Monday, 8 September 2014

Monday Pessimus Prime: It's All Got A Bit Too Real

Some background...

Fliss took me to her old university stomping grounds for the first time since we'd met this weekend, so she could perform bridesmaid duties for an old friend. Which was fine; taxi service for weddings is entirely within a boyfriend's remit, and I didn't even really mind having to sit through a church service surrounded by people I didn't know just to make sure sufficient pictures were taken of the bridesmaids - Fliss was worried for some reason that everyone would focus on the bride, like that's important.

Things seemed to be looking up at the reception, since there was a) fewer Bible quotations and b) a bar. Alas, this seeming promised land was naught but a lie, a comforting illusion designed to keep me busy trying out new ciders whilst agents of the Forces of Naughtiness could smash my passenger rear quarter window and make off with my SatNav and wallet.

This, obviously, is Not Good. I was so shaken up by the whole affair I was almost put off my full English yesterday morning, and that wouldn't happen if you told me the sausages were made from my mother.

But! There were upsides. Most important is the sheer meagreness of the villain's score. A battered five-year old SatNav I refused to update and a wallet containing £3.70 and a credit card cancelled before they could use it. According to the police officer who came looking for prints and DNA, they only broke in to try and steal the camera case on the back seat, which was of course empty. It's hard to not imagine their faces falling when they realised just what a waste of crime they'd gone through.

It'll have been a quiet supper in their secret lair and no mistake.

(There is though some personal stuff I've been gutted to lose. The business card Chris made for me in my first term as a teacher, explaining exactly how little of a shit I gave about children on one side and containing my lonely heart's ad on the other. The ID card I got when I turned 18 with a picture of my young, be-curtained self that I would show to children who'd done particularly well in class so they could laugh themselves sick. The two US coins I own, given to me by my sister to give me some kind of tangible connection to the country I spend so much time shouting about. These things I shall miss. Also there was a parking receipt I hadn't claimed back yet in there, so you can imagine how gutted I am over that.)

Watching other people's reactions to the situation has been entertaining as well. The particular denomination of Christians running this particular show took it all pretty hard, believing as they seem to that literally everything that happens is God's will (rather then the far more laissez-faire approach the Methodists I was raised around take, which is that God knew my car would be broken into, but didn't). Frankly, some of them seemed more upset than I was. One woman told us how she'd struggled to get to sleep on Saturday night, because she was so deep into trying to figure out why God would choose to have car thieves strike in the middle of a Christian wedding. For my part I figured "shit happens" and passed out.

In the end, she decided it was fine because so little was stolen. Which, whatever floats your theological boat, obviously. Though it turns out though that there's not a lot of social situations more awkward than a loudly committed Christian expounding how awesome Christian weddings are because God only lets small-bore shit gets nicked, and how lucky we are to be a part of that, then when you politely point out you're an atheist get a sales pitch about how "God protects". I mean, I don't begrudge this woman her faith or the security it clearly gives her, but maybe citing the protection God offers you is a mistake eight hours after it turns out he won't even protect your SatNav.

Other interactions were less awkward. There is something uniquely laid-back and yet acerbic about Yorkshire humour:
Fellow Guest: Sorry to hear about yer car. You got yer cards cancelled? 
SpaceSquid: Yep. All but my Nectar Card. It was tough to sleep knowing the gits who robbed my car might even now be enjoying fractionally cheaper groceries. 
Fellow Guest (prodding my admittedly generous belly): Yeah, yer look like yer wasting way, don't yer?
Police Officer: See that helicopter? It's from an old RAF base they use for training now. All privatised now, of course. 
SpaceSquid: The government does love its privatisation. 
PO: I think they should privatise the government. 
SS: If we're defining "privatise" as "major corporations get to call all the shots without outside interference", I would like to submit that you already have your wish. 
PO: Fair point. What do they call the big head office again? Eton, in't it?
(I suppose the guy's plan has some merit. If we formalised bribery at least we could tax it).

As of 11am today I have finally waded through the list of tasks necessary to respond to this hassle, including setting my insurers against my glass-replacement company so that whichever one of them was lying to me about the other one could do it to their metaphorical face (so far it's looking like it was the insurance company - no surprise there; these are already the people who've told me my contents insurance which includes personal items and built-in navigation devices doesn't include SatNavs; too car-based to be a personal item, too detachable to be a car feature).

So that was my weekend. How about you peeps?


Chris said...

Rubbish, sorry to hear about that. Its also disappointing that your story has confirmed my prejudices about insurance companies. Hope it all gets sorted out soon.

SpaceSquid said...

Yeah, it's all sorted now. The total bill for what was stolen/damaged came to about £240, and I was able to extract £100 from the insurance peeps, so it could've been worse. But it was a remarkable progression on the SatNav. First they said I'd have to claim it as a separate incident because I'd asked for the glass fixed before confirming I intended to claim for the SatNav (they claimed the opposite the night of the robbery). Then they gave that up and said they'd add it to the same claim, but only at 50% value because I don't have a receipt (the SatNav was a birthday present), which meant they'd pay 50% of current value for a five year old SatNav.

Of course, that all became irrelevant once they decided that the SatNav didn't count as a personal item or a car feature.

So much for Hastings Direct, then. My Barclays home insurance would cover it in fairness, but the excess was a bit too high, so fair enough.

I am really gutted about that business card thing, though. Would you mind making me a new one? After three and a half years of actually having a proper one, I'm once again in the education business and thus not expected to have any reason to let people know what I do.

Seaham Chris said...

I am regularly impressed with just how accurately excesses and the raises for the year after due to claiming are so precisely calibrated to make 'its not worth claiming' a regular conclusion.
I don't remember the business card - am I the Chris who made it for you, or was it another one?

SpaceSquid said...

Unless I know two Seaham Chrises, it was you; given to me a few weeks after we started in Fram.