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Friday, 22 December, 2000, 11:09 GMT
Stress-o-meter, final day

Suppose we should have bought digital
Well you finally did it. You broke the Stress-o-meter.

We asked for your tales of festive woe, and boy did we get them. Here is the final bumper crop.

So before your brain goes the way of the meter, take a few moments to share the trauma of these poor souls. Then count to 10.

OUR FINAL TRAVEL ROUND-UP
Nick: "I booked a ticket to Glasgow from London to see my girlfriend, months ago. However, when I phone to check how many hours delay there will be, I'm told I now need to change at Preston - but unfortunately the last connection will already have left by the time I get there!"

Catherine: "On Saturday I will be escorting my octogenarian grandparents from London to Devon on Britain's joke of a rail network. Who knows where we'll end up or on what day we'll arrive. One grandparent has 'psychic' powers but I bet can't tell when we'll get there."

SPECIAL PRIZE FOR COMBINING TRAINS, PHONES AND OTHER PEOPLE
Vijay: "I nearly got into a fight last Friday when some idiot in the 'quiet' no mobile carriage started yakking loudly on his phone for a good hour broadcasting to all and sundry the goings on his pitiful life."

DISCLAIMER: THE BBC TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY 2 (CONTD FROM THURSDAY)
Jamie: "When trains are running slow, people should still leave their home at the same time and arrive home at the same time. This would leave the corporations to pick up the hefty time bill for the mess."

JUST FEEL HAPPY FOR HIM
Conner: "Well, I am now not stressed. After enduring the pain of Virgin Trains for the last year and a half, I have agreed with my employers that I can work from a different location. I never have to set foot on one again, or pay the equivalent of an air fare for a train ticket again."

YES SI, YOU'RE NOT THE FIRST PERSON TO GLOAT BUT IT DOESN'T IMPRESS ANYONE
Si: "I'm an English Ex-Pat spending my first Christmas alone in Brussels, away from the stresses of England.... and you know what... it's absolutely WONDERFUL!!!

LIFE IMITATES ATTACHMENTS
Nikolai: "I am just about to launch a dot.com, b2b I might add, but everyone in the media are tearing the internet apart. How can I cope? I have a lot invested in this - what if it fails?"

REMEMBER TO BE NICE TO THOSE IN CALL CENTRES, ON HELPDESKS, AND BEHIND TILLS...
Alistair: "I work for a large supermarket chain. I'm fed up with unreasonable customers expecting the earth. It's not the cashier's fault the store has run out of anchovy and mango stuffing. We all work really hard this time of year and are very stressed ourselves.

JOSH, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW HOW TEMPTED WE WERE TO PRINT YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS SO THE WHOLE WORLD COULD FLAME YOU.
Josh: "I am away in Sydney, so the only thing I can complain about at the moment is the heat, it's absolutely scorching. Ho ho ho."

HOW RETRO! SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE!
David: "The people I feel sorry for are GM workers. Why couldn't GM have announced the closure in the New Year? It will take months to sort out the details so a three-week delay couldn't possibly have mattered."

YOUR FRANKNESS DOES YOU CREDIT
Al: "I am an industrial placement student from university. I have very little money. Am doing a job where no-one really cares if I turn up or not. I have no girlfriend (was told the other day that I was 'sweet but not boyfriend potential')."

WHO LET MARTIN IN? MUST BE A FRIEND OF JOSH
Martin: "Here in Bermuda the dangers of sunstroke and rum-poisoning are causing us sleepless nights."

YOU'RE NOT THE FIRST PERSON TO SAY THIS
Mark: "Why can't people look where they're walking?"

THOSE PESKY MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS! (AND KIDS AND PARENTS AND PRAMS)
Tracey: "I have to travel 40 miles to get to work by car. This is bad enough with other drivers pulling out all over the place without looking. The town is full of on-foot car drivers [?] who don't have a clue where they are going; push chairs, prams, kids and parents who have no control."

IT'S THE CABLE GUY BEING A GRINCH
Dan: "I've had to call the cable people three times this week, and on EVERY occasion I have had to hold in a queue for more than an hour! I dream of their hold muzak now! To my shame I even ranted on at the poor helpdesk person (sorry, whoever you were)."

RONA, STRESS DOES NASTY THINGS TO YOU
Rona: "Why do people in Oxford St not look when the cross the road. I cycle home and have to contend with people who have a death wish. Still they are soft when you land on them."

MAYBE THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE DOING YOU A FAVOUR?
Anthony: "We've got no Xmas TV. I woke up this morning to find someone had pulled the cable leading to my satellite dish from the wall and cut it in half. What was the point of this vandalism?"

GARRY, STRESS DOES NASTY THINGS TO YOU
Garry: "The bosses of my company have declared today 'Children's Day'. Consequently, we have a smelly array of snotty brats making noise around my desk while I'm trying to work! Children should be seen but not at work! I'm going to strangle one, I am... Come here, you little..."

NICE TRY, BUT YOU'RE PREACHING TO THE CONVERTED
Rich: "I shall be working Christmas Day for a well known ISP, trying to connect new customers to the internet. A bit of advice, please leave the PC well alone, and concentrate on the family, or TV. The fewer calls I receive in my 10.5 hr shift, the better!"

RICHARD, WHAT ABOUT THE KYOTO AGREEMENT?
Richard: " New housemate feels the need to save electricity... to the point where if I pop to the toilet, she will switch off the lights, TV and video, only for me to come back one minute later and have to turn them all on again - she needs connecting to the electricity."

ALTOGETHER NOW: "LOOK TO THE FUTURE NOW, IT'S ONLY JUST BEGU--UU--UN"
Tara: "Must Christmas music be played in every shop over and over again? Does the tape never end?"

MAN HEROICALLY PUTS FINGER IN THE DYKE
Jonathan: "Of course the Stress-o-meter is going up, you're encouraging people to air their grievances, but you don't want to hear from us relaxed folk. I used to spend so much time gnashing my teeth because I was stuck in a traffic jam or something, but in the end I just learned to chill out. Mmmmmm....There, does that bring the Stress-o-meter down?"

SYNTAX ERROR. DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Ben: "The computer just crashed as I was typing my railway woes. Stress level up another point...."

MELTDOWN
Philippa: "I read this morning that someone has conducted a study on snowmen, concluding that they are gender stereotypes and sexist as they are always built in the garden or a field i.e. men should be in the rugged outdoors whilst women are traditionally in the home. Isn't it because THEY WOULD MELT INSIDE???!!!! AGGGHHHH."

KEEP MUM
Sue: "My mother. Selfish, egotistical, demanding, an absolute witch."

HAS EVERYONE IN PAUL'S OFFICE HEARD WHAT HE'S BEEN SAYING ABOUT YOU BEHIND YOUR BACK?
Paul: "The bitching, the back-stabbing and the tantrums that go on in this office is untrue. It's like being back at school. I have drawn a mental line on the floor in front of me. If anyone of you step over it, (and you know who you are), watch out... I'M ABOUT READY TO EXPLODE!"

MAN HEROICALLY PUTS FINGER IN DYKE 2
Martin: "Mobile phones have changed the street scene. Nowadays people walk around bumping into things or blocking the pavement because they are distracted. When not actually having a conversation why do users stare lovingly down at the phone in their hand?

MAYBE THEY'RE TRYING TO WARN YOU ABOUT SOMETHING
Stuart: "Why do tourists in London always stop and point in front of me?"

YOUR HONESTY DOES YOU CREDIT 2
Rebecca: "I've just bought a flat, I haven't done any shopping and I've developed a strange eczema red, itchy flaky, scaly rash all over my FACE!"

THIS MAN'S MIND HAS GONE
Bernard: "I'm stressed that everyone seems to be suffering stress, except me! Am I stressed and I don't know it? Has my mind gone?"

MICRO CHIP ON SHOULDER
Paul: "I work in Clerkenwell and am surrounded by pretentious new media prats. But to add insult to injury I have to watch them riding those micro scooters."

YOU SEE, THIS IS EXACTLY THE SORT OF THING WE DIDN'T WANT
Rob: "I'm not stressed, I'm smug. Tomorrow is my last working day until March when I'll return to my job with a promotion and a 40% pay rise. In the meantime there'll be a couple of months snowboarding in Canada."

BRAVE WORDS, MY FRIEND
Glen: " I have a theory that gets me by... If life was perfect it would be boring. So, come on problems and do your worst."

WRITING TO STRESS-O-METER DOESN'T COUNT AS INFORMING THE AUTHORITIES, YOU KNOW
Jbil: "I got home yesterday to find that I had been burgled. Along with my TV and stereo they kidnapped my wife and my dog. I have just been sent an ear in the post... it isn't the dog's."

LIFE IMITATES IT'S GRIM UP NORTH LONDON (IT'S A CHEESE, BY THE WAY)
Ben from Islington: "Two supermarkets for jumbo food shopping expeditions in one day, but nobody has any taleggio :-("

MEET JOHN. HE TREATS SECURITY GUARDS TO RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
John: "I thought I'd be smart and order all my presents online. However, I accidentally clicked the wrong button, and got them all sent to my office. And my office closes over Christmas."

FOR SOME NON-SPECIFIC FEELGOOD REASON, DAVE GETS THE FINAL WORD.
Dave: "Going home, an empty home as my wife has left me. Bought no presents yet, work goes on over Xmas. But feeling very tranquil. Looking forward to drinks with friends & spending an enormous amount in the January sales. Please be nice to each other - life is too short for all this stress nonsense. Have a relaxing & chilled Christmas. Bon Noel."

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20 Dec 00 | UK
Stress-o-meter, day two
21 Dec 00 | UK
Stress-o-meter, day three
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