Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Give me a parachute. No, make it two.


Once upon a time in a land not that far, far away people the world over could produce exciting and innovative work. They could push the boundaries of their imagination and create works of great joy and vision for all to behold. But then a dark, dark figure appeared on the horizon. His shadow cast far and wide and the world cowered in his wake. The Dark Lord of Accountability had arrived and proceeded to use his evil powers to grip the world in fear.

No longer would we need to think beyond the obvious, or be challenged by an idea. No more the sweet nectar of the untried, the surprising or the fantastical. Under the watchful eye of their dark master the tick box tickers would rule the world.

Management teams, focus groups and members of every department would have to agree on every aspect of every idea produced and should just one man, woman or child be less than convinced then the whole sorry idea shall be strangled and choked until every last drop of oxygen has drained from its body and left a quivering wreck of what might have been.

From that day forth we had to ensure that every backside was covered, every reputation left untarnished and every career left unthreatened. If there was the slightest chance of offence, then a safety net must be offered. Any possible chance that an imaginary sub set of society will not understand an idea unless it is spelt out in language so clear a two year old could get it then a back-up plan must be offered. And if, God forbid, there was any sign of the idea being even remotely memorable, engaging or effective then in the name of all that’s holy we should offer an alternative so safe it would make a Volvo look like a motorbike made of axes.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Brief (pending approval)

The world seems to have gone process mad. In keeping with this I have put together a brief to help re-introduce a little sanity. I have distributed it, following the correct procedures, and it has now come back with a few requested amends from the ‘team’.

Why are we communicating?
We are communicating because a large percentage of the working population are sick and tired of process driven, top down, time inefficient, ego massaging nonsense. People would like to get on with their jobs in the most effective manner possible and be treated with the respect they have spent their career earning.

Not right. We are communicating to reinforce the brand message that systems equal success. Remember, ‘Lots of cooks make the broth better.’ Please revise.

What are we trying to communicate?
We are tying to communicate that if we all stop and think things through clearly and without prejudice we can make the working process easier, more efficient and then everyone will feel happier and the end results will be better.

Not right. We would like to communicate that the obvious answer is the best answer. We need to get across that employees shouldn’t question anything, but simply follow procedure to produce average work that is easy to sell.

Who is our target audience?
Our target audience is anybody who has an ounce of common sense.

Not right. This is way to general, be more specific. Try something like this.
Our target audience is Peter. Peter is a Caucasian, dark-skinned male from the south west of England, somewhere near Yorkshire. He guards his age but is somewhere between 21-55. He has forged a successful career in the IT/public sector, working as a higher, intermediate managerial administrative clerical worker with developed manual skills. He is as happy fixing a car as he is seeking spiritual enlightenment at the weekend. He is single but in a long-term relationship. He has no children but lots of nephews and nieces who he dotes on like a parent. He likes beer, wine, spirits, abstinence, sport of any kind, driving, walking, reading all books and likes watching any type of TV programme or film as long as it is entertaining/informative, action-packed, romantic, long or short. He is hard nosed and takes no prisoners, but has a soft spot for the weaker members of society.
This type of specific targeting will help us connect better with the target audience.

What is the best way to communicate this?
Talking to each other.

Not right. Let’s not simply talk to ‘each other’, be more ambitious. Let’s talk to our key demographic who are ABC1CD2 high/low achieving, independently minded but easily led decision makers with personality variables. Consider other media. How about a facebook campaign or a hilarious but corporately relevant and correctly branded viral video?

Requirements.
Some common sense.

No, no, no. We need a series of meetings with various members of the team at different times and to ensure the whole process is as drawn out, unproductive and frustrating as possible. Only by utilising this important corporate tool will we be able to meet the demands of today’s business model.

Timings
ASAP

Unrealistic. Some time before the financial year-end.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Too much information

Just recently I deleted over two and half thousand unread emails from a couple of my accounts. That’s two and a half thousand useless and completely redundant pieces of information that will never be read, never be looked at and never be acted upon. The contents were so pointless, banal, dishonest or self-serving that they didn’t even warrant the physical exertion of a click on the delete button until that point. However, all that has happened is that they have now been replaced by several hundred more messages of digital nothingness. At some point I will have to spend another hour or so of my life deleting them all, only for more to arrive and so the whole sorry cycle will continue until I have a mental or nervous breakdown, throw my computer out the window and start living my life as a hermit underneath a motorway bridge with just cheap cider, cardboard boxes and vermin for company.

However it’s not just emails telling me that a network problem in Budapest has been resolved, Voyage holidays have a fantastic sale on, I am entitled to claim back thousands of pounds on an accident I don’t remember having, lots of single women are just waiting to meet me or that I can extend the length of my penis. No, life is just one long succession of pointless messages being fired at me like some kind of scattergun shit spreader. Do I really need to know that MFI still have a sale on (when don’t they?), or that my Chicken Tikka Masala needs to be served hot? Do I need to know that my local councillor has fixed a pot hole in the road, an X Factor contestant has had a hard life, Katie Price has never been happier, Katie Price has never been sadder, objects in the rear view mirror may be closer than they appear, my cup of tea ‘may contain traces of nuts’. Do I really need to be told to look left? Look right. Buy now. Pay later. I really don’t want to be poked by a friend of a friend of a friend. Who cares that M & Ms melt in your mouth not in your hand, Friday night is music night, a duck’s quack doesn’t echo, cats like Felix like Felix or that Christina Aguilera doesn’t know where the Cannes film festival is being held.

Add to this the ever-increasing mediums for all this information. Once upon a time there were three TV stations. Now there are thousands that are either repeating what was once shown on the three channels that used to be enough, or trying to entice us into an inevitable downward spiral of despair that is the world of TV poker/bingo or online shopping. As for the printed word, we are now drowning under a tidal wave of paper covered in more shit than an alcoholic’s boxer shorts. Just to add to the data diarrhoea, you are now nobody unless you have your own celebrity magazine. Oprah Winfrey and the likes of Gordon Ramsey, Rio Ferdinand and Jamie ‘I’m so sincere and good, really I am’ bloody Oliver all have their own magazines. Who the hell reads a Jamie Oliver magazine? Contents: Jamie’s recipes. Jamie’s gossip. Jamie’s advice page for sad fat people who like Pizza and chicken nuggets. Jamie’s driving tips and Jamie’s spot the odd one out between Jamie, Jamie, Jamie and Gordon.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Notes to an advertiser

A few comments from somebody who works in advertising, but also remembers they are a member of the public.

1) Tomorrow’s technology today, is by its very essence, today’s technology today.
2) Innovation does not have a human face. And if it did, I’m sure it would be a very smug one that deserves a slap.
3) You are not freedom. You are not strength. You are not technology. You are not such stuff as dreams are made of. You are an overpaid actor talking nonsense from a script and selling your soul for the Yankee dollar. Bank balance 1 – Integrity 0
4) Social networking is just what it says. ‘Social’. It is not corporate. If a product says it has 56,382 facebook friends then it is probably because that product and their advertising agency have 56,382 employees between them.
5) A flash mob began as an anti establishment fun activity. By the people for the people. Not by a corporation for its customers. If you try to do a branded version you stand a very real danger of looking monumentally stupid. (Yes I’m looking at you here Dr Pepper)
6) Brand advertising that doesn’t include a product had better include at least a product truth. Otherwise it is nothing more than a bunch of egos tugging each other off.
7) Your product is not New and Improved. It is either New or Improved, it can’t be both.
8) If your product is now suddenly twice as good as it was, then it must have been really shit before. You know, when you told us it was great.
9) If I am buying a shampoo I neither know nor care what Pentipepsides are. You know I don’t know what they are, and I know you know I don’t know what they are. I also know you don’t know what Pentipepsides are either, so let’s stop kidding ourselves.
10) Fun size means small, which means I, as a consumer, get less. What’s fun about that?

This post is bought to you by Toilet Duck. Please join us at Toiletduckisyour bestfriend/facebook/twitter/myspace/snailmail

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Gr8t post innit?

As me get older an’ everytin’ me want to stay feelin’ young, yeah. So me got ta tinkin’ dat it be time me got down wid da young uns, Yo! Age is just a state a mind, yeah. And me got da mind of da yoof, innit. So me gone and got me some well good jeans yeah, dat hang round me thighs so me can hardly walk and dat, widout lookin’ like some kinda constipated duck, ya get me?

Me also gonna’ stop pluggin’ me headphones into me phone, so all dem oldies can hear what me listen to as me walk down da street listenin’ to me Ragga, innit. After that yeah, me gonna’ buy me one of them hoodies and start lookin’ menacin’ an that.

Me bought a sk8board, but me did a move that was well wrong and now me got a slightly disloc8ted shoulder, so me give it up and me spend me spare time wid a good book, or a well wicked documentary on BBC4.

Me an me bloods is meetin l8ter to hang out round the shoppin’ centre an drink Stella and sneer at people an that. But first me has to mow me lawn, as it is getting well out of hand innit? Yesterday me went to get me ear pierced with a well-wicked jewel ting, but it didn’t really go wid me ear hair. Which was well shit.

Me homie buzzed on da phone earlier to arrange a meet at Maccy D’s for a burger kindathing. But me had to give him the big whatever cos I already had a nice antipasti of mozzarella, chilli and lemon crostini so me was well stuffed.

He said “No worries bro, that’s life.”

I said “Yo, Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be. Innit?”

He said “Bollocks!” which me thought was well sick.

Anyway, me gotta’ go now, me has a mash-up to put up on youtube an’ shit, but first me gonna treat myself to a facial scrub before having a light nap.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Friday Fun

I have Ranters block again, so here are some people looking silly.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Just pass on by

For no particular reason, I thought I would do this post as an homage to this rather lovely McDonalds commercial.

To the gaggling teen
Snarling and mean
In his sagging jeans
Worn round their thighs, so obscene
Just pass on by

And the delinquent types
And ‘awight bruv’ types
And listen to their music without headphones tikes
Just pass on by

Those rabbiting on their phone
As if they’re alone
Talking about their boyfriends
Loudly having a moan
Just pass on by

To the knuckle-draggers
And over-confident braggers
And intelligence flaggers
Just pass on by

The arrogant shop assistant
So annoyingly persistent
So much fury I’d like to vent
And their noses to dent
Just pass on by

And the cold callers
Those far away jawlers
Whose scripts are flawless
But whose pitch appal us
Just pass on by

And the thieving bank
Who would rather you sank
And give you a spank
And make you walk the plank
Just pass on by

And the colleagues who shout
And preen and pout
And prance about
And perception of nought
Whose ideas they tout and ignorance they flout
Please, just pass on by

There’s a rant for everyone

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The estate of Rant Lee Yieung

Dear Reader, let me introduce myself. I am Yew R. A. Liu Ser, Principal Assurance manager for the China Trust Commercial Bank in China. I have asked an honest friend coming to the UK to write this post on my behalf. I am getting in touch with you as an honest and noble man, regarding the estate of  Rant Lee Yieung and his investment placed under our banks management 10 years ago.

I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this post confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this post, although it is completely honest. In the year 2000 Mr Rant Lee Yieung came into our very honest and distinguished bank. He said he had a portfolio of some £12 he wished us to invest on his behalf. We invested this money in honest and very profitable opportunities like squirrel breeding and alchemy. The profits and interest on this account now mean we have a sum of £125,000,000 in our very honest bank.

It is my sad duty to tell you that Mr. Rant Lee Yieung died recently in a bizarre and sexually ambitious pineapple incident. He had no immediate next of kin, and you dear reader, have a one in four chance of being the closest thing he had to family. In fact he even mentioned you once in a moment of Saki induced introspection.

To check if you qualify for the figure of £125,000,000 (minus legal fees) from our very honest bank, simply send us your full name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, account number and sort code as proof of identity.

To ensure that the money gets to you as soon as possible, we must act quickly. Please send me your details by return, and please keep this correspondence confidential and not tell anyone like the police. This is for tax reasons.

Just think what you can buy with £125,000,000. A new future for your family, a big house, lots of cars, maybe as many rabbits as you want. Perhaps some drugs, immoral but adventurous members of the opposite sex, illegal immigrants, the list goes on and on.

I await your response. Best and honest regards, Yew R. A. Liu Ser

Thursday, 8 July 2010

An angel touched me and then my dog died.

Perusing the bookshelves of WH Smiths or Waterstones recently is like being bombarded with a shower of saccharine sorrow. There are rows of tragic true-life stories with titles like ‘Don’t tell Mummy.’ ‘The little prisoner.’ And ‘Ewww, Daddy. What’s THAT?’

I don’t mean to trivialise the true stories in question, or the therapeutic effect of writing these books, but what I do find distasteful is the way they are now being turned into a brand. They all look the same and someone; somewhere is making tearfuls of money from them. Abused children the world over won’t know who to talk to first, a social worker or a book agent. Sad, blonde-haired, cherubic children against white backgrounds with a wispy typeface stare out, imploring you to spend £7.99 of your money to share in their pain.

I don’t profess to have ever read one of these books, but as they seem to be quite popular at the moment I thought I would write a post in a similar vein.

What follows is a true story.

‘It was a cold Monday morning and it hit me. Bang. I had left my cup of tea to stew too long. It would now be ruined, cold and there was no going back. The cup would be stained, much like my soul and try as I might the tea could never be saved. The damage would be irreconcilable and I would never know the pleasure that simple cup of tea would offer. I sunk to my knees, with my head in my hands and wept. Wept like I’d never wept before, the truth dawning on me in waves of sadness as the tears flowed from my eyes like a torrent of rain on the coldest, wettest, bleakest day.

Slowly, unsteadily at first, I stood. My knees buckled a little, but I was determined to stand, and stand I did. This was just another hurdle in a life of sorrow and I would be strong. I would beat it. One day. I had to, there was simply no other option. The week before I had put on some toast and again forgotten about it, only realising when it was cold and brittle and I had gotten over that. I would get over this. Wouldn’t I?

What hurt more than the defiled cup of PG Tips was the fact my family knew about it. They had known all along and done nothing. Choosing to ignore the tragedy befalling my cup. They had seen the stewing tea and carried on with their lives as if nothing was wrong. All this had happened behind closed curtains. A house of horror in a sleepy suburban town, the neighbours blissfully unaware of what was going on under their noses. Had just one of them noticed anything suspicious, made a call to the authorities, it could all have turned out so very differently. But no, I was alone. Just me and that soiled cup of tea, staring at me, teasing me hurting me in every sinew of my body.

But then, all at once, I turned a corner. I heard a click and was suddenly bathed in a warm light and then it happened. I was touched by an angel; it sounds incredible I know, but I was touched by an angel. And then she spoke. “Get out of the way.” She said, and suddenly all became clear. Get out of the way of the negativity and hurt. Let the sunshine back into your life and stop worrying about the tea. I could wash the cup, perhaps even add a little bleach and leave it to soak. I could boil the kettle and make another cup of tea.

Hallelujah and rejoice I was saved.

Those days are behind me now, and although I will never forget the hurt, I will move on. I will be strong. I will survive. I will have another cup of tea.’

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Friday, 25 June 2010

La-Di-Da London

The in-crowd. The beautiful set. London at it’s preening, pouting best. This is what I was greeted with last night in a rather (s)wanky restaurant in Regent Street. There they were in all their ‘Look at me, look at me. I’m so gorgeous and better than those wretched poor people outside’ glory.

The terrace overlooking the London skyline was filled with ex public school boys, with their Eton hair and smarmy-pants expressions, and beautiful women resplendent in their compulsory over-sized, bug-eyed sunglasses. Mingling amongst them were a swarm of fifty plus men with sandy hair, mahogany tans, Rolex watches and cat that got the cream expressions, as they regaled hilarious stories to the young beautiful women. The young, beautiful women laughed uproariously, clearly only interested in the wealthy, walking tanned wallets for their personalities.

What a repulsive sight it was.

Eventually a waiter who seemed like the love child of Adrian Chiles and Larry Grayson wandered over to take our order. One by one he caught our eye as we deigned to request some liquid refreshment. Every order was greeted with a ‘well if that’s what you really want, fine.’ expression. The same waiter later impressed me in equal measures when my meal arrived. I had ordered a Beef dish, with vegetables and fat chips. When I finished counting my two beans I enquired where my fat chips might be.

“Fat chiiiiiips. You not get fat chiiiiips with this, only with the beef.”
“But I ordered the beef.” I said. “What’s this then?”
“It’s peeeek.”
“What?”
“Peeeek.”
“What?”
“Peeeek.”
“What’s peeeek?" I enquired, considering this to be a fair question.
“Peeek. Peek, you know peeeeek.”
“Do you mean pig? Pork? Are you saying this is pork?”
“Yes pork. Peeek. You want it changed?”

So changed it was, and as everyone else finished their meal my cooooooooooooow arrived. As tasteless a piece of meat as I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Still, never mind I’ll enjoy my fat chiiiiips. But where were they? I looked under the two new beans. Not there. I looked either side of the leathery main course, and then it struck me. That solitary rectangular yellow mystery object residing on the left hand side of my plate was my fat chips. One. One fucking chip. One fat fucking chip. I went through all that for one feckless, fat fucking chip.

Anyway, it was a nice evening, with good company and plenty of wine. But it was a reminder of what a pretentious, shallow and pompous city London can be. It’s a good job that London has so much else going for it. For all the general buzz, great bars, parks, shops, museums etc I can forgive a few la-di-da, big-haired, loud-mouthed ponces and the equally vacuous clothes dummies.

But I can’t forgive being given only one fucking chip.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Situation Vacant

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Spherical Object Progression Executive.
Short-term contract based in South Africa.

The successful candidate will have a passion for fast cars, orange girlfriends, nightclubs, oversized watches and ‘roasting’ teenage girls.

The role requires you to work up to 6 hours a week including occasional weekend shifts. We offer a competitive seven-figure salary with bonus scheme.

The team has a diverse opposition base and a growing reputation for being as useful as a whore’s chastity belt. As Spherical Object Progression Executive you will be responsible for delivering goal-optimised ball passes, producing a little bit of effort and hitting the back of the fucking net occasionally.

Responsibilities include
• Kicking
• Running
• Standing with hands on hips
• Shouting
• Swearing
• Falling over
• Spitting
• Excuse making

We actively promote equal opportunity employment and will consider current Spherical Object Progression Executives with learning disabilities or delusions of adequacy. Experienced footballers are expected to be able to feed and dress themselves, read without moving their lips and walk upright. The ability to kick a ball in a straight line is desirable.

Applications are to be submitted by email or crayon. Grunting or faecal smearings will not be accepted.

Please note that due to exceptionally high levels of response, we are only able to get back to those applicants who can read.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A charity appeal on behalf of MAHWAB

I hope I can take a few minutes of your precious time to make an urgent appeal on behalf of a charity that is particularly close to my heart. MAHWAB is a new organisation, and one that I hope can bring some relief to the suffering of many poor souls across the country.

For those of you who have not heard of it before, let me introduce you to MAHWAB. It stands for Middle Aged, Hard Working And Broke. Yes there are thousands of sufferers across the land who spend their days juggling the demands and expense of a career, family and life in general. But yet to add to their woes we are living in phenomenally expensive times. Tax, National Insurance, food, drink, mortgage payments, childcare, petrol, utility bills, insurance policies, the list goes on and on and on.

What can we do to help these unfortunates you may ask? Where can we find the funds? Goddammit how can we help? Fear not, the people at MAHWAB have had a great idea of where to find the cash. The welfare state, that’s where. It’s time for a fairer redistribution of wealth. They are not for one minute suggesting we take anything away from the people who honestly need the help of the government. The ones who really can’t work for genuine medical reasons or who want to work, and are doing their best to find a job, but can’t. No, clearly these people need help and it’s right they get it. The people MAHWAB are talking about are the work-shy, lazy, ignorant, scum sucking leeches who sit in their state funded houses, in front of their state funded 50” Plasma screens, watching state funded Sky television, drinking state funded cider and complaining that life is hard. The ones who can’t be bothered to look for work because they get everything handed to them on a plate. The ones who contribute nothing, yet say they are only claiming what they are entitled to? The ones who realise the more children they have the more money they get, so set about breeding faster than a couple of bored rabbits.

Did you know there is a family in Hull for instance, who live in a council provided seven-bedroom house with their ten children? The father has been out of work for 15 years and his wife has never had a job. Yet thanks to the generosity of the welfare state and the tax you and I pay on our hard earned wages, they receive about £33,000 a year. £628 a week in income support, disability allowance, carer's allowance, child tax credit, plus £120 a week rent on their home. You or I would have to earn £46,500 a year before we even matched their income.

So the MAHWAB plan is to take some of our money back. Cut payments to the lazy and dishonest. Have a huge car boot sale of their flat screen televisions, cars and designer clothes and sell off their houses as affordable homes to those more worthy.

Please pledge your support at www.takethemoneybackfromthelazybastardsandgiveittothehardworkingandmoredeserving.com

Monday, 31 May 2010

The automated post.

Hello, and thank you for visiting.

Right let’s get you started.

Please press one for a witty post. Two for a youtube clip. Three for a good old rant, and four for some mindless swearing.

Okay, lets get you the post you’re after. Please press one to read something. Two to watch something. Three to listen to something and four to link to something.

Thanks, that’s great. We have few more simple options for you. Please press one for a topical piece. Two for a political piece. Three for sarcastic piece and four for a near the knuckle piece.

Fantastic. Please press one for something insightful. Two for something thought provoking. Press three to read something a little uncomfortable and four for something you would normally only consider reading in a doctor’s waiting room.

Great. To help us get you what you want as quickly as possible, press one to peruse. Two to read in depth. Three to question what has been said and four to discuss.

Nearly there. Please press one if you’re male. Press two if you’re female and three if you’re neither.

Just a couple of simple options now. Okay, Ready? Press one to lose the will to live. Two to see the candle of your existence flicker precariously in the wind. Three to build up a rage inside that burns at your very soul and four to shout a very, very rude word very, very loudly.

Great, here’s four more simple options to get you to the piece you want; fast. If you could attack strangers for simply enjoying the freedom they relish by not being embroiled in the endless spiral of despair that is the automated service, press one. If you have already thrown objects across the room causing your property or loved ones damage, press two. If you are thinking of strolling into a public area, dropping to your knees and screaming at the top of your voice 'Why me? In the name of God, why me?' press three. If you wish to give up your soul to the devil and wreak havoc across the land, inviting the four horsemen of the apocalypse as harbingers of the last judgement to bring pestilence, war, famine and death to all around you, press four.

The post you are after is unavailable. Please close the window and try again later.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The conference call.

The first light bulb was invented by Humphry Davy in 1809. The invention of the first motorcar is generally attributed to Karl Benz, the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, television by Philo Farnsworth and the PC by IBM.

Any one of these names is open to debate and opinions vary, but that is not my point. My point is, what bloody idiot invented the conference call? Surely this is one of the most annoying, soul destroying and humiliating inventions ever. Why did they do it? What possessed them? There are few things in life worse than shouting into a small plastic object whilst gathered around a table. People talk over you, you talk over people. You react to things you disagree with by rolling your eyes and making obscene gestures to the little hateful plastic box in front of you, and in another room, miles away someone else returns the favour.

Almost worse than these conference call traits though is the silence. That terrible, interminable, yawning chasm of time when you’ve finished screaming across the boardroom table into the little box of misery and nothing happens. Everyone on your side of the call looks at each other awkwardly until some brave soul breaks the silence. Of course what’s happening is that a thousand miles away a group of faceless people are whispering to each other while you uncomfortably wheel your chair back and forth and look longingly at the plate of biscuits in the middle of the table. Eventually someone has to crack and it’s usually you who pipes up ‘Um, uh, comments?’ Then, a voice from afar squawks back with the question they’ve collectively constructed in their quiet time. Now you leave your own silence whilst you consider who is best qualified to answer, who knows the answer, who hasn’t spoken yet and who doesn’t have their mouth full of Jaffa cakes. Somewhere far away a room full of people are wheeling their chairs back and forth uncomfortably whilst looking longingly at the plate of M&Ms in the middle of their own table.

There will be those that argue that it saves time and money. You no longer have to leave the office, or travel to a meeting. All in all it has been hugely successful in further de-humanising business. I can’t argue with the fact that thousands of air miles, man-hours and carbon emissions are saved by steering clear of aeroplanes, motorways and overcrowded train carriages. And by confining ourselves to our desks or meeting rooms we are helping save our time, money and the planet. But the fact remains that the conference call is one of the most unpleasant tasks known to man. Right up there with hair waxing and attending children’s birthday parties.

Perhaps the only way to get through them in future is to introduce a little entertainment into proceedings. Maybe a game of musical chairs mid call? Whoever is without a chair when the music stops has to shout something controversial into the box. Can you introduce a surreptitious swearword into the call? “Let’s schedule a face-to-face and meet for coffee. Bob, you up for coffeee? I said Fuck offy. How about you Pam, you up fuck offy?” There’s always the old favourite ‘Bullshit bingo’. Anyone who can get more than six pointless buzzwords into the conversation gets first choice at the chocolate nut cluster.

If all else fails there’s always the fire alarm.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The root of all evil

It’s not, as commonly thought, money. No, the root of all evil, in my humble opinion is the business management tool SAP. Has there ever been a more time stealing, soul destroying, life-erasing entity of rancid, bowels of hell stinking pointlessness? Answers on a post card please, although I suspect not. There are almost limitless ways this foul, pernicious company can make the average workers life more difficult and stop them getting any work done.

I recently attended a training course on how to use their expenses program. It took about an hour of my time and a quarter of my soul to realise that never in a million years would any one of us present in that room be able to use this tool in an efficient and time productive way.

In the bad old days before technology optimized our skill set and we realised we needed an enterprise wide initiative to realign our personal fiscal state of operations (or claim back the £2.50 we spent on a coffee whilst heading to a client meeting) life was much simpler. You simply filled in a pink sheet of paper, stapled your receipts to the back, got a signature and took it to an old lady who sat down the bottom of the corridor and smelled of lavender and cats. And then, as if by magic, three weeks later the £2.50 would appear back in your bank balance. But with the dawn of a bright new technological era we have streamlined the process and made the whole thing so complicated that even Professor Stephen Hawkins would shrug his shoulders and say in his inimitable mechanical way ‘I’ll be fucked if I know.’ Now you have to fill in endless ‘fields’ in endless pages requiring endless numbers and authentification codes to be sent to endless people who will ignore it before you chase them up and then check endless different pages in the hope that somebody somewhere will give you back your own money you have spent on the company’s behalf.

Obviously you will not get your money back immediately because you will, without question fill the form in wrongly. Then a little man who sits in a darkened room with a bad haircut, comfortable shoes, Primark suit and delusions of adequacy will reject it. This will then become a never-ending task to rectify. Hours of your billable time that you should be spending producing work for your company or their clients will be spent in front of the computer screen dying slowly inside.

I simply do not understand how anybody can justify changing a system that is straightforward and effective to one that requires hundreds of people and untold thousands of pounds to set up and results in an entire workforce grinding to a halt for large chunks of their day. A more cynical man than I might think they were making the whole process this difficult so that nobody would bother claiming their own money back, saving the company the expense of repaying them. But I am clearly not cynical by nature so can only presume that they know best. Perhaps it is a government scheme to create employment for would be accountants. There are probably thousands of people across the country with no social skills and greasy hair who like sitting in stale smelling rooms with ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps’ posters on the walls who need a purpose. For this reason we have no choice but to welcome this pointless program into our lives in the knowledge that it is creating employment for a whole swathe of people who would otherwise be watching Jeremy Kyle and experimenting with biscuits.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The unwritten letter

I’m sure we all have at least one if not hundreds of latent unwritten letters inside us. I mean those letters that you want to write, plan to write, mentally write but never quite get round to writing. Often this is a good thing, as the best letters are the ones that you would probably write in the heat of the moment and result in instant dismissal or a lawsuit.

The one where your 23 year old bank manager patronises you, makes an idiotic comment or generally annoys you to the level where you would like to take your fingers to the keyboard and write ‘Dear XXXXX, you seem to have the mental stability of a lactating gypsy woman on steroids who has just found out her husband has been fornicating with Geraldine the one eyed goat. Please could you explain how, in your current mental state, you consider yourself fit to pass judgement on a decision that is far too complicated for your shrunken brain to understand?’

Of course there’s the letter to the shop manager about their rude sales assistant where you might be tempted to ask ‘…where this cretinous individual was found? When he came for the interview was there no concern about his lack of eye contact, speech or any form of reasonable thought pattern? If he were to develop into a half-wit he would be twice as intelligent as he is now, yet you saw fit to put him in a position where he can talk to your customers like they are shit on his shoe.’

You might be tempted to write to the local municipal office and inform them of a worrying experience you had at the local tip. ‘Dear XXXX, it was whilst trying to throw the cardboard box of my son’s new Battlestar Galactica toy space ship into container number twelve that I was approached by a strange, unknown being, the like of which cannot possibly be human. It’s spiky, bleached blonde fur, strange misspelt markings on its forearms and aggressive behaviour are surely that of a previously undiscovered species. I was somewhat taken aback when it uttered a terrible groaning sound that sounded something like ‘oi, wha tha? Ah it ot any olystyrene innit? Eh? Ah it? Tak it art.’ I think you might like to consider informing the army and try and capture it for medical science.’

How about the letter to the local train company asking where exactly the money goes that they reap from their preposterous train fares? ‘…as the money clearly doesn’t get spent on improving the trains, tracks, service or personnel training am I to consider that the money is possibly being used for the benefit of the board and stakeholders? Is it possible that rather than putting more trains on the tracks, there are people somewhere putting money in their back pocket, white powder up their nose and their tiny peckers in small Indonesian boys whilst on a ‘fact-finding mission?’

Then there’s the letter to the owner of the call centre that rings you of an evening with the unmissable offer of a state of the art conservatory, bank loan or double-glazing. ‘Dear Sir/madam. Die. Yours sincerely Mr XXXX’

Let me know if you have any you’d love to write?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The emasculation of modern man…

…Which is basically a poncy way of saying I’m sick to the back teeth of doing the fucking washing up. And the laundry, and the hoovering, polishing, bathroom cleaning and all the other jobs my forbearers would have laughed at seeing another man do. In their day they would have strode out amongst the wild plains, hunted down a stag for dinner, drank large quantities of ale, ravished a fair maiden and returned to their perfectly maintained dwelling for a large feast around the fire, prepared lovingly by their wives. Even in my parent’s day the boundaries seemed much clearer. Dads across the land would go out to work at nine, and come home to dinner at half past five. They might then pop out to the Red Lion for a quick eight pints of Whitbread’s best bitter before returning home to fall asleep in front of Angela Rippon.

Now clearly I accept that times change and life moves on. It’s not as if I have a great hankering to spend my spare time bear baiting or bare knuckle fighting. I don’t really wish to rebuild a Triumph Dolomite from spare parts or join a tug of war team. I just think that to come home from work and spend all my time as some kind of Mr Mop indicates that something, somewhere has gone terribly wrong. I generally return of an evening to find a house full of people that I have either married or sired wandering around littering, eating and generally creating work for me like it’s some kind of family duty. My wife leading the children on their merry-mess-making way like a latter day Pied Piper, leaving discarded banana skins, dirty clothes and unwashed plates in their wake. I’m sure I heard my daughter say the other day ‘Please Mummy, I don’t want to make any more mess today.’ To which my wife fierily replied ‘Dammit, it’s not about what you want. It’s about what’s right. If we don’t create a never-ending mess for your father to clear up then he could be tempted to start juggling chain saws or pursue a career on the oil rigs, now drop that Goddamn crisp packet on the floor.’

The problem is that years of housework and domesticity have rendered me useless in the ways of men from a bygone era. Any kind of building work is out. My attempt at fitting a humble cat flap has taught me my shortcomings there. Anything more complicated than filling the car up with petrol is generally beyond me, so engineering is looking doubtful. I guess I could chop down a tree and start a fire, but the local council are sticklers for that kind of thing.

It would appear that I am rather stuck with my lot. Whilst I would rather be building a fully self-sufficient outhouse from reclaimed wood, or fine tuning the engine of my six cylinder two-seater sports car, it seems that I’m stuck marvelling at the benefits of washing clothes at 30 degrees or the new five, yes five in one thunderball, sparkle guarantee, performance enhanced, lemon zest dishwasher tablet. Lucky me.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Politics & Cheating

In keeping with recent events and largely down to my persisting Ranter’s block there seemed no better time to remember the wit and wisdom of Mr. Malcolm Tucker.
(The Politics)
As the saying goes ‘Those who can, do: those who can’t, copy and paste.’
(The Cheating)

“He’s as useless as a marzipan dildo”
“He’s a fat guy with a tiny little dick the size of a bookie’s biro”
“Cliff fucking Lawton. Hey, was the Cillit Bang guy not available?”
“You were like a sweaty octopus trying to unhook a bra! It was like watching John Leslie at work…”
“We’re gonna get this tosser… Don’t you worry – he’ll be at The Sport photo-shopping the tits of ‘Hollyoaks’ extras by the end of the month.”
“You’re gonna be spread out there in front of them like a trollope in the stocks…”
“Julius Nicholson, right, blue sky thinker, ex-business guru, dog rapist… He’s been a nuisance to me; he also has got plans to squeeze this department so hard that you’ll be lucky if you’re left with one bollock between the three of you…”
“Did you ever travel 100mph head first through a tunnel filled with pig shit because that’s what’s going to happen to you tonight…”
“I will personally fucking eviscerate you, right? …And I mean, I don’t have your education, I don’t know what it means, but I will start by ripping your cock off and I’ll busk it from there, ok…?”
“What happens if he does stand a chance, eh? He’ll fuck you harder than Ron Jeremy. And with less warmth…”
“If you don’t go and get me some cheese, I’m gonna rip your head off and give you a spinedectomy…”
“Stop fucking blinking! Or I will take your optic nerve and strangle you with it…”
“There’s nothing you know that I don’t know, I’m Doctor fucking know…”

Hopefully before long there will be a new post, or at the very least a new government.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Hey Prestolino!

A guest columnist promotes his latest video.

“Hi there, Björn Olofsson here. Senior Marketing manager and ultra cool dude for WMF Hey Prestolino coffee machines.

Let’s break bread a little here my lovely cool British homeboys and girls. You maybe wonder what I up to here? Well I tell you, I have super cool video to share with the world. My super cool team said to me ‘Hey Björn, how can we make the Hey Prestolino coffee machine super cool and trendy, just like our customers?’

I organised a think tank with some of my cool colleagues and then it hit us like a lightning bolt. What does every super cool, state of the art, fully automatic speciality coffee machine need? I’ll tell you what it needs. Rock and Roll. Yeah baby.

It seems such an obvious fit, don’t you think dudes and dudesses? A modern design and intuitive operation. Cool, yeah? Rock and Roll. Super cool, yeah? Yeah baby yeah!

So what I decide to do is hire coolest band in Stockholm, ‘Exkrementgnidning’, which I think translates to Faecal Rubbings. How super cool is that? So they saw the fit straight away, or as soon as I offered them the cheque and free coffee machine. See how they buy into the dream? Those guys are super cool and down with it alright?

So we got top director, the band and me into a studio and hey presto, we made some magic. Or we made a corporate video that made our coffee machine look as funky and with it as the band. You see that guy in the studio with the thinning hair and moustache giving the high five? That’s me. Yeah baby yeah. I showed it to my teenage daughter and she said I looked like a complete dickwad, which I think is your English slang for super cool fly guy. And when I tell you about the response from my more junior marketing team you will not be surprised. One man said I was biggest Jiz stain arse wipe patronizing piss pipe he had ever had pleasure to work with. Not sure of exact translation, but tears of honour flowed from my eyes like a flushed toilet.

Take a look at my super cool video and see how Rock and Roll and coffee go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong. And remembered for ever like shoo bop shoo wadda wadda yipitty boom de boom.”

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Superiority Complex

“If I can just give you a bit of advice mate?” Said the cretinous, patronising security guard at Heathrow to the well-dressed businessman scrabbling around on the floor looking for the money that had just fallen there. “Never, ever, ever put your belt in the small tray. Never. That was an accident waiting to happen. It was always going to make it tip up, taking your change with it. I could have told you that.”

Well, thank you very much Einstein. Those pearls of wisdom will stay with all of us present until the day we die. I personally shall turn to my children whilst lying on my deathbed and say, “If I can give you a bit of advice kids? Never, ever, ever put your belts in the small tray, it’s an accident waiting to happen.” This will be a lesson they can take with them through the rest of their lives and lead to them developing into well rounded, self-sufficient, productive adults. If I had been the well-dressed businessman I would have taken said belt, wrapped it round the guard’s stupid, scrawny neck and tightened it until all the life had drained out of his moronic pock-marked face, then removed it and beaten him black and blue with it. Okay, obviously I wouldn’t, I would have smiled benignly and thought about it whilst silently calling him a very rude name.

There is a certain type of person, usually employed in a position where the only qualifications needed are to have breath and opposable thumbs, which delight in lording it over everyone else. They seem to think that because they know how to do one single task better than the general population, they are some kind of mastermind, and we are all ignorant heathens. We all know them: Security guards, tip workers, traffic wardens, train revenue inspectors, bouncers the list goes on. Why they feel the need to act like a prize dick at every opportunity is anyone’s guess, but they do. Perhaps its some kind of a peak cap syndrome? How they would love a peak cap, and possibly epaulettes to mark out their rank. ‘I hold the temporary balance of power, so therefore I am far more important than you are, and I will take every opportunity to let you know.’ You can just imagine them saluting themselves every morning in the bathroom mirror, before putting on their uniform, collecting their packed lunch, kissing their mum goodbye and heading off for work.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Every cloud does not have a silver lining…

…especially the one spewing out of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano (surely a name conjured up by a cruel news editor to challenge Alastair Burnet and company). The chaos caused by this unprecedented event has left over 150,000 Britons stranded abroad, three of whom happen to be my wife and children.

As pissed off as I am (and I am) there is no one to complain about, no one to complain to. Their safety has to come first and while there is any risk at all it is only right that they stay where they are. This makes it even harder, because without anyone or anything to rant about I have no outlet for my burgeoning rage. Instead I am left pottering around my quiet, tidy house with only our wretched cat for company. I don’t even like the bloody animal, but yet it has turned into a little black shadow following me around at all times. I can’t even go for a pee without two black paws and a head appearing between my legs to check if all is in working order. Urinary personal space issues aside, a Morecombe and Wise-esque relationship seems to have developed between us. Two lonely beings co-existing in their suburban retreat; me mooching around looking for things to do, and the cat following behind to see if it can join in. I half expect a song and dance routine to start at any time, and a famous actor to pop up as a surprise guest.

When we are in the middle of our busy, stressful lives we all crave some quiet time; a little quality period of rest and reflection. Yet when you have it, by God it’s boring. Did you know for instance that we have 326 tiles in our kitchen, or that if you close your eyes really tight for a long time and rub them with your fingers you get an amazing kaleidoscopic light show of all different shapes, colours and patterns behind your eyes? No of course you didn’t know about my kitchen tiles, and I’m sure you couldn’t care less about my kaleidoscopic light show because they’re fucking pointless and you would have to be bored out of your mind to even think about it. Can you imagine how depressing it is to have a water gargling competition on your own?

My family are stranded in Dubai trying to make the most of their unexpected stay, while I muddle along here in good Old Blighty. I’m not sure who has the shittier end of the stick, although I know where I’d rather be. At least I know they are safe, and as I watch the news I am heartened by the spirit and resilience of those affected by the disruption. Whether finding their long way home or making new friends. Out of adversity has come ingenuity and isolation has come friendship.

However none of this helps me much so I’m off to kick the cat.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Diddy Daytona

I have never felt the need to live near Santa Pod, or Daytona, the Hockenheimring or indeed any other racetrack. So I guess I should consider myself lucky that my distance from the world of racing is countered for by the plethora of boy racers who see fit to roar along the high street covering tiny distances at a time, at very nearly a great speed.

What makes these daredevil young racers ever so slightly laughable is the vehicles they have to perform in. Due to the outlandish insurance costs now available for anybody under the age of 87, these brave young men are forced to buy cheap slightly less than super minis, and then do with them what they can. This usually involves painting them a hideous colour (lime green seems to be a favourite), adorning them with ridiculous patterns and then equipping them with an exhaust bigger than most people’s television sets. This gives the sound of a jet fighter, with the unfortunate side effect of the performance of a shopping trolley. Then for the Pièce de résistance: The stereo. A ludicrous monster that they can turn up to roughly the same volume as the Live aid concert.

I was lucky enough to witness one the other day as he roared past me at 28mph, the four hooded occupants nodding away rhythmically to their song of choice. I was left somewhat bemused by the song itself, a mix of ‘Loving you is easy ‘cause you’re beautiful’ by Minnie Riperton and some kind of ragga drum and bass track. It was the aural equivalent of combining treacle and barbed wire. Not my cup of tea, but hey, each to their own.

In a world of order, peace and tranquility what every regional town needs is a courageous band of unintelligent boy racers to liven things up. The sight of their bobbing heads accompanied by the roar of the engine and thumping music is enough to stir the soul of even the most die-hard car hater. Without them life would simply be too quiet. Too pleasant. My only hope is that they don’t crash and burn in a horrifying accident, caught inside their mangled mini, surrounded by flames that match the ones painted on their doors. The banging on the window for help drowned out by a delightful techno ditty, as we stand by watching; mouthing the words ‘What? Sorry can’t hear you. What are you saying? You want some kelp, are you sure? Strange boy.’

This would clearly be a tragedy.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Volcano

My family were due home today after nearly three weeks away in South Africa.
With the house tidied, beds made and shopping done I was just about to set off for Gatwick when Peter Pessimist, the annoying voice in the back of my head piped up:
"I wonder if anything will go wrong?"
'Don't be so negative' I thought, what could go wrong?
"Perhaps the flight will be delayed?" Said Peter Pessimist.
'Well, I'll just get a coffee.' I thought.
"What if there are delays?"
'I'll just be a bit late, not the end of the world.'
"What if the car breaks down?"
'The car is fine, it's not going to break down.'
"What if there's a volcanic eruption over Iceland causing all flights in and out of the UK to be cancelled?"
'Don't be ridiculous.' I thought. 'What are the chances of that happening?'

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The crassest ad ever?

Surely it's one thing to be caught out as a serial philanderer, but to then allow your dead father's voice to help you use that to sell running shoes is ever so slightly tasteless?

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Dawdlers

Can I start by saying that I fully accept that it is everybody’s God given right to dawdle if they choose. Whether it be through old age, infirmity or inclination that they see fit to walk at a snail’s pace, so be it. But can I just say, on behalf of the rest of us, if you do choose to dawdle, can you please for the love of God get out of the bloody way?

It can be almost unbearably annoying to get stuck behind a two mph roadblock that restricts you to walking at the kind of pace that would send a sloth into a rage of impatient apoplexy. Heaven help you if you get two together, a dawdling duo, then all chance of overtaking is lost and you are left bobbing and weaving from side to side like some kind of frustrated boy racer in a souped up Citroen Saxo. And to make matters worse the dawdlers seem to have a Puffer fish like ability to swell to twice their normal size, just to ensure there is no available route past.

But worse than the dawdler, so much worse than the humble dawdler, is the slaloming dawdler. Those people with the sixth sense or hidden eyes in the back of their head who know exactly when you try to pass and then totter over to block your path. You go to overtake on the right; they meander over to the right. You quickly make a dash to the left, but too late, they’re already there. Stumbling across with all the time in the world and not a care to speak of.

Dawdlers are usually to be found at airports or train stations, or indeed any other location frequented by people in a hurry. Shopping centres on a Saturday afternoon are also a popular venue, and it is of course here that they can really spread out with shopping bags or other props to hinder a safe passage through to the car park before your ticket runs out.

Is it not reasonable to suggest a dawdler lane? Perhaps even an unspoken agreement that the sauntering strollers among us stick to the right hand side of the path, and let the rest of us by at a respectable pace? This way they will be far less annoying; we might become friends, we may even wave at them as we pass. If there are any renegade slaloming dawdlers however, then I can only suggest that they are rounded up and carted off to a countryside exile where they can take up as much room as they want and wander off dawdling to their hearts content.

Monday, 5 April 2010

So...?

There seems to have developed a rather annoying habit of certain people ending each statement with the word so.

This new convention seems to be taking over as the default end to a sentence, so…?

I can only presume this is because they don’t quite know how to finish their thought, but by leaving a questioning so? They hope somebody else will do it for them, so...?

It has become almost as annoying as Australian Question Intonation, where the voice goes up questioningly at the end of each sentence. A trait that is particularly popular with young girls influenced by Neighbours, Home & Away etc, so…?

I wonder where people have lost the confidence in their own point of view so much that they feel the need to let somebody else finish off their thoughts, so…?

It could be that they aren’t even looking to illicit a response, but simply have no idea what they are actually talking about, so…?

It’s possible that the idea of leaving a thought hanging could indicate an open mind on the subject, so…?

It could also suggest they would rather hand over the task of finishing their thoughts to someone else, so…?

It takes the responsibility off them and they can simply nod in agreement to whatever follows, so…?

They still seem intelligent enough to have proposed a question, even if it started off life as a fact, so…?

I suggest a fine system for anyone caught ending a sentence with the wrong intonation, a thought left hanging and double penalty points for using the word so.

So…?

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Snatch Wars

This has been doing the rounds a bit recently, but is very funny.
Here is a man who truly knows how to Rant.
The east end meets outer space.
(Be warned, the language is a little fruity if you're thinking of watching it in front of your grandparents or eight year old niece)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Oo-er Missus


Here are 12 of the finest double-entendres that were aired on TV & Radio


These were sent to me by Darrel. I think they are juvenile and silly, and anyone who finds them amusing should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

1. Pat Glenn, weightlifting commentator -
'And this is Gregoriava from  Bulgaria . I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!'

2. New Zealand Rugby Commentator - 'Andrew Mehrtens loves it when Daryl  Gibson comes inside him.'


3. Ted Walsh - Horse Racing Commentator - 'This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother.' 


4. Harry Carpenter at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race 1977 - 
'Ah, isn't that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of  the Oxford crew.'

5. US PGA Commentator - 'One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot,
His wife takes out his  balls and kisses them ..... Oh my god!! What have I just said??'


6. Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on 'Time Team  Live' said: 'You'd eat beaver if you could get it.'


7. A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked,
'So Bob, where's that eight inches you promised me last night?'
Not only did HE have to leave  the set, but half the crew did too, because they were laughing so hard!


8. Steve Ryder covering the US Masters - 'Ballesteros felt much better today after a 69 yesterday.'


9. Clair Frisby talking about a jumbo hot dog on Look North said:
'There's nothing like a big hot sausage inside you on a cold night like this.' 


10. Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on Sky Sports:
'Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis's misses every chance he gets.'


11. Michael Buerk on watching Phillipa Forrester cuddle up to a male astronomer for warmth during BBC1's UK eclipse coverage remarked:
'They seem cold out there, they're rubbing each other and he's only come in his shorts.'


12. Ken Brown commentating on golfer Nick Faldo and his caddie Fanny Sunneson lining-up shots at the Scottish Open: 
'Some weeks Nick likes to use Fanny, other weeks he prefers to do it by himself.'

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Research


Nowadays you can’t release a film, an album, a commercial, a car, an electrical product or a fart without first submitting it to the rigours of a research group. If you wish to present anything to the public now, you have to take whatever it is that has been so lovingly crafted and put it in front of a focus group. A bunch of people will turn up for the promise of a small fee and a plate of sandwiches and be asked what is wrong with it? Then to justify their existence in the room they will tell you how they could have done a far better job themselves.

Can you imagine if research had always been around? Would it have been better? What would have happened, for instance, if the music of yesteryear had undergone a similar fate?
Here is a classic piece of work with possible research comments in italics.

Yesterday
Yesterday,
(Why look back. Too negative.)
All my troubles seemed so far away,
(There is no need to mention troubles. It puts a problem in the listeners’ mind that doesn’t need to be there)
Now it looks as though they're here to stay,
(No, no, no.)
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
(What about believing in ‘Today’?)
Suddenly,
(Good, group liked spontaneity)
I'm not half the man I used to be,
(Not liked at all. He should be twice the man he was)
There's a shadow hanging over me,
(Sounds negative, change to something sunnier)
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.
(Not very believable)
 Why she
Had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say.
(No. Suggests lack of communication)
I said,
Something wrong, now I long for yesterday.
(Not liked. Could they say something right and look forward to tomorrow?)
 Yesterday,
(Refer to previous comment)
Love was such an easy game to play,
(Liked)
Now I need a place to hide away,
(Again negative. Sounds a bit lonely)
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
(Refer to previous comment)
 Repeat previous two verses.
(Heard it all before. Try something new)
 Mm-mm-mm-mm-mm-mm-mm.
(Group had no strong opinions on the letter m.)

Here’s how a research friendly might sound.

Today
Our today.
We’re going on holiday for a nice getaway.
A nice resort where the kids can play.
Oh, I believe in our today.
Suddenly,
I’m as happy as I can be,
To spend quality time together as a family,
Oh, our today will come suddenly.
Why we
Have to go, with the flow, I couldn’t say.
I said,
Something strong, like I long, for our today.
Nn-nn-nn-nn-nn-nn-nn.

I think you’ll agree that research has certainly helped improve the rather negative words of Mr. McCartney.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The client


I have decided to change career. I am going to become a client.

The first thing I am going to do as a client is buy a dog. Not just any dog you understand, but a really expensive dog that requires lots of maintenance and money spending on it. Day after day I will pay to keep it fed, healthy and hearty. And not just an expensive dog, but a really intelligent breed of dog. One that has been bred and trained over many years to perform specific tasks really, really well. Once I have bought this dog, which is so clever and costs me so much money in upkeep, the first thing I am going to do is start barking myself. Whenever the dog feels the need to let itself be heard, ‘woof woof woof’ I shall go.

I shall do this because I’m the client now and I know best. I will be surrounded by people who spend all day telling me how clever I am, so therefore I will know best about absolutely everything there is to know about absolutely everything, because I know best. Because I’m a client now and therefore I’m bloody brilliant. Simple as that, get used to it.

If the dog decides to fetch my slippers, I shall tell him how to fetch my slippers; which route to take, how to hold them and the exact point by my feet to leave them. If it sits on command, I shall tell it where to sit and how to sit more comfortably. These animals can’t just rollover willy-nilly, oh no, there is a certain way to rollover, and I will take it upon myself to show it how to rollover. If I throw a stick for it to fetch, then I shall run and fetch it first, because nobody knows how to fetch a stick better than I do.

To get the best out of my new dog I shall undermine it at every opportunity, and show it how I can do everything better than he can, regardless of the consequences. This will be client led motivation at its best. My decisions and natural instincts will put it to shame, so I will never use the dog for the reasons I paid for it in the first place, because this would go against all that seems natural. 

This is how you get the best out of a dog. I know this to be true, because I have seen this approach in action so many times.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Blah, blah, blah!

Blah blah blah blah blah a lovely new red car blah blah blah Chris has a blue one blah blah blah blah I know, I know blah blah blah blah I said to him blah blah blah blah and he said to me blah blah blah. Ooh, I’m really hungry blah blah blah blah. Tenerife blah blah blah peeled like an orange blah blah blah. My Mum, can you believe it? Blah blah blah blah. Did you ring him? Did you? Did you? You didn’t, you didn’t. No, no, no blah blah blah blah. A bit like Suzy but with smaller ears blah blah blah blah. Then I went blah blah and he went blah blah so I was like blah blah blah. Do you know what I mean? He’s like so blah blah blah. Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow blah blah but we’ll talk before then blah blah blah. Byeee. A Doberman I think. Blah blah blah. Bye. Bye. Yeah, yeah blah blah blah. Okay, bye. Bye. Bye. Okay, I will blah blah blah. Byeeee.

Shuuuuuuuuutttttttt Uuuuuuuuuppppppppppp.

To the girl sat behind me on the 6.30pm train, and every other person who feels the need to discuss their life on the phone in great detail and at great volume, can I just say that neither I, nor I suspect the rest of train, could give a flying fist fuck about your car, holiday, Chris or any other part of your life. So why do you feel the need to talk about it at the top of your loud, irritating voice?

Sshhhhhh.