Sam’s Rant – Why I Don’t Have A Smartphone

19 03 2014

Smartphone

Smartphones are all the range these days allowing users to listen to music, play games, use apps, surf the web (if people still say that), take photos of themselves and of course, ‘phone people’. Smartphones are also big business for the companies who produce them and make things for them. I don’t have a smart phone though, and while people as in everyone who has one will suddenly do that gasp thing like they are shocked, which the idea of someone not having a smartphone may sound quite shocking to them but maybe not everyone else, except for those with smartphones, they can gasp all they want, it’s not going to do a thing, because, I don’t need a smartphone, and here’s why.

A Proper Phone

I have a mobile phone, I got it back in 2010, my first phone (I can hear that gasp again), before then I didn’t need one. But now I do have a phone (with buttons) and it is useful, it has the standard text feature and the standard ability to phone people like any other phone, as is the purpose of a phone, it has a calculator, tells the time and date and has a little game on it, but that’s it, just a phone, and that’s all I really need. Just something to call and message people with.

Mobile Phone

“But what about surfing the what what what?” people may ask (but not necessarily like that). Well, I have a computer to do all that with; I don’t need a phone to do that when a computer does it a whole lot better. “But what about taking pictures of things and yourself?” Well, I have a camera to do that with, and by camera I mean a proper one with an optical zoom feature which produces better quality pictures than a pixellated camera on a phone does. I don’t need a camera phone, I have a proper camera.

Samsung WB500 Camera

“OK, then what about listening to music?” Hmm, you got me there; I suppose I could use my Computer again. “But what about when you are on the move?” Hmm, I suppose I could use the free service in my head called memory, I don’t need to spend money to use my own brain, well I sort of do, but it’s a far better form of subscription called ‘FOOD’. If the day comes though that I need to acquire some form of mobile music playback device, I could just buy an iPod (correctly punctuated I, Pod), I don’t need to buy the latest iPhone (I, Phone), even more so as there will be an even more latest but technically exactly the same as the previous model iPhone released within a year from the release of the previous model of the previously stated device, and then every year from that point on from the release of the original iPhone.

iPhone

“What about Apps, they’re useful” Yes, the number of times I have been on a train thinking; ‘I wonder how loud this train is’ or times I’ve been shopping to suddenly have the thought; ‘I wonder what my hand looks like through an x-ray (even though, if the phone was actually performing an x-ray on me or anyone else, it would be producing a lot of radiation and could give the user and all those who use it regularly, radiation poisoning)’. No, I don’t need apps (applications is the correct word), there’s no real point to them as far as I can see, if you think you can convince me otherwise, please leave a comment. As for games, I have the use of several video game consoles and my PC with Steam and GOG games on it. I have no need or urgent desire to play Happy Pigeons or Malicious Falcons or Lethargic Budgies or whatever it’s called or EA’s long overdue but extremely bad attempt to make money on one of the Greatest PC Games in history. If I want to play games while on the move I could use my 3DS, but at the moment I am content reading books.

Nintendo 3DS

I simply don’t need a smartphone, I just don’t, and if smartphones were so “smart”, why can’t they tap dance?

Dial Phone

GENEPOOL





Sam’s Rant – Jewellery Application

8 07 2013

Diamonds

A couple of weeks ago, while looking for summer/student jobs I found an offer online for a job at a local branch of a well-known jewellers. It was a temporary sales associate position and seeing an opportunity I decided to apply for it. With a whole load of experience in the retail sector from the course I took at LMC in 2005, I thought I was in with a good chance of getting it. So I apply for the position online on the website I found the vacancy on and send them a copy of my CV. The following day I receive an e-mail from the company that owns the chain stating that to complete my application I need to fill in an application online on their website for the position. So I go to the website and find out that I have to create an account with the website to apply. I am just applying for a job but, surely if I need an electronic account with them, wouldn’t be best to wait until I get the job? With my account now made, I go through the step by step process. Firstly I needed to tell them about my previous work. They asked what my previous job was and why I left, but I had not left as I am currently and still am a student. So I still filled it in with mostly N/A in the boxes. Once this had been done I had to go onto step 2 which involved asking lots of multiple choice questions; well I say multiple, I only had two choices for each question and in many cases that was not enough and so I had to choose which one was the closest but in many cases it was not the right answer.

Multiple Choice

From pretty much the moment I started doing all these things it was like I was not applying for a summer job; it was more like I was applying for a career. I am only applying for a small “Temporary” vacancy, not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, even if I could and wanted to do it for the rest of my life, would I really want to stay temporary? Ok, it was optimistic of them for all of this, but come on. But I got it all done and was ready for the next part, this was a mine field. I had to complete a quick exercise that could take up to 30 minutes, that’s all that was really said and what the exercise was, was not really shown other than that it was an exercise. But before I could start it, the webpage would not load, so I contacted the website about it and they said they were experiencing technical issues. So I waited until the next day before I did it. The next day arrived and I got to work with the exercise, it was here that I officially entered the minefield. The exercise involved answering questions by rating different outcomes of events that may arise in a fictional jewellers shop. There were four answers for each question and I had to rate each answer by 4 different choices:

  • Counterproductive
  • Ineffective
  • Somewhat Effective
  • Effective

So I got stuck in with the exercise. The questions ranged from things like; a customer walks into the store and asks for a specific watch and it is currently unavailable, do you? One of the staff members is showing a watch to a customer but does not know as much about it as you do (which was both a question and the example), and each of these questions would give four answers which would say something like (if we take the last question as the example),

  • Interrupt the conversation
  • Leave them alone, the team member needs the experience
  • Talk to the manager
  • Find the ideal opportunity to join the conversation

And this was how it all panned out, and pretty much all the questions were exactly the same in one way or another.

Jewellers

Eventually I finished it all and submitted my answers only for the site to tell me that I did not meet the criteria for the position. So I set up a career account with the company’s website only for them to tell me that I shouldn’t have bothered. I still have the account with them now (at time of writing), I don’t know why? They really need to fix their careers applications online system. But do you want to know what the most interesting thing about this whole experience is? It’s that the questions in the 30 minute exercise (even though I did it in 10) only talked about customer service. I was pretty sure that a question that was in my head at the time did not appear anywhere. What would you do in this situation? Please rate your answer to the system above (counterproductive, ineffective, somewhat effective, effective).

The Shop is being robbed by armed gun men, do you?

  • Talk to them calmly and do as they say
  • Pick up the phone and call for the police (even if criminals can see you doing it)
  • Jump over the counter and attack them
  • Run for it

It is a good question. Not unless they either don’t get robbed at all (despite the place being a jewellery shop) or maybe the staff just do as they’re told and tie themselves up in the back room as soon as they see a gun (What happens to the customers we don’t know). Another good question to ask would have been:

The Shop is on fire, do you?

  • Find the nearest fire extinguisher to fight the fire with
  • Have a health and safety meeting
  • Run for it
  • Use the nearest source of non-flammable liquid to put out the fire

Why these sorts of questions were not asked is anyone’s guess?

GENEPOOL (Maybe I should do more of these interesting unasked questions as a future blog post).





Sam’s Rant – Train Travel 03/05/2013

6 05 2013

Pendolino

This past friday was almost like any day for someone who attends University in Preston while living in Lancaster. I went to Lancaster train station to get my train to Preston and was once again hoping to get a seat for two reasons. Firstly it is nice to sit down, and secondly; I prefer to read sitting down, that way I can read some more of The Spook’s Curse. However it was a First TransPennine Express train which meant that there was only a vague chance of getting a seat. In the end I did not get one and had to stand up all the way, which brought up a very interesting question; if FirstGroup can afford to bid for the West Coast Main Line, why can’t they afford to put an extra carriage on their Manchester Airport trains? It’s a popular service and everyone has to stand so surely they could do the decent thing and add some more seats for the comfort of their passengers.

First Transpennine Express

Anyway later in the day, on my way home, things got a lot worse. After getting my lunch from McDonalds I went to Preston Train Station and arrived just after 4:10pm, and as usual, there are millions of trains going south but hardly any going North. I think there must be some kind of portal that links London and Glasgow/Edinburgh so that once a train has arrived at Euston Train Station, it goes straight forward into the portal and immediately arrives in Glasgow/Edinburgh. Anyway because of the lack of trains going North I had to wait about half an hour for a train. So I ate my McDonald’s and did something that I enjoy while waiting for a train at Preston Train Station, head to the end of the platform that points towards London and watch the trains come in, it’s both relaxing and fun.

British Rail Class 390 Pendolino

Eventually I saw the Pendolino arrive and boarded the train (through the first class section). Usually the Glasgow Central trains usually wait some time before leaving, but this one waited a while. After about 10 minutes or so, an intercom came on stating that the train was going to be delayed for about 15 minutes. So I get off and wait on the opposite platform for another train, which came while being about 1 minute delayed. I boarded the train (this time a Virgin Super Voyager) and got a seat, hurray. I had a little sleep before waking up and realised that the train was still in the station, Preston Train Station. There was an announcement stating that there was a train heading North towards Lancaster on another platform; but I was comfortable and so I stayed where I was. Then the announcement came the train was going to be 20 minutes delayed. So I got off and went to the other train, the one from earlier, which was still in the station and decided to wait for further information because the trains did not show a departure time, instead they just showed the word “DELAYED”.

Virgin Super Voyager

Eventually I ran into my University friend Daniel who was having similar train problems as he too was wanting to go to Lancaster. Eventually, without word from the station, the first delayed train left Preston, without neither Me or Daniel on it. Now that is just unfair, several people were needing to go home and the station did not tell us when the train was leaving. So in response to this, we both boarded the second delayed train and waited, standing up for about 20 minutes plus, the reason behind the delay was apparently the train had no driver, which raises the question, how did it get to Preston in the first place?

Preston Train Station Night

So after 20 minutes or so and after the corridor had become packed with several people, another train going in the direction of Lancaster arrived and we did consider going on it, but in the end we stayed on the train that we were currently on which was now 1 hour and 10 minutes delayed. And then at about 6:00pm, the train moved and left Preston; HURRAY. After about 15 minutes of travel we finally arrived in Lancaster at about 6:15pm; 2 Hours and 5 Minutes after arriving at Preston Train Station in the first place. So home at last after a long (ANNOYING) journey. Then I walked home and on the way some bloke walked up to me and asked if I had any weed, to which my answer was “NO”.

GENEPOOL





Sam’s Rant – Multiplayer Games; Re-Post

23 03 2013

Multiplayer Games (eHow)

To celebrate reaching my 250th Post, I thought that for my 251st I would re-post my very first post (which was actually written 1 year before I started the blog). I have also updated the posts with Links and Pictures for both your viewing pleasure but also to show you how much I have advanced since I started way back in November 2009, Enjoy.

SNES Controller

Before I start this rant I would like to point out that I actually love games and do buy them and have a lot of fun with them.

My Week

Multiplayer games are something that can get on my nerves. Mainly online multiplayer games. The biggest problem for me is that everyone that I play against is better than me, bully me and try to lower my self-esteem. This is also the case when playing Super Smash Bros Melee on the Game Cube in K101 (A room at my previous college), that is if I can play at all because some people hog the console and don’t allow anyone else to play it.

Super Smash Bros. Melee (Nintendo - 2001)

All right SSBM is not an online game but it is a multiplayer game. One major problem about online multiplayers is the game modes are the same and when playing with other people they use the same tactics over and over again (but they won’t allow me to do that). Let me tell you that I like playing Unreal Tournament 2004 after college and it can be quite fun hearing other people moan for a change when they get killed. Some people do a thing called camping (why is it called that?). As far as I see it there is nothing wrong with it, it’s just like sniping in other shooting games. So why do these people who moan about campers, when at points in the game they do it themselves. Also they do something called boosting (why is this also called that?). Boosting involves pushing someone on your own team forward. Surely if it makes the player move quicker you could finish the game more quickly. This could also be used to cover by pushing your friend (or ex friend after playing the game) forward, they get shot and you take out the baddie.

Unreal Tournament 2004 (Epic Games - 2004)

Also why are multiplayer options (apparently) better than the normal single player in major BIG GAMES? OK in SSBM the single player is the biggest problem of the game, in fact it’s BORING. But in a game as big (or in my opinion PANTS) as HALO 3, surely the single player is better. Well according to most people, it’s not. This is also the case in Gears of War and maybe even Gears of War 2 (POO). I like playing multiplayer games with my friends; this is because for most of my life I live as a loner (at least I did back in 2008). In fact I hardly ever get to play a multiplayer game with friends because they might be doing something else. In some circumstances it maybe they have a job, this is fine, they have to make money one way or another.

Gears of War (Epic Games - 2006)

Most people playing online see me as either some new boy or someone to pick one, so they all target me (Mario Kart Wii).

Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo - 2008)

You may still be saying to yourself “why is HALO 3 PANTS”. The multiplayer is the same game every time you play it; people target you in multiplayer and its PANTS. Put some new characters, weapons, vehicles and levels in it. In my opinion one of the best multiplayer games around is 007 Nightfire on the Game Cube. There are multiple modes, multiple characters, multiple levels and the multiplayer is actually fun. It’s a good laugh with friends and people don’t moan when you are camping (oh wait that’s a different game).

007 Nightfire (Electronic Arts - 2002)

Fighting games are actually a lot of fun. My Favourite is still Mortal Kombat because it is fun and it has a range of funability and isn’t ruined with university grad students all over the internet trying to ruin your day. TEKKEN 4 was a good multiplayer game (I don’t have it; I was playing the free version in GAME). But games like SSBM and Soul Calibur ruin some of that funification by adding lots of stupid combos for players thinking it will be even more fun, but in actual fact it ruins your day by practicing for a full day in the practice mode and you have to memorize all of these.

Mortal Kombat (Mortal Kombat Series Logo)

Racing games are the best multiplayer games because it is just racing, and all you have to do is go faster than everybody else, EASY. OK here I go and you are not going to like this one little bit but the thing after it is going to be worse.

FINAL FANTASY IS RUBBISH, EVERY GAME IS THE SAME.

OK, MMO’s are RUBBISH (apart from the new Animal Crossing on Wii). MMO’s are all the same; well to be far most are the same. Fantasy Medieval World with spells and swords. If you want to see how rubbish watch the Fable and Fable 2 reviews on Zero Punctuation. In order to be the best you have to get skill points and get more skill points but even if you get all the PANTS skill points there are there is still going to be someone better than you. I thought SPORE was going to have something of an MMO in it but NOOOOOOOOOOO. Also World of Warcraft is the same in every PANTS expansion pack there is. Be the hero and kill the Lich King for the one Millionth time. You could just form a group of friends but if they are at work (or down the pub going YAY or COME ON YOU BROWNS to the football, Drinking or pursuing Women) you can’t play and get killed for the one Gillionth time (a Gillion is a new number that I created about 7 years ago). EVE Online is really the only game I have thought about playing because it looks like it’s the only one that works. Why doesn’t someone make an MMO about Pirates, that could be FUN?

World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment - 2004)

In all seriousness I like playing multiplayer games but other people can ruin it by being mean to one another. Here’s my tip, ADD SOME FUNIFICATION TO MULTIPLAYER GAMES AND LEAVE THE COMPETITIVENESS FOR THE CGS.

GENEPOOL (I was about 19 Years Old when I first wrote this)





Sam’s Rant – Curly Wurly Price Increase

6 02 2013

Cadbury Curly Wurly

It has been a long time since I did a Rant, but there are major reasons why that is. Mainly because it involves having to split the ones which are safe to do and those that are too personal. Another reason could be that there has not been much to (safe) Rant about. That was until the other day when I was at University and wanted to buy a Curly Wurly.

Kelloggs Nutri-Grain Elevenses

Well I had just had lunch and was going to do some work in the library, so I went to buy a drink and a snack. After looking through all the cake bar things and finding absolutely nothing that seemed edible, in particular I was looking for one of those Nutri-Grain Elevenses Bakes things which have the bad marketing scheme of aiming it at the Elevenses market because most people (like me) would buy them any time of the day therefore beating their purpose completely pretty much like what people do for After Eights but when you think about almost any time of day is after eight because even 5 am is after 8 yesterday. When it says After Eight, which eight are they talking about, although you could see it as a pun for after you ate, hahahahahahahahaha.

Nestle After Eight

Any way I was looking for a Nutri-Grain Elevenses Bakes and upon finding nothing went into the mainstream chocolate collection and decided to buy a Curly Wurly. I knew it would only cost me 20p because they have always only cost 20p, un less you think of those extra-long ones which are only available to buy in Bath at the Cadbury’s Shop or Kraftwerk shop if you want to be pedantic and cost something like £1.40 which does not make sense seeing as a Curly Wurly is only 20p and so the Extra Long ones should only be 40p, it’s simple math’s KRAFTWERK.

Cadbury

Anyway, now that I had my Curly Wurly and a Strawberry Milkshake bottle thing, so not exactly a Milkshake, more like bottled milk, which is pretty much how it comes in the first place, after the cow that is. I went up to the checkout and discovered that the Curly Wurly was 35p, not 20p. Why? Why did you change the price Kraftwerk? Fine, you bought Cadbury’s but why did you then decide to increase the price of something cheap and popular. Well there could be many reasons, and while we are on the subject of Riesen’s, why do you not make them anymore, they were fantastic, Bring back Reasons and perhaps Spira’s too, thanks.

Riesen and Spira

Anyway, there maybe several reasons why they increased the price of Curly Wurly’s, including Money problems and buying out Cadbury’s in the first place. Well in that case it could be understandable. I know we are all in a Recession Thingy at the moment but still, WHY OH WHY DID YOU INCREASE THE PRICE OF THE CURLY WURLY BY 15p? This Rant is probably going to be just filled with more ways of saying the same question over and over again. But still, the point stands. Why do I have to pay an extra 15p for something that was originally and long lastingly just 20p? Bring Back the 20p Curly Wurly I say.

GENEPOOL (It’s Good To Be Back)








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