Critical thinking

And no, this isn’t about that peculiar A-level subject you get offered these days. I was just ‘inspired’ by it, to do my own very critical thinking. I trawled through my borough’s information ‘newspaper’ the other day. Very pleased to see they are now offering free advice on benefits. Can only assume this means they charged for benefits advice previously. A bit ludicrous, but the council has to make money somehow.

Received a phone call – in the middle of a television programme, which is why I was even less gracious than my usual lack of friendliness – where the very Indian accented lady informed me they were ‘calling today from the UK…’ No, I don’t think so. If you have to mention it, you’re not in the UK. Why lie? I’m no more likely to buy whatever it is because it’s from the UK.

One of my few ‘helpful’ acts in life is to fill in a questionnaire from the council on a regular basis. (I reckoned they needed someone awkward like me to balance out all the others.) But how do you answer the multiple choice query regarding my eating habits where they want to know if I’ve eaten more fruit and veg in the last twelve months? I’m such a slob that I had to say no. I usually eat more than enough, so haven’t increased the amount. Nor do I plan to do so anytime soon. But I feel awful having admitted this. It’s surely related to the quandary you face when asked if you’ve stopped beating your wife. Not that I have a wife, but you just need a sensible alternative.

I had to email Daughter’s college, but it came back after getting caught in their spam filter. It was about exams. It’s just very hard to decide exactly which word(s) upped its spam-ness. Daughter’s last school had a lovely (well, still has) teacher called Mr White. I needed to email him about something. Email came straight back due to foul language. And I thought I’d been so reasonable. Mr White is kind and intelligent and sings well in the corridors. I then emailed the form teacher, to say I’d not been able to get through to Mr White. That came back too. More foulness. Yikes.

Showed my missives to the Resident IT Consultant who diagnosed the problem. White isn’t a very pc word to be using in this day and age. But it was the email address, for goodness’ sake! That only sorted itself out by me emailing the school’s IT expert on his private email when it got too tiresome describing Mr White as the teacher with the name that is a colour which is the opposite of black. Black is pc enough it seems.

As a child I was very sweet and trusting (yes, really) and thought good of everybody. I’m making up for this sweetness now by practising my own kind of critical thinking.

6 responses to “Critical thinking

  1. Poor Mr. White must look at his non-existent email queue every day and feel tremendously unpopular.

  2. Or he might have been relieved. I suspect my actions meant that he was suddenly brought back to reality.

  3. Ah yes, spam filters are wonderful, aern’t they? I had trouble when the Judge in a child care case I was involved in asked us to e-file copies of a report which the court had ordred. The report related to the risks of neglect and abuse posed to these children, and it was rejected because it contained the words “Children” and “Abuse”. I can’ t help thinking that e-mails sent from and to a Judge dealing with children who are in the care system are likely to have those words in quite a lot of the time.

    I find the ‘White’ thing bizarre, though. Unless the rest of your message went on to talk about his supreme teaching, or his superior talents…

  4. One poor colleague who emails me from Belgium always get her messages flagged as spam. We’ve never been able to work out why, although her name does contain the strings ‘sin’ and ‘tea’…

  5. Abuse, sin… What do you expect? I think in the end I turned into spam through mentioning money. Never again. I’ll try begging through other means.

  6. In a past job, I used to exchange email with staff from a lot of magazines and newspapers. On one memorial occasion with the Economist magazine, I was greatly amused when after trying everything else, one of their own article titles had to be redacted from email in order for me to respond to the request without tripping their spam filters.

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