Monday, 28 March 2011

Call Centres

Now there is English and there is 'Indian English.' Frankly it is high time those moronic companies which use 'call centres' in India realised that my, and I suspect vast numbers of other peoples,  immediate reaction when we pick up the telephone and hear the sing song tones of an Indian speaking our name is to put the bloody receiver down. This is not because we have anything against the poor enslaved soul at the other end of the line it is just that we cannot be bothered to spend the next five minutes of the day saying 'what'  every few seconds as we try and make out what the hell he is on about only to find out that he is trying to sell double glazing, which I certainly don't want.  The telephone call I have just received was apparently on behalf of Scottish Power who I happen to buy my electricity off.  It was all about reading my meter and no doubt it was important but frankly life - I thought - is to short so I said goodbye and out the receiver down. Now I live in fear that I will be cut off.

Now come on Scottish Power how much are you really saving by relocating your call centre to India?  Not nearly as much as you think because so many people react just as I do.  In essence all your notional savings are flushed down the toilet by the number of your customers who just put the receiver down and say fuck you.  I simply do not believe that the economic case stacks up. Surely among all those unemployed youths in the UK you can find some who not only want to earn an honest crust but have a diction which is understandable by the vast majority. Though I must  counsel you not to relocate to Glasgow - if there is one form of English which is even more incomprehensible than Indian English it is surely Glaswegian. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

housing ladder

If there is one phrase which makes me reach for the sick bag when uttered by a politician, or anyone else for that matter, it is 'I want to help first time buyers on to the housing ladder.'  So when George Osborne uttered these words in his budget today I had to make a hasty exit for the loo. I mean let's not forget that the reason we are  up to our necks in the financial proverbial, is precisely because the entire population of virtually every country  became convinced that they had finally discovered the philosophers stone and that the secret of having untold wealth was to borrow as much money as you could and invest in property. How often have I sat round dinner tables over the last decade and groaned as yet another mother boasted how her son had 'got on the property ladder' only to discover presumably in the last few years that, just as in the board game, there are snakes as well as ladders in the property market.     

In fact of course George Osborne was being highly 'economical with the truth' in saying he wants to help 'first time buyers' as his financial help is restricted to helping only those who buy new homes not old ones. Come on George what have you got against second hand homes?  Or are you really trying to help home builders rather than home buyers. 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

academic standards.

Recently friends attended a briefing by an new headmaster at a public school.   The first thing the new broom said was that he 'aimed  to raise academic standards.'  Now I suppose most people would think this is a praise worthy aim but I am afraid I am in a minority who think it is deeply suspect.  Firstly of course any boarding school can 'raise academic results' if not 'standards' by the simple expedient of increasing the number of hardworking and intelligent Chinese in the school - a race who seemingly have an insatiable desire to fill every boarding place in the UK.  Alternatively he might simply try raising the bar at the Common Entrance (CE) stage to get rid of any 'thick' boy or he may  indulge even further in the 'great con trick of modern public schools.'  This 'con trick,' which nearly all top public schools now operate, is that they are quite willing to take your boy aged 13 provided he passes  CE but what you don't know, as you celebrate, is that they are planning a big cull of these little boys if they fail to achieve 'necessary grades at GCSE.'    They will do this as they can easily fill the VI form with bright boys and girls from overseas or the State system, thus improving their A level results. 

But enough of 'con tricks' why are 'improving academic standards' at a successful public school important anyway?   For some reason we have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed into thinking the most important thing in the world is academic achievement and that only those who have achieved high academic achievement are the best people qualified to rule over us. What bollocks. The banks - who fucked up - were - and are - simply stuffed with people with academic brilliant brains and -as a result -virtually devoid of anyone with that under valued commodity -common sense. As for the Foreign Office - recently in the news because of it's incompetence -it selects only from the finest brains in the country.  The track record in fact of 'acadmic brains' versus 'thick school rejects' is appalling.  Look into the history of most companies big and large and you will find they have been started and run by 'rejects.'  This of course makes me belive that if only the Foriegn Office
had had a policy of always recruiting thickies - like me  -rather than clever little shits we might still have an Empire and we certainly would not have gone into he Common Market .

Friday, 4 March 2011

Barnsley by- election

Didn't we do well? my new party UKIP I mean- coming second- hurray and the Liberals  beaten into sixth place - my cup over floweth. Well politics is once again becoming interesting.  I always thought that once the  Liberals became part of Government their support would whither on the vine as so many people who voted Liberal in the past didn't do so because they were signed up sandal wearing Europhiles but because they couldn't stand the other two parties - and it is hard to blame them.  But 'protest votes' have to find a home and what better home than a party which actually has an agenda which is not only simple to understand but which the majority of people in this country probably would sign up to.  Oh dear - for years the Liberal Party wished to hold the balance of power - then when they finally got their wish they realised too late that it was a poisonous chalice likely - at the next election -to stuff them back into the taxi from which they have so recently emerged.  Good riddance. Now on to my bookmaker. What odds UKIP getting the most seats in the Euro elections? what odds UKIP winning a by -election? I think I will find out as I do like and easy way to make money.  

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

losing weight

Every winter I put on half a stone - then -when Spring breaks - after several false dawns - I get my saws, hooks, and other assorted cutting implements out and set about attacking the garden - the shrubbery - and the woods. Young trees I planted in my comparative youth i.e. twenty years ago or so - now need the attention of the high pruner which I  go armed with on my walks - stopping to prune up trees until the dogs make their boredom so obvious that I am forced to 'walk on.'  This work -I think -no I am sure - helps the tummy muscles and arm and shoulder muscles as it makes you stretch as you reach for the furthest offending branch.  Then of course there is acting as labourer (unpaid and bolshy) to my wife in the garden and carting all the rubbish which a winter of neglect has caused to accumulate to a bonfire -all this an attacking invasive laurel and ponticum in the shrubbery as well causes those pounds to begin to slip off. So now I leap gaily on the scales whilst -only a month or so ago - I avoided them.  The result is a loss of between three or four pounds to date and more - hopefully - to come.  Why is it I wonder that rich men spend a fortune on indoor gymnasiums and the like when all they really need are a few saws and hooks and a shrubbery and a garden to play in?