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Friday, 22 March 2019

Ruthless Money Grabbing Bullies.


I hate clampers.

Apparently, I'm blocking access here.
My car has been clamped twice in the past five weeks - on both occasions I have been unfairly treated, talked down to, patronised and financially penalised. Their policies are an adult version of bullying and they are overtly abusing their power to exploit every nook and cranny to financially extort you. It is no secret that parking enforcement officers are paid on commission and although I have no doubt their job is difficult, their attitude stinks. From the top down.

Their appeals procedure are archaic and time-consuming, making it difficult and arduous for the car owner to pursue, hoping that the vast majority of people drop their appeal, chalking it down to experience once the frustrations and anger disappate. According to a report from The Irish Times in 2010, 61,000 people had their vehicles clamped, with only 20% appealing the decision.

Over the white line by a foot.
www.irishtimes.com/news/clamping-up-but-more-motorists-appeal-1.674225?mode=amp

Can you imagine your child coming home from school telling you that their lunch money had been taken from them because they walked down the hallway the wrong way?

They could get their money back, only after they appealed directly to the extorter. After a 21 day waiting period, you might get a response and if you didn’t get a favourable reply, you could then take it to the headmaster (Independent Ombudsman), who could then take up to 60 days to then make another decision. All the while the child is out of pocket, frustrated and unsure as to what has happened and this process is deemed legal.

I fought both clamping claims – and won on moral, logistical and practical grounds. But it took a lot of persistence, research, and personal restraint to keep going.

Appeal confirmation.
When I was clamped the second time, the research I had done only weeks previously rolled off my tongue. I was unclamped within minutes and knew I had the law on my side. I was prepared to ring the Gardai if I didn’t get a positive reply to my request for a supervisor.

My first clamping was borderline 50/50 whether I was right or wrong. Initially, I thought I’d have to suck it up and accept the punishment of a E125 fine. I had parked one foot over a white line and was accused of“obstructing access.” The parking space had both old yellow and newer white lines, giving the parking enforcement officer the opportunity to nab an easy target.

With bubbling vexation in my veins, I looked up the laws of parking companies had to adhere to. They take photographs of the offence, as I did. When they came to remove it, the officer removing it did not identify himself. He didn’t have an ID or hi-viz jacket on. He didn’t explain what the offence was. I didn’t expect an apology and nor did I get one. Not only that but the penalty notice did not have a staff number of the officer who placed the clamp on my car.

Knowing that immoderate abuse of parking enforcement was commercially being used, I pushed back. I used my contacts and friends. I used their ridiculous template of appeal, which marginally allows you about twice the character use than that of Twitter. Again, this restricts your use of language to explain the circumstances of the clamp. I had to learn to zip my photograph files just so I could attach my photos.

The hoops you must jump through.
Any friend I asked told me to fight the first clamp, once they saw the pictures. So I submitted my appeal and waited. They have to reply within 21 days, to inform you if whether the clamp was either legitimate, illegitimate or within their rights to clamp but they STILL return the money.

On the 22nd day, I was prepared to email the clamping company back and tear them asunder, but then I checked the postbox. I was refunded a cheque for E125, with the letter even stating that their operations team on the night may have been “over-zealous” in enforcing the rules of parking within that zone.

Then to my more recent clamp on a Sunday morning, outside a children’s indoor play centre, where my son and many of his crèche friends were celebrating a fourth birthday party. My son and I had paid our fee before entering the establishment, and I had affixed the payment notice to the middle of the passenger side window. In my son’s haste to get inside to the party, I hadn’t spotted that I had stuck it to the inside, albeit upside-down – but still clearly visible.

So when we see the bright yellow triangle fastened to the wheel outside the drivers’ door, my heart sank. I started to doubt if I had paid the fee (as we’re regular visitors to this centre), I then remembered my son removing the ticket from the machine at 11am that morning. It clearly stated that we had paid up until 1.30pm, and it was 1.05pm at the time.

Check out my angry head in the reflection!
Getting a friend to look after my son for a few moments, I made the call. I really pity the people who work the phone-lines at clamping institutions as they probably get all manner of verbal abuse and attitude down the line. I was restrained but firm, stating facts, yet the lady on the far end of the line kept quoting the company line which states that “once a vehicle is clamped, the Parking Enforcement Officer is NOT empowered to remove the clamp until full payment is made to protect and ensure their integrity.”

I stated that my paid fee was affixed to the window, clearly visible. She said that looking at the photos taken by the Officer, it wasn’t. Then she said that the notice of payment has to be placed on the dashboard – which is utter nonsense. I called her out on that stating that it doesn’t say that in the Vehicle Clamping Act 2017, nor did it state it on their payment machines or in the signage. I was lucky that I knew my stuff from previous experience, but how many people have been hoodwinked with this type of mistruth before?

Sensing blood, I then made another valid argument. If she was basing her entire argument on the actions of one officer and his photographs (which didn’t show the passenger side window), I asked was he right to clamp if a ticket was clearly visible?

Was he doing his job correctly? How could she be one hundred percent sure if he was doing his job if he couldn’t have been bothered walking around the car? I then offered to send her the picture by email directly to prove my point. Before hanging up, I finished stating that the clamp was placed on my car illegitimately and that I would not be paying a release fee for something not of my own making. I then asked that a supervisor call me back and if he/she didn’t, I would be calling the Gardai.

The best part of waiting for the officer to return was reading the penalty notice. It stated that I had “failed to display a valid pay and display ticket.”

Car parked exactly as I was once. No clamp this time.
Then the reason why the enforcement officer hadn’t seen the ticket became blatantly obvious. He argued his point from the driver’s seat of his car to me, still sitting in his vehicle with his engine running. He said there was no ticket visible when he inspected the vehicle. I pointedly asked if he had bothered to look around to the passenger side and he admitted he hadn’t. His phone then rang to tell him to remove the clamp and to take a photo of the passenger side window.

He then took almost five seconds to extricate himself from his own van. The man had multiple years of investment in his stomach. It is my view that he took his photos without getting out of his own van to inspect my car thoroughly. The clamp was removed and the statement on the notice proved that clamps CAN be removed without payment.

So my advice to you is to fight. Appeal against a clamp if you feel you’ve been unfairly treated, talked down to, felt uncomfortable with a clamper’s aggressive behaviour or if you have a valid reason like I did, be firm but fair. I know that sounds difficult, but you must persist. Get informed about your rights. Check out The Clamping Act too.

https://www.nationaltransport.ie/vehicle-clamping/

https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/travel_and_recreation/traffic_and_parking/parking_fines_and_vehicle_clamping.html

According to two reports from www.thejournal.ie, we’re fighting back and winning. Nearly two thousand appeals were lodged last year in 2018 (1991), with 1070 winning their appeal against the clamping companies. In other words, you’ve more than a 50% chance of winning your case.

www.thejournal.ie/clamping-nta-3788234-Jan2018/

www.thejournal.ie/nta-clamping-appeals-4428415-Jan2019/

My clamps from this year show a 100% appeal win. The year is young yet though.



Saturday, 29 July 2017

Responsibility.

I was out running through my local park recently, when I approached a lady walking in the opposite direction with two Scottish terriers in tow. Dogs are allowed off their leash whilst under their owners' supervision.

Coming off a steep downslope, one of the dogs with buckets of attitude, came snarling forward with teeth bared.

Travelling in the opposite direction, I ignored the dog as it did a spin to follow me, nipping at my ankles. The female owner didn't even blink, continued walking and didn't recall the dog.

Running about fifty metres with this pup ever gaining, I had to take control of the situation. I did what it least expected and turned and shouted at it. Frightened, the poor thing hadn't a clue what to do. It scuttled away, following its master.

The dog owner looked back toward her own dog, with leads swinging in her right hand.

I shouted at the owner, about a hundred feet away, if she knew the rules of the park. If dogs cannot be supervised properly, they should be kept on a lead.

Your dog must be accompanied by and be under your effective control or the control of another responsible person if it is outside your home or premises or the home or premises of the person in charge of it.

Her simple reply was:

"He hates joggers."

She never apologised for her dogs' actions and seemed used to him doing it, oblivious to others.

I shouted after her that she was an ignorant woman, inconsiderate to other people using the park. I then called her several expletives under my breath. As I jogged away, I started thinking if that same thing had happened to a child, would her laid-back attitude still be the same?

We have a young son of three and he is energetic. I'd like to think that we're doing a decent job and instilling good manners as part of routine.

What frightens me most is the amount of parents that take very little interest in their child's development, education and responsibility for their actions.

It's a bit like the dog owner not giving two hoots about what actions her dog took toward a stranger. The dog doesn't just learn this overnight, just like a child. It takes a pattern of learned helplessness for a child to do something bold or wrong, and not get chastised for it. To the child, this pattern isn't wrong, as their role model is not telling them any different.

Prime example for me would be local playgrounds. Our son loves getting outdoors and swings are a favourite of his. The amount of parents or guardians that sit on a bench staring into their phone for fifteen or twenty minutes, without once glancing in the direction of their own child, is frightening. On numerous occasions, one of us has appraoched the parent asking if they were actually there with a child - because the child is screaming after falling and they haven't noticed!

I understand that having more than one child is tough, and any respite for a parent, for five or ten minutes staring at a screen, seems like a welcome distraction.

Being a parent or guardian for a dog, is your responsibility.

Once you sign a document or attach your name to a birth register, you are ultimately accountable for them and their actions. Whether they are wrong or not, you have to teach them the right path.

I have since decided that I will give Scottish terrier lady another chance. I run through that park at least twice a week and see many people on a regular basis using our neighbourhood amenity.

No doubt I'll bump into her, and her dogs again.

Will they be on a lead? Will they be supervised properly?

I'd better get the number of the local dog warden.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The people I meet everyday.: Terms and Conditions.I am an imbecile.I believ...

The people I meet everyday.: Terms and Conditions.

I am an imbecile.

I believ...
: Terms and Conditions. I am an imbecile. I believed the hype. I saw their shiny ads and like a sucker I was drawn in. The introductory of...
Terms and Conditions.

I am an imbecile.

I believed the hype. I saw their shiny ads and like a sucker I was drawn in. The introductory offer seemed too good to be true. In the end, it was, and I paid for it. Why? Because I didn't read the fine print.


No one likes being ripped off. Even the most thorough and intelligent of us get swiped in some way. Businesses have to make money, logic we all understand, but those three words above give companies licence to extract as much money out of their customers, sometimes without moral justification.

I was talking to a company today, that used to provide me with a service I no longer use. I spoke to a lady, who clearly stayed unemotive throughout, who informed me that according to their records, I had NOT cancelled my subscription to their service. So, for the past three months I was charged E70 per month for a service I wasn't using. Not only that, but because they have a 31 cancellation service, I was probably going to be liable for another months billing!

The most frustrating aspect of it all is that I know I cancelled it - but I have no evidence that I did. They state they have a record of all calls made and the time I called to cancel, wasn't registered on their system. The conspiracy theorist inside me said it was very convenient from their point of view, but now I was riddled with self doubt. Did I cancel it or did I imagine it?

I work in a business that is almost entirely based on the emotional connection between customer and company. Satisfaction with our company, from the customer viewpoint, is very high in comparison with similar companies. We provide a service that is excellent, and yet we are harsh on ourselves that it could be so much better.

We do understand various different scenarios where the customer is dissatisfied. We try our best to resolve the issues as soon as possible, so that the customer may consider buying from us in the future. The main difference is that we are humans, dealing with humans.

We don't read from a script and pride ourselves from thinking outside the box. We listen to a person with a problem and make judgements accordingly. We DON'T repeat the same line eight times when posed with a legitimate customer query. This type of stance doesn't allay the customer fears that they are not being listened to. It merely annoys the customer even more.

So when you're next purchasing a service from a home provider, follow these simple steps.

Firstly, speak to a human. Use relaxed banter and commonality to establish a relationship. If this person is not a robot, you may find an actual answer to your question. Be aware that some of them do not deviate from their training manual. Get the things you want - no more, no less.

Secondly, pay for your product or service via Direct Debit. This gives you the control to stop a payment by contacting your bank. Do NOT give them your direct bank details. I found this to be an expensive lesson. You could potentially save yourself a major headache in the long run.

Thirdly, ask for your contact details to be deleted from their marketing department. They may have commercial partners that they may share your information with - make sure this doesn't happen. I got calls from this company for 18 days consecutively, and they never call at an appropriate time. I told them today that this borders on harassment.

Lastly, ask about the terms and conditions of your contract. Ask them to forward details on to you via email. Some nefarious ones, have odd cancellation policies on many products and services, which incurs a further few quid from your pocket. I understand that reading these mundane pieces of information are mind-numbingly boring, but it's necessary.

Compare and contrast prices before you make a decision. We all love a bargain and don't mind telling others when a service is excellent.

Equally, we should scream it loudly when we are unfairly swindled.


Friday, 20 May 2016

Why I LOVE Ireland.

The colours of this country are brightest when the sun shines. I'm not talking about the different shades of green on the ground or in the trees - I'm referring to the people.

Dublin Zoo.
Irish people are the envy of others all around the world. Why? Because we have an innate ability to talk. Our favourite subject is the weather and our comparative lack of sunshine. We love moaning about how many rainy days in a row we've had and where trees used to stand before wind blew them down.

We're happiest when the sun shines for a few consecutive days. We start conversations with "this might be our summer!" Of course, we have no idea how long the good spell will last and are begrudging on ourselves enjoying it. 

Rivervalley Park.
We wear clothing that hasn't been seen since the "last summer that lasted three days." They may fit a little tighter and the colours may be gaudy, but we don't care. The orange ball in the sky is giving us Vitamin D direct into our veins. As a result of almost year-round sun deprivation, we tend to expose all manner of white and freckled skin to soaring temperatures. Despite medical advice of the harmful effects of skin exposure to the sun, we still reticently apply suncream - for fear that we won't get "a daycent colour."

Irish people are happiest when the sun blesses us for a prolonged period of time. If you ask any Irish person about world issues while they're out enjoying the sunshine, they will reply with " I don't really care what's gong on in the world- sure isn't the sun shining?"

Malahide - someone isn't warm enough.
Over the last week I have driven on dry roads and seen aspects of the country I hadn't seen in some time. Scenes that have been blocked by both weather and dullness have radiated through the greyness. Blues of lakes and rivers have contrasted deeply against the greens hues of grass and trees. The shine from car bonnets has been mistaken for dipped headlights.

It's also been the best few days to reinforce colours to my son. He's only a little over two and is still getting to grasps with the English language. This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate what Ireland looks like in full colour. The words yellow and silver now have clear distinction and don't mould into the same colour.

Howth Head.
It is the people that make this country what it is. We are a nation of geniuses, begrudgers, bowsies and storytellers. We all know people who have a "gift of the gab" and those that are "cute hoors".
It is this mix of chancers and thinkers - that normally would never enter a room together - all agree when one thing happens - when the sun shines.

Weather is something that unifies us all. It is a national sport in Ireland. It is an ice breaker and an introduction all rolled into one. It sets the mood and can bring about the strongest and most honourable traits in humanity. It bashes and broils us, but never stops us talking about it. The fluctuation inspires the conversation.

Mother Natures' sun doesn't grace herself on these shores all that often, so we feel that we have to make the most of it. We make excuses to have makeshift barbecues, go for walks and enjoy being outdoors. What has struck me over the last week was how friendly strangers have been to me.

I'm one of those odd people that says hello no matter what the weather. I may only be nodding my head or saying a brief hi, but I try to make an effort. Over the last week I have noticed that utter strangers are being more friendly than I. They have said hello before I can mutter a reply.

Mayo coastline at dawn.
Is it because of the their better mood, caused by the sun? Can you imagine where this country would be in tourism terms if we had a guaranteed sunny summer every year?

Things could be so much better if the sun shined everyday in Ireland. Or would it be?

Would we ever have had the begrudging nature that is instilled in everyone's DNA? Would we ever have had the amazing writers and academics - if they all had the opportunity to go outdoors and play?

Would we have the most skilled and technologically advanced workforce in Western Europe? Would we trade this all for gifted athletes with fabulous outdoor facilities? I'm not so sure.

In the words of Pat Shortt "Sure it'd be a great country - if only we could stick a roof on it."
Would we have the comedy without the weather though?

Since I wrote this initially, wouldn't you know it, the weather has changed. Therin lies the juxtaposition of the Irish psyche. Always changing, whilst talking.










Thursday, 25 February 2016

Who I WILL and WON’T be voting for tomorrow.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
All the views in this article are completely my own. I am not affiliated to any political party or association. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am not easily swayed. I have always had a tendency to be stubborn and single-minded.

My social media experiment about tomorrow's general election was simple, and I’m so glad I did it now. I had interaction with many of the local candidates and raised issues that are pertinent to my family. 

What it revealed to me was that one politician blatantly lied (no way!), another was a snob about canvassing apartment blocks and one candidate who deserves many votes will more than likely be one of the first to be excluded.

On Monday last, I tweeted the following message to all candidates. I live in an estate called Ridgewood and have never seen a political candidate canvassing in the twelve years we have resided there.
ABC1's refers to middle or high income earners who are reasonably well educated.

You ever canvassed in Ridgewood Swords? Estate full of ABC1's. 12 years here and candidates not bothered to knock on doors.”


I had five responders within an hour. First up was Independent runner Roslyn Fuller. This was quickly followed by a limp short reply from Senator Darragh O'Brien of FF. These were the only responses I got from either over the last few days.

Next up was Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly. She was eager to connect but also quick to contradict.

But most patronising and flippant was Alan Farrell TD.After our brief tweet exchange, there was no further communication between us.  He won't be getting any vote from me.

Most impressive was first time Dail runner, Lorraine Clifford Lee of FF. Unlike her FF counterpart, she was eager to chat and hear my concerns. She was polite and wanted to listen.



Of the fifteen candidates running in Dublin Fingal, twelve had Twitter accounts. Only five responses was fairly telling about how some of them see Twitter as a resource.

On Wednesday, I sent all fifteen an email and friended them all on Facebook. I sent them all the same message on both platforms. So I definitely connected with all of them in some way. They could not say I didn't contact them.

I got messages through Facebook from Terry Kelleher (AAA-PBP)  and Brendan Ryan TD (LAB). Terry was very forthright and his policy of putting money back into the pockets of ordinary people, like myself, struck a chord.

Then the response from Brendan Ryan was a flat out lie. Although I wasn't at home, my wife was. She was at home all day and the doorbell never rang. His team didn't call and his "office" were available to talk me through any of his policies. That just said to me that he wasn't available to talk to the ordinary people who put him in the Dail in the first place.

The next message was from Louise O'Reilly (SF). In fairness to her, she was informative and trying to be helpful. Some of her policies made sense to me, especially the one concerning childcare. And that is concern number one for us.

But the most farcical acknowledgement I got, was from the Secretary of James Reilly TD (FG). It would be passed onto him - but if it wasn't relevant to him, she would pass it onto the government department that it may be pertinent to. Utterly laughable.

By far the most impressive reply was from Independent councillor Dr. Marcus De Brun. He took the time to email me back personally. His email was frank and honest, not like the usual political nonsense. A lot of his policies were a bit outlandish, but there was an awful lot of common sense there too.

The three candidates I have been most impressed with are Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF), Dr. Marcus De Brun (IND) and Terry Kelleher (AAA-PBP). They have shown a willingness to interact and talk about the issues that concern my family and I.

One other that, Louise O'Reilly (SF) has been proactive and industrious. For that alone, she deserves a fourth preference vote. For her commitment and persistence, she has to be admired - even if I don't completely agree with all of her policies.

I've been most disappointed with one particular sitting TD representing the constituency. Clare Daly TD (IND), who I have voted for in past elections, has not been in contact at all. Considering she worked in the airport like myself for many years, I thought we might connect somehow and have several things in common. I was wrong.

It just tells me that those who were elected to the Dail five years ago have lost touch with the common man and woman. They do not live in the real world.

So that's why I am advocating voting for the underdog in tomorrow's election. Vote for the people who resonate with you most. Vote for those who represent you best.Vote for those who can speak on your behalf. Exercise your right to vote tomorrow - for the right people.


























Monday, 22 February 2016

The People I DON'T Meet Everyday.


I should change the name of this blog, exclusively, for the next few days. I have lived in Swords since 1997, and NOT ONE politician, councillor or election candidate has EVER darkened my door.

Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF)
Dr. James Reilly TD (FG)
Do I feel well represented by my local TD's? Honestly, I don't. I am not important enough to them. So maybe it's about time, I became relevant.

They haven't spoken for me because they have never taken the time to speak to me. This morning, I will let all fifteen candidates know who I am. As it isn't a good idea to ignore an educated member of the electorate.

Brendan Ryan TD (LAB)
The vast majority of them don't live in the same realm of the middle class. Some will portray that they do, so that they exist in the same circumstances as you. I simply work to pay bills.
Roslyn Fuller (IND)

I earn a decent wage, but a huge quantity pays taxes, utilities, direct debits and puts food in the fridge. There is very little left over in my bank account. I even went on Primetime last week to talk about how the lack of childcare and school places in Swords will have in the near future as the young population is growing exponentially. This is relevant to us as it may impact our young son, Harry.
Alan Farrell TD (FG)
Dr. Gerry Molloy (RENUA)

I have not had a wage increase since 2007. It feels like I'm living in a pay freeze. The company I work for, has had its own troubles since 2001. Various working agreements cut conditions in a move to lower its cost base. We understood the situation and realised that everyone would have to part shoulder the financial burden.

Since 2007 though, my take home pay has decreased by over 10%. I am now working 30% more for less wages. My pension has been decimated massively due to the economic downturn and bad investments. My contributions for 17 years were almost worthless.
Terry Kelleher (AAA-PBP)

Joe O'Brien (Green)
For those begrudgers who say "you're lucky to have a job"- I say this - I work damn hard at what I do and I am excellent at what I do. If people think they can do a better job than me, I would like to see them try.

Is the country getting back on it's feet? Maybe so, but I am seeing no return in my pocket. If anything, in the past ten years I am paying more taxes. In 2006, I wasn't paying property tax. Or the national embarrassment that is water tax. My car tax was lower. My car and home insurance was at a much lower rate. I was paying less PRSI and PAYE tax direct to the national coffers.
Darragh O'Brien (FF)

Marcus De Brun (IND)
The cost of living is back on the increase, yet I feel stuck. Do I see light at the end of the tunnel? No, I don't. The traditional parties spout the usual playground tit-for-tat "my policies are better than yours" nonsense, but it leaves me even more disillusioned. Any basic understanding of non-verbal communication reveals their disdain for each other and more importantly, us, as an electorate.

On Friday 26th February next, the Irish people go to the polls to cast their vote and more importantly, express their displeasure of the current state of affairs in this country.

Louise O'Reilly (SF)
Clare Daly TD (IND)
I have never gotten as involved in any election as much as this one previously. I have absorbed as much as I possibly can each day. I have watched many news reports, online outlets and terrestrial streams. I am current with most policies of many parties, especially those that pertain to my family.

I have never been so convinced about how important our votes are next Friday. I don't know which way I will vote and there is still time for the candidates to sway me.

This morning, I will give them a chance.

Tony Murphy (IND)
Barry Martin (AAA-PBP)
In this current world of social media, I will take my issues to them. I will inform all fifteen, what affects my family and what they intend to do about it. I will bombard all candidates via email, Facebook and Twitter with my concerns. I will also leave them a contact number, just to see if any avenue is taken by any candidate, to get in touch.

I will give them four days to allay my concerns.

Otherwise, I will inform my many friends on Facebook (1,342 - many of whom registered to vote in Dublin North) and Twitter (3,421 followers) on Thursday evening, about who has been proactive. Or totally inactive. The choice is theirs.



*No image available for Fergal O'Connell (IND).














Saturday, 19 December 2015

Silver Spoon.

Her self-entitled tone and dismissiveness bubbled under a quiet voice. She spoke quietly and calmly, but wanted to make a scene. She wanted something she thought she was entitled to. By talking over me, she could convince me that her point of view was the correct one.The flick of her hair in my direction while I was speaking, spoke volumes.

We are one week away from Christmas Day, and the stresses and strains of the festive period are upon us all. How we all cope with the pressure varies from person to person. Some deal with it better than others.

Personally, I think that an awful lot of undue Christmas burden stems from last minute shopping and the expectation of dealing with family and friends. We all go through this, but nothing gives anyone the right to speak down to a stranger - no matter what the time of year is.

Call it age or wisdom, but my tolerance for nonsense has decreased over the past number of years. I keep myself up to date and informed with local, national and world events. I keep abreast of current trends and new technology. I read voraciously and take immense pride in how I do my job. With experience, I think I have become quite skilled in reading body language and spotting the non-verbal communication that speaks loudest.

A couple of nights ago, I was asked to deal with a situation that involved an unhappy young lady. She spoke to my colleagues in a terse and cocky tone, something that you wouldn't normally associate with a girl of her youth. We were trying to solve her issue, but technology was failing us. Her patience was fast running thin and when it did run out, her snobbish attitude moved onto a higher level.

Her conceited and disdainful opinion spoke down to my colleagues. Her self-righteous points of view were correct in her head. She overlapped one hand on top of the other, with her fingers drumming the hand underneath. She stared off into nothing, indicating her annoyance.

Her eyes were filled with contempt, before I even spoke. I introduced myself and shook her hand lightly. Her limp and insincere handshake told me right off that she wasn't interested in anything I had to say. I asked what the problem was and made eye contact. When she did make contact it was telling me of the "torture" she was enduring. I let her finish talking before I addressed her issues.

She interrupted me on multiple occasions. I never showed her that disrespect.

I stated the facts regarding her problems and how we were trying to resolve them. I was honest saying that one of her issues were outside my control and there was nothing I could physically do. She just needed to be patient.

Then she started getting personal, telling me she knew more about my job than I clearly did. She knew about the perks of my job and the begrudgery in her face was evident.

She wasn't listening to my point of view and I knew that. She knew that we were trying our best, but she was so deep into her point of view that admitting she was wrong would have been detrimental to her argument. Her attitude stank to high heaven and she was adamant she was in the right. The people around her were embarrassed by her pompous and patronising demeanour. Their glances simply said "she's an eejit."

In the end, what we did worked and we didn't receive any thanks. Technology came to our aid and we left her well enough alone. Giving her more attention would feed her ego, confirming her beliefs.

As she left our company I sincerely wished her a "Happy Christmas." She looked down her pointy nose at me and gave me a look that may as well have said "you're beneath me."

I was professional and held her stare.

But inside I wanted to shout "Bah Humbug!!!!"