Some Costs of Importing… Randomness

At least on the surface – and quite often on the least suitable or meaningful surface – people around here seem to like order. Admittedly, this “order” often translates into “cut to same size”1 and “here” is this island north of the European continent geographically, a few hundred years back in time preferably and otherwise rather aimlessly drifting on a sea of… well, let’s be charitable for once and call it cluelessness. In other words, current day UK is on the surface committed to maintaining grass and hedges properly trimmed, everything else endlessly and pointlessly -also quite strictly- regulated.

In this orderly environment, I decided to import… randomness. And not any randomness at that, but true and fully auditable sources -yes, more than one- of randomness, long and narrow, fit-in-your-pocket-but-better-plug-in-your-computer electronic boards that go by the name of Fuckgoats and are exquisitely made as well as flawlessly packaged&posted by No Such Labs. Obviously, there was bound to be some bureaucrat to be paid for such disorderly conduct on my part. And so the bureaucrat’s card came first instead of the box with my stuff that I had paid for. Hey, it’s only piracy if it brandishes the cutlass, says “arrrgh” and wears an eye patch/hand hook/all that. Otherwise it’s… bureaucracy, all right and proper dontcha know, the oh-so-Royal Mail’s on it too so that makes it doubly orderly and properly, here you go-ey:

card_fee

Get this: “unfortunately” they can’t deliver my item (I guess that acknowledgement of it being mine is an oversight on their part really, possibly soon to be corrected under a more properly red – red in tooth and in claw as nature is, naturally – administration). The reason for this unfortunate event being that… they want some money2 on this too, what? It’s a bag of money passing them by so they *should* get some of it, a bit of it or it’s… not fair!

The “what to do next” is particularly funny really in the way it lists “options” that are really the same. What to do next? Well, what, pay, what ELSE? No else, no, we are in the land of the free here where all options are duly listed and properly stamped, devoid of any difference other than in form: do you want to pay online, to pay in person, to pay standing, to pay sitting, to pay through your nose or through your ass? Oh, no, *not* pay is not an option, no, wrong century, wrong planet, wrong currency, wrong, wrong, wrong.

And so, for my sins of importing true randomness to this island of many options that are the same3, I paid therefore £19.42 for them to split as spoils – pretty much robber-in-the-woods style (if poor robber, yes). Still, they are – of course! – very orderly in *how* they split it, it’s all set up and neatly detailed and glued and attached to my box, here you go:

package_fee

According to those numbers there I paid therefore £11.42 VAT, apparently payable on *anything* with a value above £15 – so anything more than a toothpick and change basically – and coming from outside the European Union. The fact that there is no equivalent of this item that I could possibly buy in the fabled European Union is of no import, of course. Furthermore I also paid £8 to the not-so-Royal Mail for their service in assisting the road-side robbery as it is, as a precondition of handing me my own parcel. Well, it’s a hard life by the side of the road and nobody can possibly be in any way all-that-bad if they give you one third of the loot at the end of the day, can they?

Anyways, once ransom was therefore paid to bureaucrats, the box of goodies finally made it into my hands, apparently unmolested too (they simply stuck the paper on top of the box, otherwise the packaging itself looked really too neat to have been the result of *their* efforts). And inside the little box, there stood my brand new and shiny FGs, perfectly packaged in anti-static pouches and bubble wrap. Here’s one to feast your eyes on, emerging from its packaging, measured as no more than a third of a usual ace card in width and about one card and a half in length:

fg_packed fg_antistatic fg_size

And now it’s time to go and play with those things of course!


  1. and that in turn can’t ever mean anything *other* than lowest common denominator i.e. bottom of the pit i.e. as shitty as it can get. Nature being very helpful in this direction there is of course no bottom to that pit but that’s just… evolution, innit? 

  2. No, the sum there is not the issue here at all really. It’s the principle behind all this that is the trouble and if you think that oh, but it’s only a little sum, what’s all the fuss about it, then go get fucked already, only a “little” in the ass too as that doesn’t matter as long as it’s just a little, does it? 

  3. Hey, I would have bought it HERE if it EXISTED, you know? It sucks to have to import cool stuff from half way around the world, yes, but how does it follow then that one also has to *pay locals* for their failing to have the cool stuff locally? 

Categorie: Dark Modern Ages.

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7 Comentarii

  1. Cristian says:

    The link to No Such Labs is broken.

  2. Cristian says:

    Heh. Every country protects itself from imports and after all you had zero import duties to pay, only VAT. Which you would have paid anyway if you have bought the item from the local store. What’s interesting though is that you must pay VAT for the cost of shipping too, not just the item itself. Again, just like when you buy it from the local store. Not that I condone this. Death to taxes!!!1

    I have no idea what the Royal Mail does for the money, but I read about some Romanians’ experience with importing goods from outside the EU. They had the option of either paying DHL a fee (~100 – 150 RON) or do the paperwork themselves. They chose the second one and it wasn’t a piece of cake. More like a piece of shit :-)

    P.S. Though there were/are some commercial agreements between the EU and other countries. Among them Israel 😀 And China or other Asian countries for computer related goods.

  3. Diana Coman says:

    Neah, not broken, it’s NoSuchLabs that was/is down for lack of republican isp; work in progress there atm.

    “Protecting” against getting cool stuff that you however don’t have yourself is called laziness. I agree though that it is very widespread, sure, so what?

    Once again, it’s not about the sum at all (I pay for *useful* services all the time and don’t mind it one bit quite on the contrary actually) – it’s about paying to support laziness essentially, that’s the problem.

  4. Cristian says:

    Well in this case, the useful service is probably having the Royal Mail do the paperwork for you. Though an improved (read missing) bureaucratic system would be better.

  5. Diana Coman says:

    That’s like saying “the thug does a useful service in doing the work of spending your money for you.” I know modern dark ages are all about twisting things until anything is same as everything but I’m not into this. I never was modern after all, won’t start now.

    The reason for that “paperwork” shouldn’t be there in the first place.

  6. Cristian says:

    I agree, but I doubt that the Royal Mail requires the paperwork. I think it’s another part of the government.

  7. Diana Coman says:

    Cristian Royal Mail acts as a lap dog, that’s all there is to it. And that doesn’t mean it’s somehow less or not to blame for it. I don’t buy into the approach that “oh, they were just following orders” – better know how to choose whose orders you follow basically.

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