Work Stories – The Hills Have Pies?

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The fat family.

Two men and a woman,  all mid-50’s,  white hair,  podgy faces and bodies.

They moved up to my area recently,   currently seated directly facing me two banks of desks away.

I don’t know anything about these people, I’m sure they are lovely, intelligent,  hard-working,  all that good stuff.

But here’s what I noticed .. they all look exactly the same .. like some sort of clones who have been fed a strict diet of McDonalds.

Face,  body,  hair  … All very similar.

Demeanour?

Absolutely no idea .. apart from the fact that they talk non-stop and are constantly stuffing their already fat faces.

Do you think that they are good people are bad people?

Get real for fucks sakes!

How can you possibly make such a decision on so little information?

Of course they are good people,  holding down a job,  earning a living for their families.

Even if it is just the one family!    🙂

But don’t confuse being fat or old or grey with being incapable.

That would only say more about you than them.

 

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Free Fallin’. #TomPetty

He’s gonna free fall

Out into nothing

Gonna leave this world

For a while

Now he’s free, free fallin’

Sad to hear of the sudden death of Tom Petty today. I can’t honestly say I was his biggest fan as he was a little before my time.

But good music lives forever, it’s melody and message touches people in ways they never expected.

Take me and the boys playing Free Fallin’, such a simple tune to play, repetitive but mesmerising.

It’s the kind of song that you get lost in and when you find your groove you never want to end and we’d play on well past any reasonable duration just because it feels good, looking at each other and knowing we’ve overdone it but don’t want to stop.

To create that magic so simply takes a special kind of talent.

Free, free fallin’.

Alone With #ThePretenders?

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Chrissie Hynde surveyed the room before her,  a sell-out of 3000 souls all seated expectantly in the Glasgow Royal Concert hall.

“It’s not the Barralands,  is it?”   She quipped before bursting into her first song Alone,  the title track from her new album.

My brother Duncan and I smiled at each other and with a quick look at the mostly grey heads in front and all around us,  we had to agree. Continue reading “Alone With #ThePretenders?”

A Prayer For The Living? #Oasis

 

I’m sure like me,  you have many songs that take you back to people and places in your life,  happy times,  sad times,  the best and worst of times.   Moments that we treasure and wish that we could live again and moments that we wish we could forget.

Sometimes,  years after the event,  we are getting on with our day,  the radio on in the background and a song comes on that reminds us of happy times,  it makes us feel good and we smile at the memories that come flooding back.

Sometimes,  it’s the opposite,  a song that reminds us of sad times.  That takes our breath away and puts a tear in our eyes. Continue reading “A Prayer For The Living? #Oasis”

Musical Differences? … Change and Resentment.

Q – So why did you and the band split up Robbie?

A – Well .. I don’t know … musical differences I guess.

He was hardly going to say that he’s a bit of an arrogant selfish prick, tired of playing second fiddle to the more talented Gary and wanting more attention.

You could swap those names for Liam / Noel or even John / Paul.

But is it arrogant or selfish to want to move on to different things, to leave the old behind and try a new challenge?

If you’ve ever felt bored or unappreciated in a job or a relationship and wanted to move on because what you have isn’t working and you feel that you’d be more appreciated elsewhere, does that make you a bad person?

Of course it doesn’t.

The problem occurs because when you leave people behind they can feel hurt or let down in whatever context you’ve split.

How many times have you seen friends or family in a relationship that’s broken or stale and it goes on like that for a while because they care about what they had and have a lot of time invested in each other. But eventually something has to give.

Continue reading “Musical Differences? … Change and Resentment.”

I Hate Cyclists!

Cyclists

I hate cyclists.

No really,  I absolutely hate them.

Now you know that if you’ve read any of my gibbering’s that I don’t tend to hate people and it’s not a word that I used very often.

But cyclists?

They are a torn face bunch of moany bastards and always complaining about X, Y or Z.

Their latest offering is because of the number of cyclist killed on the roads because car drivers or passengers have opened their doors.

In the few cases that I’ve heard discussed,  notably on Radio 2,  it’s not the door opening that kills the driver,   it’s the collision with the door causing the cyclist to fall into the path of another vehicle which then causes the fatal injury.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41219977

Now that’s obviously it’s a tragic accident. Continue reading “I Hate Cyclists!”

Supply, Demand, Fear And Loathing in the UK Software Industry

Fear And Loathing

John and I have worked together a few times over the years.

The first time was back in 1998 during the halcyon days of deregulation when the government was throwing money at the utility companies in an attempt to open the energy and telecom markets and make buying electricity, gas or telephone services more competitive.

That was the party-line anyway but the real reason was in making money for the people who already had the money to invest, i.e. the Tory Party demographic and the banks, pension companies and institutes which could make huge profits buying the UK infrastructure at bottom-dollar prices and their share prices doubling over night.

As individuals working in software development, there was lots of money to be made on that gravy train and even although John and I were comparative bottom-feeders, we still made a relative fortune on obscene hourly rates, but that’s supply and demand for you.

Deadlines were tight, the date at which the market was set to open was fixed in stone and our employer Scottish Power was desperate to be one of the first PES’s with its foot in the door and it’s grubby little hands in your wallet.

Of course the reason that deadlines were tight was because the early days of analysis and design had been undertaken by some of the major consultancies of the time, IBM,. Logica, Cap Gemini and they were too busy lining their own pockets with the freely available money directed from the public purse to actually give a t0ss about getting the job done.

They talked a good game, as they always do, the project managers and analysts were the kind of guys who were good at drawing boxes to represent systems or data sources and then drawing the lines between them to represent processes and data flows.

You know the type, all talk, all confidence and delivered nothing.

I hear on the grape-vine that these guys are still out there now, 20 years later working in banking and the privatisation of Scottish Water, the latest gravy train to come along offering free money to those who talk a good game.

It’s not really strange to find that these guys all know each other, a cabal of frauds masquerading as leaders when all they are good at is leading any unsuspecting PLC up the proverbial garden path.

Of course by that time, budgets have been agreed and half spent, lots of documents have been produced with diagrams of boxes and lines but not a lot of actual detail and no infrastructure or software architecture which will implement the new business requirements.

That’s when they call us bottom-feeders in, the mercenaries who drift from contract to contract getting the work done on a decent daily rate extending the contract as long as we can to keep the dosh rolling in as long as possible or until someone else makes us a better offer.

1998 and Scottish Power went live with half-@rsed systems that didn’t work, that had been badly designed and sparsely data-populated.

Let me elaborate, some @rsehole who will remain nameless had been so focused on the data flows to communicate customer comings and goings with other market participants that he had completely missed any changes to the customer service screen to deal with the new data flows and the changes.

Another @rsehole in charge of data population decided that half the customers weren’t in scope for initial population. So on day-1 when these customers decided to get their electricity elsewhere, their data content fell down the cracks between the systems never to be seen again.

Yeah, of course it caused a stushie, there were customer complaints, OFGEN were involved, but the consultancies didn’t care, the @rseholes didn’t care and the bottom-feeders like John and I aren’t weren’t paid enough to care.

If the truth be told, what John and I did, with most of the development team was party hard on the money we earned on the gravy train that seemed that it was never going to end.

Every time our contract was renewed there was another £200 per week thrown on the deal, a sweetener to keep us motived and interested, sticking with the project to get it over the finish line even although we knew that it was fecked. We were paid to fix the bad software, write the missing parts and cleanse the data, all of which should have been complete before the system went live.

Here’s a unobvious truth, a software developer will earn more money from a bad project than a good one and I can assure that we made a fortune.

There were quite a few marriages ended in that period. But that’s another story for another day.

That was then, this is now.

But back to John, he’s a good guy for a hun. ( Rangers Supporter )

Continue reading “Supply, Demand, Fear And Loathing in the UK Software Industry”