’ll see you when I get there, and I’m damn sure my feet can make it faster than that train. Or maybe I’ll even catch the bus. You know, that bus company that got knocked off because a driver knocked off a window cleaner or something and killed him. How that occurred is a Toyah Wilcox Mythtery.

Worst of all incompetences is that of the self variety. When you don’t put away your laptop so it gets stolen by aforementioned robbers; when you’re the person who manages to lose that twenty-pound note; when you somehow manage to misread the question and end up failing your exams. When it becomes ever-so-worse because you realise that you’re the one to blame for everything that has gone wrong, but you also realise you’ve been shouting and cursing everyone else…hypocrite, and a particularly rueful one at that.

Now is the time to get back into bed and just hibernate for the rest of the year, hoping that when you wake up, it will have been eradicated from the world.

As if. Take the urine soaked bladder-weakness pads and begone.



  1. Just the kind of feelgood message we need for the January blues 🙂

    Comment by Gordon Burns — January 15, 2007 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  2. now im jealous, you write well. One point, however british rail doesn´t actually exist.

    Comment by Richard — January 15, 2007 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

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