Tuesday, 24 July 2018

What if the bucket man on my doorstep is a burglar? #WeAreTheProblems

I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if the bucket man on my doorstep is a burglar?

On Saturday we had a weird knock on the door.

All knocks on our door are suspicious.

I can't face my house most days - why would anyone else want to be there?

But this bloke in shorts, with bucket and carwash gear says:
"Hello I'm Gary. I'm your neighbour from number 23 and I'm mentally disabled.
They've cut my benefits and I'm raising money by washing cars."

I feel bad about his benefits.
I don’t know why they’re cutting them.
They all seem to get spent.
Isn’t that good for the economy?

But I've no idea why he’s picked our drive.
Our car's so clean it looks like the kids eat their dinners off it.
And then go to the toilet on there too.

Plus car dirt's carcinogenic.
He's mentally disabled now, but if he cleans my heap he'll end up with cancer on top.

Anyway he carried on talking and rambling about stuff that didn't really make any sense.

He wanted money, and I want money too.

We spent all ours on this car, so of course we'd want to protect our investment.
By letting some random self-diagnosed mentally ill guy all over it.

Maybe he thought the time it took to answer the door means I'm cash-rich and time-poor.
I should've pretended that I was The Staff.
Like in Downton Abbey.

But the kids are playing up.
This is the worst time to be dealing with this.
I need mentally unbalanced people offering me childcare.
Not cleaning services.

Stupid Universe not delivering yet again.

But there was something about his story that wasn't adding up.

I said, so you’re at number 23?
"Er... yes, urm Cheltenham Street, it’s a few streets away."

I closed the door and returned to my kids meltdown.

Then I had a meltdown - there is no Cheltenham Street in our town.
There's a street that sounds a bit like that but it's over a half hour walk away.

You’d have to have a mental problem to walk that with a bucket and car wash gear.

And then it hit me: either I’m a terrible person for questioning this...
or this is a plan to burgle us that's absolutely brilliant.

Wouldn’t it be perfect cover - to make you feel bad.

Plus any inconsistencies can just be put down to the mental disability.

Because like the Government, we all love making the disabled answer painfully personal questions.
“Like are you a bit, you know, “Uhh-uhhhhhhh”?
Or is it random and violent?”
“Does asking questions set you off?”

Who knows... maybe his condition means he’d overdo the work.
Maybe I’d come out ahead on this.

But if not - if he is a burglar - this is pure genius.

Either I give him cash on the doorstep...
Or walk him through the house, past all the crucial entry points and confirm where all the keys go.

We're on a meter, he even gets to nick our water.

It’s like the Thomas Crown Affair.
Or Oceans Eleven. With a bucket.

Anyway turns out he does come from a long way away, but he’s a drug addict.

He's not mentally disabled.
He's a local celebrity - infamous on the other side of town.

Maybe he’s looking for fresh cash.
He's a sponge. With a sponge.

But I'm a tightwad.
And my benefits are noisy kids and a filthy car.

All about me, and getting these by email.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

What if I want a cheap ticket but the ticket office is shut? #WeAreTheProblems

I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if I want a cheap ticket but the ticket office is shut?

I needed a Network Railcard so I could get a cheap ticket because I'm cheap.

It's 0820, I need to travel at 1018 and the ticket office is shut.

For the day.

And so begins getting drawn in to arguing the toss and evidence gathering for how this system is skewed against us towards profit for the train company shareholders, and I don't want to get drawn in.

I'm meant to be doing my work.

And then I think they want us to not want to be drawn in, so they can keep the extra money as profit for the train company shareholders.

But I don't want to pay the extra fare when I can get the cheaper ticket, if the ticket office were open.

(** The dull ins and outs are that I have to travel full fare and then go through a claim process to argue the toss to "maybe" get the extra refunded. There's no guarantee for this and why should I do that just because they can't do their work properly. But their work is delivering profits to shareholders, so maybe they're doing their job brilliantly.)

Then I remembered the work I'm avoiding is turning all this into stories.

So instead I lived a little dangerously and tried turning it into a little picture story.

Part 1
Please help!

Part 2
Oh Go On... I'm good for it...

Part 3
I'll do it my way

Part 4
I'm out of my depth

Part 5
I've got a plan...

Part 6

(*** even longer and duller, deep breath, you can also get a Digital Network Railcard, but this involves having your phone that works with a signal and uploading a photo - ticket office railcards don't need photos - and when you do buy it you have to choose whether its digital on an app or a hard copy, you can't change this option after purchase and there are no refunds so if like me you rely on railcard fares because part-time commuting is hugely expensive because rail is run for shareholder profit and if your phone is dead or the signal is down or the app isnt working you are not allowed to travel on railcard rates or claim for the excess afterwards. I know it's pedantic but its not right you're committed to a digital railcard for the year instead of the hard copy ticket that you should be able to buy in a station on day of purchase. And why can't you get a hard copy in the post and the digital version for your £30, they both have your uploaded photo on them it's not like my face can be in two places at once unless it's to crack down on the widespread railcard misuse by twins which is plaguing the rail industry.)

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What if I have no idea why I hate the grill so much? #WeAreTheProblems

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