PAT

And then there was PAT.

PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing

Yeah, as I’ve read, it’s pretty common here in Britain. I have to confess though, that it is a bit annoying. As I was living into University’s halls, I had to open the door to the PAT guys to test my appliance.

I will also cite this from the previous Wikipedia article, because I can.

“Misleading advice and advertising, often by companies who offer the testing, is contributing to low-risk businesses such as offices, shops and hotels paying unnecessarily for over-the-top maintenance regimes.

The law simply requires an employer to ensure that electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger – it does not state that every item has to be tested or how often testing needs to be carried out.”

I don’t know exactly who must take the test, but as I said, I had to take it. And got me a little bit into trouble, as the whole day was dedicated to my discomfort. I really had bad luck from the moment I opened my eyes.

Why? Because I just opened my eyes hearing someone knocking on the door.

I had pulled an all-nighter (once again) and slept for 2 hours that night-day and someone was waking me up to check my devices. This was the sweetest good-morning I ever had, I have to confess that.

So the guy just walked in and took all my computer plugs including my multi-european-socket-thing and I had a deadline of a commercial project the same evening. So, I’ll just use Paulho Coelho’s quote after I customize it to my needs, saying:

“When you don’t want to miss a deadline, the whole universe will make a conspiracy and even send you some PAT testing monkeys to take your computer power plugs away in order for you to take care and finish your work earlier next time”

It’s a bit longer than the original one, but can describe the situation pretty much accurately. The irony is that there were announcements everywhere about the PAT testing thing, but they said that it was the previous day, so I thought that the danger-threat was gone and I just proudly aligned all my electrical devices on my desk.

Touché

Let’s analyze the reasons they took away my stuff. But before that, I’ll fill your brains with prejudice by analyzing my point of view, in order for you to adapt yourselves in to the story and be on my side, in order to get angry against them and not me, a weird-geeko-rebel.

So, actually they had the right to do it, but it was a paperwork-bureaucracy-like-stupid-thing and I just couldn’t accept it at the moment. But, yes, rules like that are made in order to prevent really stupid things from happening and the employees are paid in order to follow and stick to silly company instructions or else the company will not be qualified as a decent PAT testing company and to summarize this train of consequences,

being an outlier piece of data in this case does not help that much.

The case was that I needed an earth-grounded-adapter like the black one on the image below in order for my electrical appliances – chargers to be safe.

And I didn’t have it.

At that moment, I was really spelling curses to HP for having an earth-grounded socket.

Because it is just complementary and it is not needed for an ac-to-dc converter. It is needed for high power appliances like fridges, kitchens, and some electrical motors. But of course the story is that some idiot got electrocuted for a stupid reason once and sued them, so to have their asses covered it was easier to produce sockets with earth-circuit-protection.

“Money talks and once again, even if man has landed on the moon, stupidity rules this place called earth.”

And now let’s get back to me. I just needed to find an earth-grounded-adapter quickly to get my stuff back. I tried the shopping mall and the super market BUT they just told me that

“money talks here too, buddy, we were not allowed to sell these things, so we got rid of them and we cannot help you get your stuff back.”

They didn’t say exactly these words but obviously you get the point.

Hence a grounded uk-to-european adapter
Hence an Earth-Grounded-Adapter.
So, this was the adapter I needed for being legal, liable and safe from electrocution
Hence a plain ungrouded adapter
Hence a plain ungrouded adapter.
If you want to be busted like me, connect a Schuko type socket on it. You’ll have a great time I swear.

So a big supermarket isn’t allowed to sell these things, probably in order for some cheap-bastard-local-shop to have a monopoly on the adapter market and make profit out of people’s frustration.

Isn’t that crazy?

I mean, I have no problem with Britain having different types of plugs, units, roads and generally stuff like that (maybe because I am half-an-englishman) because they were already having these things before the standards appeared.

And don’t start me on driving on the left, because actually this is the correct thing, if you go back to Middle Ages. You can check here and of course here, why everyone nowadays keeps on doing the wrong thing. (driving on the right). A short explanation is written below.

“Up to the late 1700’s, everybody travelled on the left side of the road because it’s the sensible option for feudal, violent societies of mostly right-handed people.

Jousting knights with their lances under their right arm naturally passed on each other’s right, and if you passed a stranger on the road you walked on the left to ensure that your protective sword arm was between yourself and him.

Revolutionary France, however, overturned this practice as part of its sweeping social rethink. A change was carried out all over continental Europe by Napoleon.The reason it changed under Napoleon was because he was left handed his armies had to march on the right so he could keep his sword arm between him and any opponent.

From then on, any part of the world which was at some time part of the British Empire was thus left hand and any part colonised by the French was right hand.”

So arguments like “driving on the right is the correct thing” is only to prove your cowardliness towards Napoleon and his small testicles. I cannot believe that countries just changed their habits because of him. But I don’t like the French habits that much anyway, so I may be overreacting. And this is a big discussion.

Anyway, it was high time for my Greek spirit and character to rise and save the day. I needed to show the PAT guys and earth-grounded-adapter at all costs, so I kindly asked my flatmate Anja -I even said please- if I could borrow her adapter temporarily.

The victory was near.

I just rushed to the office and showed them my new fancy adapter, they tested the stuff using it and I finally got my things back. By the way, I am still using her adapter, but I don’t want to say such things so loud to sound like an ass, but loud enough in order not to be retested.

I still managed to finish the project before the deadline using my new fancy adapter and being safe from electrocution, so the outcome of the day was my nerves being seriously stretched, a very clean room and clean clothes.

Yeah, having no computer, I had nothing interesting to do, so I did all the boring stuff in one day.

So, PAT testers, see you next year…

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