Gareth’s blog

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little

coverDBC Pierre's Vernon God Little won the Booker prize last night, so I'll probably buy this soon. The reviews I've read about it are really good.

Delirious? have added a couple of new free download to their download page.

College is going reasonably well although I'm a little worried about the exams coming up in 3 weeks. Anokha asked me to explain a question to her yesterday and I couldn't do it in college, seemed obvious when I tried later on though. Hopefully practise will help!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Boo hoo

I've just finished reading boo hoo, a book about the .com failure of boo, really interesting read. It's a personal account by one of the founding partners, about how boo managed to spend $130 million from the conception to bankruptcy.

Cemal's also just sent me this link, which reminded me of this. Rather funny idea about what the $87 billion George Bush is spending in iraq really looks like. Just glad he's not paying in cash!

Also been sent these, from call centres which I hadn't heard before:

Samsung Electronics Caller: "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?"
Operator: "I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about".
Caller: "On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?"
Operator: "I think you mean the telephone point on the wall".

RAC Motoring Services Caller: "Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia?"
Operator: Doesn't the product name give you a clue?

Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while travelling in France): "If I register my car in France, do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?"

Directory Enquiries Caller: "I'd like the number of the Argoed Fish Bar in Cardiff, please".
Operator: "I'm sorry, there's no listing. Is the spelling correct?"
Caller: "Well, it used to be called the Bargoed Fish Bar but the 'B' fell off".

Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.
Operator: "Woven? Are you sure?"
Caller: "Yes. That's what it says on the label - Woven in Scotland".

Caller: "I'd like the RSPCA please"
Operator: "Where are you calling from?"
Caller: "The living room"

On another occasion, a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator: "I haven't got a pen, so I'm steaming up the window to write the number on"

Computer Capers Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop". Customer: "OK"
Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No"
Tech Support: "OK. Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No"
Tech Support: "OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"
Customer: "Sure. You told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'"
Tech Support: "OK. In the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"
Customer: "Wow. How can you see my screen from there?"

British Rail Customer: "How much does it cost to Bath on the train?"
Operator: "If you can get your feet in the sink, then it's free"

Customer: "I've been ringing 0700 2300 for two days and can't get through to enquiries, can you help?"
Operator: "Where did you get that number from, sir?"
Customer: "It was on the door to the Travel Centre".
Operator: Sir, they are our opening hours".

The Bank Caller: "I would like to borrow £2,000 please"
Operator: "Certainly, sir. Over how long?"
Caller: "Three years, please"
Operator: "OK, sir. That will be £75 per month for 36 months. Is that OK?"
Caller: "No, not at all. I want it all at once!"

Today has been rather good, got my discount card and I got a raise too - now £4.30 an hour (up from £4.13) which was a nice suprise.

College is going well, will hopefully get round to doing some updates to my site tomorrow, lots of work to add to the a level sections.

Still 0-0 in the Turkey/England game, and I'm off to watch Gladiator.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

How to resign

Really has been a long time since I last updated this, must do it more reguarly. Anyway, I've got a 13-hour day ahead, with college then work in the evening, not helped by the way I'm not feeling too good either.

An extract here from Michael Moore's "Dude, where's my country?" made me smile, but this I thought was halarious. How to resign, with style:

As an employee of an institution of higher education, I have a few very basic expectations. Chief among these is that my direct superiors have an intellect that ranges above the common ground squirrel. After your consistent and annoying harassment of myself and my co-workers during the commission of our duties, I can only surmise that you are one of the few true genetic wastes of our time. Asking me, a network administrator, to explain every little nuance of everything I do each time you happen to stroll into my office is not only a waste of time, but also a waste of precious oxygen. I was hired because I know about Unix, and you were apparently hired to provide amusement to myself and other employees, who watch you vainly attempt to understand the concept of "cut and paste" for the hundredth time. You will never understand computers. Something as incredibly simple as binary still gives you too many options.

You will also never understand why people hate you, but I am going to try and explain it to you, even though I am sure this will be just as effective as telling you what an IP is. Your shiny new iMac has more personality than you ever will. You walk around the building all day, shiftlessly looking for fault in others. You have a sharp dressed useless look about you that may have worked for your interview, but now that you actually have responsibility, you pawn it off on overworked staff, hoping their talent will cover for your glaring ineptitude. In a world of managerial evolution, you are the blue-green algae that everyone else eats and laughs at. Managers like you are a sad proof of the Dilbert principle.

Seeing as this situation is unlikely to change without you getting a full frontal lobotomy reversal, I am forced to tender my resignation, however I have a few parting thoughts.

  1. When someone calls you in reference to employment, it is illegal to give me a bad recommendation. The most you can say to hurt me is "I prefer not to comment." I will have friends randomly call you over the next couple of years to keep you honest, because I know you would be unable to do it on your own.
  2. I have all the passwords to every account on the system, and I know every password you have used for the last five years. If you decide to get cute, I am going to publish your "favourites list", which I conveniently saved when you made me "back up" your useless files. I do believe that terms like "Lolita" are not usually viewed favourably by the administration.
  3. When you borrowed the digital camera to "take pictures of your mothers b-day", you neglected to mention that you were going to take pictures of yourself in the mirror nude. Then you forgot to erase them like the techno-moron you really are. Suffice it to say I have never seen such odd acts with a ketchup bottle, but I assure you that those have been copied and kept in safe places pending the authoring of a glowing letter of recommendation. (Try to use a spell check please, I hate having to correct your mistakes.)

Thank you for your time, and I expect the letter of recommendation on my desk by 8:00 am tomorrow. One word of this to anybody, and all of your little twisted repugnant obsessions will be open to the public. Never **** with your sys admin, because they know what you do with all your free time.


I've also received a couple of complimentary e-mails about the revision stuff on the site, particuarly the Latin. Glad to see it's worthwhile!