Today Hornby’s Press department released an image (see above) of the latest Hornby product to be announced. In an unusual step they are allowing anybody to reproduce the image, it being “royalty” free.
My old muckers at easyJet have worked out a new way to get money out of you. You can pay to have allocated seats, hoorah! What this means of course is that unlike the good old days, (before easyJet bought ‘Go’), when you bought an easyJet ticket and it had the seat number on it in a sort of ‘allocated’ styley, you can now pay for the privelidge of having that allocation. No big deal really just a cute way to make money on a LoCost airline.
This fact is needless to say lost on certain journalists whom are unable to string any coherent thought together. Ginny Weeks, whom unfortunately nails the ‘female blonde’ stereotype colors firmly to the mast with the following ‘thick as two short planks’ defining logic. Aided of course by the ability to put up for all to see a reversed image of an easyJet heavier than air machine, see below.
After a 19-hour flight from Bali trapped in seat 34E- an aisle seat three rows behind the ‘baby row’ where six (!) screaming children sat, I know all too well how a bad seat can make your journey hell… So it’s great news that easyJet is starting to make passenger comfort a priority. From November, each passenger will have a seat reserved for them, signalling a welcome end to the elbows-at-dawn, first-come first-served set up of old, which saw people scrambling for the best seats and creating stress for everyone.
Ginny darling, how the feck does booking seat 4a when you buy your ticket prevent you from sitting next to the screaming kid? All you’ve done is chosen where you are going to sit, not where anyone else is. I can imagine a few No1’s when being told ‘I didn’t buy this seat to sit near that bunch of screaming babies!’, to say, ‘I’m terribly sorry madam, but thats exactly what you did, you chose seat 4a’.
Mrs Smith complained about the rising fees, and said many families feel it is a “hidden charge” if they want to sit together. Mr Smith however, having closely read the terms and conditions at the time of booking, seemed satisfied with his seat allocation.
Well lets face it, its not the first time NM has questioned mathematical abilities upon this very blog. NM’s no great shakes himself, but he does know that if he’s supposed to have five pieces of ‘stuff’ and when he lines his stuff up and counts them, if he’s got a finger or two spare on his left hand he concludes, normally, he needs more ‘stuff’.
G4S is responsible for recruiting, training and managing the security workforce that will be tasked with securing the Games. Originally tasked with supplying 2,000 security staff, in December 2011 they were requested to provide another 8,000 to which they agreed …
According to them:
We’ve been involved for some time already: G4S commenced its security operations for The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in March 2011.
The G4S 2012 Project Team is working
closely with customers, stakeholders and industry associations, to maximise the challenges that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring to the UK. on the opportunities and meet
Over to the Chief Exec of G4S, Mr Buckles 14/07/2012:
Despite having signed the initial contract in 2010, Mr Buckles said that he had only realised eight or nine days ago that there would be a shortfall in the numbers. He said G4S agreed to supply 10,000 staff about six months ago and received more than 100,000 applications from people looking for temporary jobs. But the complexities of vetting, recruiting and training applicants meant the company fell behind its targets. Mr Buckles said: “It’s really because of recruiting a large number of people for a very short period of time. It’s getting people to go through the processes which will probably take them three or four weeks of their time to actually get to work for three weeks.
So, Mr Buckles, your starter for ten.
10,000 people x 3 weeks ‘processing’ = 30,000 weeks required.
According to yourselves you started this process in 2010. Assuming January 1st 2010 kick off, thats 132 weeks of ‘processing’ up to doors open available, for cash, (you’re probably familiar with that at least). Roughly you’re looking at ‘processing’ 75 people per week assuming a 7 day week, and no rejects from signing the contract in 2010, So, no alarm bells ringing here, no sir, all happy clappy here, ‘crack on’ etc etc.
So with the new info that someone in G4S worked out that on the 1st Jan 2012 (‘about six months ago’) they had sufficient time, (allowing 3 weeks for processing), to train 312 security people per week, (no rejects remember) to meet their target, no one in your organisation in January thought, Hmmm …
No doubt you readers are now thinking Oi! we don’t want a chuffing maths lesson! Fair enough.
Putting it in Daily Mail speak:
Mr Buckles’ company was faced with:
138 London buses, or
24 ‘jumbo jets’ or
A column of people 59 x the height tall of Nelsons Column (assuming standing on each others shoulders),
Of people to ‘process’ sucessfully in six months.
At what point did this not ring alarm bells? Answer: Up until eight days ago apparently …
Of course we knew that, so we’re not saying that’s an excuse, but clearly that’s what’s happened.”
Mr Buckles insisted the company had kept both the government and Locog fully informed about the difficulties, saying: “We have been sharing information every day with our customer and together with the Home Office we agreed last Thursday that it was a good decision for them to ask for more troops.”
NM suspects that what actually happened was the G4S assorted red nosed, propellor tie and large shoe wearing number management types, (Account Responsible Senior Executives) were found out. Up until a week or so ago, G4S was sharing the information every day with their customer that they were ‘on target’, building a solid clicks and mortar platform for olympic security. And then someone said , Hang on, remind me when it starts? The 27th?, ah, thats ok then. Oh you mean this month?… Oh Bollocks!
It’s not the first time NM has seen the effect of ‘transforming real-time supply chains’. This occurs when you’ve not got enough ‘stuff’ and you have to ‘deliver killer content’. That means putting your hand up early and saying Sir, Please sir, We’ve not got enough stuff sir!. Thats real killer content, not your ‘happy clappy, no elephant squatting in the corner here’ mindset.
NM’s curious about the ‘processing’ involved too. NM has to deal with G4S on a daily basis. We check a telephone line, they ring first and ask NM to call back on the dedicated line. NM does this, and before he says anything the receiver states yes ‘thats lound and clear’, and the phone is put down. NM then puts the phone down having said nuffink.
What they really mean is the bell works.
However, we have no idea if the phone actually works.
Clearly, G4S leads from the top …
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information
Unfortunately in NM’s experience far too many of them fall into the following genre
writing that reflects superficial thought and research, a popular slant, and hurried composition, conceived of as exemplifying topical newspaper or popular magazine writing
So not so long ago a piece appeared in a local rag bemoaning the fact that a reader posted a message on a local airport story, saying an airline could not get the ATC slots for summer flights because it does not have enough staff available to man the planes having made lots of cuts over the winter.
An ATC slot is produced via the CFMU, (thats a big building in Belgium, but thats not important at the moment,) as a function of airspace capacity. Naff all to do with airline staffing. So heres how it works …
Idiots guide to ATC slots.
Its very simple, if you have a room that holds ten idiots, you can’t put eleven idiots in the room. (much as you might like to)
Idiot number eleven has to wait until one or more idiots come out, or the room is made bigger, so the idiot (No11), gets a slot time. This is the time the idiot has to present itself to commence their journey to the room. If there’s only seven idiots in the room, then you can get three further idiots in there without restricting their progress at all, but the fourth idiot and any subsequent idiots will have to wait their turn. If that room is in fact a corridor joining two rooms, then you can only get so many idiots down that corridor at any one time, even if the room at either end has a limitless supply of idiot capacity. Therefore any idiot wishing to pass through the corridor may get a slot time for the corridor, depending on how many idiots wish to use the corridor at any given time. If there is another different corridor, joining the rooms you can send the idiots down those corridors, which may mean that the idiots will not be restricted at all.
So you can see using the above idiots guide, you should be able to see that ATC SLOTS, do not get secured by an airlines schedule, or their staffing levels, they are a tactical daily/hourly response to airspace capacity. But please don’t let inconvenient substance like facts get in the way
I often get these calls and have used a good few versions of annoying them back, seems a fair exchange to me. Mrs NM says ‘Why do you bother? just hang up’. I say well whilst they are trying to rob me, they’re not actually suceeding in robbing anyone else. I often wondered how they knew I was using the ‘puter’ at the time. Well the other day one rang when I wasn’t on the pc, so I kept them talking being ‘thick’ whilst the operator, (usual sub continent audio soundtrack), babbled away in the background. So having checked the PC was turned off and removing the t’interweb cable, I began to play along.
Hello, Is that Mr N. Munkey?
NM: Whose calling?
It’s Microsoft support, we are ringing to offer help is your computer running slow?
‘Yes’, I confirmed my PC was indeed running slow. A slow running PC helps you rather than them. A slow running PC means it takes longer for you to give them a reply, and hence gives you additional thinking time. So what you can do is make tappity tap tap sounds on the keyboard as they give you instructions. When they ask what its showing just say a blank/blue screen or yes the menu is showing, you’ve clicked on it, and you’ve got the cursor hourglass icon just showing spinning revolving etc. Don’t forget to just turn off your computer at the wall, tell them you’ve done it of course, this means any commands they’ve given you are void and they have to start again. Tell them sorry you were only trying to help, thats what you normally do when it runs slow and doesn’t respond. You’ll pick up that they are a bit annoyed now, its the ‘no, no, no,’ when you tell them you’re turning it off thats the give away, but seeing as you are obviously so ‘thick’ they stick with it, you will after all, at the end, be an easy victim.
I managed to keep this going for a good forty five minutes or so the other day, whilst idly flicking through a book doing picture research. The best bit was getting them to call back, the computer running so slowly that they got fed up waiting and said they’d ring back in ten minutes. Give them the added bonus of telling them its running XP, they start salivating like pavlovs dogs at the thought of such an easy crack. Guess what? they do actually call you back. I even managed to get a call to a mate in between, and they called during that conversation, ‘Oh shit I said my daughters just been sick!, call me back in ten I’ve got to see she’s ok’. That worked too. Eventually they gave up up when I said the screen was black and now not responding to anything, even re-starting it on their instruction and hitting F8 as many times as possible, (NB do not touch or follow any commands they give you), and the pc was ‘just making a humming noise with the green light flashing’ at me.
Tell them its the green one, most PC’s have a light somewhere, so it may as well be green and flashing. Oh, its stopped flashing. Having now been escalated to someone who could speak english quite well, (the sharks sensing the blood in the water), ‘Oh, green lights started flashing again’ etc etc, you get the picture, they don’t they’re target fixated now on you. Remember, you’re portraying the ‘Hobosexual’ (Mmmm that musty smell just does it for me …), type of customer who shouldn’t be allowed on the t’interweb without a responsible adult, and clicks on every Jenifer Aniston video link out there, so keep being ‘thick’. He eventually suggested that the PC needed to be taken to a PC shop to be repaired as it was really very, very broken and badly damaged, again emphasising that it was damaged and maybe had a virus in it. ‘Oh, I thought that’s what you were going to do to it’ I said.
Do you know what, that manager who told me he was from Microsoft then told me to ‘###k off’, well I ask you what sort of customer support is that?
Following an email today from a good friend, reminds NM of further bottom of the barrel humour, in the literal sense this time.
In the past NM has genuinely suffered from the real IBS and not just the normal run of the mill pain in the @rse of daily life. As my mum died of bowel cancer I play the ‘glove puppet’ part in the bi-annual junior doctors pantomime. This involves lying on your side as nursy makes charming small talk at you, meanwhile her colleages are lubing a JCB with TV crew in the corner of the room. The first time, I was asked would I like to watch the vid, I said yer ok, not really understanding the question, so a good sixty metres or so of garden hose is ‘inserted’. To be honest its a bit of a boring vid looking a bit like a slo-mo trip on the Northern Line, certainly the gap between stations seemed as long. Well after a good few minutes of severe discomfort, not unlike the learned previous correspondants description, one was told the ‘procedure’ was complete. Breathing a sigh of relief I relaxed, to then notice a team ‘hug’ going on in the corner. I thought that seemed unusual which was soon confirmed by the consultant appearing at 90 degrees to the normal field of vision, (you lay on your side for an endoscopy), for a little ‘chat’. At this point under normal circumstances you’d probably follow though just out of principal, she being a cancer specialist and all that, but the ‘tank’ is fortunately empty.
It appears there was an ‘obstruction’, so naturally one panics. That has a ’cause and effect’ result. To insert the previously mentioned JCB and film crew, they inflate, ( yup, you did read that, inflate) ones chuff with a quantity (unknown, but significant, by any stretch of the imagination), of compressed air. As you lie there it begins to find its own way out through the first natural exit point. So the doc says, ‘we’ve found an obstruction’, your natural verbal response is to query the statement, however your bodily response is to reply by releasing some compressed air before you can formulate your reply. ‘No its not that bad’ she says, and you breath a sigh of relief, well you dont actually breath it as such, more expell rather than breath, and, well, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out what the ‘obstruction’ was. ‘We didn’t get all the way to the end’, she explains, so it is the chuffing Northern Line you think, and she asks if they may repeat the procedure. Being a practical type, and not wishing to return for a second helping of the procedure and hoping the nurse wouldn’t make a fist of it, one gamely said ‘yes’, grasping the blitz spirit, in for a penny, in for a pound, and all that. So after an appropriate interval as the main players sat down to cups of char and the audience milled around the auditorium with their G&T’s, one assumed the glove puppet position and was subjected to a second underground trip.
If ever there was a time I felt the Elephant and Castle had visited me, rather than me visiting them, this was it ….
Mr Munky has been busy of late, however, with today being a georgeous crisp clear blue skyed winters day, it’ll come as no surpise to find that NM has been ‘Thames Whaling’. It seems to be that shovelling shite comes on either a nice day when you’d rather be somewhere else, or a filthy, cold, rainy day when you’d rather be somewhere else. Dunno about you fellow readers but I find it odd that at stables you’ll get plenty of youngsters (gurls normally) shovelling horse pooh day in day out on the basis that they enjoy doing it, and on the chance that they’ll get to ride something a bit racey as a reward for the work.
I must have filled in the wrong forms or something because each time after an hour or so of septic tank turd wrangling, or pushing 20 yards of compacted shite through a tube, theres never been a sniff of a ride as a reward, mind you, theres been plenty to sniff at.
NM has, it has to be admitted, an interest in toy trains, and theres some ‘interesting’ stuff out there. On the subject of compacted shite one has found one or two web pages where the content could adequately be described as such. One ‘member’ has set up his own forum, nothing wrong with that, but due to a lack of visitors the towel is being thrown in and they’ll not be posting any more on the original forum as they have ‘nothing more to offer’. However, if you only receive 0.75 views a day on your web site, it’s safe to say that if your readers can only be arsed to nearly make a visit, then its a bit of a leap of faith to assume you actually have ‘something to offer’ and that what you’re producing isn’t actually X-Factor material. The above mentioned web site in X-factor speak, didn’t ‘deliver’ and hadn’t ‘nailed’ anything, not even the owners vegetables to a plank of wood. Someone does however ‘own it’. I do wonder about such terminology and how yoof see it, especially if you relate it to normal life, if Postman Pat ‘delivered’ your post and then ‘nailed it’ to your door you’d get a bit fecked off having to take a claw hammer to the front door just to retrieve your post, that’d be like, ‘random’.