Sunday, 21 June 2015

Fathers Day

Pic courtesy of eloisa from Pixabay on a CC0 Public Domain license.
I searched for "Fathers Day" and this came up.  Beer in the snow - a must!

Today it's Fathers Day.

I was surprised to discover that it's Fathers Day both in the UK and in the US (and quite a few other countries), we tend to have different dates for days such as this, so it makes a refreshing change to be able to make a post that a reasonable amount of people will recognise, rather than thinking "Why is he blogging about this today?!?"

Nevertheless, for those from countries that it isn't Fathers Day (according to Google Analytics, that would be the 5.5% of visitors I get from Romania, Germany, and Australia - welcome), do feel free to put this blog in your bookmarks and read it on the appropriate day.

I tried searching for details about the history of Fathers Day on the net, and rapidly found various websites arguing about the origins of Fathers Day - it might date from around the start of the twentieth century, after the Monongah mining disaster, whilst other websites argue that it is actually a Pagan ritual, which may or may not have been absorbed into Christian beliefs (and seem to argue far more amongst themselves as to whether this makes it "good" or not - I don't have problems with any faith people follow, however that also means that I don't have a problem with something actually being a Pagan ritual as opposed to a Christian ceremony, and in addition I don't necessarily think that arguing over which faith a certain event originated from, probably several thousand years ago, is the best use of anyones time)

I do think that there is something to be said for considering the meaning of something today, as opposed to its origins possibly thousands of years ago - for example today the meaning of Fathers Day for me it's spending time with my family, hopefully not doing too many chores and taking some beer round to my dad.  Dad is probably well known to regular readers for his brilliant guest blog posts, one which I particularly like is an older one about his experiences at the bank.  I've been forced to deal with the banks a fair bit recently due to wedding and honeymoon stuff, one particular anecdote I have is for the holiday flagging of debit cards.

Both myself and my wife have debit cards with Santander.  No problem with Santander themselves - they've been very helpful in some ways, in others they're as good as any other bank, and their 123 account has some nice features.

So, I went in to a branch to warn them that I would be going on holiday and that my debit card would be going with me.  I was told that I would have to ring their telephone line (which I could do in-branch) and tell the call centre.

Now, just taking a minute to analyse this, because it's something that we all take for granted, why is it that the people in the branch can't handle this?  Why is it that when it comes to our debit/credit cards, we have to ring the call centre?

I've had a similar issue before with HSBC when they've identified a fraudulous transaction (which is absolutely 100% excellent work, well done HSBC), they rang me and then attempted to get me to prove that I am who I say I am - even though they rang me, not the other way around - I then went in to the local HSBC branch because I'm not comfortable speaking to this random person who rang me up and refuses to prove that they are from my bank, but all that the branch staff can do is ring the call centre themselves.

Anyway, I spoke to the person at the call centre, who interrogated me in great detail as to exactly when I would be leaving the country, where I would be going, and when I would be returning (I admit to you all that some of the timings I guessed - I'm going on a ship, and I'm not exactly sure when the ship will be sailing, never mind the moment when it will leave British waters).  At the end of the process he told me that they might flag transactions as suspicious anyway, and if they did they'd ring me to check that I was the person using the card.

Meanwhile, my other half rang them, and was told that she didn't need to let them know as we weren't going outside of Europe!

Dad, me, and the dude at Little Weighton Steam Engine Rally a couple of years back.

Anyway, if you're celebrating Fathers Day, either as a father, or doing something for your father, I hope it goes well.


  1. It's Father's Day here too. Happy Father's Day to your dad and all those who became a father figure in your life.

  2. Happy Father's day to you, and your dad, oh what the heck, to me as well.

    Great post Mike.


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