The irrational and not-so-irrational annoyances thread

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Trying to book tickets to get my lad to London for a medical appointment.

Find a pair of discounted tickets, both there and back, that'll do. I go to book, and then at the payment screen, it just sits there for a little while, and then comes up with an error. The web-site advises me to get in touch, and gives me an 'error code' to quote.

So I ring, and get through to the 'sales team' - ah yes, those tickets are no longer available. Someone must have bought them just before you. What both there and back - just happen to have bought the exact tickets I wanted? Yessir.

So, someone wanted to go from Durham to London, at exactly the same time as we did, and return, the same day, on exactly the same service as we wanted? Yessir.

Hmm, I'm not sure how many people would be wanting exactly the same tickets, and just happen to book at exactly the same time, as us. One way, either there, or back, I could accept, but seriously, someone else wanting to travel to London and back, just spending a few hours there, and who just happened to book the tickets between me seeing them, and booking them (all of about 30 seconds).....

OK, so how much are two (1st class) tickets going to cost me now then?

Well that'll be just shy of £900 sir!

I don't think it will actually.

So I book different timed trains - and the same thing happens. All of a sudden, the tickets advertised as available were removed from sale. Generating the same error as before.....

It seemed like for some reason the payment was failing, but the system had already blocked off the tickets. So I wasn't able to buy them at the first attempt, and then they weren't available to buy at the second.

One last go, before I run out of options......

....and it fails again. So three different trains (6 actually, 3 there and 3 back), all had Advance tickets available, but the booking system was falling over and then blocking them from being bought.

We ended up rescheduling the medical appointment for a couple of weeks later. And I tried a different tack, booking the tickets as singles each way, rather than a return journey.

And it worked - I was able to get a cheap Advanced 1st Class ticket down from Durham, and an even cheaper ticket back to Newcastle (we'll just get off at Durham - and yes, I have checked that it stops there)! As is often the case, KGX-NCL is cheaper than KGX-DHM - but not all trains stop there, so you do need to be a bit careful.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
As is often the case, KGX-NCL is cheaper than KGX-DHM
Does the ticket let you out at the 'earlier' station or do you need to wangle it with an attendant?
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Does the ticket let you out at the 'earlier' station or do you need to wangle it with an attendant?
Pretty certain Durham is like Darlington and has no gate to exit from :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member

Doug the D

Distinguished Member
I’m looking forward to my trip from Durham to London and back next week. I just hope I can get a ticket to Durham first.
That's odd, me too :rotfl:

I've got to get up to Durham from Dorset first #essentialjourney
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Last time I was at Durham there were barriers. Covid may have changed that, I don't know.
As to ticket validity - strictly speaking ADVANCE fares are not valid for alighting short but just about every other ticket type is. However there was a fairly high profile case a few years ago which was heavily reported in the press, and I believe that (perhaps unofficially) they are being more lenient nowadays.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
wow surpised to see a p[lastic visor ahs the same effect as a material...so if thats the case that is pretty harsh
I think it is then the foam part that rests on her forehead. Either way, it sounds horrible.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Tumble dryer engineer is currently at my house to fix an issue with the electric tripping when the tumble dryer is turned on. I told them the issue in the ticket and the symptoms, frequency etc. In my non expert opinion it looked likely it was the element. Everything that has tripped the electric in the past was the element. They get here, ask what the problem is (not a great start), open it up, and yep it was the element and he doesn't have one on his van. fudgeing great. Now got to wait god knows how long to get the part and come back and actually fix it. Crispy towels for another week at least.
 

Doug the D

Distinguished Member
Tumble dryer engineer is currently at my house to fix an issue with the electric tripping when the tumble dryer is turned on. I told them the issue in the ticket and the symptoms, frequency etc. In my non expert opinion it looked likely it was the element. Everything that has tripped the electric in the past was the element. They get here, ask what the problem is (not a great start), open it up, and yep it was the element and he doesn't have one on his van. fudgeing great. Now got to wait god knows how long to get the part and come back and actually fix it. Crispy towels for another week at least.
Yep, I had the exact same issue at the tail end of last year. I told Hotpoint what the error code was, I googled it out of curiosity and knew what part was needed. Engineer turned up, told my wife he needed the exact part I already knew about, but he too didn't have one...What a sh*t show.
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Last time I was at Durham there were barriers. Covid may have changed that, I don't know.
As to ticket validity - strictly speaking ADVANCE fares are not valid for alighting short but just about every other ticket type is. However there was a fairly high profile case a few years ago which was heavily reported in the press, and I believe that (perhaps unofficially) they are being more lenient nowadays.
I've searched for terms and conditions prohibiting this - but haven't been able to find any. The only things in my searches are that I must travel on the specified trains - couldn't find anything mentioning alighting early. But not sure how good my Google-Fu is!


Edit: Obviously my Google Foo has just improved, as I have actually found something along those lines. Not sure how anyone would know though! 🤫
 
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mr starface

Well-known Member
Home Schooling = nightmare

Both my and my wife work from home (and I started a new job this week) so have very little time to do home schooling unless we want to be working into the evening and nights every day.

All our teacher seems to do face to face is a half hour reading session in the morning. They then set the work and the kids are supposed to be able to print it all out and complete themselves, there are a multitude of different links etc on google classrooms and some bits need to be written out in a book - no way can our 9 year old do this on his own. We are expected to help them, assist with problems, print/collect it all and monitor how things are going as well as a lot of the marking for some reason (only some work is submitted back to the teacher).

Other schools near us seem to at least spend several hours in virtual classrooms with the kids being taught.

How we are expected to hold down our jobs and keep up with the schooling have no idea, coupled with my father being unwell and so have to visit him every day is a complete nightmare.
 

Ruperts slippers

Distinguished Member
The school called me to enquire why my ex wife wasn't answering her phone. Told them she works in the NHS working 7 days a week covering 24 hrs a day due to covid.
I asked if I could help.
Apparently my children have not been completing the work set in a timely manner.
Spoke to both her and her new partner, they have 6 kids to manage, so I've no idea how they are managing. Must be hard.
They're with me next week, partners working from home and I'll be answering call outs.
So I've no idea what I'm going to do.
😳
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Home Schooling = nightmare

Both my and my wife work from home (and I started a new job this week) so have very little time to do home schooling unless we want to be working into the evening and nights every day.

All our teacher seems to do face to face is a half hour reading session in the morning. They then set the work and the kids are supposed to be able to print it all out and complete themselves, there are a multitude of different links etc on google classrooms and some bits need to be written out in a book - no way can our 9 year old do this on his own. We are expected to help them, assist with problems, print/collect it all and monitor how things are going as well as a lot of the marking for some reason (only some work is submitted back to the teacher).

Other schools near us seem to at least spend several hours in virtual classrooms with the kids being taught.

How we are expected to hold down our jobs and keep up with the schooling have no idea, coupled with my father being unwell and so have to visit him every day is a complete nightmare.
Same for us, but have a 6yo and 9yo. 6yo needs constant help. 9yo been set maths ahead of what they were being taught in school and now expected to just be able to do it from home, while being taught by parents who are also working. One Teams meeting per week to chat for 30 minutes with the whole class, rest is just videos to watch and workbooks to complete. It's a frigging nightmare. My wife is having to do most of it on her own as I am on back to back calls.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
Same for us, but have a 6yo and 9yo. 6yo needs constant help. 9yo been set maths ahead of what they were being taught in school and now expected to just be able to do it from home, while being taught by parents who are also working. One Teams meeting per week to chat for 30 minutes with the whole class, rest is just videos to watch and workbooks to complete. It's a frigging nightmare. My wife is having to do most of it on her own as I am on back to back calls.
Same here, with a 5 year old. And 2 year old. Wife and I work full time from home.

Luckily, the 5yo has good tasks set, but we still have to do them with him, as he can't read yet of course. Tiring. I know teachers do a good job, but I'm tired trying to do his work, my work and sort the house out, do lunches etc.

I do a lot of videos for my boy when he's doing his work so the teachers can see what he's doing - I got a gold star from his teacher for doing a good job with writing the number 8 with him. Made my day.

When we are both WFH without kids, we can at least use an hour at lunch for a bit of romance (lol) or cleaning the house.

NOT ANY MORE! Hahah. Oh well. Could be worse. My neighbour has 4 kids of school age from 5 to 13, with one who is 7 and disabled. Tough times.
 

Doug the D

Distinguished Member
Home Schooling = nightmare

Both my and my wife work from home (and I started a new job this week) so have very little time to do home schooling unless we want to be working into the evening and nights every day.

All our teacher seems to do face to face is a half hour reading session in the morning. They then set the work and the kids are supposed to be able to print it all out and complete themselves, there are a multitude of different links etc on google classrooms and some bits need to be written out in a book - no way can our 9 year old do this on his own. We are expected to help them, assist with problems, print/collect it all and monitor how things are going as well as a lot of the marking for some reason (only some work is submitted back to the teacher).

Other schools near us seem to at least spend several hours in virtual classrooms with the kids being taught.

How we are expected to hold down our jobs and keep up with the schooling have no idea, coupled with my father being unwell and so have to visit him every day is a complete nightmare.
Same for us, but have a 6yo and 9yo. 6yo needs constant help. 9yo been set maths ahead of what they were being taught in school and now expected to just be able to do it from home, while being taught by parents who are also working. One Teams meeting per week to chat for 30 minutes with the whole class, rest is just videos to watch and workbooks to complete. It's a frigging nightmare. My wife is having to do most of it on her own as I am on back to back calls.
Then on the flip side, you have my experience; daughter in year 10 (so GCSEs next year then). Gets set work sent on Teams, she's usually done and dusted her lessons in under 3 hours each day. School continually heaping praise on her hard work and she seems to be cracking on with it, with almost zero help needed from me - I do get the odd 'Daaad!' now and then, but not often.

So I'm looking at her work and she seems to be absolutely cruising. Other parents at the same school have (I'm not on Facebook etc. but have heard) been complaining about their children getting too much work to do. I really don't get it.

Edit: after re-reading a couple of the posts above mine, age seems to be a massive factor. My spawn is nearly 15, so is hugely independent compared to a child even a few years younger. She even feeds herself :rotfl:
 

Ruperts slippers

Distinguished Member
Bloody dog.
Makes moves asking to go out.
Puts arctic outfit on to take her out, takes one look outside, goes and sits back in her basket. 😠

Senile old fart. 😂
 
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Zaichik

Well-known Member
During the first lockdown, my son's school were deluging him with work every Monday morning and providing little or no support, so we were having to help and motivate him. We were all often having to work all weekend to get everything done before the next lot arrived.

This time they're running a full timetable of live lessons on Teams, including tutor time and assemblies, so it is much, much better.

He's just turned 13 BTW, so still learning how to study independently.
 

Doug the D

Distinguished Member
Daughter's school, who for the past couple of years and more recently in the first lockdown proved to have the most inept I.T. department going, have excelled even their standards yesterday/ this evening.

Firstly, I get an email yesterday evening, apologising for the fact that we should have received an invite to the virtual parents evening that was sent out on the 4th.

Email nutshell: 'The parents evening is on the 14th, so book your appointments now'

Marvellous. I went on straight away and make the required bookings, thinking 'What could possibly go wrong?' :rolleyes:

True to form, I've gone on this evening to take part in the first virtual appointment and...Yep, not working. Daughter confirms that her friends' parents can't get on either.

What a sh*t show.
 

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