You’re not special, you know!

Approximately 4 months ago, I had someone knock at my door. I went to answer it and my housing manager was stood there. I asked what she wanted and she moaned at me about two rubbish bags that I had left out side of my front door. These rubbish bags were not from the everyday bin, but rather ones filled with rubbish from the recycle bin.

These bags were not filled with muck, or last nights dinner, but rather washed out plastic bottles, news papers and cardboard boxes, and were only placed outside while I was finishing the house work, after which I would proceed to take them to the main recycle bins outside.

After telling me that I had to remove them immediately as it was a health and safety issue and was in breach of my tenancy and that I could be kicked out if they were not removed, I told her that they had been there for a maximum of 20 minutes and would be taken out when I had finished tidying up. This from her point of view was completely unacceptable, I had to take them out right now! I did this as I didn’t particularly want to be kicked out!

My next door neighbours are the head of Winchester city councils T.A.C.T. (tenants and council together) group for my neighbourhood.

The groups main aims are to;

  • represent the interests of all tenants and leaseholders of the City Council.
  • promote and encourage discussion over all housing-related matters.
  • encourage the process of tenant and leaseholder consultation.
  • monitor the standard of services supplied by the Council.
  • ensure that tenants’ and leaseholders’ voices are heard.

Their aims are honourable and I hope they achieve their goals, but when the rules are different for their members compared to the rest of the councils tenants it’s just plain wrong! I have come to believe this is the case, as my next door neighbours, who are the head of the T.A.C.T. group for my neighbourhood have had an old cooker outside of their front door for the past month or so now.

The offending cooker!

The other day, I decided that I would phone the council and find out why there are a different set of rules for the T.A.C.T. group than for the rest of us. Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to my housing manager as she was in a meeting, but the guy I did speak with said there are no separate rules for T.A.C.T. members and that their cooker should not be there! He said that he would pass this information on to my housing manager and she would get back to me.

I am still awaiting the call back from my housing manager regarding this matter. I doubt this matter will be resolved!

The computer illiterate

When I moved into the house where I currently reside, I had a scan around for wireless networks, there were a few that I picked up. There are the BTOpenZone networks coming from the church across the road and 2 or 3 passworded networks coming from neighbours.

At the time I didn’t think anything of this until I set up my own network here. Because I use 2 routers, one to deliver my Internet, and the other is acting like its own private network inside of that for Kates computer to use.

I have set up the WiFi on both routers so that the Internet can be accessed anywhere in the house with no problems as its entirely made of concrete and there is no plaster board any where, which causes problems for signal strength and quality. I have manually set the WiFi channel that the routers use to 12 and 13, which should eliminate any unwanted interference from the neighbours routers WiFi signals. It turns out that my my neighbour uses a really annoying router, and it likes to constantly rotate the channel its using and it likes to hover around 12 – 13, well it seems any channels that I put my routers on.

My neighbours router has started causing connectivity problems for me, which is highly annoying, so I knocked on their door the other day, and asked, if they use WiFi. It turns out that they don’t. I asked politely if they would mind turning it off as it keeps interfering with my network.

I showed them that my phone and iPod picks up their network, and then I started getting questioned as to whether I could see their emails and their computer files, and that they have recently started getting spam emails from a company asking them about medication, implying that it was my fault some how!

I then proceeded to tell them that I couldn’t access their network with out their password, but they didn’t seem to believe me. I then proceeded to show them how to log on to their router and show them how simple it would be to disable their WiFi and that it would take less than 2 minutes to do so. Instead they have decided not to trust me and ask one of their friends about it, and they have come back saying that its a major problem and they should contact Tiscali and get one of their engineers out to sort the “problem” out.

This “problem” as now its been labeled, has been completely out of proportion and has caused my neighbours to not trust me any more, could have been avoided if they had some form of computer training!

I believe in this modern day that everyone who purchases a computer should be given a free weeks worth of training of how to use a computer and all peripherals they have bought to enable them to have some sort of knowledge of what is going on with their computer / peripherals if some one says something like “would you mind turning off your WiFi if your not using it?”

Instead blame the person who has contacted you and accuse them of stealing your information seems to be the best solution for the computer illiterate!