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Lust For LIfe

I told you part of my life story in a previous blog, and so thought I would continue the theme at the start of this.

After leaving catering college, I got a job working at a local hotel, all went well until new owners took over, yada yada.

So I left and got a job in a bar just down the road for a multi national chain,(Berni Inns for those who have heard of it, now defunct), this went very well, starting as a barman I went through the ranks until I become some three years later a branch manager.

All was going swimmingly, until the branch I was at got sold, so again, I was out of work, coming home I managed to find another bar job with an ex manager,  and again all was well, until my personal life got in the way, having had as many jobs in years over the next 5 years, I retreated to a job in a holiday camp to lick my wounds.

If you have ever wanted to work in a holiday camp, don’t…

70 hours a week, for under £80 a week after tax’s and accommodation, I say that, if you have an average size shed in the bottom of your garden, that may have been bigger than the room I had, ok I only really slept in it, as I was working most of the of the time, but you know the old saying couldn’t swing a cat in it, not actually sure you and the cat could get in it comfortably enough to bend down, pick it up and then start the swinging thing.

Strange what you see when you are at these places, one the venues I worked in was the ‘adult’ bar, i.e. no one under 15 allowed, with or without parents, and every night there was entertainment, I am, sure if you have been to one of these places you know the type of thing, anyway, every Monday night, for six months, we had Roger de Courcy, if you don’t know who he is don’t worry, but with the Nookie Bear, he was one of the highlights of 70’s childhood TV, now this was so close to the wire, it was brilliant, and I have to say I could recite his act, almost word for word after that time for quite a number of years after as well.

As a quickie, sorry missus….
The wife calls, and says, hello dear, I have good news and bad news, the good news!!  The air bag on the Volvo works……

More about my, life at a later date,(minus the bad joke)

Chasing Cars

Users, no, I don’t mean the drug type, although in our place sometimes you never know…!!

Anyway, users, we all have them, report users, software users, time users, space users, common sense users, sorry, meant abusers.

Users, why can’t they ever understand that just because they want it to do something, it can’t, no hitting it doesn’t help, nor does shouting at me, or telling me that what you want it to do, it did yesterday, but won’t today, er, no, it’s never done that??!!

I don’t know how many of you work in a programming environment, I used to but don’t anymore, not in a programming sense anyway, yes I still write code for reports, and the intranet site for our database program, but for actual products, not any more
But when I did, it did seem that what was expected didn’t always match the expectation, nor did it quite pass the YIAS factor, ‘Yes I Am Stupid’, as we sometimes called it.

An example from this week, as I have said in a previous blog, we get all our software from a third party, this software is specially written for the area in which we work, and as such, the database has a suite of programs to do different things, one of these, looks at the database and decides based on some very boring criteria, who needs to be contacted over the next few weeks.

This program hasn’t changed in any fundamental way in almost 2 years,(We have been using the company for almost 10 years and the program for about 8 of those).  It’s quite simple, you put in a date that you want it to look forward until, and it gives you a list, of those who need following up now and who will do in the next few weeks.  It is very simple.

I get a call from one of my bods that this program isn’t working, I am dubious to say the least, no one else has reported a problem after all and they should use the program at lest once every couple of weeks, so I look and ask a few questions, which gain the most incredible answers, the question I asked was a valid one, what do you think it should show? How do you know this is wrong?
The answer, It just is, it never worked like this last year, it is wrong, it’s giving me wrong details.
Again, I try and illicit a single thing that she can point to as being wrong, again, the answer, I know that this is wrong, it shouldn’t be showing me X,Y Z, because it didn’t last year.

I try to explain that we haven’t had an update to the program in a year that would cause the ‘Problem’ she is talking about, I think it has always done this, but to put your mind at rest, I will look through the update history, and see what changes where made, and also make sure that we haven’t had a change to the program, that I know nothing about.

Having beaten my head against a brick wall for 5 minutes afterwards, I go a speak to one of the guys that also uses the program, and he agrees that as far as he knows, this has always happened.

So again I go back to the original lady and say this, to which I get another outstanding comment, oh right, so I’m wrong because they have told you this!!

Without saying yes, which I am really, really trying not to say, I try and explain that this isn’t the case, no notes in the program history suggest it has changed, the version number of the product matches the version of the history, her server has the self same version of the program, etc etc.

Which in the end, all get is, well if you think I am wrong then I am just going to have to not use the program, followed by, when I worked for so and so, i.e. my boss, she applied for the job I got, but didn’t get it as she doesn’t think for herself, and has to be told everything, including what to do, so I have been told, and actually in the last year or so, can see, I always knew about new versions of programs, and always knew what was going on, now, I never get told anything.

Ok, this is a clash, as I said she wanted my job and didn’t get it, and in the main she is ok, but every so often, she goes off into this little spiteful world of stupidity, every new version of software that she uses, she is informed about, not my problem if she deletes emails without reading them, or just deletes emails, note, read receipt on emails is good for tracking this sort of thing.

Oh to be ah

It’s not easy dealing with these sorts of people, users are a funny bunch, who seem to want one thing, agree to it, love the demo, second demo, third demo, then after it goes live, couldn’t it also/just do this as well??!?!?!?!?!

Harder when you are battling against people who want your job, but actually are not capable of doing it, still, makes for some interesting meetings, when you ask everyone in the room, including her, if anyone else has noticed an issue with the program, and they all say no, everything is fine!!!

Thanks for listening, and in the words of the late great Brian Clough, ‘I like my women to be feminine, not sliding into tackles and covered in mud’.

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