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Posts tagged ‘anger’

The 2010 Shonky Awards

I have to admit, I’m sitting here feeling a little bit smug this morning. As my many avid readers (hi Mum!)  are probably aware my very first blog post was about the Power Balance Band.  I was so enraged by the stupidity of the useless rubber arm band that I was spurred into action (well my nerdy version of action).

So it was with great pleasure that I read the news that Power Balance Bands have been awarded a Shonky award for 2010 by CHOICE a leading consumer advocate group in Australia.

For those of you unfamiliar with the band it is a silicone band that comes in various colours that has a useless hologram sticker stuck in it, oh wait, no, sorry it’s a  “Mylar hologram designed to react with the body s natural energy flow.”

When worn Power Balance claims that these bands will increase your, strength, agility and balance, magic!  Of course the company has a whole bunch of incomprehensible pseudo-science jargon to back up their claims, but basically, it’s bullshit.

The CHOICE Shonky Awards are given out annually to deserving crap products and this was what they had to say about Power Balance making the list:

“We CHOICE sceptics did our own testing under controlled laboratory conditions – after all, you can’t believe everything you see on TV – and verified the Skeptics’ findings. The money-back guarantee, however, did work. The only power this bracelet seems to have, placebo effect notwithstanding, is in tipping its distributor’s bank balance well and truly into the black – they’re reportedly raking it in. So, if a fool and his money are soon parted, there are apparently plenty of fools out there – and they’re all conveniently identified with a rubber band bracelet. If you see one, offer to sell them a bridge.”

Well said CHOICE, well said. So even though this obviously crap product has been proven yet again to be a fake, people still aren’t willing to admit they’ve been had, this is an excerpt from the Telegraph today as quoted from Andrew Wood, a personal trainer and triathlete from Sydney, who had worn one of the bands for months:

 “I don’t put it on thinking I’m Samson and take it off and think all my power is gone … but you do start getting attached to it so I probably will keep wearing it. I’m less taken by all the hype around its energy systems.”

Less taken in?! Jesus, there is no helping some people, as CHOICE said, at least now they are identifiable by their little bracelets.

Coles “$10 meal” promotion with Curtis Stone also received an award. The premise of the promotion is that you could follow the special recipes handed out at Coles and make a gourmet meal to feed up to four people for less than $10. CHOICE found this to not be the complete truth, unless  you happen to have some of the stuff in your pantry already and you manage to convince Coles to let you buy two cloves of garlic or one bay leaf. CHOICE calculated Curtis’ $7.76 Coq au vin would cost $37.74 if you bought all the necessary ingredients – including the integral half-litre of vin, which somehow wasn’t included in the $7.76 (though you’d perhaps hope not for that price). And it wasn’t just that recipe – the $9.99 Chicken Tikka Masala would set you back $39.74.

Also in the CHOICE line of fire was Nurofen, and more specifically it’s targeted pain relief tablets (neck, back etc) that contain identical ingredients to regular Nurofen pain relief tablets and yet cost more money. Bravo Nurofen, even I fell for that one. I’m the kind of moron who says “My back hurts, give me some back pain relief! No damn it! I said back not shoulders!”

Hmmm maybe I’ve been to harsh on the Power Balance victims, everyone gets taken in by some scam or another. The important thing to do now is to cut your losses, admit defeat, take off the fucking band!

O.k. you got scammed, and it doesn’t feel nice. Nobody likes looking silly, but you’re going to look a lot more silly if you keep clinging to the bands and defending them in the face of all the logical evidence. if you want some dignity back, I would suggest you find some other Power Balance victims and have yourself a little lawsuit. Unfortunately history has shown time and time again that even though the emporer has no clothes everyone would rather pretend he does than admit that they’ve been fooled.

Are You A Rageaholic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that as technology advances, and things become more and more convenient for us, our patience has become shorter. As patience decreases, frustration increases, and this can lead to anger.

Just what is an acceptable level of anger? What is it ok to get a bit angry about? Here is a list of things that have made me angry today:

1. I missed the train in the morning by like 30 seconds because the traffic lights across the road from the station take forever to change.

2. Whilst on the extremely overcrowded train, a man pushed by me unexpectedly, forcing me to step backwards. I heard a “yelping” sound behind me and realized I had stepped on a woman’s foot. I removed to my head phones and said “Oh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to do that, I guess the train is just a bit crowded”  The woman glared at me and made a “Humph!” sort of noise. I hated her immediately, and I wished she would develop a gangrenous foot. How dare she not accept my heart-felt apology for something I had done accidentally!

3. A woman made a big show of fake coughing and waving as I lit up a cigarette, even though I was smoking outdoors, in fucking public space.

Keep in mind that it is only nine in the morning now, that’s a lot of anger for one morning.

Was I justified in my anger? If you look at the flip side, that woman on the train was pissed off because some bitch stepped on her foot, and another lady had smoke blown in her face. Were they justified in their anger?

If you google rageaholics you will quickly come across the Rageaholics Anonymous website, on this website there is an “Anger Self Assessment Test.”

I took the test (you should try it) and according to the test, I’m a rageaholic, as Homer Simpson once said “I am addicted to rageahol.”

Now I was a little taken aback to discover my new-found rageaholic status, but before I ran off to find my nearest Rageaholics Anonymous meeting and share my thoughts and bile, I had a close look at the questions in the test.

Who the hell could pass this test? I believe if the Dalai Lama took this test he’d have a hard time passing it. Questions like:

“I hate lines, and I especially hate waiting in line.”

Who the hell likes waiting in line? Who is going to say “I love lines, I sometimes line up in them just for the experience rather than to get to the front.”

What about this gem: “When someone says or does something that upsets me, I don’t usually say anything at the time, but later I spend a lot of time thinking of cutting replies I could and should have made.”

Come on! Everybody does that, and if they say they don’t, they’re lying. Constructing the perfect imaginary quip is a healthy thing to do, it helps you to vent some of that frustration you had at being to cowardly to say anything to the person in the first place.

My question is this? If this test had been taken twenty or thirty years ago, would I have been classified a “Rageaholic,” have the conveniences of modern life really made us lose all of our patience? What if I lived in the country instead of the city? Would I still need that sweet sweet rageahol to survive?

Or is it that we are all angry, anger and rage of course are part of the human condition. Anger is an involuntary feeling, that happens to us when we feel trespassed against in some way, and unless you live on a desert island, you will come across it fairly regularly. the trick to anger is how you respond to it, it’s certainly not healthy if you respond to a rude comment by a stranger by glassing them in the face with a bottle, but I think a sarcastic snort would be appropriate.

Rageaholics of the world unite, I will continue to think of witty quips that I should have said after the fact. I will continue to hate waiting in line and secretly wish that the people ahead of me would collapse so I wouldn’t have to wait so long. I will continue to snarl and snark and patronize and be sarcastic and cause others to fall into awkward silences at dinner parties. For if rageahol truly does make me who I am, then I will wear my rageaholic badge with pride, long live anger and its destructive benefits to us all!

 





“I Want It Rare, But Not Bloody.” Why Chefs Are So Angry…

A very special post by my celebrity guest blogger Cameron Power.

Everyone knows that chefs are angry people. They are self absorbed, self-centred, sadistic, narcissistic bastards who thrive on heaping their shit onto other people’s plates whilst mentally assaulting anybody who comes within earshot of their verbal tirades.  basically they are mean-spirited, spiteful and vicious, and that’s on a good day.

As someone who has been a chef for the last decade , from lowly dishwasher, to shit-kicking apprentice, to the highs of an executive chef, I have experienced enough of this career to feel qualified to ask, Why would anybody, and I mean anybody, choose this as a profession? Long hours, shocking pay, the mind numbing routine of sweating, bleeding and being degraded, and all for seemingly nothing. You get home and sleep for two hours before you have to wash and iron your uniform, sharpen your knives and polish your faded boots. Then it’s time to start your wholesomely fun day again.

Anyone who cooks knows that this is a way of life, this is what we chose to do. A career that is based on how hard you work, how much you can drink, how any insults you can fling and how much stress you can endure.  Do it without stabbing someone with a bread knife and you’re home and hosed.

There was one problem that we didn’t count on when we embarked on this gastronomic journey,  through all of the bravado and bullshit we went through, years of cut fingers, apprenticeships and bullying head chefs this problem kept popping up, that problem? It’s you! That’s right! You, the general public. If we are spiteful narcissists then god only knows what category you bastards fall into.You are the reason that chefs in general are so angry. Wanna know why?

Chef’s are passionate about food. It’s their pride and joy, it’s their lively hood. It’s what keeps them motivated, it dictates their lives. Yes, chef’s are passionate about food… Not people! We cook for our pride, we cook for ourselves, and we cook for the money. Not for you!

Since the days of open kitchens, our lives have gotten steadily worse. Gone are the days when you could throw pans around, and swear and belittle the waiting staff, Oh no no no! In this p.c. World gone mad you can’t even call someone an idiot without getting sued, even if they are medically proven to be an idiot.

Open Kitchens seem to give people the right and authority to say whatever they please to you, good and loud. Not a day goes by without some Master Chef devotee wandering past me and offering some “helpful” advice. It seems now that the wall has fallen people have a new god given right to tell us how to do our jobs. They stand there shouting things like:

  1. “Hey Chef, that grill looks a little high!”
  2. “Where is the bathroom?”
  3. “Hey man, make sure my steak is a good one!”
  4. “I want my food hot, like… real hot.

Suggestions noted dear customer, here are my responses:

  1. “Really, well I’ll just turn it up a bit more, like a lot more. Because it’s my grill and I can do whatever the fuck I want.”
  2. “You chose to ignore the signs, the wait-staff and the manager to come and interrupt my work to ask me that question? For you, the toilet is across the road in that junkie toilet block.”
  3. “Oh your steak! I’ll just assume it’s the one in the front with the most fat on it. Now I’m going to slightly burn the edges and flip it too many times just to make you feel special.
  4. “Lucky you told me, I planned to pull it out of the fridge, plate it up, put parsley on and serve it up in the hopes that you’d get salmonella, or mad cow disease, or preferably both.

Don’t bother the chefs while they are working!

Here are some of my other favourite stupid questions that get thrown our way at the most inopportune times. Picture this, You’re in a busy kitchen everybody is running around, screaming orders, dinging bells and cursing and suddenly you hear some genius asking something like

“Do you have steak?” Yes we do.

“Do you have chicken?” Yes we do.

“Do you have pastas?” Yes we do.

“What if I just want a salad? Do you have that?” Yes we do.

“You know what? Maybe I’ll just have fries. Do you have that?” Yes, we do.

“Oh I don’t know, what else do you have?”

Well, we have… A fucking menu!

It gets worse, indecisiveness is nothing compared to pure stupidity. Just when we think we have successfully palmed you off onto the wait staff you decide to up the ante a little bit. Here are some more gems I hear on a daily basis:

“Does the vegetarian nachos have beef in it?”

“How is the grilled salmon cooked?”

“I want it cooked rare, but I don’t want it to be bloody.”

The new emerging trend of irritating customers are the vegans and allergy type people, it seems like every “Steve intolerant” and “Jenny  coeliac” has chosen to wander into my humble establishment to bother me with their insane requests:

“I’m a vegan, has your grill ever touched meat?”

“Do you batter your fish with flour?”

“I’m allergic to salt”

“I don’t eat animals, I’ll just have the fish.”

It takes at least 4 years for us to be qualified, it takes nurses around the same time, and yet you trust these people with your lives and you don’t even trust us with your food?

I could go on forever, rattling off various enraging stories, but to be honest, I’m getting angry just writing this. It brings back hateful memories and makes me feel like taking my carving knife to the nearest gluten-free, pasta eating hypocrite I can find.

So, why am I still a Chef? Like I said, Chefs love food, I love food! I just don’t like you!