They always catch me off guard…

I’m never prepared… I should have something rote up my sleeve for whenever friends get engaged, for I invariably get asked to photograph their weddings.  AND I HATE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY WITH A PASSION!!!!  Hate it worse than coffee in fact, and that’s really saying something.  🙁

I’ve only done about a dozen weddings, because I normally I do everything I can to avoid doing them…  So why is it that when friends get engaged, they suddenly remember that borysSNORC has a degree in Visual Arts in Photography, and I’m sure she’d love to shoot our wedding rather than attend as a guest?  😐   I’ve been caught off guard a few times, and the approach tends to vary, so I’ve never quite learnt the signs on when the question is coming.  One friend pulled me aside quietly one day, and said…. ‘Can I ask you a favor?’ to which i replied jauntily ‘Sure!’…. stupid move.  Next thing I was cornered into doing a wedding that I didn’t want to do…. and a night one at that…. with no offer of remuneration.  Crap.  😐

So yesterday I get yet another phone call from a newly engaged friend, that starts with ‘Well if you don’t want to do it for us, I understand and  you don’t have to…’  Ah-huh… no guilt there.  And she knows I’ve done two other weddings for mutual friends of ours, so I’m kinda screwed.  And why is it that they never offer right off the bat to pay you to shoot their damn wedding???  Wedding photographers cost a fortune, so they’re calling me cos they want it on the cheap.  But no mention of money seems to come into these conversations, so I KNOW they’re angling for a freebie.  Why would anyone assume that I have some sort of altruistic motive for personally WANTING to do this for them just because we know each other socially!?!?!   Man, have they got me pegged wrong.  😐

Doing a wedding sucks.  The bride is normally ridiculously stressed out about every stupid little detail, then you find yourself having to deal with what their bride and groom’s parents want as well… and then there’s the inevitable drunken giggly bridesmaid who has too much champagne at the hairdressers and can’t stand in a straight line….. and the ridiculous crappy lighting issues in the church….. and the groomsmen who simply can’t keep their fucking hands out of their pockets….. and Aunty Betty who doesn’t want to be in the pictures….. and the snot nosed little brat of a nephew/nieice who wont smile for the camera… and …. and…. and!!!! 

So naturally I love to undertake this sort of angst totally gratis for social acquaintances.. yeh????  Whatever!!!  So now I’m looking at:   Option A – get out of it by leaving the country for the duration….  or Option B – reply saying yes I’ll do it, but only if you meet my ridiculous fee.

Shopping Fairy or Consumer from Hell?

Having decided to accept the inevitability of a nasty coffee machine festering in my kitchen, I likewise decided I could be magnanimous about it’s impending arrival and assist Mr K in getting a good price for it.  Over the years I’ve developed quite the reputation for being a tenacious shopper – I can’t stand browsing the shops just looking at ‘stuff’ but when there’s an agenda… I’m usually pretty good at squeezing the price down.   I’m also one of those consumers, who wont be ignored when I’m unhappy  (Just ask JJJ how I helped her get $1500 back from United Airlines when they tried to mess her over).

Two shopping mottoes:  "Never pay full retail"  and  "the squeaky wheel gets the oil"  ….!!!  In the past I’ve saved $450 when buying my first digital SLR… saved $580 off a fridge…. saved $180 off a washing machine…. and numerous other largish purchases.  Dont get me started on car shopping!  🙂

Anyway the jumping off price for the coffee machine was $799, which is what is appearing in most of the catalogues etc.  So I rang around afew retailers doing the "Hi.  i am going to buy one of these coffee machines this week, Retailer X said they could do it for $729, can you do a better price than that?"  and so on and so forth.

Did pretty good with that approach – got the price down to $599.  Then it was time to hit the consortiums.  You ring them, tell them your best price and they find someone who will beat it.  So you give them the lowest quote you can find, just means they have to work a bit harder to do better.  So I called Consortium1 (online guys)…. they came back with $563…. not bad… tried Dad’s old API Shoppers consortium… $550 even… hit BigSal’s Union Shopper consortium and came back with $530.00.  Think we’ve bottomed out with that one.

Not too shabby … About a dozen phone calls all up, and $270 saved.  🙂  Now I just have to tell Mr K about my cut of the savings  🙂


Hang on… I’m just on the phone

I’ve only just got home.  I was supposed to finish work tonight at 20.00, but I got stuck on a call with a poor guy who couldn’t connect his NEXT G wireless modem.  I’ve only been doing this job for a few weeks, and already I am sick to death of the idiot sales staff who are selling these products to people.  This guy got sold a wireless product, and even though he reported to the sales chickie that he has no mobile phone coverage at his property (ie he is in a mobile black spot) she assured him it will work fine anyway.  No only that but the sales chikie told him he could use that modem with more than one computer and anywhere in the house, that it didn’t need to be cabled to the PCs….. what a lot of crap!  These products are wireless, but not wifi!  Grrrr……..   I spent two hours going through every possible problem, only to get it working and then have signal that isnt powerful enough to get through the registration process. 

I had another lady last week who was sold a NEXT G wireless product who was in her late 70s.  She had one desktop PC and she mostly uses it to email with her grandkids etc.  And she lived in Bathurst… in town….  in Bathurst.  I can’t for the life of me figure out why they didn’t hook her up to a standard ADSL account with no wireless or wifi nonsense,  it’s be significantly cheaper for the poor old bitty, and much simpler to install and trouble shoot when she has problems.   Something tells me the sales people are on some sort of fantastic bonus scheme for pushing the NEXT G wireless stuff…. cos we keep getting people who would be better suited with other products.

God help me though if my shifts run late too often….

Out of left field call for the day:

“Welcome to Goliath Broadband help desk, this is borysSNORC, how may I help you?”

“Hi, I’d like to make a complaint….. the CT who installed my cable wireless was making inappropriate advances to my 17 year old daughter….. flirting with her and giving her his private phone number.  Can I lodge this complaint with you?”

“Ummmm… you’ve reached technical support… can you hold the line a moment while I find out who you need to speak to?”.

The Great Coffee Aversion

I’m not particularly fond of coffee you know?  Alright that is a gross understatement.  I hate it.  With a passion.  Anyone who has known me for any length of time ends up hearing about it eventually… normally the information is imparted in response to a ‘Would you like  a cup of coffee?’ type question.  To which I invariably reply in a mild tone, ‘ No thanks, I don’t drink coffee.’  A statement which is oft greeted with explosive “Oh my god!” type reactions, and “What do you mean you don’t drink coffee’ or ‘I couldn’t live without my coffee!”   It’s a ridiculous and inane conversation I have had more times than I can count, and it usually ends with me defending my choice not to consume coffee like everyone else  😐

Some people of my acquaintance don’t truly comprehend just how much I dislike it….. immediately coming to mind are the Outlaws who came to stay just before I had Angel.  They couldn’t believe we didn’t have a coffee machine in the house, so they went out and bought a cheap filtered coffee machine.   And the damn thing was on the boil all day, every day for the two weeks they were here.  😐   It made my entire house reek of coffee, and the smell of it was literally making me throw up!!  (Well… I was kinda up the duff at the time).  Luckily they took their nasty habit and their nasty coffee machine with them when they left.  So it was this brief, but intensely traumatic, period that cemented my aversion of all things coffee related….

I hate the taste of coffee. 
I hate the smell of coffee. 
I hate foods that are flavoured of coffee.
I hate kissing someone who has been drinking coffee.
I hate it when people get snobby about their coffee (yes Surly that’s you!)
I hate it when people make out they can’t function without coffee.
I just hate coffee goddammit!

Anyway, bearing all this in mind and getting to the point at hand …   you can imagine how thrilled I was when Mr K announced he was going to buy a u-beaut, all singing, all dancing coffee machine this week ……  😐 


God bless the internet

I got to catch up with MD today!   It was the first time since Christmas Day that we’ve had a chance to have a really good chat.  Sounds like he is getting along well, though I did  notice that he asked me about four times what was going on with everyone back here, so I guess he must be a little home sick…  probably a very little :).  While I was on the phone with him, we were chatting about the bomb that went off last weekend while he was out carpet shopping, which I originally saw on the BBC news website.  So I happened to flick over the BBC RSS feed to see if there was any follow up on that story… and I found this link.  🙂  This one is actually funny!

We had a good old giggle about the absolute stupidity of these guys carrying their suicide bomb on a pushbike …  😐   I was in such a good mood for the rest of the afternoon after getting a chance to talk with him … I just felt comfortable again.  I always seem to get a bit antsy when I don’t get to keep in touch with my few real friends on a regular basis.  Maybe that’s why I go to such stupid lengths sometimes to keep in touch with the people that really matter to me.



Explosion kills two in Pakistan

pakistan map controlled kashmir

Police say they hit a road bump on the outskirts of a town in the province. Police in Pakistan say two people have been killed in the province of Punjab after the bomb they were carrying on a bicycle accidentally exploded.

Deputy Superintendent Bashir Ahmed said they did not know whether the two men intended to plant the explosives or to carry out a suicide attack.

Correspondents say Pakistan has suffered a series of suicide attacks in recent weeks.  The two men died near Chichawatni, 120km (75 miles) north of Multan.  There is speculation that there were intending to detonate the bomb at a large cattle market, which is being held in the town.