Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Announcement

Speculation is growing amongst my friends today after Dave asked us all to meet in the pub tomorrow so that he could make an important announcement. This request was obviously followed by a large amount of abuse as we attempted to guess what would require such an occassion, but as the dust settles, people are starting to realise that today could be the eve of something truly immense.

"I have the feeling that this is going to be the kind of statement that rocks whole nations" said publicist and media assassin Max Clifford. "The implications of what is said could be pondered over and dissected for generations to come".

Bookmakers have taken over £3.50 in bets on the content of the announcement with that figure expected to rise to roughly £7.26 by the close of business today. "These are exciting times for punters" Ladbrokes Worldwide CEO Chris Bell excitedly ranted. "People are betting on almost anything, although monkey related bets seem very popular at the moment, along with bets on the exposure of an international bumming ring".

Tomorrow is certainly going to be an exciting day, but to give you an advantage at the bookies here are the top tips from Bradfields' Brain and its trusted affiliates.

1) Dave is gay and will be coming out tomorrow - 4-1
2) Dave has been made redundant...again - 7-1
3) Dave has been hired by a troop of travelling circus dwarves and will be taking up a career as "Lofty" - the freakishly tall dwarf - 7-2
4) A small third world country has discovered that Dave is rightful heir to the throne of their country, and have asked him to come and be King. A small human sacrifice is required to appease the gods which is where we come in - 15-1
5) Dave has won a years supply of potatoes or possibly gherkins - 5-1
6) Dave is getting married - 11-3
7) Dave has conquered his fear of small round objects and will now be able to eat beans and peas without sweating profusely - 100-1
8) Dave is getting a dog - 3-1
9) Dave is an spy like Harry in True Lies and wants us to join his spy posse - 16-1
10) Dave is going to be a daddy - 1000-1
11) Dave discovered a new world on top of a piece of cake that he found in Lucy's ear - 2-1
12) Dave, not Billy Corgan as originally suspected, is infact Kirsten Dunst in disguise - 5-1
13) Dave has unearthed highly incriminating evidence of satanic behaviour by President Bush and intends to bring down the American government - 3-1
14) Dave is giving up the crack...again - 50-1
15) Dave just wants to get everyone out for a beer - Even

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Monkey Workforce

‘Kelly - Customer Service Representative’. Her blue badge with neatly embossed white text is pinned proudly to a smart, but perhaps a little Stewardess-like, uniform. Unfortunately, this is where any sort of professionalism ends. At the risk of sounding like I’m fifty…again…I remember when going to the bank meant you were met at the counter by someone who would tend to all your financial needs attentively and quickly. Nowadays it’s more likely to be a spotty faced teen who would look much more at home behind a till at MacDonald’s. More annoying than this is that the little scrote would rather talk to the other undereducated part timer next to her than actually pay attention as she accidentally transfers half your life savings to the account of some Nigerian email scammer she happened to be reading about at the same time.

Computer says no

OK, so I may be getting a little melodramatic, but it just seems to me that the quality of service we have become accustomed to in this country is completely unacceptable. Walk into your average High Street store and you are likely to find it pretty hard to get any detailed information about anything that particular shop is selling. The staff in JJB won’t be able to tell you which tennis racket is the best choice for practice or which trainers are best for running on the street, because they haven’t got a clue themselves! It seems that the staff turnover is so quick in shops these days that they just can’t be bothered to train their staff in anything apart from standing around and looking inattentive.

I personally find it extremely annoying as I have always been someone who has taken the time to get to know about the job they are doing no matter what it is. I have a reasonable knowledge of photocopiers and fax machines, could help you choose a new fan belt for your car, know which items are most high risk to shoplifters and would feel confident working behind any bar in the country. None of these have anything to do with my current profession or have a massive purpose, but at least I learnt something during the many wasted hours of part time and temporary work instead of just bitching about it and not giving a toss!

With the number of companies moving over to purely telephone service on the increase, it would be nice to be able to say that the service received from the telephone centres was better. Unfortunately, if anything, it is worse. The biggest problem I have noticed with telephone centres is that the basic premise of “The customer is always right” is something that does not exist to these people. If you stand in a shop and kick up a fuss then you will be treated respectfully and normally get whatever the problem is resolved pretty quickly. When dealing with call centres however, where there aren’t more customers standing around to see how the company deals with a complaint, you have to employ different tactics in order to get any sort of satisfactory outcome.

Reasons To Hate Call Centres

1) Most telephone call centre staff will be reading from or quoting directly from a pre-prepared script and therefore are unlikely to be able to answer too many complicated questions or give you any useful advice.

2) Listen to the number of times someone working in a call centre uses your name when you are on the phone to them. The repetition of your name is supposed to make your call feel “personalised and wanted” not, as is actually the case, make you feel like a small child or some sort of retard.

3) The blame game – When dealing with a company that has call centres and high street shops / branches the following rules apply
- The branch will always blame the call centre for a mistake
- The call centre will always blame the branch for a mistake
- The call centre is normally to blame

Next time you're faced with a customer services nightmare just remember not to take any crap. The average shop assistant / telephone operator has an IQ of below 100 and that should mean you can get whatever you want out of the large faceless corporation they work for. Giving you whatever pitiful compensation you have asked for isn't going to affect whether Rosie, the six year old daughter of the CEO, gets her pony for Christmas – so why should they care??

Have a pointless and insane argument ready – it leads to confusion and ultimately to success

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Return

Wow, how slack have I been!! Not a single post since 24th October and nothing of even vague relevance since before then.

Firstly I will just briefly explain the last post before this one. Basically I saw that image thing on some site which said I could put it in my blog and it will pull pictures from my Flickr account. No, they aren't lying, it really does do that, but at the moment I have not uploaded any good pictures to my Flickr account and hence there are only four images of adverse weather conditions. I promise to try and put something more fun in there soon.

Anyway, I am currently sitting at work supposedly testing a system I have just launched. Only problem is that testing is perhaps the least favourite part of my job. I care so little about it that I am writing this instead of doing it and therefore taking the risk of getting shouted at my boss when, inevitably, a bug which i should have found during testing gets exposed by the client. I'm such a rebel!!

Truth is, it is a fucking pointless exercise getting the person that wrote a system to test it because by the time I've spent a month working on something, my brain is almost programmed not to do anything that might potentially break it. It isn't a deliberate move, just the way that a geeky programmer brain like mine works. It is just one of those things.

Surely I must be boring anyone reading this by now, I'm boring myself for fucks sake!!

Adios for now, will try to write something non work related and more amusing soon.