Friday 22 May 2015

Sod the dead!

It is a mark of a civilised society that we treat the bodies of our dead respectfully. Barnet Council, to its eternal shame, doesn’t give a shit.

Don’t Call Me Dave has two friends buried at Hendon cemetery. Every year, for the last four years, he has been forced to complain about the overgrown state of the grounds. Every year he receives a nice letter back from council leader Richard Cornelius promising that the matter will be looked into.

On Wednesday, DCMD visited the cemetery for the first time this year. The grass was not merely overgrown, but out of control. In some areas, it reached the top of headstones. In other areas, wild greenery reached over 6 feet in height, making access to some graves impossible.

Not every grave has a headstone. This meant that, despite his best endeavours, DCMD inadvertently walked over several graves because they simply were not visible. Not only is this disrespectful to the deceased, it is distressing to the living.

DCMD spotted some groundsmen cutting the grass at a different part of the cemetery. When he spoke to them, they explained that there were only three of them working in the grounds. That is three people to look after 20 hectares of land. One of the groundsmen said they would try to cut the grass around DCMD’s friend’s grave the following day. DCMD is sure it had nothing to do with the photographs he took as evidence.

It would, perhaps, be unreasonable to expect the council to cut the grass as frequently as residents cut their own lawns, but it is quite clear from the photographs, that the grass hadn’t been cut all year. It should not be beyond the wit of a competent cemetery manager to operate, say, a 3 week rotation system for grass cutting during the growing season.

People familiar with the cemetery will know that, in many parts, the ground is not level. Indeed, it has quite a steep incline in places. Older people, and those with limited mobility, risk serious injury trying to walk through the grounds with so many hidden obstacles. If the council was prosecuted by  the Health & Safety Executive, it might start taking its responsibility to residents, dead and alive, more seriously, instead of trying to run the cemetery for profit.

UPDATE: 23.05.15

DCMD was upset to see this nasty tweet posted by Michael Hanley.

If Mr Hanley had broken the habit of a lifetime and done his homework, he would have seen that DCMD has written many blogposts opposing the mass privatisation of public services in Barnet and others calling for some specific services to be maintained in-house. DCMD raised the issue of unfair cemetery charges with former leader Mike Freer at a council committee meeting long before his friends were buried there. An apology from Mr Hanley would be in order.

Monday 18 May 2015

Where have all the Bloggers gone?

First, Mrs Angry announces she is taking a break from blogging. Then Rog T writes that he, too, is pressing the pause button (on politics at least).

As the world’s greatest expert on retiring from Blogging, Don’t Call Me Dave predicts that cyberspace will not be silent for too long.

Sunday 3 May 2015

Pissy World

Dear PC World

Do you know why your company has a reputation for poor service? It’s because you provide poor service. Actually, indescribably shit service because you employ staff who simply do not care. Maybe you don’t pay them enough to care, or perhaps you recruit from Shit Staff R Us employment agency?

Yesterday, Don’t Call Me Dave went to your Romford branch to collect an item ordered on-line. You were supposed to send an SMS message when the item was ready for collection – but you didn’t bother, causing the customer to have to call instead and navigate your intensely annoying telephone system (“Press 1 if you don’t mind being treated like dirt, Press 2 if you want a ridiculously expensive extended warranty that you don’t need….”).

Upon arrival, there was a queue of customers waiting at your “Knowhow” station. Apparently, you seem to think it is a good idea to have customers with technical issues (which can take a long time to fix) stand in the same line as customers wishing to pick up internet orders. Not only that, you think it is a good idea, on a Saturday afternoon, to have just one person working this station.

Whilst this member of staff was struggling on his own, you had several other members of staff walking the shop floor (where there were no customers) talking to each other and, in one instance, playing on his mobile phone.

When DCMDsuggested to one of them that he should go over and help reduce the queue, the response was “I am not part of the Knowhow Department”. DCMD pointed out that some customers simply wanted to collect goods, they were not there for technical support. The staff member again stated that it was not his department.

DCMD has a simple question for PC World. What the hell is wrong with you? You have customers waiting to be served yet your jobsworth staff would rather stand there scratching their balls than help the people whose money pays their wages. Customers who have placed orders on-line want to come in, pay, and get out as quickly as possible. With so many buying choices available, why should anyone waste any more time with your company?

Yours not so sincerely

Don’t Call Me Dave