Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Obscure terminology

It has happened again.
Another delivery to the inbox.
Another attachment.
Another presentation on a specific area of relevance for a client that has been concocted by one of the myriads of soldier ants that populate the large consultancies over the pond.
A request to 'have a look' at what has been pulled together and feedback views and opinions.

Quite frankly, I am torn between saying it 'as I see it' or reserving judgement.

Why? (you may ask)

Because of the ridiculous terminology this other consulting firm - way larger than my business partners and I will ever be - has resorted to in order to get a very easy and straightforward message across.

What? (I hear you say)

Indeed. A case of 'stating the bleedin' obvious' in a manner so obscure and convoluted, I had to read the presentation three times before getting to grips with what message the authors were trying to convey.

How? (you ask again)

Let me give you an example: opportunity development cadence.

Now, last time I looked, 'cadence' referred to the beat or measure of something rhythmic.
It is also common terminology in cycling and refers to the number of revolutions of the crank per minute, ie. the rate at which the cyclist is pedalling.

So, to put this in perspective, I could tell my client that the presentation they have shared with me is interesting, relevant to the objectives sought, but that I am confused as to why they need to deploy a cyclical revolution calculator to assess business opportunities.

Alternatively I could just be more straightforward and say it was a load of bollocks.

And that my business partners and I can do far better - with no jargon - and get results.

Oh, and charge a lot less too.

(c) David Fletcher

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The doctor is back

(c)  Shultz
After a disgraceful absence of some eighteen months since the inaugural edition, the doctor is back. The BADASS clinic is up and running once more.

Yes indeed.

Send Doctor LCM your tales of woe and pity, your sorry stories of misunderstanding, miscomprehension and mishaps, and the doctor will endeavour to conjure up some words of sarcasm wisdom to see you on your merry way.

There have been LOADS of enquiries sent the doctor's way since last posting in this regard.

Sadly, most of the exchanges have been of the verbal type, with a variety of helpful swearing cynical commentary analyses offered to the numb nuts fools patients seeking soothing and reassuring words of advice. Satisfaction guaranteed, even if not to your liking.

For today's post, I have selected a little gem that will resonate with many.

"Dear Doctor LCM,

In my line of work of multimedia communication and strategic visioning, I am regarded as one of the foremost experts in data analysis methodology and technical dissemination. 

Yet in ordinary day-to-day life when I attempt to mix with my peers - most of whom I find, I have to admit, of an mind set inferior to my own - no one fully comprehends, let alone appreciates, my extraordinary levels of acumen nor is willing to take on board my thorough and insightful views about effective governance, statistical validity and managerial countenance to the daily musings of the mass populace.

I feel very alienated and misunderstood. 

What can I do to earn the respect I deserve?

Yours in higher brainpower,
Wilma"

Doctor LCM replies:

"Dear Wilma

Afraid you lost me at 'visioning'. The rest of your letter is merely resonating like an annoying tinny noise in my poor little head - you know what I mean, like the sound you hear when the dipstick on the tube sitting next to you has his music playing too loud on his iPod? Yes, that.

So, what can you do to earn the respect you crave?

I would suggest upping sticks and moving to a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. That way you can talk to the seashells and indulge in the sound of your own voice forever more without winding up normal human beings.

I am sure the 'peers' you so earnestly condescend would happily contribute to your flight. One way only, of course.

You're welcome,

Dr LCM"


If you too have a pressing business-related matter that you would like answered or on which to receive valuable advice, please submit to the Doctor and wait patiently in line.


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Friday, 17 January 2014

Kevin's nipples

Kevin is now fourteen.

As with most petulant teenagers, there has been a rebellion in our midst (or a revelation, take your pick) and we have made an executive decision to invite some new members to join our ranks.

Yes, you read correctly.

New. Members.

*stands back and ponders for a minute*

But.

How to vet them for suitability, given our very exacting standards and high demands?

We parked discussion about the two recently read books (this and this, in case you doubted us) and ventured on a more cerebral journey: a multiple-choice questionnaire for prospective Kevinettes.

It went through various iterations, frequently interrupted by loud bouts of laughter - fortunately after so many years all our neighbours are used to us and now refrain from banging on the walls - and has ended up looking something like this:

Q1. What is the quality of your nibbles?
a) edible
b) whatever is in the cupboard
c) organically sourced, finest grade delectable bites served by a young, toned and buff waiter wearing budgie smugglers
d) nibbles?

Q2. How do you greet your guests?
a) by opening the door
b) with a shriek as you realise you were supposed to be hosting the evening
c) offering a glass of champagne and a full bottle each to keep them sustained for the duration
d) they can let themselves in

Q3. How would your present your appetisers?
a) Coon on a stick
b) Coon on a plate
c) exotically laid out on the torso of the aforementioned young, toned and buff waiter wearing budgie smugglers
d) appetisers?

Q4. Do you offer your fellow Kevinettes:
a) takeaway pizza
b) takeaway curry
c) a lovingly made meat/vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/lactose-free buffet selection served on the finest china and accompanied by steamed vegetables and wholesome nutritious green salad and wheat-free bread
d) good grief, what's wrong with tea and biscuits?

Q5. If you fail to read a selected book, do you:
a) read a review and 'fake it'
b) read a review and thank the gods you didn't spend money on that shite
c) stay up all night and endeavour to plough through the 450-page tome to prove your worthiness and devotion to the cause
d) talk about the weather

Q6. At book club meetings, do you expect to:
a) discuss books
b) eat and drink well
c) laugh a lot
d) all the above

Of course, you could always just stumble on the first question and misinterpret 'nibbles' for 'nipples'. It has been done before, after all.

Anyway, two invitations have been issued. The questionnaire will be forwarded. Results will be collated and shared amongst the Kevinettes for due processing, review and feedback.

We shall see if the newbies are then game enough to show up.

Actually, that alone is worthy of being accepted, especially if they come back again.

(c) Scott Adams


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Saturday, 11 January 2014

End of week one

Remember this? Yes? No? More importantly, have you dug around the back of your sofa and found some spare crumbs wrappers spondoolies to donate yet?

If you haven't, I know who you are and I promise to harass you until you do.

Anyhow. Where was I? Oh yes, week one of full on marathon training.

One word: hard.
Actually two: bloody hard.

Two runs of 5km each plus circuits afterwards. The Moose was unforgiving. I got thirty seconds' rest. Twice. Lucky me.

Two turbo sessions on the bike whilst reading my kindle (because I cannot listen to music when I train as it drives me bonkers and I just want to skip all the tracks until I find one I like which inevitably is way too slow to motivate me to pick the pace up), which required the font to be made LARGE as I could not wear reading glasses whilst trying to cycle without them slipping down my nose from all the sweat. I did not make me pedal faster, I hasten to add.

A bit of stretching. Not enough, no doubt.

And a group bike ride this morning where this happened:


Yes. I had foreseen this happening. As the self-nominated Madame Escargot of the twenty-five or so cyclists taking part, I dropped off the pack - actually, they speeded up as I was intent on watching the scenery - and then failed to take the correct turning, somewhere in the vicinity of Virginia Water.
Now normally, when the pack breaks up, if there is a junction at least one person stops for the stragglers so they know which direction to head.

Alas no. I could see the posse in the distance, pedalled madly - well, sort of - to keep up, went over a hill and - *poof* - they'd vanished. So I kept going, using the rationale above. If they turn, someone will wait for me.

About 4km later, after two hills, two descents and a couple of villages, and still no sighting of the others, I hear someone behind me yelling.

Nutter, I think. Attention seeker.

I then realise he is yelling at me. Because I have gone the wrong way and he has been chasing me over the two hills, two descents and through a couple of villages.

So, to cut a long story short, we retraced our steps through the couple of villages, two descents and two hills, and eventually, some twenty minutes later, reached the rest of the entourage who were happily ensconced outside a café enjoying coffee and pastries and wondering where the bloody hell I had got to.

Actually that last bit is not true. Being the newbie in the group they had barely noticed my absence. Thank heavens for kind-hearted individuals who go by the name of Steve Wood that take it upon themselves to rein in the numpties in their midst.

I caught the train back towards home and then hopped off to cycle the last 5km back.
I was filthy, the bike was filthy, my toes were frozen, my pride was still relatively intact, and I had 63km on the clock.

So much for marathon training.

And I still have a 10km run to get out of the way tomorrow.

At least I know the route for this.

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The wrong side of bed

Those of you who follow my ramblings on twitter will know by now that I have failed catastrophically to 'sit still' and 'off-load some responsibilities' (as OH is wont to say) with the advent of the new year.

Yes, it is 2014 and I have regressed to making irrational decisions based on random thoughts that pop in to my head upon waking.

This is also occasionally known as the 'What-the-bloody-hell-were-you-thinking (or not)' syndrome.

Or that's my excuse anyway - because I cannot, for the life of me, understand why else I would have done this. I am not even being paid bribed promised a hot date with Daniel Craig to partake in such events.

Anyhow, here's the deal.

First there was this:


So far, so manageable. A date way out in September 2014. No worries. Two lovely friends to run it with. One actually flying in from Canada, one schlepping down south from Manchester. And wine at the water stops, most enticing - although possibly speed-inhibiting.

And then there was this:


Maybe it was an innate sense of duty that obliged me to follow-up the email that my good friend the Conscientious Trader had sent some months earlier and which I had - as per many previous years - studiously ignored.

Maybe it was the knowledge that I should pay penance for my 'bah humbug' festive attitude.

Maybe I just got out of the wrong side of bed on new year's day. With a woolly head.

Anyway. It's done.

The training plan is drawn up.
The Moose is on my case.
My cousin (a 3hr10min marathoner) * has offered valuable advice (quote: "A marathon in three months is ambitious...")
My training partner-in-crime BB has bailed on me (quote: "We started triathlon because a half marathon was too much for my legs...")
The mind is going "Yeah, no sweat, you can do this!"
The body is already saying, "You have got to be fucking joking - what?!"
The knees are still intact. So far.
The shoes are new.

So snazzy, but alas no longer this pristine

And the donation page is now up and running.

So, I am forsaking anonymity for a truly brilliant cause (and probably also to get a 'test run' in before the wine marathon event in September, as the other two girls each have some ten years' in age advantage over me and there's nothing like the early onset of panic to make my stomach turn over).

If you have some readies left over from your Christmas indulgences, then please give generously.

You will be able to laugh at me cheer me on in person - along the route or from a distance - as I do my best to complete my first ever London Marathon, and feel good about it at the same time.

Sarcastic commentary guaranteed.
Complimentary swearing included.


* VERY IMPORTANT addendum - my erstwhile cousin has since rightfully pointed out that *he* is a 2hr45min marathoner, and that in my enthusiasm to gain some valuable tips I must have consulted "another cousin" who could only manage a paltry 3hr10min marathon. Tsk. Shame on me.

Note to self: check facts thoroughly before blogging such important numbers or risk wrath of Australian relatives.

*wanders off wondering how much the family pride will be dented when she posts a 6hr27min time*

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