Arrg kxrrt!

Blog : Posts tagged with 'management' : Page 1

*

Landscape

In which people rarely realise just how man-made our countryside is


On the radio this morning, in between interminable political stuff: a piece about conservation, and particularly about conserving a hay meadow near Cambridge. I’m not sure what was particularly important about this specific meadow – I was too busy driving to listen properly – but I did pick up the presenter waffling on about the natural landscape.

The meadow is next to a major road. “You can hear the traffic on the A14 behind me,” the presenter said, “showing just how we’re encroaching on natural landscapes like this.”

Which is utter and complete nonsense! A meadow is, frankly, about as unnatural a landscape as you can get. It’s entirely as unnatural as, say, Langham Place in central London. I’m glad the conservationist she was interviewing didn’t agree; presumably he knew better. There is a general impression people have, that if we let the land revert to a “natural landscape”, it would end up looking something like a Constable painting; it’s entirely false, and that’s exactly why landscapes such as traditional hay meadows have to be carefully managed if we want to preserve them.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , ,

*

Frustration

In which things always go wrong … unless FP wants them to go wrong


Or, A Work Story.

We need a new printer. The MD says: “Order a new printer!” Our manager waits until he’s out of earshot, then says: “get Spare Printer X working and use that instead.”

So, I find Spare Printer X out, and do manage to get it working. I test it. It seems to be fine. But then, a strange thing starts happening.

I give it a page to print. Let’s call it Page A. It prints it. All is well.

I test a different page. Page B. The printer happily prints another copy of Page A.

A third page to the printer? Out comes Page A again.

Let’s try a four-page document. I get: four copies of Page A.

Switch to a different application. It works! It prints what I tell it to – Page X this time.

I print Page Y from that application. I get Page X again.

Go back to the first program. Still printing Page A.

Let’s reboot the printer. Let’s print. Oh look, Page A.

OK, it’s not the printer. Let’s reboot the printer, and the computer, wait ten minutes, turn them back on. Check there are no files spooled and waiting. Print something. Out comes: Page A. Now this, surely, is physically impossible.*

The boss pops down to check how I’m getting along. “It’s borked,” I say. “It only ever prints copies of the first thing you told it to print. It’s useless. Look.” I repeat my last, failed, print request. It prints perfectly. Arse.

“Looks fine to me,” says the boss. “Put it in, and see if they have any problems.”

Of course, I know it’s never going to work now.

* or at least, extremely improbable, if you follow Sherlock Holmes’ philosophy.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , ,

*

Owning up

In which, unlike Mario Reading, we own up to a wrong prediction


Owning up to your mistakes is almost always the best thing to do. In an hour or so, it looks like I’m going to be proved wrong about something.

Specifically, something I wrote almost a year ago,* when I said: “at the earliest, [Tony Blair is] going to resign in the first quarter of 2009″. It looks, now, that I’m going to be nearly two years out, and that he’s going to give up power before getting within a year of Thatcher’s longevity record. On the other hand, I’m not the only person who was wrong. According to the article that prompted the earlier post, this time last year most Labour MPs weren’t expecting him to go until 2008. I still don’t believe he would give up power willingly until 2009, if he thought he could get away with it. I think that saying “yes, I’m going to resign, but not yet” is a bloody stupid way to run any sort of organisation, to be frank. Moreover, I’m wondering just how many journalists who have previously said “Blair will resign in 2008″, or similar things, will admit that they were wrong about it.

There’ll be plenty more chances for my predictions to come true in the future, of course. In January this year I said that George W Bush will still be alive in 2009, despite the “Nostradamus-inspired” prediction of author Mario Reading. I’m betting that my own prediction there is rather more secure than Reading’s – or than my earlier prediction about Blair. We’ll just have to wait and see.

* fifty-one weeks ago yesterday, in fact.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

*

A short post

In which things are still going downhill


Work, which I didn’t think could go downhill, is going downhill. It’s not something I can talk about here, for the usual privacy reasons, but it’s definitely going downhill. Nobody at all in the office is in a good mood, and me and Big Dave feel as if we’re walking around with Blame Conductors* on our heads. The office in-jokes are getting darker and more bitter by the day; and our manager, already Most Hated Person In The Building, is becoming more unpopular by the hour.

* spiky things that attract Clouds Of Blame to ground themselves on your head, usually with a sharp zap.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , ,

*

Stressful

In which things are going downhill


Work is not good at the moment. We are supposed to be doing impossible things, in tiny amounts of time. Our contractors are getting angrier, and our management is refusing to manage. We’re sending warnings upwards, about things that don’t work, things that we don’t know work, and things that haven’t even been tried; the management isn’t listening, so later they can claim they didn’t even know. Our department is becoming less and less popular by the minute, because of the black hole it’s creating. The work is leaving me lightheaded, tired, and listless. Then again, that could equally be explained by the bad ventilation in the office.*

Me and Big Dave are in a game of chicken at the moment. A game of chicken, to see who dares send in their resignation letter first.

* The feelings I have by 5pm every day – anger, irritibility, tiredness, listlessness, light-headedness – are all symptoms of hypoxia, or blood oxygen shortage.

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , ,

*

Friday again

In which we recap


If this week seems to have gone quickly, it’s because I haven’t been blogging very much. My social life is getting the better of me.

Talking of blogging, one of the managers at work has apparently started too. I’m intrigued, but not enough to want to read it. The next thing you know, the managing director will be getting a Livejournal.

Update on last month’s post about Christian science fiction: whilst searching for something else, I discovered the book I was thinking of when I wrote it. It’s Operation Titan by Dilwyn Horvat. I’ve tried searching for more information about Horvat, but not very much has turned up. I’m not even sure whether Dilwyn is a male or female name.

The book I was searching for, incidentally, was How To Travel With A Salmon by Umberto Eco, because I wanted to reread his essay “How To Recognise A Porn Movie”. It’s a long, long story,* but it’s tangentially linked to this post from last August, one of the first things I wrote here. I’ll post more about it soon, I’m sure.

Big Dave keeps repeating random phrases over and over again. I’m sure he must be developing late-onset Tourette’s Syndrome. Oh, well, at least it’s Friday.

* which, to explain, would take several pages of context, description, links to discussions elsewhere, links to political campaigning sites, links to sites you probably shouldn’t read at the office, and lots more explanation, and probably, diagrams.

4 comments so far. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Security (part two)

In which a contractor doesn’t do the job properly


So, as I explained yesterday, the security contractor at the office has saddled us with three “incompatible” security systems, two of which probably are compatible after all, it’s just that he doesn’t know how to get them to work together. We complained to the office manager about it. “Well, if that’s what the contractor said, that’s what’s going to happen.”

The next day, our boss comes through to visit. “What’s this about us needing three different tags for the alarms?”

We told him what we’d been told.

“It’s a bloody stupid idea. I thought they were all going to work together.” Yes, so did we. “I don’t want to have to carry three tags on my keyring.” And he wanders off, grumbling about it.

The following day, we notice the Managing Director stalking about in our part of the building, looking at the security gadgets and making “hmmm…” noises. The office manager is following him around, trying to explain how wonderful these expensive systems we’ve commissioned are.

“…you’ll have one tag for these doors, one tag for the outside doors and gates, one tag for…”

“Why do we need three different tags for everything? Why can’t we just have one?”

“The contractor says that they won’t…”

“Well, I thought we were just going to have one tag that would do everything. I don’t want…”

I tuned out, but it was clear the way the conversation was going. What makes me sigh isn’t that we always prefer contractors who have worked for us before, even when their track record is hardly promising.* It’s that the management should have spotted this coming. The contractor did give the office manager a nice thick specifications document – did the manager bother to read it at all? Didn’t he bother to ask questions about the vague parts?

* This isn’t the first time the security contractor has fitted something and then not set it up properly, because although he’s agreed to fit the system we wanted he’s not willing to learn how to configure it.

One comment. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Stress and strain

In which FP is unmotivated


Work is wearing me down again. We have several projects on our menu, for different divisions of the company, and of course everybody thinks their own project is urgent. Our manager’s opinion of the most urgent depends on who he had last talked to.

When people ask me: “have you done X? When will Y be ready?” over and over again, I get annoyed and irritated. Unfortunately, most of the other managers in the company seem to think that this is the best way to go about motivating people. Of course, some go further, and lie directly: “I know Z is supposed to be ready by the end of the month. I’m sure someone told me that. I’m not sure who, but I’m sure someone did.”

2 comments so far. »

Keyword noise: , , , ,

*

Attitude

In which a colleague shocks FP


Being a normal, well-adjusted, modern person, I sometimes forget how bigoted and backwards other people tend to be around here.

Today, I was over at one of our branch offices for a few hours. Whilst I was there, one of the staff popped across the road to the local chip shop to get us all dinner. She came back, and we tucked in.

“These are good fishcakes,” said the branch manager. He’s in his mid-30s, he knows how to cook well and dress well, and I assume he’s fairly intelligent.* “You wouldn’t think they were made by a couple of gayboys.” I choked on my coffee, but managed not to say anything. We get on badly enough already.

* Well, his writing is barely functional – I’ve received memos from him, and they’re very badly written, bad enough to be very hard to understand sometimes. But, if you manage to become a branch manager, you can’t be too stupid.

10 comments so far. »

Keyword noise: , , , , ,

*

Unpopular

In which FP annoys someone


I’m not always the most popular person at work, but sometimes I feel less popular than others.

A branch manager called me with a problem. It wasn’t particularly serious, but he seemed to think it was. His computer had been frozen solid for half an hour – or, rather, his computer had frozen solid half an hour ago, and he’d ignored it, so that he could phone up and say how terrible it was that he hadn’t been able to do anything for that long.

I told him to push some keys, and it sprang back into life.

“You have to admit that this isn’t really acceptable,” he said.

I tried to point out that if he, too, had pushed that same keystroke,* then he, too, could have had a responsive computer immediately.

He said I was raising my voice at him.

“No, I’m sorry, I wasn’t raising my…”

And with that, he started to shout and swear at me, before slamming the phone down. Lovely. Maybe there’s a reason why he’s managerial material and I’m not.

* it was a particularly obvious one, too. To me, at least.

5 comments so far. »

Keyword noise: , , , ,

*

Search this site

*

Contact

E: feedback [at] symbolicforest [dot] com

IM: Ask me if you'd like to know

*

Post Categories

Artistic (118)
Dear Diary (349)
Feeling Meh (48)
Geekery (109)
In With The Old (34)
Linkery (37)
Media Addict (164)
Meta (79)
Photobloggery (94)
Political (113)
Polling (7)
Sub category (19)
The Family (31)
The Office (70)
Unbelievable (53)