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Won a Nice Backpack, Got Silenced on Patook

Should have written another protest report by now, since with the situation developing even as I’m starting to write this, there will be a whole lot to include in a post written even later. But really don’t feel like doing anything today, so in order to at least use such a day with nothing planned to check the week’s first post off the list somehow, I guess I’ll throw a personal update here instead, starting with the two personal matters mentioned as going on at the time at the start of the previous post, without getting into them otherwise then.

The first I was made aware of on October 12, when I received an e-mail informing me that I had won a backpack for filling out a survey on VICE and requesting my full name, address and phone number. Of course, at first I was suspicious, but I did recall filling out such a survey, the e-mail seemed genuine and looking up the sender’s name seemed to confirm her position, even though I couldn’t actually find her listed on any VICE site, so I eventually decided to reply with the required information on October 15, since the e-mail also stated the fact that the deadline was October 16, after which time another winner will be picked.
Now I expected it to take a few weeks, but on November 20, so five full weeks after the deadline, I sent another e-mail to ask what was going on, since I hadn’t even received a reply to confirm that the first one had been received, so I said it was all right if I had been disqualified for some reason or that reply of mine somehow got lost, but I’d at least want to know. And this time I did receive a reply, letting me know that there had been some problems and sending the prize took longer than expected, but it should be sent by the end of the month, making me assume I’ll receive it at some point in December, and probably not in the first part of the month.
That wasn’t the case, however, since Thursday, so on November 30, dad found a notification in the building’s door, letting me know that an attempt had been made to deliver a parcel, without any information regarding what was in it. Now there was a single thing it could have been, but I definitely didn’t expect it so soon and hadn’t been called by the delivery person, so I was very surprised. And then became increasingly anxious when dad said the delivery person should be called to schedule a new delivery date, so anxious that I didn’t even understand what I had read when I looked over that part of the notification myself, missing the fact that the first listed option was to contact head office, the delivery person’s number being listed as another option.
Obviously, I wasn’t going to call myself, and there could be no calling from my number since I last charged that a long time ago and it’s been several months since I’m back to just being able to receive. It may actually be close to the time when I’ll need to charge again so I won’t lose the number, now that I think of it, but while dad insisted that evening, quite angrily actually, to charge it the next day, I managed to convince him otherwise and he called the delivery guy then. However, that didn’t accomplish anything, since the guy just told him he was in his free time and to call back on Monday, since the next day was free, being Romania’s National Day. The fact that dad rather launched into him as soon as he answered for not calling first and just leaving after dropping a notification outside like that might have had something to do with that reaction.
Either way, the delivery guy definitely didn’t wait until Monday, instead trying again Saturday morning, when he got to the apartment door and rang, but both me and dad were sleeping, so he woke us both up but left before dad actually got up to see who it was, leaving another notification, with “call Monday” written on it by hand. And then he didn’t wait for any call Monday either, instead coming even earlier, again waking us both up, since dad works every other night now and we end up sleeping during similar hours at least every other day. But at least Monday dad just jumped out of bed, in pajamas and a bathrobe, and opened the door to receive the parcel, then went back to sleep while I opened it and checked out the prize.
This happened even though I had used the form on the delivery company’s site on Saturday, stating what had happened until then and asking to be told by e-mail whether the delivery can be made Monday after 3 PM, or if not then to be given a rough time for Tuesday, or to be told that I can pick it up from one of their locations, which I found was actually close enough, saying it really would be no problem and it may even be better to do it that way, to spare everyone the frustration and them the repeated pointless effort of trying to deliver with no previous contact. But I guess that wasn’t even read in time, as I only received a reply Tuesday morning, just to say that the parcel with that code had already been delivered and they apologize for any inconvenience.
Admittedly, the lack of contact the first time was the sender’s fault, not theirs, as the number I saw listed had nothing to do with mine, and in fact was not a valid number in Romania, at least as far as I can tell. And what made it even more obvious that there had been problems on the way was an e-mail received from the manufacturer Monday afternoon, so after I had already received the backpack. They knew just who I was, starting by congratulating me for the prize, but then let me know that the delivery company they used, in order to get it to some representative Romania I guess, since this parcel was listed as having been picked up by the company that delivered it to me from Baia Mare, notified them that the recipient’s name and address were incorrect, so they asked me to provide them with the correct information. But, of course, the name and address listed were the correct ones, so I just replied to say that and to let them know that what had somehow been changed from what I had sent VICE had been the phone number. And I guess that settled it, since I received no reply, neither to that nor to the message which I had by then already sent to the person from VICE who had contacted me, to let her know that I had received the prize and also to ask what happened with the phone number.
As for the backpack itself, it sure is nice. And it’s the best choice of color too. But the thing is that it’s far too nice, and I wouldn’t have much to do with one anyway. Definitely far too nice to take it when going to some protest, or when I happen to volunteer somewhere, so I just kept the wallet with the included bag, which are also part of the package and will be very useful when shopping, and gave the backpack to dad… Who also said it’s far too nice for him and put it away, maybe to be used when he’ll go on some trip where it’ll be neither out of place nor in any predictable danger of getting damaged.

Moving on to the other issue, I had been suspecting for quite some time that my messages were no longer getting through on Patook. The current version of my profile is definitely there and the place is aimed at finding friends, not at dating, and it seems to have potential, but the filters are infuriating and I had noticed absolutely no reaction, whether replies or votes, to my posts in discussions for some two months, no messages sent to new people in quite some time showing up as having been read, and also that the couple of ongoing conversations I had on there seemed to die out around mid-October and the messages I sent, much later, asking what was going on didn’t show up as having been read either. So I eventually asked whether the filters had silenced me completely, and the developer said he’ll look into it, but then didn’t get back to me until I actually had it confirmed that my messages weren’t being delivered and sent an e-mail to ask about it as well.
So now I know that I had been sending and posting dozens and dozens of messages into the void there. The developer said it’s been going on for “a few weeks”, but I suspect it’s at least since late October. Either way, his reply said: “There are a few dozen women you talked to who have blocked you and you hit a threshold when the last person you talked to also seemingly blocked you a few weeks ago. I don’t know why they’re blocking you and I’m assuming there’s no flirting going on but maybe you are saying something that’s offending them. Anyway it’s a high block percentage and there’s also a few “rude/aggressive” reports.” Also, though I had told him from the beginning that I kept getting blocked and that’s pretty much expected for me, things between me and the large majority of other people usually getting ugly quickly, and he said at the time that I could get blocked any number of times and it’ll be fine, now he said that this is not a bug in the code, it’s exactly what’s supposed to happen in such cases, so he doesn’t know how to deal with it and is too busy with other things to try to figure something out, the only thing he could try being to manually unblock me, but the system will silence me again as soon as another person blocks me, which is of course likely to happen very quickly.
I sent him two more messages after that, but those aren’t even showing up as read, so I’m not sure whether I ended up blocked from contacting even him or he just didn’t bother to check anymore, knowing what it was about. I guess I’ll see when I’ll next report a bug, since I did that a fair number of times and he was usually quick to react, and I doubt it’ll be that long before I’ll find another, so if there will be no reply to that either, things should be pretty clear. And until then, I guess there’s pretty much no point for me to go there anymore… Which actually had me take another quick look at OKCupid these days, though just to answer some more questions. Sure wouldn’t want to have to use that again, but I’m still absolutely “starved” for a close friend, have been for so many years, and recently I feel a quite desperate need for someone to just talk to at night and I don’t even have that, so I will be getting back to looking for apparently like-minded women somewhere, and if this issue on Patook won’t be sorted out…

Other than that, I did attend Sunday’s protest as well, but not much happened there and not many attended. Estimates I saw were of about 500, which seemed rather fair, but this is just a personal post, so I’ll leave the actual event aside and just say that I got there at 6:25 PM and, as far as I recall, again left around 8:30 PM. In between, I pretty much just wandered around and took a handful of pictures, again only using old batteries. So I may have bought those new ones, but so far I didn’t need them. Remains to be seen what will happen next, however.

As for this week’s run, that was yesterday and the time was a frustrating 48:01, with sector times of 4:21, 5:09, 5:57, 4:26, 5:05, 5:49, 4:31, 5:05, 5:52 and 1:46, making for lap times of 15:27, 15:20 and 15:28. There was little wind and there weren’t many people in the park, but the reported temperature was only around 5°C again, it wasn’t so sunny anymore and in fact it even started raining while I was running. There were clouds, but I didn’t see rain in the forecast, so I was very surprised when I started feeling drops on my face just as I was starting the first lap’s second sector, and after a while it was really raining, making me wonder how I’ll manage until it just suddenly stopped as I was finishing the second lap’s first sector, meaning that I was in the rain for pretty much one whole lap.
Either way, when I started I just meant to get another time under 49 minutes, but when I finished I was very disappointed due to not managing a third one under 48 instead. Anything could have made that difference, not only the places where I know I lost some time, such as when a guy stopped and turned around right in front of me shortly after I started or when I went around some others on the outside, but also when I may have slowed down a tiny bit while taking my left glove off and putting it back on, since I had gloves on but couldn’t have my stopwatch mark sector times like that, and I took it off a few times to wipe my nose better too. Even the mere fact that I had two t-shirts under my shirt may have made that difference, especially since I quickly realized that the second one wasn’t needed.


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