Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Things That Piss Me The Fuck Off, Part 4

New term is about to start at university, so I guess it's time for another instalment. Off we go...

31. Vouchers

Vouchers are possibly the biggest waste of time in the history of shopping, and I have no idea why the fuck anyone even bothers with them. They're just devalued money, that's it. You've taken a £10 note that I could have spent in any shop on any item I wanted, or even put in the bank, and you've fucking replaced it with £10 that I can only spend in a single shop. Why the hell would you do that?

I guess vouchers appear to be a more thoughtful present than just money, but every single time I'd always rather just have the cash. I appreciate that you've specifically gone to a shop I like, and that there's effort involved in that, but really, why the hell bother to go to that effort just to give me a crappier present? It amazes me that shops have somehow managed to market the idea that you given them money without actually buying anything at the time, so you can maybe buy something at a later date. For the same amount of money it would have cost if you'd just paid cash.

And sometimes they fucking expire as well. That's just ridiculous. Trading real money for fake money is one thing, but fake money with a time limit? Why the hell would anyone do that.

The only time I'm grateful for vouchers is when I'm getting them promotionally, or through Valued Opinions or something (recently got £10 in Amazon vouchers from them for answering questionnaires). But when I know that I could just have easily have got cash instead of vouchers, it's just irritating. Especially book vouchers, because I never usually have a book I want to buy when I get given them, which means I'm just going to buy a book for the hell of it, or I'll forget about them when I actually want to buy a book and end up paying in cash anyway.

32. 1337 Names

I swear the vast majority of people who have names like 'Maj0r Bl00d' and 'F34r' or whatever online are dickheads ('sup m0rbis :P). Or they're pre-adolescent kids and therefore dickheads by default. Same also applies for people who have discovered the greater library of Unicode characters and choose to make their screen-name out of various things that aren't letters but look by letters. Or put fucking stars in their name. Or the Japanese katakana 'shi' (or is it tsu? I can never tell them apart) because it looks like a smiley face (シ). Oh cool, your name is 'υɲɪƭєɗ ɱʌƨƙʌ!™'? You found the character map. How fucking clever of you.

People who also sort of come under this jurisdiction are people who need names at the end of their screenname. If you need to add numbers to the end of your handle then it's because you've got a dumbass unoriginal nick. This was so fucking prevalent on the NSider forums, god bless that cauldron of stupidity. Your name is RIDLEY412, could you seriously not come up with a name that isn't stupidly generic on a Nintendo forum instead of just living with the number. Is your admiration for Ridley as a character that fucking strong?

People could probably point to the fact I put "LFC" on the end of mine. That wasn't because "Rosti" was already taken. That was just because some places don't like usernames that are only 5-characters long, and also because I lost my liverbird avatar switching from MKDS to Tetris DS, and wanted to keep the Liverpool allegiance online. Also has the side benefit of every single Google result for "Rosti LFC", "Rosti_LFC" or "RostiLFC" with quotes being 100% me. Rather than a fuckload of results about rösti. That and yeah, I was something of a pre-adolescent dickhead when I started using that name online, and I've started to drop the LFC anyway nowadays. And until the last couple of months when some asshole has started using my nick on Rizon and another on Quakenet, I've never met anyone else with the same nick, so I figure it's original enough.

33. Snow

When I was a kid, snow was awesome. Snow was fun, it got me days off school, I'd be immensely happy any time it snowed. I am to a certain extent still like that, but after a day or two the novelty wears off pretty fucking fast and it's annoying as hell. This is mostly because I usually get hit with the snow in Cambridge, and the Cambridgeshire Council is fucking shite at doing anything about it.

Cambridge is extremely pretty under snow, I'll admit that. However, once you've admired the scenery, made a snowman and had a few snowball fights, nobody really gives a shit any more. It just becomes something that makes getting anywhere an absolute fucking nightmare. The snow compacts down, freezes, and you've basically got this crappy icy stuff covering everywhere. Cycling across Midsummer Common to the boathouse becomes a fucking nightmare, because I've got a road bike and the tyres are thin and pretty shite for coping with snow and ice. It takes me ages to get anywhere, because I have to walk at half the speed and be careful not to fall over.

Basically, past the initial honeymoon period, I fucking hate snow. I had to do the Christmas shopping last December in the snow, it took ages, and I don't really know how I managed to carry all the stuff back without falling on my arse at least once. If the council grits the pavements, then cool, no problem, but in Cambridge they don't even seem to bother gritting the fucking roads, which is just stupid. Lectures don't get cancelled (90% of the time at least), so the snow doesn't benefit my life in any useful way. It just provides a day or two of fun, and then a week or so of pissing me off.

34. People Turning The Oven Off In M Staircase

Yeah, this is a laughably specific one, but it happened to me multiple times last term, and it ruins my lunch and is a fucking pain in the arse. If you think someone has left the oven on, fine, turn it off. That's just saving energy. But please, check there's nothing in it first. It's not fucking hard.

Any time you want to cook something in the oven it takes ages. Twenty minutes up to a couple of hours. It's not really something you're going to bother hanging around waiting for. If I stick something, say a pie, in the oven, I go back to my room for the forty minutes it's going to take to cook. So sure, the oven is on in the kitchen, and there's nobody around, so it looks left on by accident. But taking five seconds to look before turning it off makes it fairly obvious that someone has left it on unattended on purpose. It's a fucking electric oven, it's not like it's going to catch on fire.

So after forty minutes, I come back, find some retard has turned it off. I have no idea when they turned it off, so I have no fucking idea how long it still has to cook. It could in theory be anything from one minute to thirty-nine, I have no clue. Which means I risk either burning it, eating it under-cooked, or having to fuck about and check up on it every five minutes to check it's not burnt or the oven has been turned off again.

What's really funny is that I bet, as they turn it off, they think that whoever accidentally left it on is a careless idiot, when actually they're the ones being stupid and careless. How hard is it to check inside, and why the fuck wouldn't you think to do that before you turn it off? It's usually around one o'clock as well, it's like the most likely time for someone to be wanting to cook something. Who exactly stays in the kitchen when cooking something in the oven, unless they need to be in there to prepare other food as well? It's so damn annoying, and it seems to happen ridiculously often given how rarely I actually use the oven.

35. Evangelical Christians

Specifically ones at university that advertise their events with the intent of getting non-Christians to go, and especially when they knock on my door to try and convert me. I could write an entire blog post on this, and HarmoNicks has said she'd like to do one, so I might let her guest-post at some point.

The thing that annoys me most is not the posters on the door windows, though it'd be nice to be able to see through to outside from time to time. It's not even that they personally bother me to try and tell me about Jesus and shit. It's the fucking patronising idea that Christianity is something that has never occurred to me.

I'm fucking nineteen, going on twenty years old now. And I've spent those twenty years living in the UK, a predominantly Christian country. I've not been on some fucking island in the South Pacific (where I'm sure they would have missionaries anyway), and have just got back, having never heard of this Jesus Christ person before. And I go to Cambridge, so go figure I'm probably not some sort of retard either. I'm likely to be well-educated and know a fair bit about the world around me. I went to a protestant high-school and primary school, where we had to go to church at the end of each term (and possibly the start, I don't remember). We said the Lord's Prayer in assemblies and had a chaplain designated to the school. Of course I've fucking heard of Jesus Christ.

I don't get who the fuck they're trying to appeal to. I'm pretty sure by our age most people have a fairly clear idea of their religious beliefs, and I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of people aren't going to suddenly switch just because the concept gets presented to them. I've been bombarded with Christianity since I was little, but I never really thought about actually being a Christian until I you told me I maybe should. Is that what they're aiming at?

The concepts are so fucking manipulative as well. The seminars are given titles that seem specifically aimed at sceptics. It's almost like they're using them as fucking troll-bait to get you to go. Or they're playing on standard concepts that give students problems. Exams are tough, revision is stressful, maybe Jesus Christ can help you get through it. Fuck off, no he can't, and I'm not so fucking gullible to think that prayers might bump a shaky 2.1 into a 1st.

It'd nice to just be left alone. For these damn evangelists to realise that have already made up my mind on the subject and I'm more than comfortable with it. I'm a fairly strong-minded Atheist and something of a fundamentalist, but it's not like I'm going round putting up posters or going door-to-door to try and convince people that their current beliefs are wrong. If Christianity is so good, people can figure that out for themselves. They don't need people to continually try and convert everyone into it.

36. Sunday Train Services

Now, I sort of appreciate the reasoning behind Sunday train services. People don't shop as much on a Sunday because most of the shops are shut, so won't use the trains so much, you have to pay people some sort of overtime usually to work on a Sunday, whatever. But seriously, they're such a fucking pain in the arse.

Especially now that Liverpool are in the Europa League, so are playing most of their Premiership fixtures on Sundays because of the Thursday matches. Which means trying to get to and from Anfield on the train is a fucking nightmare because not only does the Sunday service means trains are less frequent, but also means they're absolutely fucking rammed. Merseyrail need to get their asses into gear and realise that most of the 45,000 people in the stadium are leaving at pretty much the exact same time, or at least the same 30-minute window. And sure, they don't all need to get home on the Ormskirk-Liverpool line, but a lot of them still fucking do.

Getting to the station straight after a Sunday match and missing the train by a couple of minutes means I not only have to wait 28 minutes for the next one, but that a crapload of other people are going to be waiting for it too. Plus that train will have Soccerbus people on it too, meaning it'll be full to bursting and I might not be able to get on. So awesome, a 58 minute wait until the next fucking train I can get home.

Plus Sunday is also usually the choice day for line maintenance, which means replacement buses instead. Which are slower and take less people, and generally more shit in every way. If there's a replacement bus service between Kirkdale and Ormskirk then I either have to sprint to the station after the game and hope I get a bus/train before the mad rush, or I'm basically going to be taking hours to get home, and I might as well try walking the ten miles or so for all the time it's going to take me.

This applies to London as well. I'll do anything to avoid going to London on a Sunday unless I really have to, because getting around on the tube is just a fucking nightmare. Not only are various lines completely out of operation for maintenance, but some of the stations on lines that are running are also not usable as well. It's absolute hell because you end up taking three different trains and going all over London to get somewhere just because the direct train isn't running.
And I appreciate that they have to do maintenance at some point, but why not just employ night staff and do it across every single night, when the tubes aren't running anyway, instead of compacting it all onto Sundays?

37. People Who Evangelise Linux

This is mostly a fairly uncommon, specific type of people, but christ they're irritating. These people who seem to have the fucking notion that every time anything goes wrong with Windows, or OS X, the answer is Linux. No, it fucking isn't. Windows has problems, and throws up errors, but suggesting that if I use Linux I'll never encounter problems and errors is just bullshit.

Now don't get me wrong, I quite like Linux. I have an Ubuntu boot on my laptop, and it's pretty useful if I just want my computer to boot up quickly, or if I've got no internet connection and various Windows programs are going to bitch about it when they start up. It's nice and efficient when I want to value efficiency. But it's far from perfect by a fucking mile.

Linux isn't quite a difficult to use as most people think it is, and they've ironed out most of the stuff so that you don't really need to use the terminal for anything any more (and if you do, there's always Google), but that still doesn't change the fact that plenty of shit just flat-out doesn't work. Especially on laptops. If you install certain Linux distros with the wireless card turned off, getting your wireless to actually work is a massive faff to say the least. Plenty of things are unsupported by Linux. When I first got Ubuntu I had the 64-bit version, which meant I couldn't watch YouTube videos amongst other things because the flash plug-in wasn't supported yet. I couldn't use Skype either.

Fact is, the reason I use Windows, along with a lot of people, is pretty much everything is made to work in Windows. I don't have to screw around getting it to work in Linux, the developers have already done it for me. I install it, it works, no worries. And sure, Windows is slow, and sometimes does things that annoy me, but I'm pretty sure I waste far less time with issues I have with Windows than I do with Linux.

So Linux fanboys ('sup massacre :P), come to realise that your own heralded operating system is far from perfect, and stop fucking telling people to use Linux every time they encounter a problem while having Windows as their OS. Because frankly, most of the time it's not because they're using Windows, it's because the program itself is glitchy. Meanwhile most problems while using Linux are directly related to the fact you're using a Linux operating system. It's good, but it's nowhere near as good as you guys seem to think it is.

38. Stuff That Also Tries To Install Other Stuff

Encountered this recently while trying out various image players to try and find one that could allow me to flick easily through image files that didn't have file extensions (which the default Linux image viewer can do, oh irony). The main thing I really gained from that was the realisation of how little you can install nowadays that doesn't also try and get you to install other shit as well. Almost always fucking browser toolbars.

On the occasions I end up using my sister's laptop for something, her Firefox is always crowded to hell with various shitty toolbars for things. Almost certainly because she's not opted out of installing it while she's been installing stuff. I don't want a fucking Yahoo! toolbar, or any other bollocks on my web browser when I'm trying to install an image viewer. They don't fucking do anything that Firefox doesn't already provide to me in it's existing toolbar. They just take up a load of vertical space that I could otherwise use looking at things.

Who ever wants them anyway? Who the fuck installs a random program to get access to a Yahoo! toolbar? Surely the only people who install it are morons who don't un-check the box to install it by default.

And yeah, I bash on Apple a lot, but this also applies to them. I just want Quicktime. I don't want iTunes. I don't want any other shitty products that you provide, I just specifically want Quicktime and that's literally it. Why the fuck do you have to attempt to bundle your products with all your other ones by default? I don't want them, it's just fucking irritating to have to fuck about to avoid a ton of bloatware as well.

39. People Who Use SMS Speak Outside of Texts

Just in general people who fail to even bother to use proper grammar on the internet. Acronyms are fine, but if you're trying to create sentences using 'u' and 'gna' and stuff, then fuck off or speak English.

The whole reason txt speak originated, whether people are aware of it or not, was mainly because you have character limits on SMS messages so it makes sense to shorten words to save letters. Also that texting without predictive text can be fucking slow for most people, so it saved a fair bit of time. However, when you're on Facebook, or a forum, or IRC, or MSN, you tend to have access to a full keyboard. Unless you type like a retard, it's saving you next to no time to write 'u' instead of 'you'. There's no decent reason to do it.

If you're doing it to look cool, then you're a retard. If you're doing it to save time, then you're similarly stupid because it shouldn't really make a difference. If you want to save time learn to type properly and get a decent wpm. Show some fucking care in what you're taking the time to say, and have some respect and use proper English. If you can't spell, then whatever, that's a different issue, but if you're consciously spelling stuff like a fucktard then it pretty much makes you one yourself. Plus it's fairly easy for me to mentally associate sentences typed online in txt speak with stupid people, because most of the time on forums they're not just failing to use proper spelling and grammar, but also usually saying something pretty retarded in the process.

40. Stupid Facebook Groups & Fanpages

I swear sometimes I question why I'm even associated with some people through Facebook. I frequently see people joining and even inviting me to all these completely shitty groups that are clearly either lies or stupid tricks to get you to join or become a fan, just so you can see something 'amazing' that you've probably seen before if you've spent any decent amount of time on YouTube (or know people who have for that matter).

People aren't going to give you $10 if you join their fucking group. There's no way that joining a group is going to somehow let you see who is looking at your profile. At best it's a waste of time, at worst it'll give you a virus or some shit. Dammit people, stop being so fucking gullible and joining these groups seemingly under the impression that it's actually going to fucking do what it says. Are you fooled that easily by crap on the internet?

And while I can understand people joining groups or fanpages to see an image or video that is supposedly hilarious, the fact that they exist is still fucking annoying. Do you really care so much about how many people join your group that you're willing to make bullshitty manipulative things like that just to get people to join?

Seriously people, don't bother wasting your time joining groups like that. It'll just be on failblog or YouTube or whatever anyway. You're wasting your time, and just fuelling these annoying shitty pages.

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