Ruth's Diary


Everybody and their potential employers have been talking about the riots. I don't think I can really add anything to the debates that always come along after big events like this. I can share my experiences though.

I can honestly say I was rattled. I mean, the town and borough where I live is basically 'too rich', so riots were unlikely to happen here anyway. Where the riots took place have been mostly within reach of Britain's most marginalised neighbourhoods (ie. sink estates), and Croydon is no exception. From my house, I could actually see the flames and smoke coming from the West Croydon area, where the riots took place. I could hear the helicopter overhead, circling like a hawk (or harbinger of doom). And late afternoon the next day, Croydon felt rather eery since East Croydon station was open for business, but none of the businesses were. The branch of Barclays bank looked like it had been hurriedly abandoned, the staff had no doubt cleared it of all its valuable furniture and cash.

Nothing more has happened since Tuesday. Normal life will no doubt resume, even in the places that saw the worst destruction. The British have always been historically stoic that way. Just keep going. Thing is though, no one should have been surprised by this. Even the looters that took part that actually do have a future or a living, which surprised a lot of people, did it because of the adrenaline rush. It's always fun acting out a movie or a video game. Out of all the arguments and debate, though, most of which are absolutely correct in different ways or for different reasons, there is one phrase I haven't yet heard: divided Britain. Britain (or England, I guess, there've been no related riots in Scotland, Wales or NI) seems divided between those who believe in the standards of law and order, have general aspirations and have a certain pride in their Englishness...and those who are trapped in the underclass benefits bubble, with no aspirations, no empathy with their community and no understanding of what it means to be either British or a global citizen. The latter looted, while the former turned out in their hundreds to clean up the mess, as well as collected things to help those who had lost their homes in the riots. And unfortunately, as Euronews Perspectives highlighted, few of the world's media focussed on the good that came out of this.

Well, that's my sombre piece for the day. Now I'd like to talk about T-Mobile. Not to complain, not really. I've been with them for such a short time, but I do feel that the company has this sense of really wanting to do their best for you, the customer. The staff are friendly, give you what you want...but I swear T-Mobile tries too hard at times. They're so desperate to be rated highly for customer service that they keep sending texts reminding you of the various services they offer. To give you an idea of the frequency, it feels like 1 per fortnight. Oh, and I called them up yesterday having questions about my price plan and how to adapt it (I needed Euro roaming, since it isn't included), and just to make sure they keep their call centres providing the bestest best customer service possible, they got me involved in a text questionnaire earlier. They texted me a question, I texted the answer. Didn't last long but I did wonder if this would happen after every future call I make. I almost get the sense they love contacting you, just to make you feel pampered and special. Frankly, I'm finding it irritating, but then, I live by the code of: if you're not getting any complaints, you must be doing something right. T-Mobile lives by: customers must tell you you're awesome, so ask them.

There are worse ways of maintaining customer satisfaction of course.

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