The Swedish Chef Bork Bork Bork!

It is no secret that I’m a big fan of The Muppets (the original ones from the 70s, from when Jim Henson was still alive and voicing Kermit) and have a special place in my heart for them, like most people of my generation that had access to a TV whilst growing up. One of the most iconic and most imitated characters is the Swedish Chef, whose cooking sessions more-often-than-not ended in disaster! We are so used to seeing him in his chef’s outfit that I thought you would be as pleasantly surprised as me to see him dressed by Versace, as featured in the September 2008 issue of the UK’s POP magazine (shown below).

Swedish Chef by VesaceIn my search for all things ‘Swedish Chef’ I came across a brilliant site that actually ‘translates’ anything and most sites into this Muppet’s language. CLICK HERE TO VISIT The Dialectizer Site.

As an example of what it does and of how easily I am amused, here’s how it translated the my WordPress biography: “I em a generelly iesy-gueeng chep, ooreeginelly frum Nutteenghem (UK) boot elsu a Spuneesh Neshunel. I’m stoock in zee 70s/80s vhee it cumes tu mooseec und em a greet fun ooff sceeence-a-feecshun und I hefe-a a fery beezerre-a sense-a ooff hoomuoor. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! I oocceseeunelly pley zee ecuoosteec gooeeter. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! I speek Ingleesh, Spuneesh & BSL (Breetish Seegn lungooege-a). I’m zee Edmeen Esseestunt & IT gooy et Ideel Cuoontry Pruperty. Bork bork bork!

Speaker Problems at the Corte Inglés

Ever had speaker problems? I’ll get to that. First, I’d like to say: “Hello world…again!” My last two Blogs were hacked & ruined by scum-of-the-earth-with-nothing-better-to-do but eventually I will be putting my showcase of photos on here, taken on my “travels”. I will be sharing my insights on the world & life in general so basically, if you’re reading this, you’re either a friend or just incredibly bored; in either case you have my sympathies!

Here’s me kicking off my new Blog with a true story from late last year and with a photo of a Guinness I recently enjoyed during my lunchbreak across the road from my work.

Guinness Break

Only in Spain: Christopher’s epic true story of the day (18th November 2012 – MADRID)

Speaker Problems Even At High-End Stores

Went into El Corte Inglés (Spain’s equivalent of Harrods) this evening and headed straight for the electronics dept (nowt new there then). I spot a thing called “Sonos Wireless Speaker System” (wireless as in no wires and not as in the radio). There are two smallish trendy speakers separated by an information card with instructions as to how to use it on your mobile device. I download the App and follow the on-screen instructions to connect my iPhone to the Sonos Wireless Speaker system. With me so far? Now comes the tricky part. First of all I get a screen with music files that are not mine – they belong to the store’s music server. OK I suppose but I wanted to rest the speakers with my own (80s decent) music. I press play aaaand… nothing! OK so I press the volume buttons on both speakers and still nothing. I’m pretty impressed at this point…NOT! Then I see a volume slider button on my phone and put it up to maximum. I hear a faint sound of music but nothing outstanding – certainly not worth the price tag on those speakers.

speaker sonos wireless systemOK so I’ll select another track, one that’s a bit more upbeat and I press play again. Still nothing so I start messing with the settings and moving the volume slider (sort of like what you do with the mouse when you want your PC to go faster!). Whilst I’m doing this, some idiot at the other end of the store starts playing some music that keeps starting and stopping and really distracting me, further adding to my frustration of not being able to manage a supposedly simple technological task.

Then one of the young, snobbish, underpaid, overworked staff, dressed in a suit and with an ego the size of the entire 9 floors of the store comes over screaming and shouting at me, flaring his arms. I’ve of course, got my “what the heck is this guy’s problem?” face on, which apparently didn’t help his mood. Treating me like a 3-year old, he proceeds to tell me that he and his important clients can’t hear a thing as I’ve got the music on full blast over in his section where the speakers are and would I turn it off NOW!

Turning my gaze to the other side of the store (a good 30 second walk away) I see quite a few people with fingers in there ears, staff scrambling around the audio section trying to turn all the speakers off amidst miffed customers hurrying away from the racket! After my initial embarrassment and feeling bad for those customers whose hearing I may personally have permanently damaged, albeit unwittingly due to 5 minutes of intermittent dance music, I then realise that after all I AM still a customer and as such, I have rights (and one of them isn’t being spoken to like a dog).

As it happens, three chief executives walk onto the shop floor (probably wondering what all the commotion is) and I make a beeline for them. I ask them to follow me to this amazing little Wireless speaker stand in the electronic section. When they point out that I need to speak to a member of sales staff, I mention that it is precisely due to the conduct of one of their elite staff that I am making a complaint that has to do with this marvellous new piece of technology. Suddenly, they come to attention (bad customer service in El Corte Inglés? Never!) and quickly follow me to the stand where I point out the current setup. (Remember the two speakers and info card?)

Coming To America SaulAsking them to put themselves in my position I asked them which speakers one would expect to control remotely from one’s phone? All three pointed to the ones in front of us. I then emitted the “ah-haaa” of Saul, the Jewish client in the barber shop in the film “Coming To America” when he tells joke about asking the waiter to taste the soup (if you don’t know it just ask; I will be happy to oblige). I then take out my phone, turn on my newly downloaded App, select the crappy modern dance track from their server and put the volume on max. “Not very loud, is it?” says one of them to which I reply, “that’s because it’s coming from the other end of the store, right from where your employee is running toward us over there!” At this point I stop the music (as I don’t want to cause any more collateral damage) and mention that he is the employee that treated me like a dog and told me off.

cartoon-man-runningHalfway through his jog, the twit sees the three suits with me, does an impressive turn mid-run and darts behind an isle of DVDs. At this point I ask the three execs to read the instructions on the info card in front of us and then ask them if it is by any chance normal or logical to have two speakers in front of you that have nothing to do with the system but rather have a server that controls speakers at the other end of the store. Also, did such a situation want my being treated in such a deplorable manner by an employee if such a reputable company? Oh and by the way, I am now not going to buy the speaker system nor the 4.000€ 65″ TV from them!

This bit I loved: the three of them couldn’t apologise enough but I wasn’t having any of it. Shouting over to my wife in a very formal manner (she saw everything too) I said “Come on dear, we’re leaving!” in my best spoken posh Spanish accent, then walked briskly off round a corner where we watched the three suits give the snobby twit the telling-off of his career!

Moral of the story? I’ve no idea other than don’t buy a Sonos Wireless System as it’s crap – unless you want to control your neighbours speakers down the road!