I checked the Internet for green water ponds, not that I wanted one, just needed information on how to get rid of it…the water that is. They call it pea soup, as if I didn’t know. My pond is quite beautiful except for the green, that green that developed over the winter, and still exists despite the use of Phosphate remover and barley straw pellets that I used again because they worked last year. But NOT this time! No, the manufacturer of the phosphate mixture (PHOS-X) had changed their package specs to a smaller capacity with no doubt double the strength. BUT IT DIDN’T WORK!
So I check on the Internet under “pea soup” and get useful data (I think) that tells me to buy a pond water analysis kit, providing one product name that can be purchased for U.S.$8.99. We couldn’t of course wait for it to be shipped so up to the local pond store it was where we purchase the kit for CAN.$28.00! Same size…..same specs…..same old business tactic called usury, and I can think of many other words!
The test kit contained 50 test strips, to be used once per week, so with a season of 6months it was calculated that I could get two years out of this kit. I’ll be lucky! When I used the first strip, dipping it in the pond for one second only, and allowing an elapsed time of 30 seconds before taking the first readings, I wondered as I waited if I had dipped for a full one second or perhaps it was two…..or maybe three, or something in between!!?? That was my first concern. To be 100% out could be catastrophic!
My second concern came after 30 seconds when I compared the strip’s 5 coloured tabs with those on the strip container. Did I compare horizontally or vertically? You see there were 5 tests to be done, and 5 colours shown, so it was a complete lottery! And I wondered so hard that I read the instructions 4 times in all, trying like the devil to decipher the poor English language contained therein! I selected one of course. I had no option. It was wrong…..of course!
So I went to my other pond professional who told me to get an ultra-violet purifier and that would do the trick but until you can afford it “try this”, handing me a bottle of special liquid for the purpose. So I took it and I’m waiting. Another 24 hours should do it, I’m told. It was another $30+ of course and we still have a green pond…but I trust this second professional. He’s served me well in the past. A most knowledgeable guy! (Hydrosphere Water Gardens & Fisheries at 905 715 2447 operated by Chris Dahl, B.Sc……his ponds are superb!)
I’ve seen it everywhere though. The usury, the lies, the lack of trust, the greed. I’m in the building and development business you see, so I know how it works! It’s business as usual in all walks of life. Insurance companies refusing to pay legitimate claims and making false promises. Like when I asked for an estimate from a firm that specialized in seniors’ car policies, and guess what, their offer was the highest of 4 estimates received, by over $30/month! Beat that!
And not forgetting the PHOS-X pond treatment above where they changed specs on the product, saying it would do the same work as last year! That was a lie!
And today, my wife comes back from her medical appointment with the knowledge that her previous MRI was of no use and that a second one was now required. Huh! Another 3 months wait! And to put another nail in the coffin, her X-rays were no good either. They had to be redone since the quality was not satisfactory! Strange how these labs get the work, get paid, and get more work in spite of their deficiencies! Strange indeed.
And not forgetting the banks. No. We can’t do that. These institutions that borrow from others at particularly low rates and lend to you at particularly high rates…………PLUS fees! Yes they do. I recall being a Project Manager for a real estate developer in Toronto, and in comes two members of the bank, to sit and discuss the developer’s loan potential. Upon conclusion they present a paper to the developer, ask him to sign and return with his certified cheque in the sum of $15,000, being their fee for reviewing the project. (A one-day task.) Usury? Yes. Undoubtedly! And if that’s not bad enough, a private investment firm in Torotno did exactly the same thing. Asked for $15,000….got it….said it was for preparing their Letter of Intent to Commit to a loan……prepared the letter with conditions that could NOT be met……..and there the matter ended. The developer could NOT get the loan, but the Investment Firm got its $15,000 for it’s 3-hour letter! I think it’s called legal robbery….I’m not sure.
Oddly though I am seeing a change in the car dealerships’ ways and means of doing business. Maybe it’s the result of declining sales over these last many months and maybe perhaps it is also due to the Internet, that useful storage vault of world knowledge. Perhaps it’s both!
It is now a given that most of us search the Internet before making a car purchase and that’s exactly what I did, selecting 4 vehicles to visit, reduce to 2, test drive, ask for verification of prices, select one, check insurance costs, then purchase. I’ve just finished the penultimate stage and should make a purchase next week. The salesmen are undoubtedly better today than before. They have the knowledge, they don’t hound for signatures, they don’t appear to haggle, and when they offer you a quote it’s done on the computer, for all to see. This is certainly good for those of us who don’t like haggling…..as are most of us I think……in North America!
In days of yore I recall a Ford salesman selling us a used vehicle that looked new, and if you looked closely you could probably see that it had been repainted quite recently. He didn’t tell us that at the time though, and it was only after some spalling of the paint in the months that followed that we realised what had occurred. He had sold us a vehicle that had been involved in an accident. An accident covered up with PAINT!
The Internet is of course the venue where most of the “business” horrors reveal themselves. Look at the number of “offers to assist” in working from home and earning mass sums each year…..and when you visit their Web you are forever intruded upon by their impersonal E-mails. Then there’s SPAM in all its glory!!?? And the stuff from Nigeria’s hoodlums and other such criminals, intent upon reducing your bank account to nil! What’s so funny about this last one is that they have the gall! The English language that they use is far from perfect and wouldn’t fool a 7-year-old. Must be lots of 7-year-olds with bank accounts I guess! But they continue on, and on, with letter-headed paper showing them to be Presidents of Banks, Commissioners of Police and so on.
Wonder if I should……….? No. Better not!
So, what’s this all about? Was a simple handshake ever a moral obligation to undertake to a tee exactly what you THOUGHT it was? Personally I THINK NOT! It’s always been this way. There are just too many people in this world to honestly believe that they can all make a living honestly. That would require too much effort. Too much education. Too much money….that most of us don’t have!
So, to heck with education! If you’re street smart you’re probably better off anyway.