Another TfL email

So I use my contactless Oyster on Thursday and Friday for College, I top it up every Tuesday using the app (purely because the machine at the station is a mess of unpredictability as to whether it’s working or not)

On my way home on Friday my Oyster wouldn’t work, asking me to seek assistance which is laughable because there is no-one working at Stratford High Street DLR station. Anyway I check my balance and discover that my top up hasn’t been collected which is weird because I’ve tapped in that morning to get to College and that is shown on my Journey History, I check my bank and see that the payment has gone through. I email asking what’s going on.

Today I get an automated response saying my top up wasn’t collected because I ‘probably’ didn’t make a journey. Not to worry they will refund my money.

I emailed them my response to that total lack of investigation.

My order wasn’t collected because your system wasn’t doing its job, I did make a journey as you can see from my “Journey History”

Please don’t just send me an automated email to my request for information about my contactless card, please investigate as I’ve asked, please tell me exactly what happened or even, as I suspect, a simple “I don’t know” nothing will ever get better if people don’t start doing their jobs properly. How will you overcome this issue if you don’t care and don’t look into it? How will customer service improve if you’re not even answering the question through a fully validated check on ‘my’ personal issues on that day?
You have not appeased me, you have not solved my problem, all you’ve done is press a button on a computer and thought of yourself as clever. Nothing you’ve done required a skill or intelligence and if the issue hasn’t been investigated it’ll never be solved, but at least it will keep you in work.
Thank you TfL, thank you for reasserting my belief that you are all robots



I doubt I’ll get a reply.

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TfL Lack of humanity

I’ve been sitting on this for a few months and it has started to fester but I don’t want it to define my life so I need to put it out there and let it go. 

People who know me know that I lost someone very dear to me recently. It still feels very recent to me. During the time of my Dads illness, while he was in St Thomas’s Hospital, I drove my Mum to visit him some days. I parked at the hospital because it was easier for my Mum which was fine. On one particular day, a Wednesday, I had forgotten to pay the Congestion Charge. I am not actually gonna try to explain myself or make any excuses as to why I forgot, I simply wasn’t thinking. When I did remember on the Friday of that same week I called them up and spoke to a very lovely lady and tried to pay it. She asked, as I’m sure her job requires, why I didn’t pay on the day or within 24hrs after my journey. In hindsight I felt very sorry for her having to listen to what would’ve sounded like incoherent blubbering of a man trying to, badly, explain that his Dad was terminally ill in hospital and my thoughts and concerns were with him and my Mum and with our desperate need to try to get him home where he belonged so that he could pass with us, his family. This kind lady expressed her sadness and explained, far more apologetically than she ever needed to, that the system wouldn’t allow her to overturn the PCN that would be issued. However, in her hope to help me, she did say that I could appeal the PCN based on my circumstances and the fact that I tried to pay but just a day too late and it would most likely be overturned. I thanked her and ended the call; hopeful, as she was, that humanity would win in the days ahead. 

Pop passed on the Sunday, two days later. At home surrounded by the people who loved him beyond words. 

I had, again, forgotten about the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). But, as always, the bureaucratic wheel never stops turning and it arrived in my mail. I completed the necessary forms explaining my dilemma and sent it off immediately. I won’t waste your time with long winded words; it was refused. I then had the option to appeal to an independent person. It too was denied. Nothing was taken into account. Not my state of mind, not the fact I tried to pay albeit a day late, nothing. 


Not one person who read my appeal thought that the imminent death of a loved one might be grounds to forget a few things. Not one human among the many that must’ve read my notes agreed that it might be acceptable to forgive this one time PCN. Don’t get me wrong I was willing to pay the later daily charge, I just thought that £130 was a bit excessive. I even optioned to be at the court and talk to someone but the court was in Nottingham and not in London. Essentially I received a letter from them stating that as TfL had done everything correctly and hadn’t messed up at their end then they were within their rights to uphold the PCN. 

And this is where it gets crazy for me. 

I never said TfL had done anything wrong, in fact I had complimented the lady I first spoke too. I had even suggested that I still be able to pay for the daily charge as I would have done had I been thinking clearly. But all they were interested in was that they had done everything ‘right’. 

Right. Who remembers when that word meant more than just correct. 

Is it ‘right’ that they have no one there with the humanity to consider an individuals feeling or circumstances? Is it ‘right’ that people, whoever you might be, are chained to a bureaucracy that only considers the thoughts and processes of the big working machine? Are we all robots now? Is everything now done with the passionless aurora and odour of a swamp? Do we simply turn our heads and look the other way so that the great mechanics of government don’t squeak a little for the individuals with independent thoughts and feelings? Are we simple the grease that keeps the cogs turning smoothly and noiselessly that to consider an alternative to the norm scares us beyond words. Or are we simply too without care to empathise with our fellow man and stand up for what is really and truly considered ‘right’.

Or correct

Where has the humanity gone? I’m starting to wonder if there was any to begin with. Did we change from clubbing others with big sticks 200,000 years ago while dressed in dead animal hide; to being a government led society that is blind to everything of importance? Now we use words like ‘procedure’, ‘blameless’, ‘bureaucracy’ as our clubs to bludgeon the heads of those who aren’t automatons. 

I’ve waffled on, made some spelling and grammatical errors that I won’t correct. I wanted to rant. I wanted to blame. I wanted justice of some kind. It was my fault, I should’ve been thinking about the charge. 


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My Dad, My Pop

My Dad, Father, Pop. 

I never went to you for advice, I knew what it would be. I never asked for your approval, you always gave it. I never spent as much time with you as I should have; as I wanted to. I never tired of your ‘Dad’ jokes, I never got bored of your stories. I was never afraid of you, I was never angry at you. I never thought you would not be there always asking me how I am.

I never wanted you to leave. But you did. 

You were so reasonable, you were so proud. You taught me how to be a man in all the ways that matter. You were a gentleman and a loyal hard worker. You were a Dad I wish I could be to my kids. You were a devoted husband, father, grandad, friend and colleague. You were all that and more. You were Pop. 

You were my rock. But you left. 

I will remember your smile, I will remember your laugh. I will remember your frown when my sarcasm got to much. I will remember your stubbornness, I will remember your strength. I will remember your love for us all. I will remember your absolute devotion to your wife, I will remember your unyielding love for your children. 

I will remember you. But you won’t know. 

You raised us in the world and kept us safe. You were our foundation and our teacher. I’ve learned so much from you and I’ll pass that on and hope to do half as well as you. I didn’t visit as much as I should, I missed out on so much with you. I’m sorry. There is never as much time as we think there is. 

I watched you fade away, I started to miss you as you disappeared. Your strength was gone, your vigor was dwindling, you were strong for too long. I only want you back for one more day. 


Yesterday’s smile, yesterday’s laugh, yesterday’s hug, yesterday’s kiss. 

I’ve always loved you Pop, I always will. It’s hard to say goodbye and I don’t know how to let you go.

I wish I were as strong and as brave as you. 

Thomas (Bill) Ivor Bestford

22nd December 1937-11th June 2017

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Help is needed. 

People are an Earth destroying virus. 

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Immigration crackdown, travel ban and Russia links intrude on Trump weekend

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Standing Rock, Standing United.

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Out of his mind!

Trump is clearly unwell or, as I like to say, out of his fucking mind but why is his staff doing this? Did they all escape from the same Asylum?

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Banned in Houses of Parliament

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Like a great many of you (although judging by his votes not as many as I’d like) I wonder how he got to where he is. Let’s just think about that for a brief moment. How did this obnoxious, omni-phobic, arrogant, lethal and offensive person ever get into a position where he has the title of ‘most powerful man in the world?’

Did you not watch on (sometimes) live TV as he offended almost every type of person on the planet through his rants that he called campaign speeches?

Were you not present when we watched old interviews of him completely contradicting his campaign aims and then denying he said them, despite empirical proof?

Were you asleep when we heard and then reheard throughout his entire life his absolute ignorant torrent of abuse towards almost anyone who disagrees with him?

This man will change the course of the world and it will not be to a tolerant free society but a hatred fuelled, abusive one. In almost every instance Trump is in the news it is in a negative way. He ‘defends’ his actions in Twitter rants. Little hint, don’t do and say douchey things and there would be no need to defend them. He argues against actions he clearly committed and commented on as a way to save his reputation, he clearly has no political expertise or experience and yet you feel he is ready for a job that can affect the whole world and you forget that he won your vote through your fear of something that doesn’t exist. 

I have to admit that I don’t really know anything about him personally, I don’t know much of his history nor did I really give him much of a thought before his candidacy and again I may have been tainted by the interviews I’ve seen during his campaign; they’ve definitely not helped me to like him or for him to even come over as a nice person. I would like to think that, in the past, he has given to the community, and helped people out of selflessness but even if he had, all that has now been ruined by how he has conducted himself throughout his election. 

I will never refer to him as Mr President nor President Trump, he does not deserve to be addressed by that title. He will always be simply Trump. 

Trump, slang for noisy flatulence. Fitting. 

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Please try to understand.

Depression isn’t about big problems, it isn’t about being in a bad relationship, it isn’t about having a bad job or not having enough money for stuff. All of these things could be a factor but they aren’t the issue. Continue reading

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