Friday, March 23, 2007

Secrets of the Iberian Tiger

Men at work.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Privately held Hooters

Back in 2005, I reported a ham-fisted innuendo from Sky, here.

Today, I am in the happy position of being able to report this obra maestra from Reuters:

"Privately held Hooters said it planned to open 17 restaurants in Colombia, Dubai, Guam, New Zealand and India in the next two years."

Click here for the full article.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Heaven in the sky

A woman who died in economy class on a BA flight from London to Delhi was upgraded to first class.

From BA's website: "Your demi-cabin is your sanctuary in the sky. A discreetly serviced and smartly equipped haven of calm where your well-being is catered for."

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bank: fair disclosure

In the interests of fairness and, if I'm honest, with a dash of peevish glee, I told Bankinter I was making some of our interactions public.

Here is what I wrote:

Hi, this isn't a complaint as such. But I want you to know that I have decided to make public some of the more farcical interactions I have with you. If you are at all interested in improving your customer service, you might take a look. Past history suggests you have more important things on your mind.

Bankinter is a bank that knows what is important. Me. They think about giving me what I need: security, agility and innovation. Here is their reply:

Dear Costumer,

In reply to your e-mail, we would like to thank you for your communication.

We are always at your disposal at our web site or at our Telephone Banking Service 901 135 135 (within Spain) or 00 34 91 657 88 01 (from abroad). We are available from 09:00 to 18:00 hours from Monday through Saturday.

Yours sincerely,


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A letter arrives from my bank

Dear client,

It's not enough to just be it, you have to appear to be it.

That's why at Bankinter we have decided to renew ourselves from the outside. To better communicate what we are inside: a bank which thinks about what we must think about, about you. A bank which thinks about giving you what you need: innovation, agility and security.

...and so it goes on.

Attached to the letter is an orange card. It is my "key card" and contains the security codes I need to perform operations on the internet and over the phone. I hadn't ordered a new card.

The security codes are different and it is bright orange. My old card was grey.

I phone them.

Bankinter good afternoon! How can I help you?

BH: Oh good afternoon. My name is Bob Hughes and I have just received a new key card.

Yes Mr Hughes!

BH: I didn't order a new card.

No Mr Hughes!

BH: Should I cancel my old card?

Your new card is exactly the same as your old card. Just a different colour!

BH: No it isn't.

Yes it is, Mr Hughes! Exactly the same.

BH: The numbers are different.

No Mr Hughes, have you checked the reference number?

BH: Yes.

And they are the same?

BH: No.

What is the number of the new card you have there Mr Hughes?


That card is not for you Mr Hughes! Please destroy it!

BH: But it was addressed to me

But it is not for you! Please destroy it!

BH: And my old card?

You can keep that, Mr Hughes. It is still valid.


My relationship with my bank has reached farce. I have decided to start making some of this public. Not necessarily because I have an axe to grind, but because it is good material.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The abstract logic of push-ups

"British soldiers have chests as broad as horses. ...Every morning they hook their feet over the bumper of their jeep, put their hands on the ground and push themselves up and down on their hands two hundred times without stopping. I don't know why."

A local describes British forces in Afghanistan, from The Places in Between by Rory Stewart.