Archive for Banking

Inconvenience Stores, EFTPOS & The Death Of Community

Posted in Random Shit That Gives Me The Cunt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2008 by Buck Frain

I’ve told you about my morning ritual before. All I want in the morning is my coffee. This morning I had no milk. Fuck. I know it’s never gonna be a good day when I have to put pants on before I’ve had coffee but I know they won’t serve me at the shop if I’m not wearing pants. 

So pants, shoes, shirt, just like a normal person, eyes still crusted over with sleep I head off to the corner shop. 

My corner store is not a franchise, it’s a traditional mum & dad business run by an ancient Indian couple. They barely speak and they move with a Thorazine slowness that is infuriating when all you want is a metcard before you miss your train. Luckily, I have time this morning. I place the milk on the counter. The wizened old crone shuffles to the counter, looks the milk over, looks at me, peruses the chart next to the cash register. Four dollars. she mumbles through her three remaining teeth. You think I’m being unkind but it’s the truth. I realise that I only have 95 cents and a sweaty piece of chewing gum in my pocket. I shove it back in and pull out my wallet. Empty. I hand her my card. Minimum $10 EFTPOS she recites blankly. 

I know I have less than $10 in my account. I drank tequila last night with mates and I know there is no $10. I don’t have $10 in the account. I’ve got about 8 bucks ’til Wednesday. She is unmoved. $10 minimum purchase. I’m not impressed. I just need some milk so I can have coffee. Why? I ask. She doesn’t understand. Why $10? She looks at me like I’m a trouble maker, someone definitely not to be trusted. It’s the rule. $10. Like that explains anything. FUCK! I fuckin’ hate this shit. 

I’ve heard the various justifications and they all sound like complete bullshit. The banks charge us money on small purchases. I’d believe it, the banks are all cunts – that doesn’t justify it, though. Do you know how much these machines cost per month? Obviously not too much or you wouldn’t have one, you fuckin’ tight-arse! Blah blah blah. It’s fucked. I have money. I want to hand it over in exchange for goods. This is the way it works, isn’t it? The cunting banks just fuck everything, how many times can they charge fees for the same transaction? Aren’t they supposed to provide a service or put something back into the community? CUNTS!!! IOf course, it could just be a cheap upsell technique used by drowning businesses to coerce a few extra dollars from a desperate consumer, and I confess in the past I have bought shit I didn’t even want just to get the shit I needed. I’d probably do it today if only I ACTUALLY HAD TEN DOLLARS WHICH I FUCKING WELL DON’T!!!

So I stare at the old woman across the counter. I change tack. Could you just put it through? How about you charge me $8 for the milk. You double your money, I get milk, that has to cover your costs, yeah? She shakes her head and waves an index finger at me like a naughty child. No no no. $10 minimum. OK. That failed. In a last ditch effort: OK, can I just take the milk? I’ll pay you on Wednesday, I promise. Her eyes widen like she’s never heard anything so preposterous in her life – which is a long fucking time to not hear anything like this. No! She’s shouting at me Put it back if you don’t have money. You come back on Wednesday with money I sell you whatever you like. Go on! Get out! Get out of here!

She reached for a broom and was going to sweep me out of the fucking shop, for real. She grabbed it, raised the bristles at me and began to walk around the counter – I just left. You win, lady. FUCK!!! I’ve been going to her fucking dank, cockroach-infested shithole every couple of days for two years. Two fucking years and this is what I get for customer loyalty. I get swept away like garbage because I wasn’t spending ten lousy bucks. I can’t seriously go back there now. Not ever. I’m a fuckin’ person. I bought their overpriced shit because of convenience. FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING OLD BITCH!!! Where is compassion? Where is community? Where is the next nearest fucking shop to my house? FUCK! How fucking depressing. Black coffee, a big dose of humiliation and the loss of my corner store forever.

Having A Big Shit In The Nest

Posted in Tales From Hell with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2008 by Buck Frain

Seeing as I’ve begun to bite the hand that feeds me, I might as well do the job properly and gnaw the fucker right off.

I work for Corgan Research, one of the country’s oldest MR firms. It sucks and is run by a complete maniac called Barry Corgan – big C, little organ, or so we suspect. Barry inherited the company from the founder, his father, so he’s always been rich and has never had to relate to people. He dresses like Gregory Peck in The Boys From Brazil, only shorter and without the moustache or charisma and a Barry’s a bit more of a nazi. The only way he ever communicates with anyone is by shouting at them. Thank fuck he hardly ever condescends to visit us. The odd occasions he does is usually to gloat about his empire to boozed up potential clients.


As head of the company he has established a culture of fear, pettiness and disaffected slovenliness. Thanks to a careful maneuvering around, or in some cases a complete flouting of, industrial relations and tax laws everyone in the entire building is paid well below any industry minimums. This results in everyone only doing the bare minimum they can get away with without getting fired and ripping the system for anything they can whenever opportunity arises. Barry treats every employee as if they are a thief and this sort of punitive management style filters down through the whole organisation. He routinely fires people on the spot so everyone fears and despises him, hates their job, and is suspicious of their co-workers. Interviewers are the lowest of the low, everyone has more power than us and despite the fact that none of them would have jobs if we weren’t here, I understand that most consider us some sort of subhuman troglodytes. Unfortunately, they’re occasionally correct. It’s a truly demoralising work environment.

The two main surveys we do are one for a big tobacco company on smoking habits. Our conspiracy theory has me certain the information they get from this is filed away for future legal cases to prove the vast majority of smokers smoke more than one brand of cigarettes so, when you try to sue them because of your lungs are rotting and your cock’s fallen off, they can say How do you know it was OUR cigarettes that caused your cancer? Pretty evil, huh? 

The other is for The Cuntingwealthy Bank, interviewing their customers about their level of satisfaction with the service they receive. This is gold because we have to rewrite customers’ actual responses into less offensive, more company-positive messages that are then passed on to the branches to contribute to employee KPIs and are posted on the internal website so the shareholders can see what a great company they own. Also a wee bit evil, no? It goes against everything market research is supposed to represent. If there was ever integrity in the simple gathering of information to find truths it has been corrupted by Barry and his corporate shit-sucking mates. It makes me wonder why we bother calling people at all for this project – we could just make the shit up, that is what we’re doing most of the time anyway.

The problem at its root is that the business of market research is a fiction. Our company produces nothing. Numbers on a page that are the result of meticulously engineered questionnaires tailored to produce the exact outcomes desired by the client. The manner in which the work is carried out is completely irrelevant. You could pay people top dollar for the best work or, like Barry does, pay the bare minimum to keep yourself out of jail and say bollocks to quality. The end results are indistinguishable from one another, so unless you have any interest in people as anything other than earning potential, it makes sense to create a shithole like Corgan’s.

This does not, however, change the fact that Barry Corgan is an evil dog-felching bastard and his empire is thoroughly contemptible. I believe, if you employ people, you have a duty to provide them with an environment where, even if their job is meaningless, they feel as though they are respected, they’re paid properly and treated with basic human dignity. Barry Corgan is a rotten-to-the-core-son-of-a-whore and I would happily beat the fucker to a stinking bloody pulp and then do a shit in his hat. Fuck you Barry!!!