Beware – Idiotic Marketing Ideas Are Here!

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A Typical English High Street

Yesterday morning I took delivery of an electric air-pump, which I need to inflate my new airbed. Now all I’m waiting for are those highly idiotic ‘please rate the product’ emails from Amazon UK. While they will expect me to rave on like a two bob watch about both products, I think on this occasion I’ll refrain. Hell’s teeth, we’re only talking about a blow up mattress and an electric air-pump, nothing special.

I hate to tell you this Amazon, but we’re a nation that still likes shopping in small family run businesses in our high streets where you get friendly courteous service. Yes there is a place for large concerns like yours where we can buy almost anything we care to name. Undoutedly the prices will be cheaper than any high street shop, but what we don’t need is all the hype and BS that goes with buying anything from you.

There is another thing which has crept in from across the pond, the sheer lunacy of sales days like Black Friday where total idiots with money to burn literally battle with one another, often violently, over products, and Cyber Monday when the emphasis is on equally insane online buying of those self same products.

I honestly don’t know how any of you feel about sales days like these, but when US based companies think that what works back home, will not only become accepted practice, but also be welcomed with open arms by the vast majority of the population of other lands, I’m sorry Amazon etal, but while the young may see nothing wrong with American sales tactics being employed more and more these days, the older generations, which is by far the majority here in the UK, usually steer well clear, preferring the peace and quiet of small shops.

Why an airbed? Two reasons. First of all because as a pensioner on a low income I can’t afford to buy a new soft mattress, necessary for a comfortable night’s sleep. Secondly, my back and other places, one of which I sit on, is now covered in various types of skin cancer, a legacy of spending forty-two years exposed to direct UV radiation from the Sun within the hole in the ozone layer down south in New Zealand. As for the ones on my back, which despite being benign are never the less painful, especially if I lay on my back at some point during the night, the doctors will only treat them if I submit to the knife once more. Or allow them to use focused radiation to fix the problem.

Will I let them near me ever again? Hell no. My previous experience with the local mob of medical specialists, was to say the least, far worse than putting up with the damned cancers. And another thing, it was radiation that caused the problem in the first place. I don’t need the side effects of any other form of radiation to add to my woes, thank you very much. Some people’s bodies are covered in freckles. In my case its skin cancer.

Rant almost over. What do I really think about rating anything? What do you think?

Bah Humbug!

PS – I can honestly say that I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years last night, even if the airbed tended to crackle when I turned over, and I sank into it. Why on Earth didn’t I buy one much earlier? LOL

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A Couple Of Problems With Social Media Sites That Need Addressing

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Ever noticed how when setting yourselves up on any Social Media site, how they all appear to be blighted by exactly the same problems? Crass stupidity seems to be the order of the day, or could that be just sheer ignorance on the part of those responsible for the sites?

For example, take the field to be filled in re your current work status in the section where your personal details are held. If you are retired, as I am, no Social Media site appears to be able to comprehend the fact that you are no longer part of the workforce. Facebook is a glaring example of what I’m talking about. When I retired almost two years ago, I changed the information to simply read retired. Job done, or so I thought. But no. According to Facebook I now ‘work’ at retired. Duh! No I don’t! What part of the fact that I am retired are you dipsticks unable to grasp?

The same stupidity applies when it comes to your educational status. Why do any of the Social Media sites automatically assume that everyone must have gone to university? Could it be because they were set up by young graduate American entrepreneurs, with no awareness of how people in the real word actually exist?

While it may be the case for a large percentage of today’s generation like them, for people my age and older, most left high school and went into the workforce, or into the armed forces as I did. Very few ever got the chance to do a degree. Most didn’t even want to. Back when I was at school we were ‘streamed’. The few academically bright ones were either groomed for University or Teachers College, while the rest of us were directed elsewhere. Most either entered a trade learning on the job (apprenticeship), or became part of the general workforce, where you were expected to turn your hand to everything and anything, unlike today when you need to have served an apprenticeship (they call it an inhouse degree for some weird reason), to even make and serve a cup of coffee in a certain well known American coffee chain. Perhaps the management think that a degree in coffee making is far more prestigious, who knows. Either way its still learning on the job.

Linkedin is another classic example of a Social Media site suffering from this shared insanity. According to them, I’m retired at retired, whatever that means. Even after I entered the fact in their system, for some strange reason, probably something to do with my full to bursting ‘Skills’ page where other people tell the world what you are good at, they keep on suggesting job offers which they think I may be suited too!

Once again – no, I’m retired you idiots. Get over it! I worked full time for forty years from my fifteenth year until the end of 2003, when at fifty-five, I experienced a total mental breakdown, brought on by stress in the workplace, rendering me unemployable. From then until my sixty-fifth birthday, I existed (barely) on a mental health benefit.

When someone updates their personal information, especially regarding their work status, to read retired, we are not working at retired, nor are we retired at retired. We’re just retired, no longer working, no longer commuting, no longer part of the rat race. We’ve done our bit, paid income tax, worked for various businesses and other employers. We have earned the right to be retired and to finally do what we want, not what an employer demands we do for an often paltry weekly wage. What part of any of that don’t the idiotic dipsticks in charge of Social Media sites seem to be able to fully appreciate?

Rant over…

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Want to make my skin crawl? Then carry on misusing words!

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Even though, like so many others who inhabit the internet, I make use of the ‘Like’ function, whether here in the blogosphere or on social media sites such as Facebook, there is a fundamental problem with doing so. What is it? See if you can guess before reaching the end of this post.

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The Oxford English Dictionary has several definitions of the word Like. Here are just four:-

1. Having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to

2. In the manner of; in the same way or to the same degree as

3. Used with reference to a person or thing of the same kind as another: the quotations could be arranged to put like with like | I know him—him and his like. (the like) a thing or things of the same kind (often used to express surprise or for emphasis): did you ever hear the like? | a church interior the like of which he had never seen before.

4. Find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory: all his classmates liked him | [with present participle] people who don’t like reading books | [with infinitive] I like to be the centre of attention.

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Quite obviously the last is the definition predominently in use anywhere on the internet. But once again, what’s the point of using it? How many times have you clicked on the ‘Like’ icon purely out of habit, without bothering to read the post it is attached to? How many times have you ‘Liked’ something like a promotional post about a new book, then never followed through by buying a copy of the book to support the author? None of these actions make any kind of sense to me or any other sane person.

Then there is the way the word is misused these days by the young. What do I mean? Starting a sentence with the word ‘Like’. Or far worse, peppering each sentence they utter with the word. Thank goodness that most internet sites haven’t adopted another of my current pet hates, the equally misused word ‘So’. It’s bad enough that it is now used in conjuction with, or as an alternative for the word Like, to begin a sentence by kids and teenagers. I blame their teachers and parents for allowing them to get away with it.

When people who quite frankly should know better (adults) do the same thing, it positively makes my skin crawl. I’m talking about some well known academics, leading business people, politicians, and most celebrities, all of them in the public eye, along with anyone else you care to name who believes it is acceptable practice. Often these people show their lack of understanding of the specific usage of certain words while being interviewed about something or other concerning their specialist subject. Maybe they think they’re being cool or trendy, appealing to the young. Sorry ladies and gentlemen, all you are doing is showing your ignorance by misusing a word, not to mention proving to the public at large that you are foolish in the extreme.

Now, getting back to using the ‘Like’ option for any post, why can’t you also be allowed to make use of a ‘dislike’ option as well, should you wish to? The idea of giving you only one option is extremely unsatisfactory don’t you think? At least when I ‘Like’ a post, I have the decency to read it first. The same goes for promotional posts about books. In that specific case if I ‘Like’ it, it is an indication to whoever posted it that I purchased a copy. How about the rest of you? Does any of this also apply to the way you use ‘Like’? More to the point, do you even care?

Rant over…

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