Sunday, 27 February 2011

Compers? What the hell is a Comper?

'LOL I rly wanna win that IPAD! #competition'


Y'okay. So, over there on my wine blog, I've been running a little Tweet For Wine competition.

The idea? Well, since I was writing all these digressive and profanity-strewn wine reviews, I kind of wanted some people to read 'em. Because I'm a shameless attention seeker, me.

Unfortunately, I hadn't bargained on exactly the type of attention my Twitter Competition would bring.

For I had hitherto been blissfully unaware of the existence of an online breed known (in their own words, I tell you!) as 'Compers'.

'What is a Comper, O Hooligan?' I hear you cry.

(Or at least, so I think I hear you cry. But maybe that's just the distant whining of your total indifference.)

A Comper, it seems, is one whose sole online purpose is to enter mindless competitions such as my own.

The first clue that you are dealing with a Comper is often in the username. It will either be as bland and characterless as angel delight, or else will exhibit a toe-curling, cutesy infantilism that'll have you reaching for your 35-hour box-set of 'The World At War' in a desperate bid to remind yourself that pain and suffering do in fact exist.

Browse the Comper's Twitter stream and you will find it strewn with more hash signs than your phone display at the end of a support-centre call to BT, as the Comper sporadically fires off messages to enter every single competition in the world. You will also notice that, 90% of the time, the Comper will illustrate her profile (alas, there is a heavily female gender bias amongst Compers) not with an image of herself, but with either (a) a photograph of a very young child or (b) a photograph of a domestic animal.

Which results in the cognitive-dissonance-inducing spectacle of a 3-year-old toddler apparently proclaiming, 'I'm entering a #competition to win free wine! Amazing Comp! LUV WINE!' — or a sad-eyed basset-hound declaring: 'Amazing #comp to win iPad!!! Rly hope I win LOL.'

You want me to tell you what it is?

I'll tell you what it is.

It is approximately as depressing as holding your 21st birthday in a gulag.

(What's that? A birthday cake? Made entirely from the ground-up remnants of former inmates? Really, you shouldn't have.)

Unfortunately, right now, the Compers are winning. Absolutely turdloads of 'em have entered my competition — to a degree which, I'm sure, far outweighs non-Compers.

This makes me sad.

And so I beg you, O reader, O non-Comper — while there's still time (closing date's tomorrow!) — get across to my wine blog and start comping.

Comp the good comp with all thy (um) romp?

Let's take this one back from the clones.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Corporate fuckwash: Royal Bank of Scotland

You know what I'm fucking sick of?

I'm fucking sick of massive corporations asking me to consider the environment. Asking me to consider the environment when all they are in a position to consider is the view right up their own crap-caked, hypocritical arseholes.

Sometimes, it's little more than patronising. To whit, exhibit A:


(I don't know how big that little tree image is — probably only a few bytes, sure — but I've received plenty of emails in which it is probably the largest component of the entire message in terms of space. I'd love for somebody, somewhere, to work out how much global bandwidth is being taken up by people's email clients downloading that fucking image of a tree. Because bandwidth has an environmental cost too, remember?)

But the tree example doesn't really bother me too much. It's condescending, sure. But if I was enraged at every instance of corporate condescension that marred my life, I'd be an angry, angry man.

(And you know what? I'm actually sunny as fuck.)

No. The company that's really given me a hernia in the arse over this greenbilge shite is Royal Bank of Scotland.

Yes, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Actually stands for 'Really Big Shit'. That's what the logo's a picture of. Four arrows pointing towards big clump of turd.

But wait, please. Don't all come flocking to RBS's defence just yet. I know they're a popular brand — a beloved national institution. But hear me out as I bravely reveal the tawdry hypocrisy beneath their saintly exterior.

The thing? Paperless banking.

'Say goodbye to wasted paper, wasted energy and wasted space,' proclaims the RBS website, in a tone not dissimilar (one assumes) from that with which Moses led the Israelites to the promised land.

For paperless banking is going to save the world. A mighty alliance of consumer and corporation, both 'doing their bit' for the environment.

Except it turns out that RBS is less doing its bit, more doing its shit. Right on your fucking doormat. And it's a putrid one.

I mean, first of all, let's think about this. In the grand scheme of things, to whom am I doing the greater favour, here? To Mother Earth, by cutting out a single printed bank statement every month? Or to Royal Bank of Scotland, by relieving them of the cost of printing, collating and posting said statement?

Hmm.

But I don't object to that, per se. I can dig a win-win situation.

UNLESS IT'S A WIN-WIN SITUATION THAT TURNS OUT TO BE A WIN-WIN-LOSE SITUATION. (And I'm the fucker who loses.)

Because sometimes, it turns out, one needs an original paper bank statement.

(When, for instance, one wishes to dump one's shit-munching bank in favour of another. Also potentially shit-munching, to be sure. But munching different shit, at least.)

For such manoeuvres, printouts of online statements (one is sternly warned) simply will not do. It's original or nothing.

And here's where our little fucking alliance with RBS is revealed for the lawn-turding piece of mockery it is. For it is at this point that we realise: we are going to have to order up those paper statements retrospectively from the bank.

And we are going to pay £5 for each fucking one.

THIS MAKES ME FUCKING LIVID.

Because I wasn't just saving the trees with you, you watery drizzle of corporate shit; I was also FUCKING SAVING YOU MONEY. And now you are CHARGING ME FOR IT.

It's like I just gave you a bottle of wine, only for you to slink behind me and ram it straight up my bum. Wide end first.

You nasty, nasty shits.

You dirty little paperless wankers.

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