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We all know the customer is only ever right if it’s you and that if you are the company the customer is wrong but you just can’t say anything: At the bottom of big business, are lots of little people sitting in the same uncomfortable hairy ring that is your daily life. This book is for the people in that bottom that represent the companies we love to hate. Because there are plenty of people working for those companies we hate that hate those companies too…only on top of that they have to put up with complaints from other people who have the luxury of not working for those companies. And what of those companies? Are they really as bad as you think or are they an easy excuse to blame? Did that train really break down before London Bridge or was that just your excuse you told the boss because you didn’t want to get out of bed? Stop complaining people or one day rather than our children see the beauty of a tree, they will complain its leaves aren’t all the same shape. And expect somebody else to compensate them for their lack of imagination in the shape department with a fat money cake and a false apology; and the monster we are creating now will feed it to them.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB

Royal Mail Customer Services, FREEPOST, Plymouth PL9 7YB 08/07/09 Dear Mr Royal Fail I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with the Royal Mail. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? Is this the correct address? Once I have that confirmed we can start the wonderful process where I give you the metaphorical clip around the ear, and by said ear drag you down the garden path and into the coal-shed where I make you shovel coal until midnight whereby, at this point, you collapse in a broken exhausted heap weeping the words in a tiny voice ‘I didn’t know, I should have told the truth…I didn’t know’… Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face Royal Mail customer.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Your Ref: 1-1129803632 Royal Mail, Glasgow, PO Box 740, Glasgow G22 6WW 31/07/09 Hi Janet Turner, I am a writer Janet. Not one of those world famous authors that you would have heard about or one of those authors that are known at all. Indeed, if you googled my name you would get some banker that isn’t me and this old picture of Justin Timberlake:

I am the kind of writer that that lives in his bedroom masturbating over Vengar from the cartoon Dungeons & Dragons and wishing the top of his head was as hairy as his feet. Now, what has this got to do with complaining to the Royal Mail? Well Janet, let me explain: I am writing a book where I send a letter of complaint to a company with the end result being that I end up complaining about why I am complaining. It’s an apology letter from the customer to big business; trying to highlight the truth about the difference between what we hope to achieve by complaining and what we actually do. (When achievement is based on moving forward, but the philosophy of complaining is ripping apart the bit that just happened to the point where you can’t move forward.) It’s also a sort of a letter of complaint from the company to the whining customer. Working title: The customer is always right annoying. Actual title: projectApology. I’ve just notice that there is key on the keyboard that looks like the moustache from that guy from the Pringle advert: { This book, if published, would change the pattern of my boring existence and also inject some financial clout. It would also be the first book to have its capital letter in the middle of the title rather than the beginning. I am currently looking for a cheaper room to rent which I hope to avoid as a result of the result of the Royal Mail delivering my letters and responses from and to me in an efficient manner. Here’s the ad for my room (because I can’t move out until somebody moves in):

It is the room that John Lennon “It Lennon wrote imagine in, and Michael Jackson’s Earth song was actually about about the dirt in the plant pot on my window sill. Will self’s novel Great Apes? That wasn't written in the room, but there is a scene in the book when an Ape thinks of a room. Will didn't actually write the scene, it was more not said but Will thought of making making it said but thought the thought would be more powerful if subtle. It was more of a look. Buuut, that unexplained monkey facial expression that wasn't written? Yup, you guessed it. My room.” room.” Also, the cupboard came first in the most likely cupboard to take up a career in poetry competition. It's got that wispy look of an old scholar chewing know the kind of cupboard I mean.” mean So you see the book, if published, would not only allow me to walk the path I wish to walk but it would also allow me to stay in my lovely room with Vengar from Dungeons & Dragons and my todger. So, it’s important to me. Really important. The problem I am having is that as the book is letter based I am heavily reliant upon the Royal Mail. I am getting letters through sporadically to say the least, and at times I am having to wait up to 3 weeks for the delivery of my post. Is there a reason for the slow service at the moment? Am I just noticing the usual service because I am relying on the Royal Mail more than usual or are there strikes going on? It’s most frustrating, and I have no idea if the book will be finished before I lose my room. I would appreciate a quick response, and if there are strikes going on or something is up at least in future I will know that this process is going to take a while.

Kind regards

David S Face Royal Mail customer

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Re: 12/08/09 Hi Janet You are right, the letter you sent me that I am responding to now did arrive. If your letter sent to me is representative of a functioning mail system then that can only mean one thing: I am being ignored. Which can only mean one other thing: I have been writing to myself. Which means I am probably a very good writer, otherwise I would have stopped writing to myself. I appreciate your response Janet and you raise a valid point about me getting your letter. I read that the Royal Mail has a secret lair beneath the underground tube network of London which is operated by robot moles that are force fed crack and beaten by Royal Mail sumo wrestlers if they fail to deliver the Royal Mail mails postal responses to complaints from Royal Mail customers in an efficient manner. But, apart from a large nappy covered in oil I have been unable to find little evidence of this. Hang on, and your letter arriving to me on time during industrial action. I would do something about this, send a letter to the police and instruct them to free the moles your company has enslaved, or maybe even attempt a rescue op myself with some ex CIA agents looking for one last job and that actor that played Hightower in the police academy movies‌ but, in all fairness the moles are half mole half bots and not complete moles so their programming would probably over-ride their instinct, or worse their instinct is the programming meaning that while I thought I was forcing them to freedom, in their eyes I would be forcing them into slavery. I thank you and the half bots for coming back to me so quickly and explaining that this would appear to not be a problem with the Royal Mail. Because of this Janet and the knowledge that I now need to double my efforts with the companies I am complaining to in order to reward them for handling my complaint kindly I would like to reward you with the golden freedom stamp of Albuquerque for how you have dealt with my complaint to your company kindly. Which I have included with this letter.

David S. Face Happier and a more relieved Royal Mail Customer because of Janet


David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Armitage Shanks Armitage Rugeley Staffordshire WS15 4BT 01/02/09 Dear Mr Shanks I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with your company. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger or perhaps under the influence of intoxicants. Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Ideal Standard/Customer care manager 25/02/2009 Dear Mr Nick Gray I understand that you are probably a busy man, so it’s okay about the delayed response, though if you will excuse awful the pun - it probably isn’t the ‘ideal standard’. First off I must say I have urinated in well over probably a thousand million Armitage Shanks urinals in my time and never had a problem. Also, I have used your company’s showers and baths and have always left them far cleaner than they were when I got in them. I was drinking in my local pub in Blackheath recently and suddenly, from nowhere, I needed to relieve myself faster than Boris Becker in a cupboard. It was one of those ‘not now’ body moments. At my age, I have had a few. I managed to get into the toilet and up to the urinal, a classically shaped, smooth finished, Armitage Shanks ceramic vintage addition where I performed the equally classic 10 step jig that all men know, when the fear sets in, that they may well have left the moment of relief to just beyond their bodies natural compliance levels. I made it Nick, I made it; But not without taking heavy casualties. Indeed, if my incident was a Vietnam War movie I would have been the General in control of a platoon of 5 soldiers. I would have just lost four men and the fifth would be on the floor with his intestines in his hands looking up at me screaming ‘David! David! I ain’t gonna make it David jeeesssssussssssss muuuuM!’ Rewinding back to 3 hours before the moment with the Armitage Shanks urinal I was at the bar drinking my second pint, so fast forwarding 3 hours back to the moment described before the moment just mentioned at the bar and I hope you can see that I was, well – and I do not wish to be crude - somewhat full. I thankfully made it and relieved myself, however – and here is my complaint to you good sir – the urinals standard width from my tip to its back was not sufficient to prevent a ‘splashback’ effect that completely ruined my trousers and made me look like I had completely lost all control of bladder function. I made my excuses to my friends at the bar, but not before the awkward moment of my goodbye when both Sarah and Thomas failed to come near me. Both failing to stifle giggles and both clearly thinking ‘David has wet himself in public’

Since the incident both Sarah and Thomas have called me ‘nappy’. I have tried to explain what really happened, that I made it to the urinal and it was the urinal that failed on me not me failing on myself, but they won’t listen. In addition to my public embarrassment, my newly acquired jeans were ruined in this incident. Please advise. Many thanks and I look forward to resolving this rather embarrassing matter.

David S Face.

PS I have included some photographs of my jeans, and basic measurements of the urinal I used. The dry-cleaning bill was £30.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB RE: Ignored Complaint by customer. 12/03/09 Dear Mr Nick Gray, Nick, baaaaaabbyyy…what’s going on? It’s been too long since we lunched. How’s the new motor? Driving well I take it?? Anyway, enough of all these small talk pleasantries my good man – I have had no response from my letter of complaint dated the 25/2/09??! It was bad enough having to wait the best part of a month for your last response – but this has really taken the wind out of my sails. Literally, I am sitting in a pond as I write this letter and going nowhere! NOWHERE! I can try and blow into the sail, but nothing. And my engine has broken. And there’s a hole in my oar. And I think I can see a shark, but given the nature of the size of the pond and it being in England I am inclined to believe that it’s probably a giant Chironomid larva. So what are we going to do Nick? How are you going to get my urine covered jean sinking boat from the middle of the monster pond you put me in to the safety of dry land where I once lived before this incident? HOW? As customer care manager, I don’t really feel like you are managing my care very well. I have an armitage shanks toilet in my home – I have used them my whole entire life, yet now that I have a complaint my favourite toilet company is just ignoring me? That’s how I feel Nick – it might not be the case, maybe I just need to be more patient with this. It’s making me feel like maybe I am going to have to start relieving myself in other people’s toilets. What would my neighbour say to that? I would have to tell them about my complaint with Armitage Shanks – I would have no choice. Maybe these things take a while to resolve, I don’t know. If you think I have no right to complain then tell me Nick, just come right out and say it, but don’t just ignore me. That I would find harder to take than the moment when the unstoppable man relief met the immovable Armitage Shanks urinal. I feel like I am in the outhouse here – in a wild west movie and everyone else has gone to the Armitage Shanks party without me. Anyway Nick, I am sure you are busy – but please let me know where my complaint stands, or squats, with Armitage Shanks so we can both move on with our lives. Kind regards.

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Re: 24/04/09 Hi Nick, I’ve got to tell you that your letter made me happier than a fat man with a cheese wheel. In a world where Bambi can have her mother shot in front of her by farmers and just because it’s a cartoon we don’t think it’s real. In a world when you just know if you go and stay for a weekend in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere that you will either contract a flesh eating virus or your friends will start disappearing one at a time…In a world when if you are a fish just because you are a fish you are deemed stupid by a race that deems itself high enough above you to call you a fish in the first place and then label said fish as stupid what hope is there? Labels labels labels…we name us, name the fish then the label (us) labels the label (the fish) by labelling it (the fish being stupid). But Nick, we can’t extract oxygen from water without dying. So who’s really laughing? Yes, the fish Nick, the fish. Free from labels and the compulsion to put everything into neat little packages. And they can breathe underwater. So in our human faces, all of them. Our stupid non converting water to oxygen faces. In that world Nick, in our world, when all has gone a bit upside down moo moo frown…when urinals start doing the urining and we kneel in front of them with our mouths open whilst they deposit their wastes into the back of our throats…there is only really one place we can get hope; When we boil it down to the brass tacks all mankind really has is how we treat each other. Your kind response, and noted new information about the fin urinal, led me to this thought: With what reasoning can I base accepting your kind offer for complaining? If you take the question back enough it leads to a question: As a conscious being do I want to encourage complaint, or kindness? No no, if anyone here deserves to have these vouchers it is yourself and your good lady wife for not only listening to my complaint…but for dealing with it with kind grace, offering advice and then being kind enough to send me them in the first place. I believe that if I accept these vouchers then I am in fact merely adding to the bucket of how we as human beings should not treat each other. And that bucket is already almost full. To be honest I am not sure why we even have buckets, if we didn’t have them people couldn’t fill them up and over-spill would be a thing of the past. Though, without the bucket, my bucket metaphor would certainly be a bit weaker. Anyway Nick, It is you and your wife that very much deserve the spoils of our humorous tete a tete; and so I used those vouchers you sent me to buy you an assortment of stuff, which I hope you receive on Monday, as a thank you to you and your wife for being most excellent people. And, of course, as a thank-you to the staff at Ideal Standard.

It was, as you said in your previous letter, most certainly sent in good spirits and it is with those same spirits, and with the metaphorical bucket of doom now slightly metaphorically less full, that I wish you, your wife and all at Ideal Standard a beautiful world each and every day.

Many thanks to you both and all at Ideal Standard.

David S. Face.

Ps. I had always wondered why up until this point my toast always came out wet and smelling of soap, and had puzzled for hours why on earth Hotpoint would make such small washing facilities for clothes when there was so much room not being used in the toaster. How much toast can people eat? Do other people only wear socks too? These were just two of the questions that seemed for a long while quite unanswerable. Of course, I now realise that I have for some time now confused the washing up machine with the toaster. Please pass on my thanks to your wife, as my kitchen now makes entirely more sense.

P.P.S My niece went into McDonalds and tried to transfer liquid into her stomach via the medium of straw, but she was given a straw that failed to bend to the inevitable powers of the human vacumn. The kind manager concluded that to restore my niece’s faith in straws he would give her a happy meal voucher which I am afraid neither she nor I will ever use. Perhaps you or someone little that you know can use the voucher which I have also included with the hamper and this letter. I hope you don’t mind Nick but I used one of your Marks and Spencer’s vouchers to send to the manager of McDonalds to say thank-you for his kindness. As Toodles mother once said to Toodle when he asked “What’s this in my apple?” Toodle, Pip ☺

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB PO Box 63428, LONDON, SE1P 5FD 18/05/2009 Dear Mr Coo Choo chugga chugga chugga chugga toot ToOt.

I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with your company. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger and the whole thing would be far more complex than it need be.

Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB PO Box 63428, LONDON, SE1P 5FD 27/05/09 Ref: 389882/145656 Dear Jamie Martin I would like to apologise to you for the late arrival of this letter. Unfortunately half way through writing it I suffered from signal failure and then once I was up and running my pen suffered unexpected point failure and technical difficulties due to adverse weather conditions. And then for a while there my letter just plain old didn’t show up. Disappeared. And then it returned, but under a different time and it was a different letter. But my letter didn’t tell me, and I didn’t ask my letter. And we both just pretended I hadn’t noticed that my letter hadn’t turned up at all and had been cancelled and replaced by an exact identical, but slightly later letter, which you are now reading. Jamie, I ask you - adverse weather conditions? What kind of an excuse is that for a late running of anything? Weather, by its very nature is adverse. Adverse is what it is! It’s like saying ‘Sorry for the late train, this was due to planet Earth taking 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to rotate on its axis, or sorry for the late running of the train this is because hamsters look too cute when they are asleep surrounded by cotton wool’. What you should say is “Sorry for the delay, that is because as we all know for years now we still have no idea how to handle the fact that the weather changes” Because, South Eastern, it’s not the weathers fault for doing what it does is it? It’s yours for not doing what you should do about what it does. We all know drivers aren’t mechanics or engineers otherwise they wouldn’t be drivers so when they say ‘Technical difficulties’ we know it’s company blabbering too. It’s a shift in mentality. Rather than continually spout defensive twaddle that makes no sense. Start with the truth. That people could understand, even laugh at. Complain less at. There’s nothing worse than providing a shoddy service and acting like it’s a good one. That’s like going to bed after a few pints with Madonna, and then waking up sober with…well, Madonna actually.

I wonder if sometimes in the office you line up a row of chairs, get people to sit in them and then all sing ‘Runaway Train’ by Soul Asylum whilst moving your hands in a circular motion to simulate movement. Do you do that? If you don’t, you should. The first stop in my complaint letter that I would like to call: “Trains, would it be quicker to just shoot us in the head and be done with it?” Is 1998: The year of both the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act. One Act meant to encourage our freedoms, and the other to restrict that freedom; resulting in people having more freedom but under greater scrutiny than ever before. I was waiting at London Bridge train station for the train home when I decided I had a few minutes to grab something to eat (which turned out to be a few minutes more). I decided on bread and butter pudding. Sometimes I used to go all anti sandwich. I purchased the fruity little number and whilst walking towards the train took two large bites. And when I say large bites I do mean large bites; I have a mouth bigger than the circumference of a Hoegarden pint glass - if I took a bite out of a child whilst they were swimming they would die from blood loss within an hour. That’s how large my bite is. I took two of these shark bites and instantly discovered it tasted like a kids birthday party in a graveyard; out of place, unusual, dark in the moment but something I could look back on and say ‘I bet nobody else has’… I took another bite, just to make sure that something hadn’t crawled into my mouth and died under my tongue three months prior to biting into the bread and butter pudding. I removed it from my giant mouth and turned it over to discover that the entire bottom was covered in an inch of thick furry mould. Every time I see a beard it takes me back to that bread and butter pudding. Every time I perform a live gig at the downstairs department of my girlfriend’s music venue I am reminded of bread and butter pudding. It’s a nightmare. And don’t get me started on overcrowding Jamie… For years we have been getting on trains and all saying the same thing “It’s like being herded by cattle” – it’s no revelation. We all feel it. So, why don’t you take a leaf out of the farmer’s book and use what methods they have implemented in order to make their cattle feel more like humans? I don’t mean electric shock treatment or putting grass bales in each carriage. Though, it would probably be an interesting talking point. In order to make cattle feel more human when they are being transported they move them in carriages that are open topped. Now, that isn’t possible. But why not have trains with glass ceilings to give us the illusion that we are freer than we are? I know traditionally glass ceilings are viewed as a bad thing in business, usually akin with sexism or racism of some kind. But, a glass ceiling on trains would be as welcome as the glass in the elevator in Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory.

Imagine being Charlie and being shown around the factory in a normal lift. It would be shit for him. Willy would be saying things like “Now Charlie, outside this room is a room full of orange faced Oompa Loompas. You can’t see through the elevator doors though because the glass lift was a bit more expensive and I’m trying to make cut-backs. Ah, now outside the lift on this level are giant bubbles that make you float. Oh, you should see them Charlie. You wouldn’t believe your eyes. Oh, and now we are floating about the chocolate river and liquorice tree city but the glass lift was a nightmare to clean so you are just going to have to imagine it’. Charlie would be as frustrated by Willy as I am by trains. We have now covered: The lateness of trains, poor excuses, the food companies endorsed by you and the products you sell and overcrowding. Next up toilets; followed by behavioural patterns and South Easterns failure to encourage decent behaviour towards pregnant woman: I don’t think that toilets are a legal requirement for transport otherwise buses would have them. Buses don’t have toilets, nor do tubes - and we don’t see people weeing on each other on buses or on the underground now do we Jamie? Having a toilet on a train damages the reputation of all caught up in this sad second banana of a triangle: The toilets, the people and the trains. 1) Let’s say the train holds 300 people. Well, what good does 1 toilet do? It’s a prick-tease. If anything it encourages people to get on the train that need to go to the toilet because they think they will be able to get on the train and go – but looking at the numbers the odds are stacked against them being successful. So by having a toilet, you are encouraging urinating on your own trains. 2) They stink. One cubical, one person taking a dump. One hot summer’s day. One packed carriage. Do the maths Jamie. 3) Space. How many extra seats could you have on a train if you didn’t need to accommodate for the one stupid adult that couldn’t go before or after their journey? Even if they can’t control their own body responses there are toilets at every stop. Let them get off and let the rest of us sit down. I find myself looking at the size of space the toilet takes up and thinking: “I reckon an elephant could fit in that space”. That’s how big it is. I think if you gave people the option of having a toilet or an elephant on a train they would go for the elephant. 4) Surely you know, like we all do Jamie, that the only people who regularly use the toilets are 14-17 year old kids who want to avoid paying for a ticket?

Now Jamie I’m not calling pregnant ladies horses here but three times I have been on a train and have had to get up for a pregnant lady (no problem) and yet twice when I have been unable to get a seat I have had to stand with a pregnant lady whilst everyone has decided to ignore them. Which is a disgrace. And I’m not even a pregnant lady. Why does South Eastern not have, like the buses, a seat reserved for pregnant women and the freakishly old? So, if a pregnant woman or one of those old people does get on everyone knows the deal. There is a chance because seats are so rare on your trains that people might start getting pregnant deliberately or taking age accelerators just to sit down. But, I will wait for that to happen and complain to you when it does. So I think that’s everything: Lateness, toilets, over-crowding and mouldy food. Ah, no – wait. The cost. Yes, the kidney punch. If I charge you £5 for a fry up that I’m cooking and you pay me before I give it to you and I give you a ticket and then put you behind a barrier and tell you the food will be five minutes. But, the food is ten minutes. And when it comes, it comes without cutlery. And on your side of the barrier I sit you with another hundred people that are all starving. And I take away your personal space by putting you in a box. And then just when you are about to give up and eat the food with your hands whilst inside the box I pick up the box, take away your plate and replace it with a red flashing light and throw in a smokegrenade - what would you say about that? You would probably want to remove the box and jump at me. And you do, so you are running after me because I have charged you a load of money to ultimately take away all your dignity as a hungry person and throw a smoke grenade at your face and what do I do? Ha, I jump over the barrier and you get fined a load of money for not having the appropriate ticket by an army of soldiers that I have employed and programmed to defend me and be ignorant and presumptuous at every possible opportunity. This army will only be made out of people too short and stupid to be in the actual army, yet just short and stupid enough to want to be in the actual army. If you keep milking the cow and not feeding it grass, although the grass may be really happy, the cow is going to get skinny and possibly suffer from malnutrition. And do South Eastern trains want a herd of under nourished cows wandering across the tracks going all Moo everywhere? Because that’s what might happen if you keep hiking your prices and failing the people. So, what can be done about the trial of fire I face most mornings? Well I propose the following: 1) You give me the train company. Or, at the very least my own train.

The above might not be realistic, so in the event you are not prepared to offer me the company or a train I will accept anything genuine in compensation. From a free ticket to a pen with a little picture of a train on the side. Or a snow-globe, that when you turn it upside down it stops working because of ‘adverse’ weather conditions – that would at least compensate for the nightmare that has been my last years commute. Many thanks in advance for your response and for taking your time to read this letter Jamie.

David S Face SE trains Customer.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB PO Box 63428, LONDON, SE1P 5FD 15/06/09 Ref: 389882/145656 Hello David Eustace, I quite liked your response to my letter…I do fear that some of the sentences may have been copied from a standard response template and some of my points were not answered. I hope you don’t mind, but I have pursued my enquiries like a half eaten salmon flapping around in the face of an Alaskan moose. That salmon will flip around in the moose’s face saddened at the slowing pace of his life until he comes to live a repetitive existence inside the moose’s stomach. He would get so bored that when his doorbell would ring on his little front door on his little salmon house inside the moose’s belly he would wheel himself (his tail was bitten off by the moose and he has wheels in place of the tail like those dogs with no back legs) to the door in the hope that it would be a hitchhiker with a murky past asking for somewhere to shelter from the night storm until the morning. Holding a bag. With a tail in it; and he would want that to happen, even though it could be dangerous, just because it would be something of interest. And that’s how I feel at the moment, like I am a salmon with two wheels for a tail in the stomach of a big South Eastern moose just waiting for your real response to arrive. I was curious to see know what happened to Jamie, the person who first answered my letter. Is she okay? Was she fired? Actually looking at her response dated 20th May she did say “I recommend that you write to us” so I guess the clue in the response was that she was never going to write back to me personally. Either that or it’s a small hint to both of us David that she is battling with the early stages of schizophrenia. Generally speaking David if you don’t want to look like you are suffering from a multiple personality disorder, and you want the customer to feel personally wrapped up in a South Eastern train blanket whilst being rocked back and forth in your bosom you should change all ‘we’ to ‘I’ – The use of ‘We’ negates personal responsibility and if you are getting an apology from somebody saying ‘we are sorry about’ then really all you are saying is ‘this has nothing to do with me but it’s my job to dissipate any customer frustration with the use of ‘We’ – but it leaves me with an obvious question David: Who is we?

If who is we can be answered then the question can be directed to the people who we are and thus one day the repetitive complaint issues resolved. Otherwise it’s a bit like the wizard behind the curtain, you know – other people have set up the company with massive flaws that have been apparent from day one and not addressed them and have then employed others to deal with the complaints, rather than change the nature of the company flaw behind the reason behind the complaints. Or to put it another way but keeping the wizard analogy, which I am quite fond of, behind the man that is the man behind the curtain that is the wizard is the wizard behind the man behind the curtain. Also, having the sense of ‘we’ in a complaint letter mixed alongside standard phrases reveals the extent of the volume of complaints the company receives. Imagine a bear, a lonely bear, a mind reading lonely wandering bear that is starving and lost in Africa that comes across a beaver. Not an ordinary beaver; a fat beaver with the power to turn all sand and some fauns into honey. Now, this bear would usually eat the beaver for food because he is so hungry, but because he can read the mind of the beaver he knows the beaver is better left alive as his friend because the beaver can turn sand and select fauns into honey. They wander, for several months, hand in hand this beaver and bear…with the beaver turning all sand and selected faun into honey and the bear eats very well. Weeks turn to months but the bear begins to tire of the honey and starts to yearn for meat. He begins to imagine the taste of the beaver. He then, knowing it would mean the end of all things honey, tries to eat the beaver regardless of their past relationship. Later, the bear starves to death in the sand. Although the bear was killed by his greed, his greed was controlled not by himself but by his instinct. If all companies are instinctively mind reading bears and the customers the beaver…then perhaps no matter how well received we are by the company and for how long, it is only a matter of time before the company allows it’s man-made instinct to make profit and sells us out. What is your opinion on glass roofs on trains David? I did ask that in my original letter and although I am grateful for many of your answers you haven’t answered that directly. Do you think that if you put up photographs and images of more people squashed, more tightly packed and on smaller trains on packed trains that those photos would make people feel better when they can’t get a seat on the train? I think it will. You could run a campaign with a picture of a crashed plane and underneath the words “It could be worse… You know David, if the people at the top behind the curtain are not going to deal with the complaints directly why don’t they say what they are thinking? If they are thinking they are sick of whinging Londoners who don’t know how good they have got it why not start a campaign telling us that? A sort of turn our frowns upside down campaign – why not face the complaints head on with a reality check which you could put on posters. If we are wrong, tell us why. SE staff must think from time to time how over worked and under appreciated they are – but if you don’t tell us how many staff you have compared to passengers and if we can’t see that you are doing your best because you don’t show us then how are we meant to understand that you are?

Why not this for an idea for a poster on your trains: “We get 5 million people to work every week using a fleet of only 300 trains and 800 staff. So if they are late it’s because there are fucking millions of you and you out number us ten fold. So stop complaining. Or, better still, get off the train. Lose your house because you can’t get to work. Because we are trying our best. If you have a recommendation, a practical recommendation of how we can improve our service then we are all ears. Until then your complaints just take up time we could be spending trying to improve the service. We know they run late, we know they break down, we know you hate it. But so do we!” The customer is often wrong, but is allowed to think they are right because they are a customer. There is nothing as stupid as that. Tell the customer they are wrong and they will respect you more, tell them they are right when you think they aren’t and you quickly see how ugly arrogant stupid people can become. But, in order to get the above response from the public you would need to change the South Eastern train way and actually admit that it is a mess like we all know it is. Hold your hands up yourself and we will stop aiming the gun at you. I like what you said about the problems faced by pregnant passengers. What I can’t understand is that although the idea behind the card system is good, it is also unnecessarily complicated. People pulling cards on other people is just going to cause arguments surely? Just cut to the point, and have a poster on every carriage that says: “If you are sitting down and a pregnant lady is standing next to you everyone knows you are a selfish squidface and if karma exists and we are all coming back as bananas you will come back as a green one” The pregnant ladies can then make eye contact with the person sitting down and then look over at the poster of the banana and the writing. The pregnant lady can also put her hand near her face and wiggle her fingers around her nose, making a kind of squidface impression that could embarrass the sitting person even further. Though, this might insight squid complaints at a future date should they ever start to work in the city. This way the pregnant ladies thoughts are relayed to the selfish customer without a word being spoken or a card being pulled. Plus, it’s the truth, perhaps the one thing that seems lost in a companies over complicated quest to avoid blame and responsibility. It’s good to hear of the other courtesies given to pregnant women. To be honest, I am not sure why I even mentioned it as I am not pregnant, nor a woman. But it’s good to hear SE Trains is doing something. I am rather childish at times and couldn’t help but smile whilst reading the ‘effluent’ paragraph. I am sure that no matter how modern your waste removal system is there is always going to be the fat builder with a hangover dumping that morning’s hash browns into the toilet for all to smell, and I am seeing now that you can’t really be held accountable for that.

The incident with the bread and butter pudding I will address with the International board of bread and butter pudding when I attend their annual conference in Switzerland next weekend. I am still hoping that I could get something from you, like a pen or just anything sitting around your desk as a good will gesture. I understand that you would not as a company wish to give anything in response to a complaint because that would be admitting culpability which is something you wish to avoid. So anything sent (an envelope, your lunch, an old train seat or even a retired train driver) will only be taken as an act of good faith and appreciated. I would also take answering the following question from my last letter as the act of good faith, just to satisfy my curiosity, and for a bit of fun. Why not? “I wonder if sometimes in the office you line up a row of chairs, get people to sit in them and then all sing ‘Runaway Train’ by Soul Asylum whilst moving your hands in a circular motion to simulate movement. Do you do that? If you don’t, you should.” A photo of you guys doing that would be splendid; it would also give the public a face behind the response too. And it’s always a lot harder to complain when you can see the face of the person you are complaining about. That’s human nature. Kind regards David - I thank you for your response in general. I was quickly responded to and most of my queries answered in depth. This is all most appreciated and I look forward to maybe receiving a good will gesture and a response regarding my thoughts in the above. Many thanks once again David.

David S Face SE Trains Customer. Ps – Another idea, or passing thought, would be rather than use a number as your reference on letters you send to customers who are complaining, why don’t you send something more personal? By personal I don’t mean your diary – just that if my reference to my complaint was “MRFace/Se3 9DB” rather than “389882/145656” I would feel less like an armed robber doing a 5-10 year stretch in a state prison.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Re:

22/06/09 Ref: 389882/145656 Hi David, I just wanted to say thank-you for dealing with my complaint in the manner that you have. You have been informative and explained all of my queries in a most courteous manner. And your responses have all been extremely fast. Last night for some reason a thought popped into my head that I wanted to share with you: “It’s the journey, not the destination” Now, obviously that’s an old saying that everyone knows, but it got me thinking: In the case of South Eastern you are the journey but the destination that your trains take 99% of the passengers to is work. A place, by its very nature, that people would rather not go to if they had the freedom of choice. A place that people complain about. I think that because the destination is the representation of the loss of personal choice and freedom, that the journey is affected negatively by the destination. People complain about the journey in this instance because it is the one part of the day they can convince themselves they have some control over…some right to complain about. In regards to people using your service the destination takes a more powerful hold over the journey. No matter what mode of transport people travel on to get to work they are going to complain because the transport is taking them somewhere they do not want to go. So your company is truly absolved from any wrong doing whatsoever. In other words, no matter what you do and no matter how good the service is that you provide the people are going to see the fat man before they notice the Pavarotti. Even if people were taken to work by a virgin mermaid in their very own personal flying oyster, they would still complain because the destination will taint their journey. Likewise, if they were going to travel on holiday to the Bahamas for a month in an overcrowded coal miners bucket filled with bees they would see the bucket as a unique way of travelling, something that adds to the magic of the adventure.

Thinking about this, you are fighting a losing battle that is not your fault so I would like to withdraw my complaint and thank you for all you have done and for all of SouthEastern Trains hard work in trying to make the unfunctionable function. People forget that you are a guy working for a company that probably has as many problems with the company as the people complaining about the company. I have enclosed a certificate on behalf of all the people that have ever complained to South Eastern Trains as a form of apology, yes, it is a bit tongue in cheek, but the message behind it is true. And it might not be much, but you probably don’t get thanked much for dealing with complaints that really aren’t your fault. Many thanks once again David. Your work is appreciated.

David S Face. A much Happier SE Trains Customer because of you.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB 28-70 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7LL 28/01/2009 Dear Mr Cineworld I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with your company. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger or perhaps under the influence of intoxicants.

Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB 28-70 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7LL 24/04/09 Re: Complaint ignored. Letter dated 27/01/09 Dear Mr Cineworld‌ You appear to have ignored my letter asking you to tell me how best to complain to you in writing sent to you by me from here where I am to over there where you are from here where I am dated the 27th January 2009. Shall I send my complaint to the same address as this letter?

Many thanks

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB 28-70 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7LL 23/06/09 To the Manager: You have ignored my complaint letter that I sent to you on the 27th January and also my follow up letter asking why you were ignoring my initial letter which I sent 3 months ago!!! I have been waiting 5 months for you to respond to my initial enquiry asking where to send my complaint to. Now I need to complain about the wait about the complaint about the wait about the complaint, which is quite frankly more ridiculous than a clown in a speedo complaining about not being taken seriously at Harvard law school. Please write to me at my address above confirming that the address I am writing to is the correct address to send my complaint to. In the time between my initial complaint letter and this one I could have watched the film Titanic 1120 times!! – That’s not even a joke: 5 months = 152 days 152 days = 21 weeks 21 weeks = 147 days 147 days = 3528 hours 3528 hours = 211,680 minutes Running time of The Titanic = 189 minutes 189 divided by 211,680 = 1120. Please respond asap.

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB 28-70 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7LL/Power Road Studios, Power Road, Chiswick, London W4 5RP 18/08/09 To the Manager: Hello, This letter is now a complaint about how you have not dealt with my complaint that I haven’t even told you about yet. This letter is complaining about you ignoring the letter of complaint that I sent that regarded the previous letter before that one that I sent that complained about the original complaint that you don’t know about yet. I have included with this letter the three previously ignored letters by your company. I have been writing to the Bexleyheath Cine-world, but I have to assume that the staff there received my previous letters, picked them up, shook them… then, when they still couldn’t figure out what it was they were holding in their fat hairy hands, proceeded to bash them over each others heads before eating them whilst jumping up and down and screaming Ug. Followed by Ug. And then Ug. Please respond. Kind Regards

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Power Road Studios, Power Road, Chiswick, London W4 5RP 01/09/09 Dearest manager, I don’t think I have ever been ignored this much my entire life. And I include the time I drunkenly sparked up a conversation with a lamp-post that I thought was Kate Moss. My complaint goes back to the 27th January and I am still yet to receive one acknowledgment. The really funny thing is that my original complaint was over something so trivial – I think you put too much salt in the salty popcorn in the Bexleyheath Cineworld. There, I said it. Can you please write back to me to let me know that, as your customer, my views have at least been acknowledged before I have to do something drastic – like travel to Tibet to spend 10 years in training before traveling back as a monk to set myself on fire outside the embassy of Cineworld. Many thanks. No, wait – I don’t mean that. Some thanks. Teeny weenie almost not thanks is probably the fairest thanks considering your lack of response for seven months.

David S Face Over salted not very happy cineworld customer.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Power Road Studios, Power Road, Chiswick, London W4 5RP 22/09/09 Your lack or response that now stretches over 8 months has, frankly, crossed a line of ignorance with me that will soon leave me no choice but to seek legal action if my complaint is not acknowledged. In the interests of fairness I have included all previous correspondence, which at least gives you the opportunity to apologise for 8 months of silence and come up with an excuse. Best.

David S Face.

Ps – you also have a different postal code for the same address dependant upon where you look!! (W4 5PY) (W4 5RP)

1: HoboCob (half homeless robot, half sweet corn: fights crime). 2: David S Face. Me. On the left right side of the line. Check out those pythons. 3: Smirky Battenberg cake. 4: Big Chin where’s my hat gone man: A symbol of non-knowing prevailing. 5: Mungbean. 6: The Cineworld staff that have ignored me. 7: Cineworld. 8: My Lawyer. He is greedy. Beware his Lawyerly ways.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Re: 23/09/09 Simon Talbot, I fear looking back that the excessive salt pumping through my heart may have led me to react in a way more akin to a bee born with its sting inverted. And more than that, the bee I became has also been born with its wings where its head should be, and its head sticking out of the left side of its body and its legs on its back so it has to land upside down, like this:

You shouldn’t have to apologise to me for you not responding to letters you never received from me, the entire idea of that is preposterous but yet not only have you apologised you have also sent me two free cinema tickets. I feel quite guilty Simon and hope you understand that the last letter was born out of eight months of frustration. I shan’t use the cinema tickets you sent me, instead I will roll them into cylinders and jab my eyes out with them as punishment. And then post you my eyeballs so you know I did it. That’s a joke; I’m just feeling awkward about making a groveling apology and using humour to see my way through it. I can’t give you my eyes Simon, I need them. Right now you are probably reading my last letter dated 22/09/09 (because I was unable to convince the postman to give it back to me) and, despite the accurate depiction of my lawyer’s hands rubbing, the letter is everything that is wrong with the world (not including famine).

Your letter, and my behaviour, has made me realise that complaining is the devils breakfast and that complaining to gain at the expense of our fellow man is the tinned tomato on the plate of said devils breakfast; nobody wants to eat it, not even the devil. But everyone wants to watch someone else eat it because it’s funny as long as it’s not on your plate. Complaining is making someone eat their own tinned tomato. It’s sick, and in the end nobody wins, not even the tomato. Simon, I’m really sorry to you for all of my letters – please accept the £10 I have put in with this letter as a gesture of goodwill. Go buy yourself a few pints or better still, a few tins of tomato that you can post to me that I will eat and send you photos back of me eating to repay my debt to you. I feel it’s the least I can do. I hope the future has less moaning bastards in it like me. And less salt content; generally speaking. Many thanks

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB 84 New Rd, Gravesend, DA11 0AS 28/01/09 Dear Mr HSBC I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with your company. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger or perhaps under the influence of intoxicants.

Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB

84 New Rd, Gravesend, DA11 0AS 24/06/09 Oi! I sent you a letter on the 28th January 2009 asking for you to supply me with an address to send a complaint to and I have had no response. I feel a bit like someone who has a complaint to a bank that sent a letter in asking for an address to write into to make a complaint that has been ignored to the point where he has had to send in another letter about the letter that was about the complaint. Please write to me to the address at the top of this page as a matter of extreme international importance rests on your very acknowledgement of my existence. Thanks in advance.

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB

Arlington Business Centre, Leeds 02/07/09 Your ref: 1084211114/SFREP Mr. Daniel J Clarke Ha, finally a response. In your face HSBC, right in your big banky face. In all seriousness though, thank you finally for the response. I pay close to £1000 per month every month into HSBC for rent/bills etc so therefore I do expect a modicum of parley. I walked into one of your branches to turn £40 into a plethora of coins for a present. Now, you’re a bank - I have legal tender you have legal tender…All I want is to swap my current form of tender for your tender. However, I was told no. Or, as it sounded “Sorry, HSBC does not negotiate with terrorists” I’m not sure I understand the policy. First off I was asked if my change was for a shop. After briefly questioning how I look like a shop (for starters I don’t have doors for a face, nor are my ears 12 staff members all wanting time off over my faces busiest period) I told the member of staff the change was just for me. Secondly I was asked what it was for. I considered confusing the girl with a deep philosophical comment about what change is really for, then I considered telling her that I wanted to change up coins in order to break up my notes into smaller pieces to suit my requirements (as opposed to me entering a busy bank during lunchtime on a hot summers to queue up for half an hour in order to change up my notes to kill boredom) however, I finally answered “A present”. That was the truth. Which, I guess didn’t compute either. Thirdly I was asked if I was a customer to which I thought of answering ‘Jesus Christ, if we are going to have to start there then this really is going to take ages. Yes, see me. Here…Standing in front of you. Asking you to provide a service for me? The person that’s queued for half an hour. Yes? Well, that’s called a customer. Do you need me to explain what a customer is?’ However, being a man of peace I opted to answer the question that I assumed she meant to ask and informed the lady that I was not a customer of HSBC, despite me giving HSBC almost £1000 a month. Every month. To which I was told that due to HSBC’s banking policy I did not fit the suitable requirements to be given change. I could see the change in the drawer not 3 feet from me, glistening away like the scales of the last dragon of Elgaar – a dragon which, incidentally, retired early and took up security work for the HSBC in Edinburgh.

Perhaps you could explain the purpose of not swapping like for like? It wasn’t like I wanted to exchange a fork for a restaurant. Why was I treated like the enemy on the off chance that I was not a HSBC customer? It doesn’t seem like an attractive way of obtaining business. And why oh why do none of your cash machines ever seem to stock £10 notes?? It’s bizarre, every time I go to take out a larger sum than usual (£570) I have to take out either £560 or £580. Why? You have exactly 6 cash machines at the HSBC on Oxford Street, 4 outside and 2 inside and none of them will dispense £570. I don’t want to take out £10 less than I want to and I don’t wish to take out more than I need. It’s stupid. Those machines that you pay money straight into that sit inside the bank, you know, the ones that you place notes into for a direct payment? Rubbish. And everyone knows it. Every single time it will throw back at least one note. Sometimes three. Usually two. Always using the flimsy excuse that the note is crumpled. Well, guess what? Money isn’t made from titanium, its paper. Paper folds. Then, once the machine tells you it can’t handle folded paper, you have to cancel everything…walk up to the top floor of HSBC where the bank tellers are, change up the notes that the machine won’t accept for more cash-paper that you hope isn’t folded or too papery (even though you took the notes out from the HSBC cash machine next to the deposit machine in the first place) …walk down to the bottom floor again and repeat the process that you started 20 minutes earlier praying that the over sensitive machine will this time be less picky. Is there no way that rather than the machine be programmed to question the paperness of money, that it can check for something else? Like, I don’t know, maybe the watermark or the silver security strip. You know, like anything that isn’t normally so akin to a piece of paper? You call yourself ‘HSBC – the world’s local bank’. That doesn’t make any sense. For starters the world would need to be one big alive creature that worked and got paid for being the world in order for the world to need somewhere to bank its money. That alone raises two questions: Who would employ the world, and what for and who would pay for it? Secondly, (assuming that the world is being employed and paid by some Clown God that is using it as a spinning plate) once the world has been paid by the big God clown it would need somewhere secure to bank it’s earnings that wasn’t on it’s person – in the case of the world this would have to be some nearby planet. So for HSBC to claim to be the Worlds local bank not only would the world need to be working (which, ironically because of banks and the system it appears to not be) the world would also need a bank near enough to it to call it local. Now, in planetary terms I guess Venus could be regarded as local…but I am pretty sure Venus is not a branch of HSBC. If the idea, and I am sure it is, is to make me think “Ah, HSBC, that’s my local friendly neighborhood bank where everyone knows my name and they leave the doors and safes open at night and nobody takes anything” well then I am afraid that is patently radish droppings because I live in Blackheath and my nearest HSBC is a forty minute walk or a 24 minute bus journey. (Or a 2 day journey if you decide to take the 386 bus into Greenwich).

Lastly my friend told me that all banks do is create debt in order to control us all. He was pretty drunk, but thinking about it I am in debt and I am somewhat controlled by that debt. I was then watching the film ‘The International’ with that guy who didn’t get to be James Bond. - In that film they were talking to a guy high up in banking that was going into politics and he explained that banks encourage war because war creates debt and the banks control that debt and so therefore the countries. Does HSBC do this? Was Venus once the Earth but was ravaged by war and you do actually own it and so your slogan the worlds local bank is not a massive exaggeration but you opening up and admitting past sins? Anyway – in summary: I’m annoyed your stupid bank policy alienates people and I couldn’t get any change, bewildered by how it’s possible there never seems to only ever be an option of taking out £20 and not £10 at your oxford street branch, frustrated at your banking machines that are supposed to make things easier actually make things harder by never accepting first time the one thing that we are told by you they are for.. bewildered by how then you can claim to be the worlds local bank (my local bakery for example allows me to on occasion buy bread and pay later…but I don’t have to give the baker five loafs back that night or he will take away my mouth) and worried that you are attempting to take over the world with debt to turn it into Venus. Please respond, post haste. Lots of love.

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB 431 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DA 17/07/09 Your ref: 126643424 Dear Mr. C. Hunt Many thanks for your response and notification of the investigation that you have undertaken on my behalf. If you don’t come back to me within a couple of weeks I will assume that your investigation led you to the heights of HSBC, that you asked the wrong people the wrong questions and you have either been bought off with your own home and retirement fund. Or, worse, that you refused the bribe and they have disposed of you with one to the head and two to the chest. If I hear that you were in a ‘car accident’, or that there was a ‘gas leak’ between now and your next letter I will call the appropriate authorities before going ‘underground’. To confirm, the branch I was refused change in it was actually the branch on Oxford Circus that this letter is addressed to – I guess if you are saying that this is not standard service then it is not bank procedure after all? As for the cash machines on Oxford Circus, I do understand that they are all meant to be stocked with £20 and £10 notes…but out of interest one day try to take out £110 or £470. I bet you can’t! It could just be me and bad luck. I did rob the gold pot from the end of the rainbow once and was told by a unicorn that I would get five years bad luck. But that was 6 years ago. I guess that means that unicorns could never work in a bank because they are crap at maths, or, it could mean that unicorns and mythical creatures from tales best forgotten are not to be trusted. Or, you could be a unicorn. Or I could be. I thank you for the advice on the cash paying in machines…it is true, I could take the remaining £10 note that it never takes and pay it into the teller. However, if I do that and have to do that every time then it would make the machine itself redundant. But, I quite like that. It’s a good case of humans replacing machines. If that continued on a mass scale then the future would be like the opposite of The Terminator movie franchise: A world ran by humans that take revenge against their toasters, fridges and microwave ovens. Wouldn’t be much of a war though. And not sure how a toaster could send another toaster back from the future to prevent a war that the toasters lose.

I look forward to the results of your investigation, trust you will come back to me as soon as you can and thank you for informing me that matters are in hand with yourself. Love

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB 431 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DA 11/08/09 Your ref: 126643424 Hi Clive, I last heard from you on the 9th July 2009. Which is now just over a month ago. In the letter dated 9/07/09 you kindly informed me that you were launching an investigation and would come back to me. I kind of got the mental image of a Colombo character dressed smartly that drank herbal tea instead of smoking cigarettes and that your response to me would begin with “There’s just one more thing…” and that afterwards for no apparent reason I would find myself in jail, fooled by my own arrogance by a cop that I thought had a drinking problem and was long since past his best. But this hasn’t happened. I sit and wait for you letter to fall into my house via the magic oblong on the door but nothing. I wait for your letter, any letter, and every morning when it doesn’t come it’s like waking up with a single fluffy dice in my mouth and not knowing where the other one is. I am beginning to fear that essential parts of my original complaint have been swept under the carpet. Only the sweeper is your penis and the carpet my face. Please let me know Clive how your investigation is going or went…an update would be far more preferred to this eerie silence which has now stained the sheets of our relationship. Please contact me as soon as possible; otherwise I will have to keep writing until I feel my complaint has been addressed. I am not going anywhere. *leaves the room* *re-enters the room*

Just kidding, you thought I had left for a second didn’t you? If you look closely I am still here – on this very page. Many thanks for your response in advance and please hurry.

David S Face. Ignored HSBC Customer.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Re: 196 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DA 26/08/09 Hi Basma Belmehdi, I’ve been thinking about my letter of complaint that I sent to HSBC and I think if I was being of sounder mind and clearer heart I may not have complained in the first place. Then I noticed that your letter to me was signed not by a machine, which is so often the case, but with your own hand. I then thought about hands for 10 minutes. When I finally concluded the trail of thought about hands I began to think metaphorically what it means to complain. I took the thought to its most extreme and put myself in your mind Basma. I imagined going into a room and being sucked into your brain like in the film Being John Malkovich, only in this case the film was called being Basma Belmehdi (which I think is a far better title) – and I have to tell you I now realise that when I was complaining I was only really complaining about myself. When anyone complains about the trivial, they are just expressing an inability to control their negative impulses in the hope of obtaining some false status because they fear they don’t have one. The irony is that complaining only helps to lower and is never a raiser. I see this now I am looking at me from inside your own head. We all have the power to create positive or negative events for others. It’s the complete power of free will and I believe in this case I have used my own self as a tool to raise a problem for others where if I had been sucked into your brain through a cupboard earlier I wouldn’t have. I apologise to you for complaining and wish instead to complain to myself about complaining to you on your behalf: “Dear Mr. Face What’s wrong with you? In fact, what’s wrong with everyone? I deal with complaints on a daily basis and people never, not once, attempt to see what they are complaining about through my eyes. And why is that? Well, I will tell you why – it’s because they want something out of the complaint. Normally financial. And, as such, people that complain deliberately set up an arena of ignorance in order to profit. It’s an ugly business, and makes me question the morality of man. So, no, Mr. Face – you are not getting anything for complaining and nor should you. It’s a mild form of terrorism, yet companies have set up entire departments to treat ignorant people like yourself with kid-gloves which has only led to millions of people everywhere thinking they are all in the right to complain; Which has led to even more departments being set up to deal with the people the original departments encouraged to complain in the first place because companies are scared of, guess what? Being sued by people like you for making honest mistakes.

The customer is always right, until they start to look out for themselves. Then, they become a business out for profit just like the company that they are complaining about. Shame on your face Mr. Face, shame all over it. Kind regards.

(Mr. David S Face) writing on behalf of Basma Belmehdi.” In fact, Basma the only way I feel like I can redeem myself for the problems I have caused you is to compensate you somehow. Now, I don’t have much – but I have included with this letter a blank cheque that I have made up, and it’s all for you. Treat it as a thank-you on behalf of everyone that has ever complained to you. I am sorry for all of this, and for all the future complaints you will receive from the ignorant and the greedy. Many thanks

David S Face A much happier customer because of Basma Belmehdi.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London Re:


431 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DA 26/08/09 Your ref: 126643424 Hi Clive, Many thanks for your letter dated the 18th August 2009. I have, as you said, been contacted by the Oxford Circus branch and I am more than happy with all the help you have provided me and the response from the Oxford Circus branch. In fact, my complaint has made me question why anyone would want to complain in the first place. It’s not like you have a time machine that I could get in and go back to prevent the events unfolding again – so, in that light, complaining seems to create very little in results whilst encouraging harder work for everyone involved. In fact, it creates hard work for those not involved. In its truest sense complaining is just somebody putting their bad day on somebody else and making that persons day worse in the hope of making themselves feel better. But how can that work? It doesn’t solve the problem, just passes it on. And how come old people like me as they get older start complaining about everything, but yet if I was old and had terminal cancer I would start to notice colour for the first time? Complaining is a luxury afforded to the unworthy who can’t see the joy in life…If anything we should try to protect the people around us by not complaining and then maybe by not complaining people might just decide to help anyway. Or if the complaint is controlled by not releasing it onto others perhaps the need to create it in the first place might extinguish. So, I would like to apologise to you. For creating extra work when what’s done is done. I don’t understand complaining if I was honest, and not sure how I fell into the role of complainer. My parents both love me, so I cannot blame them. You can’t have an easy job listening to people like me cry on about total shite that for all the will in the world cannot be changed and by not reacting and always pacifying complaints you do a stella job. It is for this reason I thank you for all your hard work and have decided to draw your own procession below, in your honour. Many thanks again Clive, and my apologies for my complaint.

David S Face A happy customer because of Clive.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB

Priory Centre/50-51 Spital St, Dartford, DA1 2DL 27/01/2009 Dear Mr R. McDonald.

I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with your company. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger or perhaps under the influence of intoxicants.

Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Priory Centre/50-51 Spital Street, Dartford, DA1 2DL Ref: Complaint letter sent on the 27/01/09 – still awaiting response (copy enclosed). 18/02/09 Dear Mr Mcdonald. I would like to quote the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus: Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero Now I have highlighted in the last line the words carpe diem, a phrase that Horace coined in his sage from Odes 1.11 – the literal translation meaning seize the day. I guess the meaning of seize the day would be something along the lines of putting pressure to achieve today on oneself will tomorrow reap a greater harvest for all. Now, why mention Horace you may well ask? Well, on the 27th January 2009 I bequeathed a letter of complaint to McDonald’s, priory centre, which to date I have had no response from. Can you please seize the day and free all our tomorrows by responding to my complaint and provide me with an address so I can put feather quill to paper and launch the fair and professional complaint service of Ronald McDonald, professional restaurant owning clown? Many thanks.

David S Face.

David S. Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 26/02/09 McDonald’s Restaurants Dartford 50-51 Priory Centre DA1 2DL Dear Mr. Paul Shaw Hi Paul, as per your request I am going to get straight down to brass tacks, or ‘to the point’ as they say in the compass industry. I visited McDonalds with my grand-daughter on the weekend of the 24th January and I was doing the usual cool rock and roll granddad thing of entertaining her. In the past I have pulled humorous faces, made paper aeroplanes or just recalled her favorite story about a bear and a duck and their quest for the little lost red balloon. However, by now she has tired of these amusements so I moved on to entertaining her with McDonald’s straws. The week before I had taken her to your restaurant and slowly peeled off the straw packaging, leaving the paper separate and all crumpled up. I then dropped a tiny piece of fizzy drink onto it and it unfolded like a worm getting out of bed in the morning with sleepy eyes. I am sure you have seen the trick. Though, I doubt you have seen a worm with sleepy eyes. I certainly haven’t? Do worms even have eyes? Do they sleep? On Saturday the 24th my grand-daughter failed to see the humour in the aggrandizement appurtenances and so I sought an additional trick. This time I went for the old classic ‘giant straw’ – I’m sure you’ve seen it, you place one straw into another and it’s funnier for children purely because it breaks from expectation. I guess that’s the definition of surprise. So I made this big straw, and her little face lit up and she ate her happy meal and she was really happy. She really was Paul. Then like a Shakespearian tragedy the happy meal turned from a meal that all the family can enjoy to something you wouldn’t let lose on your Nan at Christmas. My niece asked me if this new magic straw would work, I said of course, of course it would work. She didn’t believe me, I assured her. It didn’t work Paul, it didn’t work. I thought it might have been a failure on her part so I tried the magic straw and it failed again. She started crying. My bottom lip wibbled but I just about held it together.

I told her that I would complain to Ronald McDonald himself and get Ronald to post her a new magic straw that will work in replacement for the broken one. So can you please post me a new magic straw? If you can do this Paul, I will be eternally grateful. I have included the broken magic straw, because she wants to put it in the envelope herself and help me post it. Kind regards Paul for any help on this.

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB Re: 12/03/09 Hi Paul, I just wanted to drop you a quick note thanking you from the bottom of my heart to the tip of my grand-daughters nose for all you have done in resolving this matter. You took my letters in good grace even though I can be a bit of a crazy old nanooomunchkinninnupoop and you have made my grand-daughter very happy. I will indeed be treating her to another happy meal because of your kind ways. You are a gent, a scholar, a poet laureate on the smile of a young person’s face. If you were a town crier you would yell ‘Here yea here yea, I am open and honest and will put the needs of my customers first because I am more than a town crier and a businessman – I am a man’ I hope you don’t mind Paul, but because you have been so very kind and given me a voucher I asked my granddaughter if she wanted to send something back to Ronald. She said she would very much like to send him a voucher as well – so I’ve attached it with this letter. Thank you once again for all your help and kindness.

Many thanks. A very pleased customer of yours – Mr. David Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB Re: 24/04/09 Hi Paul You may recall our recent letter exchange (you were the perfect gentleman) that regarded an incident with my niece. Let’s call this incident “The incident with the straw in McDonalds which was resolved perfectly by a kind manager called Paul to whom this letter is being sent to” It’s not the catchiest of titles for an incident, I know – but bear with me Paul because the voucher you sent my niece has got me thinking. Why should I profit from seeing the negative in a situation? It just feels too easy. I mean have you seen Charlie Brookers TV show? It’s funny, no doubt. I’m even appreciative of his work. But even he chooses to use his intelligence and wit to mock life rather than celebrate it. I’d love him to give positive views, but then he might struggle to get the true joke – that life is only responsible for giving you the game and the bat, and shouldn’t be held accountable if you would rather sit on the edge and mock it rather than at least trying to hit a home run. Even if you swing and miss, you get to have free oranges afterwards. Admittedly if you are allergic to oranges this is more like a bad curse or a nightmare, but you don’t have to eat them, you could keep the orange and paint a face with red marks on it to raise awareness for people who are allergic to oranges. Effectively what I have been doing is seeing the glass as half empty, complaining about it, and then making other people fill the glass to the top for me. Then complaining they filled it with the wrong drink or that the glass was dirty. Then switching my attention from the glass to the out of tune piano being played by the out of practice drunk in the corner- and complaining about that instead. But I am missing the bigger picture. Because as I sit there with my glass now full outside of my glass is an entire world full of people who speak of the man who only sees the negative in a positive, and cannot see the stars for the darkness of space. And if everyone else sees the man as the glass who is half full because the man sees the glass as half full, what hope is there for the man who sees the glass? Your voucher that you sent me, effectively rewarding a complaint even though you may well have thought it not worthy of rewarding, has taught me that if anyone should receive compensation from “The incident with the straw in McDonalds which was resolved perfectly by a kind manager called Paul to whom this letter is being sent to” it is you, not I. I previously only saw the negative (like for example, I would win £10 on the lottery and think that money is made from paper, paper is made from trees, we need trees to create oxygen to live…but we all love money so much that one day we may end up swapping our last trees for the last £1,000,000,000,000 in currency only to realise when we are down to our last £10k that we can’t breath money) but now I see the positive.

Once not only did I see the glass as half empty sometimes I couldn’t even find it on my table. And the pub I was sitting at my table in was called “Where’s the wood?” and I would be at this table dressed in a tree costume in a bar full of lumberjacks. I now want to promote where possible my new life philosophy, which is also what I am lucky enough to find in my new ladyfriend: Positivity and Perspective: The glass is half full and I know where it is. In light of this, I enclose a £10 Marks and Spencer’s which I was kind enough to receive from a man called Nick in an incident involving a urinal. Another man who, like yourself, understands that the world is not ours to take, but ours to make.

David S Face.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 03//08/09 Dear Mr Stone I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with your company. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger or perhaps under the influence of intoxicants.

Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 09//08/09 Dear Mr Face I am not sure I understand? I am not a company. If you have a complaint with myself please continue to address the complaint at the address that you sent the original letter to. Best

Craig Stone

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 13//08/09 Dear Mr Stone I thank-you for coming back to me so quickly and note your concerns that you are not a company. However, I believe we are all companies – the only difference being the only member of staff you employ is yourself. You don’t treat the person you love most in the world and the person you spend most of your time with, a most wonderful woman, with all of your beauty all of the time. You wake up in the morning with questions about things that cannot be changed and images that you then go quiet about whilst digesting; cutting you and her off from each other. The images and distances grow in your mind and you either get depressed across the day if you don’t speak to her about your thoughts, or if you do speak to her you question her like the thoughts in your minds-eye are valid. More valid than the here and now. The questions you ask are as irrelevant as the answers given. In the worst case scenarios you will try and not mention your thoughts hoping they will go away and when they don’t go away you consider leaving her as a solution to change that pattern. But those images are images that you put in your own head and are nothing to do with her. You must realise this? You remind me very much of myself at times, and then at other times like someone that I could never imagine being. Your company at times is wonderful, and at times somewhat disappointing and judgemental. Interestingly, the word mental is in the word ‘judgemental’ and that’s for a reason. It’s crazy to judge. I would very much appreciate a speedy response to this matter.

Kind regards.

David S Face.

Craig Stone 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 20//08/09 Dear Mr Face

This is most bizarre. I don’t even know a David Face, but you seem to think you know me better than I know myself. Enough to complain to me, in fact. However, your letter is even more bizarrely something that I have been wrestling with for a while. Perhaps, something I always shall. I think the thing that you will see Mr Face that makes me not a company is my ability to take on individual responsibility. Something massively diluted by a real company by their sheer size. It’s true what you say I have woken up with images in my head…it is true that I judge certain pasts and have no right to. But, before you get all hoighty toighty with me I judge myself for that response far more than I judge the reaction I seem to be unable to control. Past is past, you know that – I know it too. Take out the ‘A’ in past and you have PST…the devils whisper. The letter ‘A’ itself happens to look like two people sharing a hug. Or a man with an ice-cream on his head. Or an upside-down thong. It comes of know good to listen to the devils whisper, and even less good to react to it. I know this. But when the whisper is stronger than your ability to rationalize it, it then begins to make more sense than one’s own argument against it. And sometimes faced with facts, no matter how far in the past those facts have occurred they make it harder to ignore than the hissing snake of the p(a)st. Do I wish I could just love free from all of myself? absolutely…but I also believe that we all struggle with certain things and if you are able Mr. Face to know of mine then when all is said and done I can say that at least I was open and honest about them. Rather than complaining and treating me as a company – perhaps you can help me by advising me on how to cure the disposition that I am no happier with than yourself or my loved one is? Regards

Craig Stone

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB Re: 23//08/09 Dear Mr Stone Eureka! What an idea – asking me to, rather than complain to you, to try and help you by letting you know how you could perhaps be the man you want to be. It’s an interesting idea. I wonder what would happen if people preferred to try and make the world better by sending in letters of helpful suggestion instead of complaining to companies for the sake of receiving compensation whilst acting like they are complaining for the better world they deny by complaining about it. People helping people could replace complaint compartments with helpful suggestion departments: Companies would improve not through punishing but through encouraging - and who knows? Mans step into the dark cave of self reward gained from outward destruction could be retracted. And then maybe re-stepped. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind: only this step actually for mankind – not for one country trying to out dazzle the next. God bless Islam, God bless Christianity, God bless America, God bless England, God bless mankind, God bless the world! – surely David, if we are to believe in a higher power it should be Islam bless God, Christianity bless God, America bless God, England bless God, mankind bless God, the world bless God! – We believe in a higher power and then demand it’s blessing like we are the controllers of it, a clue perhaps into us being the creators of it. It is this bizarrely deep rooted flaw in how we display our affection towards what we believe is above us that is at the root of all our problems. Like yourself, no matter how we try and pretend to think of something above us the fact that we think it means the answer is biased. Now what we can’t think of, what we can’t think of would be far more interesting to discover. I guess, Craig, I mean to say that you should have faith that you, I, all of us are wrong to start with and figure it out from there. I apologise for the tone of my last letter, you seem to not be unhappy with your own lack of control rather than revel in it – I guess nobody really does. How can you change? Acceptance. Rather than fight love accept it. If you can’t control the image in your mind don’t try to, just accept that it is part of you and not part of your girlfriend or anyone else. Acceptance to me is one of the best words out there. Besides, look I didn’t meant to make you think badly about yourself – in that regard by complaining I have really become a reason to complain to.

Let’s call it quits. In all honesty I am the pseudonym you created and you are writing to yourself so I think that now you have admitted your own complaints to everyone you should be rewarded in keeping with the tradition of the book. So I have included with this letter back to yourself a glove puppet shark which I know you will enjoy. I most certainly have. For the benefit of the reader, as the cost of providing a replica glove-puppet shark for everyone that buys this book would cost too much, I have included a photograph of the glove puppet shark eating the moon at a festival. Yours really truly, in fact, yours literally literally would be most accurate.

David S Face.

Craig Stone 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 24//08/09 Dear Mr Face I thank-you for the glove-puppet shark. You are right; I am getting quite a lot of fun out of it: Glove-puppets - Finally, a reason to have hands! I guess you are right too – we are all just people trying our best, and for people that are the creators of instruction manuals it is odd that we are unable to create a clear one for us. Or maybe we aren’t people trying our best, maybe that’s the point…maybe we are just people who need to stop trying to be. I will certainly always attempt at least to be all I can for my love, and despite the tone of your first letter I can see that in fact it was not a complaint at all – but a letter sent by an abused shark glove puppet that needed to create an environment for his release to a better hand. Either way. A bid you well Mr Face.

Craig Stone.

Ps Happy Birthday.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London England SE3 9DB Hoegaarden, Brouwerijplein 1, 3000 Leuven. Belgium 15/06/09 Dear Mr Hoegaarden I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with Hoegaarden. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger. Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face

I have translated my letter to you, which I hope translates to roughly the same as above to try and help you with the complaint. Many thanks. Cher M. Hoegaarden J'ai une plainte concernant un incident qui s'est produit avec Hoegaarden. Svp pourriez-vous m'écrire pour me dire comment mieux je peux me plaindre par écrit te moulin à vent. Je suis un autobus et car tels je n'ont pas de grands poulets. Je suis également dur de l'audition qui signifie que je ne peux pas moulin à vent. Je pourrais utiliser le téléphone, mais je ne pourrais pas entendre ce que vous avez dit et parce que je suis sourd vous penseriez que je criais hors d'une grande pomme de terre.

Beaucoup de mercis ; J'attends avec intérêt votre réponse prompte en résolvant cette cabine téléphonique malheureuse.

Visage de David S. (The below is what I actually sent them translated into French) Dear Mr Hoegaarden I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with Hoegaarden. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am a bus and as such I do not have large chickens. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot windmill. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of a big potato. Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate telephone box.

David S. Face

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London England SE3 9DB

Hoegaarden, Porter Tun House, 500 Capability Green, LU1 3LS 07/07/09 Hello! I sent the following letter to, I fear, the wrong place. (I sent it to the Brewery in Belgium) – could you just confirm that if I have a complaint to Hoegaarden that it is to this UK address then in thanks for answering my query I can complain to you? I know, not much of a thanks. It’s like going round to a big family’s house and baking a cake for all of them and then everyone else eating it and nobody saving you any. And then the family complaining that they are too full, throwing up on their carpets and then suing you for the cost of the carpets in their entire house. And their neighbours carpets. And their neighbour owns Allied Carpets. And then because they threw up they are still hungry and ask you to make more cake. And your thinking, ‘hang on, if I make more cake the same thing will happen but they are all so hungry’ Well, it’s a bit like that. Just with more Hoegaardanish overtones, less cake and a slightly more complainic less carpety issue that needs addressing. Many thanks.

David S Face. Hoegardenieer.

Complaint - Your Ref: 000068057A

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London England SE3 9DB

InBEV/Hoegaarden, Porter Tun House, 500 Capability Green, LU1 3LS 17/07/09 Hi Gayle Your beer is so wonderful that even the mere thought of it makes me want to screw up this very paper I am typing this letter on and eat it. But, I have a complaint. So I must resist my urge to eat the page and struggle on for a better future for us all. You see, I am very small. Not small if you comparatively measured me to the siege of Alexandria in 1881, but small in general stature of height and hand size - if I was compared to a normal, average fellow human being. And sugar sachets. I have been called numerous names from “Tiny hands” to “Atom fingers” and one drunk even shouted at me “hey, your arm ends at your wrist” Now, I love your beer. I love your brand. Hell, I probably love you but we just haven’t met yet. But here is my problem – the pint glass you make to serve your Hoegaarden Beers in is just too big. My tiny hands are unable to obtain sufficient grip around its girth in order to bring it safely from the point of purchase to the place of worship. (e.g., from the bar to my mouth) I have dropped a total of 4 pints at a cost of £4.50 x 4 = £18 I believe that the main reason for dropping these beers is lack of grip due to your glass being too massive. I have tried using both hands to carry it, but that brings me to the issue of weight. The glass is so heavy that even with both hands I find myself struggling to support it, and once it’s on my table if I do get it near my mouth by then I am normally too weak to drink it. My fear is that one day I will be so weak by the bringing of your wonderful liquid to my mouth that I might fall into the pint glass and be unable to pull myself out. I have included a graph with this letter that highlights my concerns regarding the comparative size of the glass and I have also drawn around my hand and your pint glass so you can see the problem.

I have tried to fix this myself, by wearing gloves or just drinking at the bar. I even tried bringing my face to the glass to drink and lastly attempted to use a straw. The gloves where a problem because I could only find those giant foam fingers that are popular at sporting events which meant I looked like a bit of a nob. I also have concerns about the size the glass could become in the future if it continues to grow at it’s current rate: Earth 2010: The first chickens to hike to the top of the Alps are surprised:

Earth: 2014 - Hoegaarden glasses so big now that they dwarf delivery trucks and need parking permits:

2018: After the people fail to complain to Hoegaarden the glasses are built even bigger than trees. Post-codes are assigned to all glasses:

2040: Hoegaarden build the first man-made structure that, from Earth, touches the Moon.

As I have dropped 4 pints totaling roughly ÂŁ18, I am asking if perhaps you would like to pay half of this as I believe it is a combination of my tiny hands and your massive pint glass that is the problem. Many thanks for your help on this and I look forward to receiving your response soon.

Kind regards

David S Face. Hoegaarden Customer

Ps – thank-you also for the pre-paid envelope to return my complaint in. You may be surprised to hear that this is not a common practice applied by companies for their customers.


Regular Glass

80 70 60



World Oil Reserves

40 30 20 10

Hoegarden glass Nazi Germany

0 1943



Dead Sea Salt content

Size of Hoegarden Glass

Room left for everything else, including Hyperspace.

Complaint - Your Ref: 000068057A

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London England SE3 9DB

InBEV/Hoegaarden, Porter Tun House, 500 Capability Green, LU1 3LS 17/08/09 Hi Gayle I sent you a letter back on the 17/07/09 complaining about the grandeur size of the Hoegaarden pint glass and my tiny hands and was wondering where you are with this? I must insist on you responding as I don’t think ignoring a customer of yours and hoping they go away is cricket. Or radiator. Whatever word you wish to use. It just isn’t that. And by my calculations you still owe me £9. Please respond to my initial letter of complaint as soon as possible. I have decided to write the rest of this letter in the style of Shakespeare, but using only the letters in the word HOEGAARDEN: H o e g a a r d e n: Dragon are green, hard do rage are a Ned. Hoe! No! On one grenade he greed do garden a drag grade O’ gore. Goad. Road a one are ran he on red.

Kind regards.

David S Face. Hoegaarden customer.

Complaint - Your Ref: 000068057A

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London England SE3 9DB

InBEV/Hoegaarden, Porter Tun House, 500 Capability Green, LU1 3LS 1/09/09 Hi Gayle, You don’t return my calls, you never write; you’ve probably seen me coming in the street and crossed the road before I got to you but neither of us knows what each other look like so if this has happened we won’t know that it has. If you disagree with my compensation claim then so be it, but it would be nice to be told so I can stop writing these letters of complaint to you. I might not have much of a life, but if I did I would like to get back to it. Yes, I have used the occasional jibe and injected humor into the letters which may have unsettled you somewhat, but behind this comical mask, giant clown shoes and green hair is just a small child waiting to be loved by receiving a £9 cheque from Hoegaarden…but I will settle for at least a response from my complaint. I am confused, the first letter I received was sent back to me quite promptly but perhaps my style of complaint has led you to believe that I am as crazy as a banana cuckoo clock, but that isn’t the case. Please come back to me on this Gayle. Many thanks Gayle.

David S Face. Hoegaarden Customer.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London Re:


InBEV/Hoegaarden, Porter Tun House, 500 Capability Green, LU1 3LS 15/09/09 Hi Gayle I just wanted to thank you for your most kind gesture in offering me £10 worth of vouchers. Since I have received the kind £10 voucher bizarre things have been happening to me. First, my cat went missing. And I don’t even have a cat. Then I went out and found a cat that turned out to be my cat afterall that I didn’t think I had to lose. Your £10 has made me look at myself and question why I was complaining. I guess when the keyboard is stripped bare the machine is revealed; I have complained for the same reason most people seem to complain: I am part of the complaint machinery, and it’s a machine set up for self gain. This little (or should I say small?) idea of complaining to get something is now bugging me. And because you have given me these vouchers that I don’t think I deserve – I have thought a little bit deeper about my actions. Please read on Gayle, if you will indulge me the next minute or so of your time: Someone working for a company can no longer be honest with a complaint for fear of being sued or complained about themselves for just doing their job, yet, at the same time companies have set up customer complaint departments to handle with mittens customer complaints because the company cannot be honest with the customer in the same fashion as the customer is being biased about their complaint. The whole thing appears to be fashioned from hiding the truth, with both sides forced to act like they are in the right for fear of looking in the wrong and what the consequences of that would be. The funniest thing is that if it gets really out of hand then this fashioned truth is settled in a court of law where the law has to side with whomever fashions their truth better – meaning the court of law is forced to side with the lie best presented. Some system. Companies can’t be honest with a complaint for fear of being sued or at the very least the individual trying to handle the complaint becoming the centre of the complaint. And the customer has to maintain the air of being on the morally right in order to pursue their complaint. But if the company can’t be honest in the first place for fear of reprisal over the original complaint then how can they defend themselves against the biased way the customer chooses to recall what they are complaining about? The customer holds the sword and the company the stick. (Albeit a massive stick that probably glows, is endorsed by some celebrity and therefore wanted by everyone. But, it’s still a stick)

People see a company and lose sight of the individuals they are complaining to. And when they lose sight of the individual in the companies shadow they think they see cast, they also start to lose themselves to the same company they think they are so much morally higher than. And for what? For money and for profit: for the same reasons the individual claimed in the first place made them so different from the company they are trying to take from. In short; by exploiting the company for profit or personal gain of any sort we are no different than the company that exploits us for the same reason. Only at least Hoegaarden gets us drunk – Train companies do take us to work, Royal Mail try their best to deliver the mail. I don’t think Mandy, a cleaner from Blackpool, that is hoping to get £5,000 for tripping over her own bucket ever did much to offer a service to 1000’s of people. (I don’t know about Mandy’s past so that might not be true. Well, actually seeing as how I am making up Mandy I guess that makes me the Mandy expert, so in that case – Mandy did offer a service to 1000’s of punters from 1992-1996. She earned good money and is long since retired. She now lives off the coast of France where she homes stray cats and fixes fishing nets with the local children). Anagram of sued: used. Perhaps written evidence that the business of the company and the business of the customer are one in the same: the business uses (sues) the customer and the customer sues (uses) the business. It’s interchangeable. I can’t see the good side to someone like me who has, until your kind grace, been the exact same type of person I describe to you now. Someone trying to take something for nothing and then blaming the company for my behavior. What if a law was passed that anything the complainer received in compensation would be given to an impartial body that was set up to receive the resulting funds/compensation and that said body had to, by law, pump that money back into the company under 1 condition: All funds used must be proven to specifically target the problem and ensure that future similar complaints will not happen. This could also, by law, mean that companies can start assassinating people that complain for personal gain – should the company see fit to do so. This should help stamp out the suing culture that is so rife in America and is, as I write this, beginning to catch on here. By encouraging complaints and creating an environment where an individual working for a company can’t just tell the customer to ‘fuck right off’ because the customer is clearly selfish and insane (but more importantly too full of self worth and wrong) we set a yellow brick road to a future where when we get to the end of the road we will get to a castle that has been repossessed, a wizard that has turned to crack to cope with the pressure of his failed curtain business and a walked path that we discover costs more than the castle we were walking towards. I can’t spend those vouchers, those vouchers of shame. No, it just doesn’t feel right. Instead, what I am going to do is wear them around my neck in a necklace and walk the streets so that everyone knows that I have shamed myself for complaining. A bit like when people had to wear sandwich boards so they couldn’t sit down because they used to steal coal.

So anyway Gayle – you have shown me that complaining is the wrong way to go. So what if the Hoegaarden pint glass is big? I should grow! Or drink a different drink…or better still ask the barman to pour the drink into a different glass! People that complain all the time piss other people off, but yet when people complain to companies it’s almost seen as a unifying act between people against big business. And I don’t much care for it. We are all old dog-shit. Me especially. Not you though: Your kind gesture has made me look at myself in a way I haven’t before, and what you have given me is far more important than any monetary compensation – it’s the awareness that monetary compensation is worthless, not worth the paper it’s written on. So thank you Gayle. Thank-you for you making me look at my own actions.

David S Face. Not just a happier customer, but a better person because of you ☺ Ps – Your vouchers were actually £1 more than I figured you owed me, so I have included with this letter the £1 change + the cash cost of £9 because, as I say – I don’t deserve it. Please enjoy the £10 and use it as you see fit – in fact, by yourself some drinks on me. Thank-you once again for what you do: it might seem thank-less, so thank-you.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London. SW1H 0TL 24/06/09

Dear Mr Transport for London I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred with your company. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger or perhaps under the influence of intoxicants. Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter. I generally like your buses.

David S. Face Regular Transport for London Customer.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB London Bus Services Ltd. 84 Eccleston Square. London. SW1W 1PX. 17/09/09 Complaint Dear Sirs, I am writing this letter from a bus stop in Greenwich, where I have been waiting for 10 years for a bus. My weight has plummeted and my girlfriend and I now have big beards. Yesterday a youngster mistook me for a candyfloss. Luckily, my girlfriend saved me just in time. Obviously I haven’t really been waiting 10 years for a bus: But I do feel I have been left with no choice but to complain to you about the phantom 386 bus that is meant to go from Greenwich to Blackheath. I have waited for this bus numerous times, and have given up waiting for it so many times that I have actually given up waiting for it more times than I have waited for it. There are posters up around Greenwich that say “have you seen this bus?” – But there’s no photo to go with the description as it has never been seen to be photographed. I have waited for the 386 every time I have needed it for over an hour before giving up and getting a cab. One time, I decided that I would walk away from the bus stop to see if I could entice it over the hill by making it think I was leaving: And it still didn’t come. I hereby pass onto you kind sir photos of the 386 bus not turning up, and of not being at the bus stop when it says it should be, and then another photo of nothing. Please get back to me asap to ease my mind that this bus does in fact exist and perhaps an explanation of why it’s service appears to decrepit. I mean, in all seriousness I have actually waited for this bus at least 7 times – and every time it’s been a total fail. Many thanks.

David S Face Bewildered 386 bus user/unhappy transport for London customer.

Here we have the 386 bus timetable. A bus every 20 minutes it says, accompanied by a little sign that says ‘You are here’. What it should say is ‘You are still here’.

The bus stop: 26 minutes in: Still no 386. Hunger begins to set in.

The bus stop: 32 Minutes in. Unusual stubble growth begins.

The Bus stop: 38 minutes in. Customers have gone feral. One man eats a dog poo. Others think ‘if we have to eat each other, ‘the poo man’ will be eaten last… if at all’

The Bus stop: 53 minutes in. Some have left the bus stop in search of alternative travel arrangements. 1 female made a bus out of wood, but when she entered the road it was smashed by fast traveling cars. She never made it back to the curb. My girlfriend and I have decided to travel to the next bus stop, because we have heard whispers from the settlers that the next bus stop along is magic. It turns out that ‘poo man’ wasn’t waiting for a bus.

The future bus stop offers the survivors hope: At 3 minutes we light the disco trousers.

2 Minutes now. The 58 minute wait is almost over. We have lost many. The future is about to speak, and it will say ‘can I see your bus pass please?’

Look Look! It’s number 2 and the bus is due! The bus is due! Light the trees, eat our last remaining rations, throw our fresh water supplies over each other in a humorous water fight. Promise each other that we will never speak to the outside world about eating ‘poo man’…

Look! Here’s the 180, the other bus that was due with the 386 – any second now! ANY SECOND NOW! It will be right behind the 180, it has to be…the magic future bus stop has spoken!

(We went a little crazy when this happened): But…wait…what’s this? Where has the new number 1 gone? The new number 1 should be the 386 due any second? But…Now it’s number 5 and it’s another 20 minutes! We have angered the future bus stop! Get on any bus, anywhere before the sky falls! Eat tyres…burn things…burn THEM!

Finally, after 1 hour and 4 minutes waiting for the 386 bus the last two survivors got on a different bus going the other way‌for it was decided that it would be quicker to start a new life, find a new house, make new friends and find new jobs than it would be to wait for the 386 bus.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 2 Clements Road, Ilford, Essex. IG1 1BA Your Ref: 444783 09/10/09 Dearest David Jones, I write in response to your response to my letter about bus route 386. I thank-you kindly for pulling your best man out of his poker-game and it’s good to know that the bus companies underground bus finder people are available on 24 hour call. If there is a manual that describes how he tracked the bus down I wouldn’t mind a peak – I’m sure there is a method; the smell of the tyres, the vibrations the bus sends through the earth. Or maybe even just standing still and making a noise like a female bus, a sort of Rummmmchugga rumba chugga. If I knew myself how to track down a bus, the problem of waiting for buses would be eliminated, like that phrase ‘you can give a man a bus and he can go on that bus one stop, but give him 4 tyres, an exhaust pipe, one big metal hull, some windows, a door and a bell and he can still have his own bus but can stop when he wants’. Perhaps his methods are secret though, or not transferable into mere mortals like myself. I appreciate yet again David you sending out more experts to research the Greenwich Triangle theory, you say they confirmed that indeed there is no triangle but you do mention a hole. I was wondering whether this could be a black hole, or at the least a really really really big hole that big things like buses, shops and dinosaurs could fall into. You got the timing spot on and say that on those days at those times and the day before and probably two days after that there were few delays at this time and in the space I was waiting in. Meaning that the only logical conclusion in my eyes is that the hole we are speaking about is a worm hole. Distorting time and space itself could mean that the bus service is running impeccably but in an exact copy of our here and now only there and later. Which explains everything. As such, I see you cannot be blamed by me any more than you could blame me for waiting in the wrong universe. In fact, it is looking more and more like I did indeed wait wrong. Admittedly I am capable of messing up anything. I don’t do anything at work and I have been in trouble twice this month already for doing it wrong.

I also remember that time when Blackheath Hill was closed, a dark time for the human race. A dark time for us all. We were all effected David; you, I, the buses, the hill itself. I do have some good news for you though David - at that time I happened to be working as a statistical hill comparison analyst and I can tell you that, in comparison to other hills, the East London bus group were 84% faster at getting back on track than 20% of other companies recovering from Hill restructuring. Gremlins you say? I didn’t want to mention it to my girlfriend because I didn’t want to worry her further on the night, but I did think I saw an old Chinese man standing above a steaming drain in an alleyway in New York holding a wooden box that had the words ‘do not feed after midnight’ printed across it whilst standing at the bus stop. I even said Gremlins out loud accidentally, and my girlfriend squeezed my hand and asked me what I was on about and I said ‘Maplins, Maplins. We must go to Maplins at some point’. I got away with it. I agree that Gremlins should not be dismissed from any investigation into things going awry. I also had to buy a new television that we didn’t need to back up the story. I would like to withdraw my complaint and offer a full apology to you, all the other staff, the bus drivers and the buses. You might not be able to say it, but people who complain are all dicks. You have handled my complaint with humour and quite frankly you should be made king of something. Fack it, I want to give you something in compensation for having to handle my complaint in the first place. It seems only fair. Not knowing what to offer you I reckon I should king you, so, on the off chance that you are not a king already. I king thee:

As King David, you are officially entitled to be brought coffee from other staff twice a day. You also reserve the right to guillotine sporadically anyone or anything. I have also included with the official proof that you are a king (the picture above) your crown. It might be a bit squished by the time it gets to you though. Please accept my apologies, your letter was fun and please don’t guillotine me (because you can now). Many thanks

David S Face A happier user of buses from here on in.

David S Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB

Greenwich Council, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW


Dear Mr Alex Grant

I have a complaint regarding an incident that occurred within your council. Please could you write to me to tell me how best I can complain in writing to you? I am an elderly gentleman and as such I do not have intermewebamathingymajig. I am also hard of hearing which means that I cannot phone. I could use the phone, but I wouldn’t be able to hear what you said and because I am deaf you would think I was shouting out of anger and the whole thing would be far more complex than it need be.

Many thanks; I look forward to your speedy response in resolving this unfortunate matter.

David S. Face Blackheath Citizen since the Gupta Dynasty crystallized sugar around AD 350.

Greenwich Council, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW 05/06/2009 Hi Alex, Your response to my letter is a little confusing, you say: “If your complaint is relevant to my ward” If we are talking relevance then, as a councillor, it is not what is relevant to you, but what is relevant to me. So therefore this is very relevant to your ward because I say so. I have circled my address in red above, to highlight further how so importantly relevant this is. Perhaps you meant to say “If the complaint occurred within my ward”…Whatever, this sentence isn’t relevant to you, so I shall continue: Oh, one more thing before I begin – Why do politicians have their face on their letters? I don’t mean to offend Alex, far from it, because you have a lovely face with very nice hair –I am guessing it is because if a policy has a kind face attached to it the people are more likely to vote for the policy. But if that’s the case, why not have your photo taken with an orphan sitting on your knee?…or a dog with a heroin addiction and half its face missing? If you need to borrow my hamster for a photo I will post her to you. I have this ladder Alex, a normal ladder. And I quite often leave this normal ladder leaning on my fence. It’s also a normal fence, which resides in my normal garden which sits behind my normal house. All within a rather normal town called Blackheath. You may think this letter has started a bit like a Mr.Mans children’s book and I guess it has, but let me tell you Alex, that true life isn’t like the adventures of the Mr.Men, not quite like those adventures at all. My normal ladder leans on my normal fence, but my preternatural neighbour has decided to take offence at my normal ladder and its leanings. My neighbour, Mr. Stone says that because the tip of my ladder is above his garden that he owns the tip of said ladder.

He tried renting the tip of my own ladder back to me at £1 per day. When that didn’t work he tried to convince me that actually the most important part of any ladder is it’s tip, and therefore really the whole ladder was on his property and therefore he concluded (with some leap) that because of the ladder he owned my house. When I suggested that him owning the tip of my ladder did not equate to him owning my house he informed me that he is an expert in such matters and explained the true meaning of ‘The Property Ladder” – I wasn’t too sure, but he did say he was an expert. He then tried to suggest that I pay my home mortgage to him and with that payment he would include a loan of the rest of the ladder, minus the tip, back to me. I understandably wasn’t keen. Last month Alex I looked into my garden to see that Mr. Stone had spray-painted the tip of my ladder. He’s graffitied it! So in retort I graffitied my end (the rest of the ladder excluding the tip) in the hope of reducing the value of the ladder and therefore his interest in it. However I now realise that I have a ladder that looks like it wants to hang out in the local park, smoke cigarettes and stare at me as I walk past shouting menacingly “ “Des Lynam, Des Lynam, Des Lynam Des Lynam give us a wave” The kids in the park shout that at me you know. It makes Mr. Stone laugh. I don’t think I look like Des Lynam. I know you have taken a stance in the past against graffiti and was wondering if you could send me a letter than I could show my neighbour that just said something like: “I know about your dispute and think that Mr. Face is correct, by graffiting his ladder you have taken your japery too far. As Graffiti is not art, it is the absence of it and by graffiting someone else’s property you have taken away their choice on how their property looks” Or, failing that could you send me some gumpf on anti vandalism/graffiti that I can show him so I can perhaps get my ladder restored to it’s once law abiding state? My neighbour and I have both agreed to not take this to the police; obviously, and have agreed that whatever your impartial good self as our representative suggests we will abide by. Should I move my ladder or should he accept my ladder, should he clean my ladder for me or should I remove my ladder and I clean what would then be his? Many thanks for your advice on this Alex. I am sure that it sounds like a trivial matter to yourself but it is one that we do not see resolving without you.

David S Face.

Craig Stone 6 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB

Greenwich Council, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW 05/06/2009 Councilor Mr. A Grant Kind Sir, I understand my neighbour has written to you recently complaining about me trying to steal one tenth of his ladder. Specifically, the final tenth – or the last 1.2feet. At the heart of this dispute lies the simple truth – we are both two old men bored in retirement with nothing better to do than argue over one tenth of a ladder. That’s how life goes, one day Mr. Grant you are elected to run local government and the next you notice and care about such small banalities that you start to write into the TV programme Watchdog just to see if your letter gets on the telly and your words read out in a rather sexy female voice. The funny thing Mr. Grant is old bastard Mr. Face has never used that ladder. He actually went out and paid for the tallest one he could find to lean it over my garden. He told me so. He is what we used to call in the navy “a bit of a cock” – but we do share a passion for gardening and drinking. And making small model boats. And poetry. And suduko. And bowls. And sometimes we knit each other small clothing’s; from gloves to scarves. That kind of thing. One time he knitted me a little cat, with a heart knitted on his little cat paw. That warm night whist we sat on his porch I looked up at Mr. Face and for a second I am sure there was a moment of love between us. But, it couldn’t have been. Most likely it was the wine, and the sun setting creating an over emotional moment. It must have been - because he is such an old bastard. I needed to buy a ladder of my own so I could graffiti the tip of his ladder from my garden. So we now have two ladders, neither of which will ever use. So, yes, I graffitied the end of Mr. Faces ladder in revenge for him buying it in the first place. But to be honest I wasn’t aware of your views on vandalism until Mr. Face brought them to my attention so I hope I am not in any trouble for my actions? See on a personal level I really love graffiti - mainly because Mr. Face is a bit of a tit and it’s all over his ladder.

Anyway, he tells me he is complaining to you Mr. Grant. I am not sure why, probably with a view of getting my ladder moved or, knowing old bastard Mr. Face, he has asked you to come round and graffiti the tips of me or something. He is most childish, so I apologise for involving your good self in this Mr. Grant – but do advise that a short letter back saying anything (either for or against me) will keep him quiet. In fact, if you want to write to him telling him that you agree with his views and that I should clean his ladder I will gladly oblige. It would be most amusing for me to then show him this letter. I assure you that would draw a line under this matter, as he would see the funny side. Then Mr. Face and I could get back to enjoying our nights on his porch and sharing small animals that we have knitted each other. Sometimes he accidentally brushes his palm against mine. We do not speak about these moments. However your honorable self decides to respond I am sure will be the best course of action. Mr. Face and I have both agreed that we will let you settle this matter for us, and I will accept your decision. Should I let his ladder stay where it is and let this go Mr. Grant? Whatever you decide it is going to be hard to resist cellotaping his wheelchair to his front door whilst he sleeps. We leave it in your capable hands Sir.

The Rt. Hon.Craig Stone.

David Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Greenwich Council, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW 11/08/09 Councilor Mr. A Grant I have to say I am most disgusted by the incongruent manner in which you have meretriciously ignored my previous letter of complaint sent to your self on the 5/06/09. It being now the 11/08/09, a full 2 months later, I do believe I have given you far more patience than your metaphorical dump into my brain has deserved. I live under your council and you are my councilor are you not? My complaint was one which, as explained, you could have helped with by just offering your opinion. That was all that was asked. And surely, that is what a councilor does? (From the dictionary/meaning of councilor): an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or 1. advice. 2.

a body of persons specially designated or selected to act in an advisory, administrative, or legislative capacity.

C’mon – I need your council Mr. Grant. Now more than ever. Perhaps it’s a crash of confidence and you don’t think your opinion matters here, or you are not sure if you should voice it but you should. Anyone could become someone to you, but if you are not someone to yourself everyone will eventually become somebody else. So say what you think, step up to the plate and eat the food. Stand your mind; speak your ground Mr Grant. Surely that’s what people representing people have to do?

I and Mr. Stone are still feuding over this damn ladder so in the interests of the greater peace please give us a piece of your mind. Am I really going to let that sentence stay in this letter…like some old ham infested link that’s probably been used by Cilla Black and Bobby Davro? Yes, I think I shall. Before pistols at dawn and possible fisty cuffs occur please write back to me with clarification about whether you think it is mine or Mr. Stone’s ladder bit. Your decision will be final. Best,

David S Face. Represented by you.

David Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Greenwich Council, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW 18/08/09 Councillor Alex, I don’t understand. Do you not work for the Government I elected? Am I not a citizen of this country? Rather than pass along suggestions for alternative councillors for me to contact independently of our previous correspondence you really should have passed along my situation to them on my behalf for them to contact me with the decision I was after. I believe I have been clear with my situation and a decision is all myself and Mr Stone are after. So, seeing as how you couldn’t be bothered to talk to other councillors for me, I hardly see why I should do so for you. Now, your last letter made me feel a little bit like a bride waiting at the alter for his groom to turn up. But the groom is somewhere drunk, playing pool and saying things to his best mate like “I feel so trapped” and “I don’t remember eating that peanut.” I feel we have come some way, I have explained much to you, as has Mr. Stone…So please, all I am asking for is your help…If you are unable to help directly then contact and pass the details onto someone you think might. It’s what I would do for you. It doesn’t paint the government in a good light if nobody is prepared to help an old man decide if his ladder is his or not. Can light be painted on? Who knows? Anyway, I trust your decision will be the next letter and we can move on with our lives. Yours sincerely.

David S Face Member of the overall UK constituent that elected your government.

David Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath London SE3 9DB Greenwich Council, Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW 09/09/09 Councillor Alex, You are a humourless cocknessie with a spine of jelly and the vision of a dead oracle. You have not only ignored me, you have also clearly not passed on my problem to your fellow councillors – probably because you deem it beneath you and aren’t used to just being nice and helping people. Do you know what your name means in Latin? Without Law: Al (away from) + lex (law) The irony that you are a politician is not lost on me. No thanks to you I am writing to your colleagues for a decision on my ladder – and here’s hoping that somebody in your government has a sense of humour and at least a tiny pair of hairy or hairless balls.

Ps we all know you really look like this:

David S Face (Resisting the urge to move to Greenwich so you can’t wiggle out of responsibility).

David Face 5 Coppelia Road Blackheath SE3 9DB 12/10/09 Re: Dearest Alex, I showed my letters to my mum, she is still with us bless her, and she was horrified. She said that I should apologise for the tone of all my letters and that you, as a politician, were probably really busy and that rather than being humourless you are probably tied to a guide line of how to behave and my letters did not fit into that guideline and that what I find funny, like my mother, you probably find rather offensive. Anyway: Alex, I am sorry. As a councillor I am sure you help the community in many seen and unseen ways. That you have lots of emails and many more letters and that perhaps it is a case of what fire to put out first as opposed to ignoring the smoke. My mum said that if any system is ever going to work then it needs to run on respect and how we treat others in position of authority is, in some ways, what makes authority. She then told me to get her a cup of tea. And a biscuit. And to move the remote control closer to her. And the telly nearer. And then finally her chair closer to the television. I’m so sorry Alex for anything I have said in any of my letters that may have caused offence, or for anything I may have said that may have, in my head, been funny but in your head translated as offensive. This was never my true intention. I feel bad after being corrected by my mother and felt like I should compensate you somehow for the tone of my letters. The only thing I could think of was to go around my local area and tell everyone how great you are. So I went to my neighbour’s house and told them that you are an excellent councillor and that if there was ever a chance to vote for you that they should. I hold some sway in my area, mainly because of my charming mother, and everyone was more than attentive to your brilliance and calmness in dealing with myself. I told them everything, and they all agree with you and my mother! I have also made posters which I am going to put around the area too, in the hope that maybe I can secure you some votes should you need them as and when. (I have included one here so you can have a look). I trust all is well, and I know you are doing the best and most honest job that you can and I hope you can accept my apology and that you know that I know that we all know that you are a great councillor. Best.

David S Face Proud of Alex.



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