Thursday, 27 September 2007

PostHeaderIcon Toilet Humour

The other day I used the recently refurbished toilets in work, I don't use them that often as they're not a pleasant experience. They're too small, hot, humid and they usually smell - I don't think the ventilation in there must work properly or it's not adequate. Either way it's daft considering we're a ventilation company.

Well anyway, whilst I was in there I noticed something that I hadn't noticed up until now. One of the ceiling tiles has been replaced with a piece of clear perspex so you can see the ducted extract fan working above the suspended ceiling. There is also a spot light that can be switched on to illuminate the fan!

Clearly this has been designed as an exhibit to show visitors. It makes you wonder why? Who gets a tour of these facilities and when? Is there a procedure in place for checking nobody is using the toilets before inviting visitors in? And on checking what if they decide it's just a bit too pongy to show someone around - do they move on to the next toilets? As I mentioned above they are afterall working toilets and as such not that pleasant, they're very small with only enough space for one person outside of the two cramped cubicles. And God help them if they show someone around when it's curry day in the canteen!

I think the question you have to ask the most though is - who on earth had the idea to do this and why was everyone else involved to gutless to tell them how ridiculous an idea it was?
Wednesday, 26 September 2007

PostHeaderIcon Bangkok Market


You need to press Play to start the video.
There may be a short delay whilst your browser caches the start of the video clip.

This video clip is in Windows Media Video (WMV) format and you will need Microsoft Windows Meda Player installed to view it. Mac users can use Windows Media Components for QuickTime, by Flip4Mac to view them.
Monday, 17 September 2007

PostHeaderIcon Photos: Giants Causeway, September 2007

Last week I spent a couple of days in Northern Ireland with work and ended up having a day to waste so I took my hire car up to Giants Causeway. It's a designated World Heritage Site and I've always had a fascination with geology since studying it at school so I thought I should check it out. Whilst it was indeed interesting to see I must admit a bit of disappointment, it was lots smaller than I'd always expected. I managed to get a few photos before my unprepared camera ran out of power.
Thursday, 6 September 2007

PostHeaderIcon Un-bloody-believable

Someone in work had the audacity to make a complaint against me as he was offended by an email that I'd sent. This is the email:
Can I make a suggestion that we stop using that bloody awful font on the I&M's that make the documents difficult to read. Of all documents our I&M's are the ones we should make as clear as possible.
I'm not sure if he was offended by my use of the word 'bloody' or my suggestion that we should change the font, I think he might have been instrumental in choosing the font.

Anyway, my Director had words with me and my defence was to quote from Wikipedia "Nowadays it is considered to be a very mild expletive, and unlikely to cause offence."

Indeed even if it is an expletive, it certainly isn't a profanity, it's more of an intensifier that has no meaning in itself but adds a weight of feeling to the statement. Had I said "that not very nice font" instead I don't think the message would have got across. As it is the font is now being changed.

I bet if my comments had been congratulatory and included a real profanity such as "That's a fucking great font, let's use it in all our literature" then no offence would have been taken, in fact quite the opposite.

Unfortunately this isn't the first time a complaint has been made against me for using the word 'bloody' in an email. Again at that time my defensive was that under the circumstances it was fully justified and more than appropriate. I was being really messed around by other people who couldn't get themselves organised and this was the email I shot off born out of frustration:
bloody hell, this'll be the fourth time I've had to burn this CD. Could you guys not be a little more coordinated with this?
Well, it caused uproar! One of the recipients suggested I should face disciplinary action and his Director said I was being rude and unhelpful and passed the complaint over to my Director. I was absolutely gob-smacked, it was all blown out of proportion. This was my reply:
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to deal with this matter, however I don't believe you are in full possession of all the facts.

Yesterday zzz asked that I burn to CD some PowerPoint presentations for today's meeting, this I did immediately, interrupting what I was doing and losing my train of thought. Moments later I was asked to burn a second CD as the wrong files had been sent to me, again this I did immediately and zzz took the CD. This morning I was asked by yyy and xxx to add more files to the CD which meant having to write a third CD. www then wanted to add another file which meant creating a fourth CD! The completed CD was handed to www as soon as he came to see me and I suggested to him ways in which we could do things differently in future.

On each occasion I stopped what I was doing to burn these CD's immediately, rather than being unhelpful I think I was in fact being most helpful.

My emailed response and the 'sarcastic' way in which I may have spoken to www was born out of the exasperation and despair I felt after being messed around due to the complete lack of planning and communication by your people. I actually set high standards for myself and it often frustrates me when people (including myself) fail to live up to those expectations. This frustration can often be interpreted by others as rudeness. Whilst I agreed that certain turns of phrase aren't always appropriate in all circumstances, these words do exist in our vocabulary for a reason and I think in this situation it was most appropriate and fully justified.

I'm quite surprised by www's comments that I should face disciplinary action or a warning, I think this is probably more to do with injured pride than anything else. I'm especially surprised as I received witness reports that afterwards he said "If he ever speaks to me like that again then I'll push him through the wall." I think under our conditions of employment this threat of violence towards me counts as harassment and bullying which is a gross misconduct resulting in summary dismissal. I was going to forget about this and not bring it to your attention but should he persist with this then I will pursue the matter.
There's a lesson to be learnt here from both these situations. Never underestimate a persons ability to confuse injured pride with offence and to then defend themselves by attacking back.


Recent Twitter Posts

    Follow garylynch on Twitter

    Table of Contents (Last 25)

    If You're Looking for a Read

    "Jan, Ste & Gary's
    Bogus Journey 1992/3"
    A year in the life of a piss 'ed!
    [ click here ]

    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    Site Stats