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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Annoyances du jour
delirium happy
Now, I'm sure you all recognise that I'm a perfectly mellow and laid back individual, who would never get unduly upset or worked up over anything, but there are some things that just really piss me off. And today, I got subjected to two of them.

The first is so called "security questions". Which half-witted monkey ever thought that these things were a good idea? To make your account even more secure, we'll force you to give us the answer to a question which is probably a matter of public record, and even if it isn't will probably be known to many people who know you, and then allow full access to anyone who knows the answer to that question. What a good idea! It amazes me that there aren't a widespread group of criminal masterminds out there going through lots of birth records figuring out people's mothers' maiden names and making a tidy profit. And having questions like "shoe size" or "favourite colour"? That's just stupid. There are only a small number of possibilities for each. People could guess them. Now I can understand that there are a lot of morons out there who will forget their passwords and then kick up a stink about it, and if they want to make their accounts monstrously insecure, but why the hell do you have to make it compulsary? And if you have to make it compulsary, why can't you let the user specify their own question so it can suck less?

And the second is people at supermarket checkouts who pack your bags for you. Now yes, I can understand the benefits of this if it's someone who's got a huge trolleyload of stuff and would otherwise take forever loading and unloading. And I understand that the way that bags are packed really isn't too critical to most people beyond the level of "don't put baked beans on top of grapes" because they're going to just stickl it all in the boot of a car and drive it home. But not everyone drives. And if they don't drive then that means that they're probably going to be carrying the bags. In this case, several more elementary rules of packing come to the fore. For instance "don't split everything up into 17 different bags" and "try not to put all the heavy stuff into one bag that will then be too heavy to carry". These are not fucking rocket science, but I have yet to encounter a supermarket checkout person who can understand these concepts. Which is fair enough, because different people probably want their bags packed differently. Which is why you shouldn't pack my sodding bags for me unless I actually ask you to. Which I never will. Because you suck at it. And you especially shouldn't pack my bags for me if you're also going to take absolutely forever in scanning the items in at the checkout, hence causing me to just stand about watching you.

Thank you. that is all.

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And I understand that the way that bags are packed really isn't too critical to most people beyond the level of "don't put baked beans on top of grapes"

Do the grocery baggers where you live actually know not to do that? The ones here sure don't! Yep, they'll stick bread and potato chips in a bag, then toss canned goods on top. Or put a magazine in with the ice cream. Or three bottles of pop in a single flimsy plastic bag which immediately rips and drops them all on your foot.

See, with those security questions, I think the best thing to do is to pick a question (eg maiden name) and then respond with a different -- unrelated -- answer (eg LiveJournal). But still, yeah, stupid.

That's what I do -- it's not enough to guess what my favorite color is (it's the color of links in my journal), you have to guess what bizarre random answer I gave to the security question.

Can you list your mother's maiden name or your favorite color as your password? For example, if your password is sec4UREaz21
then you could say your favorite color is sec4UREaz21. I know it's ~my~ favorite color.

Reminds me of the sysadmin approach to passwords - they simply use the name of their cat.

But then, their cat has a twenty-character alphanumeric name which changes every three weeks.

Yeah - nobody can ever pack my shopping the way I want - if I'm only buying one bag full I don't really mind, but if it's much more than that I normally take over.

I generally have a half empty rucksack with me when I'm shopping, so even though I'll be going home by tube and foot, I like all the heavy bulky things in one bag (or two if one bag is too heavy), then a bag for soft non-fridge things eg. bread, biscuits etc, a fridge/freezer bag(s) and a fruit & veg bag. Once I've moved away from the checkout I'll rearrange myself a bit and put some of the heaviest items in my rucksack and then balance the weight out between the bags I'm still carrying.

Why they can't *ask* - 'How would you like this packed?' or 'Is this OK?' beats me though - everyone's different and unless you ask people what they want you're bound to get it wrong.

Hmm, I always get asked "Do you want someone to help you pack?" and I always say "Nah thanks" - but if someone comes up to help or the cashier tries to pack, I normally say "Pls don't pack, I'll do it". But I can imagine them not having a clue when it comes to packing.

These are not fucking rocket science, but I have yet to encounter a supermarket checkout person who can understand these concepts.

That's not surprising, because I have a sneaking suspicion that supermarkets don't like employing people who managed to get GCSEs. The dumber the employee, the happier the supermarket, because the employee is less likely to question crummy pay and working conditions.

And I got turned down by ASDA for being overqualified. Yes, decent GCSEs and a couple of A Levels counted as overqualified.

And you especially shouldn't pack my bags for me if you're also going to take absolutely forever in scanning the items in at the checkout, hence causing me to just stand about watching you.

Argh! That just drives me fucking insane! Especially where there's a sodding queue a mile long behind you, with people giving you filthy looks. I don't speak out that often, but this annoys me to the point that I will actually tell the checkout person point blank to stop packing my stuff and let me do it because we'll cut the time in half. Not to mention, as you say, they can't pack for shit. And it really annoys me when they pack the meat in a seperate carrier bag per item before giving it to me to pack in... another carrier bag! I tried to get them to stop in the co-op once, and was told they had to do it, company policy (which was bullshit, because not everyone does it). I proceeded to empty the packs out of individual bags and put them in one meat bag, which is more sensible, and doesn't use unnecessary amounts of plastic. Grrr.

I get similarly infuriated by websites that demand my post-code as part of signing up (eg Yahoo). Erm no, I don't wish to let you locate me to within 20 houses just so I can get a frigging email account. I think it's a confusion between post code and zip code - a zip code can cover thousands of people AFAIK.

I feel moved to give props to the checkout staff in Morrisons in Letchworth, who almost always ask if you want help with packing. Why can't more places do that?

Heh to supermarkets. I usually go in with a trolley, unpack directly to said trolley without any bags and then pull it into a safe place and pack my rucksack properly away from the checkout. This really works cos I can balance the bag how I want to and use as few bags as possible.

Netto where we get milk and a few 'branded' but cheap items is a nightmare tho, cos they wack things past the scanner as fast as they can and your stuff goes smashing into the end of the thing, they also don't wait for one person to finish before wacking someone elses stuff around which is really annoying. OTOH you get what you pay for. I don't mind packing quickly there cos it's 4 mins home to carry so not too evil.

Yesterday in Sainsburies the guy packed my bags for me in a really illogical way despite me having my rucksack just sat there ready... I walked to where they have a chair after paying unpacked the bags and repacked in my rucksack myself cos I wanna avoid any bags if possible and wasn't having a debate with this guy cos that would have involved hearing aid in manoevre and I couldn't be arsed.

I'd hate to work in a supermarket tho, these people who pack are probably only doing what they get shouted at by some jumped up asst manager to do stuff which said manager perceives as needing done. I'm sure some old ppl appreciate it or something..... I wouldn't wanna work in a supermarket cos I can imagine what little brain they have will have rotted pretty quickly.


Natalya - who takes her hearing aid OUT in supermarkets ;p

My theory on the security questions and similar idiotic things - like handing out (relatively secure, encrypted) online banking passwords by (about as secure as a biscuit) telephone - is that they reassure J Random Luddite, as opposed to providing any actual security.

Agreed 100% on the bag-packing though. Having a large rucksack ready to go does seem to discourage them a bit, but even then I tend to put frozen items or anything likely to leak (and washing powder, cos I'm allergic to the stuff) in plastic bags before packing it, which gives them the wrong idea. Like barakta I tend to just throw everything in the trolly and re-pack if I'm being pressured for being slow.

I've noticed that some supermarkets employ older people as specific bag-packers. They at least have the sense to pack items of a similar temperature/crushability together, and on a good day will pack things in a logical unpacking order. Of course, being old, they tend to be slower than doing it yourself...

With bank security stuff use someone elses maiden name or birthday or wahtever, you just have to remember whose.

I can scan faster than most supermarket checkout people too...

It makes no sense for me to give my mother's maiden name, as it is the same as my own last name. So I usually use a totally unrelated answer. :)
Also I bet that my secret credit card word makes bank staff smile if not laugh later.

They rather me tell them my mother's maiden name, but they can go to hell with that. The key is to remember what you have said last time instead of that name! :)

I had a really nice lass in Sainsbury yesterday, they always ask if I want help in packing, never start doing it immediately - and I did want help, because my wrist was hurting a bit too much and I'd forgotten my splint. Anyway, she packed it all really nicely for me - frozen in one bag, everything else in t'other. The frozen bag was a bit heavy, though! Would have been nicer in 2 bags, maybe, but I wasn't hugely fussed, as it's only 10 mins walk home from there, if that. Unless you get distracted by bookshops along the way...

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