Costco – take a bow of shame

Sexual Discrimination should be long gone from business, but let’s consider a major and rather unfair problem facing a newly married woman..


That is to say, changing your surname.

Just under 2 months ago we got married, so Sharon has spent much of her time since we got back from honeymoon jumping through all the hoops necessary to become known as ‘Mrs’ by everyone, like her employer, bank, various retailers – the list is seemingly endless.

Last night we were in Costco for a few ‘essentials’ – coffee is essential, right? We stopped at the customer service desk to get her name updated – sure, just please bring in your Marriage certificate – like you take that shopping with you all the time…

Want to open an account? You’ll need a wage slip and a utility bill to ‘prove’ your name and address.

Want to update your address? Bring in a utility bill.

OK, so far, so good. Seems broadly sensible, after all, this is just ‘membership’ of a retailer.

Got married and want to update your name? You need your MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE – but why?? I don’t need my birth certificate to prove my name – but my wife needs our marriage certificate to prove hers!

    The ONLY time that Costco demand a certificate from the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages is for women who got married.

Why do I think that’s sexual discrimination? Because when you are treated differently because of your sex in one of the situations that are covered by the Equality Act – and that includes “When you use businesses and other organisations that provide services and goods (like shops, restaurants, and cinemas)” – then that’s Sexual Discrimination.

sex discrimination

your rights under equality act

To be clear, under no circumstance does Costco ever require any higher form of identification than a wage slip or a utility bill UNLESS YOU ARE A WOMAN.


What’s worse is, there’s simply no need!

If you believe that you need that level of identification/proof for a woman before you’ll believe she’s married and has changed her name, then you MUST demand the SAME level of identification/proof of ANYONE seeking to gain or amend membership details.

And why not accept other verified forms of identification – to update their passport, a newly married lady must send off their marriage certificate – same for updating their driving licence with the DVLA – So, knowing that, why aren’t they acceptable as proof? Do they think their identification policy is MORE rigorous than the UK Passport Agency??

Of course – it’s only OK to ask for that of married women if you ALSO ask ALL customers for their passport/driving licence to apply or amend membership.

As a bloke, I’ll never face this. But my wife does. So that, frankly pisses me off – the fact that a well known UK retailer is STILL pursuing a policy like this beggars belief!

#Costco #sexualdiscrimination

What lies beneath?

Have you ever looked around at the people at your work and wondered what hidden interests and talents lie beneath the work façade?

I was in a meeting at work recently when the boss happened to spot the ‘Flight 666’ logo on my security pass lanyard – if you don’t know what Flight 666 is, look

Anyway, the big boss then proceeded to quietly show me all the Iron Maiden tracks on his IPhone – so what? Well, this is a grey haired suited guy, pretty straight laced, and it’s the only peek I’ve ever had into ‘what lies beneath’. Not that being older and grey haired is a bar to being a Maiden fan – we’re all getting older, and I’m no exception!

That got me thinking – looking around the office, how many people are aware I’m starting my training with the IAM to hopefully become an Observer – someone who acts as a mentor to motorcycle ‘associates’ to prepare them for their Advanced Motorcycle test with an IAM examiner – or that I’m a British Sub Aqua Club Advanced Diver and Club Instructor, and a Scottish Sub Aqua Club 2nd Class Diver and Branch Instructor – and why should they know? It’s not like any of that is relevant to my job (an analyst/programmer), or my activities at work as an Employee Representative.

So next time you have time, find out what people have achieved outside of work – it may surprise you!

Post-partum Referendum blues

It’s been a momentous time for Scotland. We all knew that in this referendum there must be winners and losers, but whatever the result was we would all be in it together since we all live in Bonny Scotland. So it’s with great sadness that I’ve witnessed so much vile, abusive and hate filled language spew forth on a variety of social media, plus the vandalism of ‘No’ signs branding them ‘traitors’. It’s time to put that behind us now, for the sake of all our futures. If we can’t now rise above this and look to working together as a nation for our future then I fear the future will be bleak.

Bitterness has no place in society, and certainly not in Democracy. What if the haters who are now spewing forth their disgusting diatribes had been on the ‘winning’ side of the Referendum, how would they view the ‘losers’ using such foul language to describe them I wonder? In truth there are no winners or losers in this whole issue – we all still live in Scotland, and our future still lies in Scotland.

One of the many strengths of Scotland has always been our caring nature – we might talk a hard game sometimes, but we look after our own – and this is shown in our charitable giving – we are a generous nation and on average give far more than other parts of the UK. It would be a terrible tragedy if that caring side of Scotland was irrevocably damaged as a direct result of this referendum.

Ultimately we should be eternally grateful that we live in a Democracy where we can run such an emotive and important referendum and not expect anything other than a fair vote – many other countries have no such freedom – and having expressed its democratic will it’s now time for the Scotland people to move on.

What will follow now? I hope in the short term the foul and offensive language of the few will fall silent, and the world of social media can return to what it was – a place to keep in touch with friends, and even family, without having to fight over politics. I wonder if the politicians will manage to move away from the politics of fear and start to look at how to build a better union for everyone concerned, not just Scotland. Maybe if they stop all the nonsense and actually listen to the problems people face daily they might win the respect of people, rather than just trying to scare them all the time?

Catch up!

Blimey, I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit!!

So, I’ve been keeping busy, filming my commutes on the bike, and I have a few more videos on my .

I’ve done an oil and filter change on the motorbike, and then discovered the exhaust was leaking. That was temporarily patched up, but a visit to we decided that the exhaust was SO rusty that the only realistic long term solution was to replace it. That was Saturday 9th Feb.

Monday 11th they tried to order a new exhaust for it, I’ll spare you the saga, but basically it had to be sent from the factory as the dealer was out of stock, and the exhaust was the LAST one in the factory…

Tuesday 12th, no sign of the exhaust

Wednesday 13th, turns out the factory was overloaded with work, so exhaust only sent out today.

Thursday 14th, I hump all my bike gear into work in anticipation of collecting bike after work… exhaust finally arrives at 2:30pm, shop unable to promise it will be fitted as already half way through an engine rebuild. So I leave the gear tucked under my desk, and get the train home. 5:30pm I get a call from the shop – new exhaust fitted, BUT your radiator is badly corroded and in moving it to get the exhaust on, a lug on the lower edge if the radiator that was corroded through has broken off and now the radiator is leaking.

Friday 15th – Breakers offering used radiators are asking far too much for them – better order a new one for all the difference in price – ordered and dispatched, but the couriers don’t do Saturday deliveries, so looking like Monday at earliest.

As I’m off work the following Monday (school holiday and wife back at work) and there’s a chance that the bike might be ready, I hump my kit back up the hill and take it all home again (feel better about that anyway – it is worth rather a lot!) – and hope that A – the bike will be ready on Monday, and B, I can get across to collect it…. oh – and the weather will be ok to ride it home!!

Here we are on the Monday, the bike is still in the workshop, the radiator still hasn’t arrived, and even IF it can be fitted today, and there are no other problems, it doesn’t look like I’m likely to be able to get across to collect it before they close tonight…. Grrrrrrr!

In other news, I’ve had a week of peace and quiet with the family away on a skiing trip, so I used that time to do some brewing.

In a moment of stupidity, I was distracted during the sparge by a phone call, and critically had left the boiler on to maintain the heat of the sparge water, and when the water level dropped below the heating elements… well, they overheated and started to stink!

One of them died there and then, and although the other managed to make it through the rest of the brew, it was time to replace them both, which I promptly did, and then got another brew on after work mid way through the week.

So here we are today, on my day off work, and it’s a lovely sunny, but rather cold, day. I’ve got a few things to take care of around the house, and then hopefully I’ll get some time to start bottling and kegging the beer…. maybe!!

The mind boggles!

While trawling the weird and wonderful world of YouTube, I came across this little gem.

Now, seriously, I suppose we aren’t meant to laugh at the afflicted, but this woman holds a driving licence (I assume!) – and has the right to vote – and the right to buy guns – as many guns as she wants – and she’s out there…. truly scary!

Perhaps this is a good reason for not visiting America? Never mind the shootings, the gun control fights, the anti-abortion bombers, the proliferation of guns and fear-first-politics – there are utter morons living there – and they have cars and (maybe) guns – be afraid, be very afraid!