Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Posts Tagged ‘the office’

[Fruitless Endevours] I Needlessly Stayed At Work for 3 Hours

Posted by Lex Fear on September 21, 2006

I got home to discover that my TalkTalk broadband has been activated… After all the trouble I went to as well, sweet-talking my friend in the hardware department for the WEP key!

So I don’t know what that call agent was going on about with the 2nd October prediction. My broadband connection is supposed to be 8mb but it’s just that teensie bit faster than the old one (Tiscali)- it’s free, that’s the main thing as we need to save.

Meanwhile, expect normal blogging to proceed shortly. Here’s a little taste of what I’m working on:

Links – My blogging links are starting to grow and I’m having difficulty deciding which blog to add them to. So I’m working on a separate page to house them all and link to that from all my projects.
AAF Forum – As long as I can determine a desire for one. I am working on a no-holds barred forum where for all where politics, social justice, theology and ideas can be discussed with all people believers and non-believers.
T-Shirts, Books and anything else I can market – I know there is currently not much selection going at the moment, but I intend to expand the designs and book recommendations in the not so distant future, I may also be stepping away from the Christian theme.
Abandon All Fear website – Still developing this.
Money-making scams – Just kidding, however, I really do want to make some money on the side as you can tell by all the ads and merchandise. I have yet to find a niche. I think about it constantly though and will let you know when I find one. Just don’t be too judgmental if I try an idea out and it doesn’t work.

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Posted in Anecdotes, Buyer Beware, Metablog, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Solutions] Well Thought Out Concepts

Posted by Lex Fear on May 16, 2006

June 1st – Accident Free Day

That’s right, the company I work for, Politico, has come up with this brilliant idea for tackling the high level of accidents that happen in our industry. Another fine example of a managers typical ineffective response to a real problem.

I don’t know about you but when I wake up in the morning, I always intend to have an accident-free day. Is it just me or do people go to work thinking, ‘I’ll have an accident this morning, then maybe another one just before the end of my shift’?

See the problem with accidents is they’re accidents! They’re unplanned! How the hell do you go about planning an ‘accident-free day’?

Why stop at one day, why don’t we just declare an ‘Accident Free Day’ everyday of the year? We’d save a heck of a lot of money on insurance and perhaps we’d be able to do away with all those premiums altogether!

Politico Employee Survey

Apparently we are one of the top organisations in the country. It’s all down to this cleverly worded employee survey they put out a few months ago. Some of the responses included:

  • 89% of you feel you have a secure future at the company. Meaning: I will not be promoted and I have no hope of finding a job elsewhere.
  • 81% of you value the help that training provides. Meaning: If we were provided training it would be a help us do our jobs properly, rather than just relying on finding someone who knows how to do something.
  • 79% of you feel fully involved in the company. Meaning: They call my mobile if I’m on holiday.
  • 75% of you would recommend Politico to others as an employer… to avoid.

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[Management Theory] The Peter Principle

Posted by Lex Fear on May 7, 2006

I’m struggling with a philosophical question. Do you have to be a dickhead to be given promotions to management level, or do you evolve into a dickhead after promotion? I’m pondering this because I’ve been considering my position over the last few weeks. Looking at how the department is, and how The Clowns resignation was handled, I don’t see any signs of promotions or openings for me.

My current mix of education and skills seems to far overshadow my job and my pay. I took the job I’m in now because the IT Market was in recession when I left university, but now the IT sector seems to be growing again and I’m really feeling the urge to move.

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[Blogidarity] New Offerings

Posted by Lex Fear on May 6, 2006

Some new links I have to share with with you which I have found through other excellent blogs:

I Work With Fools – A blog where you can write in and share your nightmare stories of work hell. It’s a good place to let off steam if you don’t already use your blog or have a blog to do that.

I Am Livid – I thought my ranting was pretty vitriolic at times till I came upon Mr Angry;s blog. Still it’s a very funny read and some good observations, exactly what I like to see.

Gun Toting Liberal – I’m neither red or blue, the closest I would consider myself liberal with conservative values. I have to say that this is an excellent blog with some excellent commentary of US politics. I agree with a lot of things said by the GTL and it is very different from the typical left/right stances.

Ideal Government – A UK blog with articles on the present government and ideas on how it should be. Anyone who is concerned about ID cards, sweeping legislation and general mismanagement by New Labour should check this out.

Not Proud of Britain (But Would Like To Be) – Another UK blogger with political commentary which is pretty much summed up in the title. Short posts and easy to digest.

Whilst I’m at it, I would also like to credit some of my existing links, so hats off to:

Sojourners – I am currently reading a book by Jim Wallis called God’s Politics, and I’m finding it an excellent read. It’s helping to shape my own view of politics and culture.

Pepipoo – The best place to go for UK Motorists for advice on the law and their rights.

I Heart Irony – Rohan described himself (in my comments a while back) as a frustrated writer, which motivated him to start this blog. As a frustrated IT Monkey (and frustrated UK citizen), I can fully relate. This is also what makes his blog especially funny, witty and gives it edge. Keep it up Rohan, you’ve got good observational skills.

The Policemans Blog – PC Copperfield’s is the first blog I read, after spotting it a the national newspaper. This is the one that got me thinking of the idea of blogging out my frustrations. PC Copperfield opens the doors that are normally shut to the public and in doing so exposes the general bollotics that takes place at the higher levels of our police force. At the same time showing us that ordinary coppers are just like us and also share similar resentments to the target/statistic driven culture we all live in.

The Magistrates Blog – Another thought-provoking, revealing blog, this time into the closed world of the courts. Bystander affirms my faith that the courts are there to protect us and to allow us to be judged fairly and equally. Magistrates and Judges are people, they are appointed for our benefit. A lot of public organisations use the courts as a threat, as though it was just another part of the prison system. This is a wrong perception of justice and I am grateful for a blog like this.

You’re Nicked – Like PC Copperfield, Stan Still is one of the flourishing anonymous police blogs that are blowing the doors open on this institution. I find this blog thoughtful and intuitive.

Overheard in the Office – Short, funny dialogs between co-workers, managers and other company bods. This is always good for a quick chuckle during my lunch break.

In Training – This blog is by a girl who is engaged to a Royal Marine. As well as just personal experience, Kath offers quite a funny, energetic commentary on politics and culture of her country. Fiercely patriotic and ‘right wing’, she also shows an interest in UK politics and culture.

I do want to comment on other blogs and links, but for now I’m spent, so keep coming back to check!

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[Bogies] The Plank In Your Eye

Posted by Lex Fear on March 4, 2006

Or “First Remove The Snot From Your Own Nose”…

Yesterday me and the IT Gimp were both in the office kitchen making our first morning coffee when in came Jason the Auditor, for his own morning caffeine hit. Jason is one of those guys who is always able to strike up a conversation about a lively upbeat topic, be it houses, cars or what the latest news is. It’s quite a good characteristic in moderation. This time Jason seemed very upbeat, more than usual, he grabbed some kitchen roll and honked his nose, hard, then he struck up one of his usual topical chats with IT Gimp.

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[Kickbacks] How To Use Your Position To Get Kickbacks

Posted by Lex Fear on February 19, 2006

Two weeks to go till The Clown departs. I’ve mentioned in an earlier post how we joked for a long time he was working on his own business from home when he called in to tell us he was “working from home”- which turned out he was! Well another joke became reality last week.

Since The Clown handed in his resignation he’s been using up his holidays (naturally) and his sick days (yes that’s right- sick days), and generally any days he has been working, he has been using up in customer visits. He’s even been asked to be in the office to hand over major accounts and projects, but it seems he sees it as vital to visit as many customers as possible, rather than us who will be taking over with the customers.

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[Work] The Never-Ending Report

Posted by Lex Fear on December 18, 2005

Every day I have to create an exceptions report for customers who are supposed to send billing data but haven’t for some reason. This data really is only for billing and in most cases simply requires contacting the customer and asking them to send the data. But because of factors beyond my personal control such as:

  • Sometimes there’s an IT problem
  • A spineless manager who will let other departments shift their work onto us
  • The way our crappy [flux capacitors] are setup that can fail in so many new different and wonderful ways.
  • This task falls to myself. We have around 6000 customers, every day at least 1000 do not send their billing data. With only 2 hours of my working day free to chase these customers, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that most of them are going to fail for a long time.

So my report always shows at the top end, customers failing to send their data over a large period of days and my progress of resolving that. The problem is, as with all exception reporting, is that once an issue has been resolved it falls off the report and is taken up by the next highest failure. To a sharp mind it is pretty obvious something is moving, something is happening as the report changes daily. However to a pretty unfocused, scatter brained individual it just seems like nothing is being done about those top failures.

And if that said individual has some sort of bonus coming for performance of the billing data exceptions before Christmas, then it’s important he sits with IT Monkey and makes sure something is done, because clearly IT Monkey is having problems if he can’t seem to clear the top failures and they are still going for 30+ days.

The person we are of course speaking of is my manager, The Clown. He now feels it’s necessary to sit with me for up to 2 hours next to my desk and “help” me to resolve some of the failures. What makes this patronising, baby-sitting experience especially excruciating is that he somehow seems to see this as a bit of a brunch, therefore he’ll bring a bag of peanuts and literally start munching away in my ear. How I have kept myself from exploding into rage I don’t know. To give you a taste of the experience, imagine standing on a busy London tube at peak time, with people so close to your face you can tell what they had for breakfast and your journey lasts for an hour. The person who has his chin rested on your shoulder now decides now is a time for a good snack. On the tube we might forgive people for invading our personal space, an unfortunate necessity we are not able to avoid. But to sit next to me, inches from my face and ear, munching a bag of peanuts and questioning my every action, like I am a 5 year old being instructed, makes me feel like smacking him in the face, very hard.

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Nasal Assault at the Greasy Spoon

Posted by Lex Fear on November 29, 2005

Today, as part of The Clown’s initiative, I was out with one of our account managers visiting customers. Not that I didn’t want to be doing that, I’d normally jump at the opportunity to spend a day away from my desk. However it’s the thought of the full Inbox and piling up of requests that makes me less than ecstatic.

The account manager, let’s call her ‘Megan’, was a full-bodied but well dressed, well presented person, till we got to her BMW. On climbing in I was hit by the waft of, what I could only surmise was, the smell of last nights fish and chip take-away. Ok, I thought, so maybe Megan was busy yesterday and didn’t have time to go home for a proper meal, she just bought a bag of chips and ate them in the car. We’ve all committed that sin often enough, so fair enough. The morning went slow but OK, then it came to lunch. Lunch was where I discovered perhaps the cars’ smell of stale grease was not the forgivable irregularity, in the life of an otherwise average sanitary individual, that I had assumed it was.

After mulling over what we fancied for lunch, Megan spotted “Bobs Cafe”, a greasy spoon sandwiched between a local newsagent and pizza take-away in the middle of a terrace of local shops. A place, by the look of it from the outside, I would normally avoid for sanitary reasons. Already as we got out of her car and approached my stomach began to turn at the thought of what we may find. “If it doesn’t look nice we’ll leave and go somewhere else” Megan assured me. As we entered through the PVC door of the cafe, it was at this point that I discovered that my interpretation of something ‘looking nice’ differed vastly from Megan’s. The first thing to hit you walking in was the the cigarette smoke, combined with the smell of the cold stale grease of a thousand sausages gone before.

As I tried to change my stomach setting from ‘spin’ to ‘rinse and hold’, we ordered our all day breakfasts. It was then I remembered the call of nature, and therefore inquired as to the availability of a WC. I was informed that one was installed, and that it was “Just back there, love” by the lovely toothless lady I’ll call ‘Norma’. On reaching the Males toilet, I discovered it occupied and made my way back to the front.
“Did you find it, love?” Norma blared.
“Yes, but it’s occupied” I replied sullenly.
“Oh that’ll be Brian, oh dear, it will probably smell, use the ladies if you like”
Although it was a kind (if unrefined) gesture, I declined as the door to the gents was opening. Out stepped old Brian with a grey beard, and a hook instead of a hand. Now I know it’s not PC, but for some reason odd thoughts came into my mind about the hook and attending to his business in the toilet, which I immediately dismissed. Instead I braced for the aroma I was about to confront upon entering the rudimentary lavatory. Oddly enough there was no smell, in fact, rather amazingly, it’s the only cafe/restaurant I have ever been to for which I can declare that the toilets smelt fresher than the actual place of eating.

By now, my nasal passages had adapted to the redolence of Bobs Cafe and I sat down with Megan who had lit up her 3rd cigarette today. “I normally don’t come to places like this” she confided. Yeah right.

At this point along came Norma with our breakfasts, placing them on the table. Now I don’t always give thanks before my meals, but you can bet your right arm I was blessing the provision before me right now. “Bless this food Lord. Please don’t let me get food poisoning, or something worse”. I picked up my knife and fork, about to partake of my breakfast plate, when Norma stopped me in my tracks, interjecting in her blazon style:
“Did he make it smell bad, did he?”

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