Monday, 18 January 2016

25% Off

Every Monday I utitilse the 02 Priority app on my phone to get a cheap lunch. This isn't just any cheap lunch. This is lunch for a quid. Yep, one solitary pound. Boots, the department store in town, let anyone wielding the correct 15 digit code, get a nice sandwich, nicer cake and a drink for just 100 pence. Normally the stuff would cost about £7 individually, or £3.29 on Boots's own meal deal.

Quids in!

I've been doing this for a while now and the only arse ache is that there is poxy network coverage inside the store, so you have to step outside to get the code up. Added to that is the 5 minute countdown from you activating the offer, to it expiring. No real problem though as the doorway is 20 yards from the food, which is a further 10 yards from the tills.


Today I was about to pay for my stuff when the guy at the next till started moaning to the female cashier (and her female supervisor, that he'd demanded to speak to) about not getting a phone signal within the shop. He was lamenting that he had to wait "10 minutes every time" just to get coverage and that their wi-fi wasn't functioning correctly. He clearly thought it was their fault and wouldn't let either get a word in when they tried to respond. I took my phone and went:

"Excuse me, I get the same problem. Coverage is bad in here but it's not their fault, it's a network issue."

He nods at what I've said and carries on moaning at the two cashiers, misunderstanding my motivation for speaking up and assuming I'm sympathising with him.

"You see, he has the same problem. I have to wait 10 minutes, it's not acceptable."

I try again. "No, I mean it's an issue with your network. I've just had to step outside to get the code. There's no wi-fi in Boots, it's not their fault. It's a problem with your network coverage, you need to take it up with them."

There's a momentary pause while the two women look at him hopefully but it doesn't sink in and instead he curls his lip at me and goes:

"What's it got to do with you. Why don't you mind your own business?"

Typical aggressive dick. He's just received an explanation but is determined to have a good old fashioned moan at people who can't answer back and resents anyone tying to prevent that. I reply:

"Because I don't like the way you're talking to them. Instead of bullying the women why don't you just piss off?!!"

He gets immediately riled, steps back from his till and steps into my personal space, sneering "Don't tell me to piss off!"

I shove him in the chest as hard as I can with both hands and he staggers back then goes "Don't you push me!" and gets primed to throw a punch. I adopt the same stance and am expecting this to come to blows when he changes his mind. Another guy then stands in between us and asks us politely to calm down. The supervisor begins ringing her "call for assistance" bell repeatedly and in a few seconds a nervous looking security guard turns up and stands behind him.

"You told me to piss off AND you pushed me!" he says loudly.

"Because you're being rude and you got in my face. Why don't you take a deep breath, calm down and just knock it off. I've explained the situation to you, stop being aggressive."

"I'm not aggressive, you're the one who's being aggressive." He turns back to the cashier and demands that they send a complaint on his behalf to head office about having to wait for 10 minutes for the cheap lunch code AND that another customer told him to "piss off".

I take my spectacles off and put them on the counter. "Why don't you also mention that I pushed you in the chest after you weighed up to me?"

"Nothing to do with you, mind your own business."

"Haven't you got anything better to do than take your moods out on innocent people?"

I look to the worried security guard and go "Seriously?" gesturing to the irate bloke he's stood behind. The guard  shrugs and looks embarrassed, possibly one of the breed that can't get physical unless it's self defence or first aid.

The guy stood in between us again mumbles for us to calm down. I look at him and ask "You with him?" assuming he might be the guy's son or friend. He says "yes" and I extend my hand. "No hard feelings but he's being a serious idiot." He shakes my hands and goes "I know, but...."

I look to the supervisor and ask her to call the police. The elderly cashier I'm facing is still holding the card payment machine, waiting for my pin number. I enter it and go "Sorry about that, can I have a bag?" She smiles, goes "No problem" then bags my stuff and I leave, the bloke still chuntering at the till while the security guards stands there saying nothing.

When I got home I analysed this and broke it down into good and bad points. In my opinion they are as follows.


1). Stood up for what I perceived to be bullying against other people.
2). Used a clearance strike as soon as my personal space got invaded.
3). Didn't back down and used neutral language to try and reason with the guy.


1). Possibly shouldn't have got involved at all.
2). Swore at him, inflaming his anger.
3). Didn't take my glasses off as soon as I'd pushed him away.
4). Didn't' have my hands up after I'd pushed him away.

75% correct. Room for improvement.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Like an Advent Calendar

Since September of last year I've been slowly recovering from a knee operation. The op was relatively simple and was keyhole surgery to repair a flapping ACL in the left leg. After a fairly surreal stay in hospital following the procedure (unrestricted access to social media mixed with loads of sedatives do NOT go well together), I limped home and got into the process of rehabilitation.

For the first 3 weeks the leg was swollen to buggery and I could barely bend it. The op had involved drilling or cutting into various places on the knee, shoving cameras in there, and then not only restitching the tattered ligament but also scraping a load of gristle out of there.

Not nice.

I was on painkillers that made my piss go orange and had to inject my belly every day for 10 days so my blood didn't coagulate. Morphine helped me sleep and I would hobble around on crutches for my requisite 15 minutes stroll per day.

Gradually the pain eased and slowly, very slowly the leg began to calm down, the knee became more stable again and finally at nearly four months down the line, I feel that all that pain was a wise investment as I can feel more flexibility and strength in the foundations of that knee.

The thing is...

For the last four+ months I've sat on my arse, getting love handles and watching lots of television. I've recently begun yoga in order to regain my flexibility but one thing that has become woefully apparent is my lack of core stability. Basically I've become unfit.

In March of last year I took and failed the P5 test. With a score of 66% and feedback from examiner Nadav Shosan that I would do better the next time, I looked forward to a retesting in the following October exams. Then the hospital got in touch to finally offer me the knee operation and that was that.

The March 2016 gradings are about two months away but I won't be able to attend. I haven't trained in months, my cardio is shot to hell and I would need at least a month just to get back on top of not only fitness but also revision of techniques.

My consultant surgeon for the operation specifically told me that I can GO BACK TO TRAINING AT KRAV MAGA in the Spring but he then added that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT GRADE AGAIN UNTIL OCTOBER. This means it will be 18 months between my original P5 and the retest.

Like a pre teen child looking at a Christmas advent calendar on December 2nd, I want to open all the windows, get all the chocolate and get straight back in there again. However December 3rd through to December 15th's windows need to be opened gradually, slowly and with patience. 16th will be going back to training. 17th will be beginning revision of my techniques from P1 back to P5. 18th will be joining the sparring classes...and so on.

Keeping patience at a time like this is infuriatingly hard but I know that I cannot just undo the pain and convalescence of the past few months by being impatient.

I'll get all the chocolate eventually. Just one day at a time.