Lethargy

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Worn out? Tired? Miserable?

Don’t worry! Help is at hand from the stegzy Gnomepants S plan life changer!

Clinically proven to help reduce stress and strains of everyday life, the S plan life changer is a simple 5 step plan which you can follow no matter what your social economic background, race, creed or gender. Within 3 weeks of starting the S Plan you will notice a distinct difference. You will become more popular and your everyday woes and worries will seem like things of the past.

The S Plan Life Changer

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Flat cap hour

Recently I reconnected with an old school friend. In honour of this reconnection I give you a post from my LJ from back in 2006.

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Eeeeh I remember when….

When I was wee we had a telly, an evening newspaper, a collection of reference books and plenty of old people. If I had a question or wanted to know about something I would do some research. First port of call would be an old or older person. The ensuing conversation would go something like this

Wee stegzy:- Dad, can you tell me who Jethro Tull was?
Dad:- No idea, ask yer mam.
Wee stegzy:- Mam, who was Jethro Tull?
Mam:- oooh stop askin’ complicated questions an’ eat your grilled marigolds

So then left with no answer I’d ask our kid who always seemed knowledgeable about such things.

Our Kid 1: Jethro Tull? Thats that bloke with the flute and the beard. Sings that song about underwater breathing apparatus1

Our Kid 2: Shut up I’m watching Sunday Night at the Paladium

Of course, if that answer was deemed also unsuitable, further questioning of elders would be required. My OLD gran was too old to even think but my other less old gran sometimes came up with the goods.

Less old Gran:- Didn’t he have an allotment down in Garston?

So when I wrote the answer to “Who was Jethro Tull?” for GCSE History, it would be no surprise that I would come away with a Grade D for writing “Jethro Tull was a bloke with a beard who had an allotment down by me nans. He played the flute and liked to grow turnips.”. Of course that is all lies2.

Should I want more indepth information I would be forced to consult the vast collection of out of date reference books dotted about the house. The house library consisted of the following:-

– a big heavy green coloured hardbacked dictionary with pages missing, a section on Modern Electrical wiring, several pages on the British Empire and a section containing a kind ofWho’s Who for 1952
– a big book entitled “Reader Digest Childrens Big Answers to Big Questions” containing such gems as “Is there a man in the moon?”, “Can dogs eat in the dark?” and “Where is Africa?”
– Several volumes of the Orbis publication “20th Century Science” which suggested that “by 2001 we may well be travelling in personal rockets to holiday destinations such as Jupiter.”
– An old dog eared copy of Calculus by E R Chewing, the first page of which was stamped Property of Liverpool Technical College, Aigburth3

Occasionally the Liverpool Echo or the Merseymart would yield some item about some key historical figure (but it was rare that these newspapers would regurgitate their treasure at the appropriate time), or the telly would have a TV programme about turnips or something but these programmes were usually flicked off in favour of Nationwide, It’s a Knockout or reruns of Magnum:PI.

Then someone invented the school library, either that or someone found the key to it and my knowledge base increased with back issues of the school magazine, ancient dog eared copies of popular science magazines, old books containing biro sketches of Ajax bottle shaped penises and 113 copies of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee4. As if by some clever marketing scheme the council proclaimed that they too had libraries which the public could and had always been able to use.

Libraries are kind of like an analogue version of Wikipedia . A wealth of books with every single bit of information available to Jo Public should they require it. Of course only if they knew where to look for it. That was the trick you see…keep the public dumb but let them have access to the knowledge you see? You don’t? Ahh well let me explain further, nobody wants to admit they don’t have a clue how to use a library and nobody really wants to ask a librarian a question (ask zoefruitcake and see what happens ;-)) especially as asking librarians where a book is, in my experience at least, results in something like this:-

stegzy Hello I’d like to see a book about building my own spaceship out of a corrugated iron dustbin, some sticks and an old speedo from a Morris Mini
Librarian Tut…**huff**…Hmmm…You’ll want **huff** **sigh**…have you checked the catalogue?

This then resulted in half an hours fruitless search through a paper based card index before giving up and going off to draw Ajax Bottle shaped penises in copies of Catcher in the Rye. It was a small wonder I passed my GCSE’s and even more of a wonder that I managed to blag my way through my A’levels using cunning and a clever arrangement of mirrors and ESP.

Indeed, readily available knowledge was sparse and difficult to locate. Like wise, my musical tastes were trapped in the 1970’s with my 4 Yes albums and 3 Top Of The Pops albums (1973,1976 and 1977), until about 1990 when Mike Regan introduced me to Chris Isaak, The Doors and The Stairs. When new bands came out I’d only hear of them if they played at the Picket, were played on the radio or Mike Regan had their album. Later I discovered that Mikes musical knowledge came from reading wanky magazines such as Face, Rolling Stone and NME, I of course was still reading bollocks like MAD magazine, Look In and Just 175. I didn’t have a clue. If someone had asked me if I was street wise I’d have thought they were asking me if I knew my A-Z Street map. When I went to the likes of HMV or Virgin I’d spend hours leafing through the T’s and Y’s looking for bands that nobody in my class or the shop assistants had heard of.

Then in about 1997 I got the internet and for the first time in my life I became able to find stuff I’d always wanted to know about. Of course I had the internet before then in 1986. But it was known as Prestel and Micronet in those days and looked a bit like Ceefax.6 Prestel and Micronet were shite for finding information on. Not like today’s internet anyway. But even then in 1997, the internet wasn’t shit hot. It mainly consisted of saddo’s with fan sites, some occasional useful snippets of information and the back door to WOPPR7. Searching on Yahoo or AOL for information on something obscure like Triumvirat would yield an entry on someones basic home grown Prog Rock Encyclopedia and a couple of pages where someone had spelt the word fork wrong.

Those days have long passed. Now when you want information on anything all you do is whack it into google or some specialist website and lo and behold you’ll find the answer 8 out of 10 times. I reflect on the issue and think of how bloody easy my homework would have been, how my GCSE and A level grades could have been much much higher, how I wouldnt have wasted 10 years of my life wanting to be a lighthouse keeper8, how I’d of had an MA and a PhD by now and how I’d have known who Jethro Tull really was without having to choke on those blasted grilled marigolds.


1 Humour for those trained in the art of Prog
2 Jethro Tull was actually a Chinese woman who lived near Tranmere. She invented water in 1962.
3 Liverpool Technical College (for boys), Aigburth closed in 1953 and is now/was Shorefields Comprehensive School
4 Bet you didn’t think I knew who wrote that..
5 Pinched from Nicola Hughes via my paper round
6 2400 baud connections….well fucking fast that.
7 Humor for the Matthew Broderick fans
8Nobody told me they were all automated in 1973

This post originally appeared on my LJ on 13th September 2006

International I Haven’t Bred Day

family-mulitigenerationalSo mums have Mother’s Day, dads have Father’s Day and grandparents get both the gender specific card selling day AND Grandparent’s Day.

Hurrah!

Well done. You’ve bred. You’ve contributed to the gene pool. You’ve created another mouth to feed. Another housing and clothing need.

Congratulations for contributing to the overpopulation of the world.  Have a day of adoration. Have special cards, gifts and a shiny new hat.

Well done.

And what do the rest of us get eh?

Month-of-SundaysWhen I was younger I asked my parents “When is it Son’s Day?” to which they replied “Everyday is Son’s Day”. Imagine that. A month of Son Days….

Now I am older I see the injustice of it. Those that breed get recognition; those that don’t, don’t. Moreover, there are “FAMILY FUN DAYS”, “FAMILY SIZED PORTIONS”, “FAMILY RESTAURANTS” and “FAMILY TICKETS” and other such discounts. Those that don’t breed get to luxury of having to support the entitled discounts for those that do. Fair? Not very.

But what seems fair is that there should be a day where all those that haven’t bred receive recognition for their act of selflessness and their increased costs for sustaining those that do breed. A day where those that have bred send those that haven’t cards of thanks, gifts and specifically targeted benefits. Reader…I give you

INTERNATIONAL I HAVEN’T BRED DAY

Thanks and  recognition at long last.

I propose that this day should be celebrated annually on the last Sunday of  July. Which should give those that have bred plenty of time to think of gifts and remember to pop cards into the postbox for their friends that, as yet, have not spawned a new generation of people that will one day require a pension, a house, transport and food.

The Halfords Sales Technique

Many years ago, I worked in Halfords. For those unfamiliar with British brands, Halfords is a shop that sells bits for cars, car stereos and bicycles. Mostly the car parts are styling things like go faster stripes and furry dice.

When working there I was presented with a folder which detailed a selling technique which I have integrated into my daily customer service or whatever it is that I do. It starts by imaging a picture. Similar to this:-

Behind the cut as its a big file and it may swallow bandwidth if viewing on a mobile device or dial up or you're just one of those stingey nerds

Inspir-o-gummy: My Day

Day 06 – Your day

I was awoken this morning by one of the curvy servant twins performing fellatio on me as usual. Her twin brought me breakfast on a golden trolley which was laden with delicious bacon dishes including sandwiches, full English breakfasts and bacon cereal with bacon milk. After taking a cooling and refreshing morning shower I headed out to the heliport in the garden and was flown to Canary Wharf where the head office of my global empire is based. There in I called David Cameron and told him he was a “fucking plonker” and suspended him from work for a week or so. “Holiday” was the official line. After checking my email I then caught my private tube train to Kings Cross where I boarded my private Eurostar bound for the Pyrenees and the secret golf course.

Of course I am too important and wealthy to lower myself to pick up a golf club so I watched my employee Mr Woods knock a few holes in one for a couple of hours before boring of this and retreating to the club house where I had lunch with Barry McGuigan and Peter Bowles. As an amusement we decided to rough it today and only had one bowl of saffron garnished lotus leaves instead of the usual four. What wags we are!

Soon after that it was necessary to return to the UK in order to beat rush hour traffic. Back at the office I got my secretary to check my email once more before tiring from a hard day at the office and headed back to Warwickshire in the company Lear jet at about 2pm. It’s so trying working these 3 hour days. Still, needs must…

On my return zoefruitcake and I dined on yet another 11 course banquet and now we are sitting pool side while serving ninnies bring us every whim at our bequest and a troupe of actors perform stage adaptations of our favourite episodes of Doctor Who and Dixon of Dock Green.

It’s times like this that I long for the mundane existence of rising at 7am, rushing through the morning ablutions before trying to avoid rush hour traffic in Rugby then sitting in an office for 7 and a half hours trying to look busy or unpacking PCs and solving peoples IT problems before going home tired, there to sit in front of the television until bedtime. I mean imagine how exciting your day would be if you lived every week day like that?

Chav School

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Every year, in Britain, thousands of young people struggle to find things to do.

chav

The more fortunate can often be found wandering the streets aimlessly like mindless zombies looking for a tiny piece of recognition or attention from anyone who cares to give it whereas the less fortunate, hanging around off licences threatening adults into purchasing them alcohol, wearing ill fitting clothes and occasionally sat on mopeds paid for by their unloving, uncaring, sofa bound TV addicted parents .

chavs However there are those teenagers who are not so fortunate. Those that stay at home, watch TV, do homework, use the internet, read books or meet up with friends at the local park for a chat and maybe some harmless play. It is these youths that really need your help.

We at CHAV School offer numerous educational, nutritional and rehabilitational services to empower these poor unfortunate bedroom, park and library bound youths to become less functional and less valuable members of the community. With your donation of just £1 (less than the price of a quality Saturday board sheet newspaper) we can help to provide the following:

Car Wreck/vandalism

Education

Our ill equipped and badly supervised classrooms encourage the youth to become less focussed on their work and more focussed on craving attention. We educate and train these youngsters on our highly acclaimed courses such as:

  • Damaging Cars
  • Litter Dropping for Beginners;
  • Ch@ 5p33k Is kn0t 4 1am0rzzz wtf omg lollzzorzz;
  • Successful and Offensive Graffito;
  • Shoplifting;
  • How to Swear at Passers-by;
  • The Child Act & You – How Adults Are Unable to Do a Thing to Stop You Doing Things;

and our increasingly popular course

  • Knifing People and How to Get Away With It.

Street Skills

– We train youths in valuable Street Skills including:

  • The art of loitering at bus stops in a threatening manner;
  • The correct way of vandalising a phone boxes;
  • How to appear cool by doing things that would normally be seen as ridiculous;
  • Dropping takeaway meals so as to cause an obstruction.

As the youth progress through our courses they may even move on to advanced topics such as:

  • Urinating and Defecating without Shame,
  • 1001 Things to Do When Intoxicated

and

  • Giving Cheek to Teachers, Elders and Police Officers. 101

We also encourage our children to display their handy work in local bus shelters and telephone boxes.

Nutrition

stockphotopro_69355543VNP_no_title  Science has proven that balanced diets of fruit, nuts and vegetables, clean water, protein and carbohydrates are detrimental to a child’s development.

It is well known that growing teens require a steady intake of hydrogenated fat, sugar and alcohol.

Your CHAV School donation allows us to provide sustenance to our rescued children in the form of Kebab meat, pizza, fizzy pop and sweets.

Our highly skilled nutritionists help advise the youth on how to adapt their diet, for example Diamond White instead of apple juice, chips in curry sauce instead of banana sandwich on whole-wheat granary bread. We also encourage children under our care to consume vital behaviour adapting additives, flavourings and colourings. This then encourages successful social and physical development.

 

Rehabilitation

6a00d8341c793d53ef00e5503cae5a8834-640wi Many of the children that come to us are, unfortunately, well dressed, courteous and polite. Brainwashed by uncaring, antisocial parents who concentrate selfishly on their own status amongst their peers.

We at CHAV School provide correct and suitable garments for teenagers copied from leading designs and supplied to us by a bloke off the market who can do us a good deal on Burberry.

Our highly skilled youth workers encourage the teens to express themselves in mumbles and grunts rather than clear, enunciated vocabulary. At times this can be traumatic but we believe this is for the child’s own good.

 

Preparation for Life after 18

We educate our chavs and chavettes into becoming valueless members of society, without whom society would not be able to provide such social services as Policing.

We even help them customise their cars with flared exhausts and subwoofers. We help them find a suitable mating partner (if they haven’t done so already) so that they can propagate this important way of life.

Family and Community Work

594073694_b78341cd63 We don’t just do stuff for kids. We work closely with affected families and help provide parents with widescreen plasma TVs, educate them into being thoughtful adults that care that they don’t know where they children are and what they are doing.

We also provide courses for parents such as:-

  • Apathy: How Not To Give A Shit;
  • Your Kids are As Good As Gold Anyone That Disagrees is obviously a Paedophile;
  • Shouting Matches for Beginners;
  • Swearing at Children the Healthy Way;

and our most popular

  • Making Eastenders More Important than your Child.

We also work with communities in the following ways: by encouraging the construction and development of derelict buildings for arson attacks; removal of litter bins; Provision of bus shelters and telephone boxes for social gatherings and art displays and by reducing harmful facilities such as youth clubs, organisations and the like.

But without your donation we cannot do this most important work. We know you care and we know our schemes are valuable to society as a whole. So make your donation today. Because Britain needs more chavs.


This post originally appeared on Livejournal

Stegzy’s Customer Service School

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Hello! Thank you for coming to Stegzy Gnomepants’ Customer Service School. Today I am going to show you the key skills required to succeed in this line of work*

1. Always give your friends first class servicess-4008010-CustomerService

  If your friends are happy they will tell their friends about the good service they have had. Word of mouth is more powerful than advertising. Advertising costs lots. More money means wealthier bosses – wealthier bosses mean better working environment – better working environment means longer toilet breaks for you – you go home happy. So if your friend comes in treat them right. Chat to them for as long as you like. It doesn’t matter about anybody else just make sure you look after your mates. If anyone complains then that’s because they have no mates and they have no mates because they complain all the time.

 

2. Never Smile

defusing-angry-cust Smiling means you are being friendly. Remember the customer is the enemy and should not be befriended. Befriending a customer means everyone gets first class service. This costs money and time especially if you talk to every customer you come into contact with. Time = money

Also remember

Under no circumstances engage the customer in conversation

Even the slightest hint of chumminess means one of the saddos will start calling in regularly. Regular contact develops into friendship and before long the saddo will be inviting you along to chess or bingo evenings and Star Trek Conventions and then every Colin, Barry and Douglas will be lining up expecting excellent service.

 

3. Never make Eye contact

5421217-lg Customers are naturally stupid. Remember you are in charge not them. The only people allowed to make eye contact are highly skilled sales people. They have special one way contact lenses and eye contact is an excellent tool for breaking down defences. Making eye contact can reassure a customer that the piece of shit they are buying is a quality bargain but it can also show weakness to the unskilled CSRep.

REMEMBER :- Eye contact should only be made by highly skilled sales people except in confrontational situations in which case a mighty glare can make anyone have weak knees.

For more on eye contact see Appendix R. Tibetan Eye Combat Skills

 

4. They need you more than you need them

Fist of Money The only reason you are in contact with a customer is because they think they want something you have. In reality they have something you want – MONEY and lots of it. No matter how many times someone protests or complains in reality they want to give you their money. Short of a good kicking most customers will happily part with their hard earned loot without second thought to the true cost therefore remember the following:-

  1. Gauge your customers wealth status – The more money they appear to have the less they are likely to want to spend unless they appear to be competitive or "Keeping up with the Jones’" types. They will more than likely want the middle of the range product so show them that one and then try and push them up the range. They probably wont buy the better product but they will leave thinking "I should have got that more expensive product" and probably come back.
  2. Less well off customers are more likely to pay double – They want the better products so that they look swish when their pals come round. Push the product that they can’t afford and mention credit services. Remember the words "Interest" and "APR" mean little to most people under 40
  3. If someone wants to complain give them to the customer complaints department – These people are highly skilled individuals and can convince customers they are getting something for nothing when in reality they aren’t. Do not attempt to placate a pissed off customer with offers of goodies unless you are trained in the dark arts.

5. The Customer is always wrong

 

customer_is_always_wrong_mousepad-p144277168556686225trak_400 No matter how right they think they are. Remember you are more knowledgeable of the products and services you can provide to them even if you actually know nothing about them at all. They may think they know the subtle nuances but they don’t, unless of course they are an ex-member of staff in which case they should be referred to a manager who will dispose of them in a recognised place of refuse. The only exceptions to these rules are people who work in motor factor/ accessories shops (e.g. Halfords) and in High Street computer retailers (e.g. PC World, Time, Tiny etc) – If the customer had any knowledge of the subtle nuances of the product in the first place they would have gone to a specialist and bought the right thing in the first place.

 

6. Your time is more valuable than theirs

daylight-savings-time Customers have bags of time as well as cash otherwise they wouldn’t be bothering you with insignificant requests. Show your disdain for their wasting your time by tutting and sighing when they can’t make up their mind. This will embarrass them into hurrying up and, although they will probably moan to their friends about how rude you were, they will probably buy the wrong thing and end up having to return. Besides you are unlikely to ever see them again anyway so what should you care?

7. The longer you postpone a problem the quicker it goes away

ignore This is especially true in CS in IT. The IT Monkey rule of "Ignore a problem long enough it will fix itself" is universal through out all areas of CS. So, if you are presented with a problem you don’t think you can solve yourself or you think may reveal more shoddiness on behalf of your co-workers, ignore it; it will go away.

If paper work is involved, shove it in the bin inside something such as an envelope of a chip wrapper;

If there is an electronic record of the transaction or contact make sure you hide it well.

Electronic resources are easily traced so check within your department for the approved method of evidence disposal.

8. Only be pleasant when funds are changing handsmainpic-money-guy

Remember, the customer pays your wages, if you are unpleasant at the critical time the may go elsewhere with their funds.

This is true right up until the end of their period of statutory rights after which they are not your problem.

Remember you are welcome to postpone dealing with anything other than transfer of funds as long as it doesn’t point back at you.

9. Every customer is stupid unless they speak to you in a civil tone

customer-service Phrases like "I don’t know anything about xxxx", "You! Help me out with this" or "I’m too busy to be coming in", name dropping and airs of superiority by customers should be dealt with utter contempt. Only stupid customers would dare use such tactics.

Remember the customer doesn’t know why they want something, it is up to you to tell them. It often helps if you explain in simple language or by pointing to diagrams.

Remember also that 80% of what you say to a customer will be forgotten an hour after the contact therefore when explaining important contractual obligations or financial things speed up your speech or bury the terms and conditions on the back of a piece of paper which they will never read until it is too late.

Rude customers are out to make money from your company or better their own means to an end. So if contact is in any shape or form uncivil you are well within your right to drag out any processes and make things three times as difficult for the customer than if they were pleasant to begin with. Eventually they will learn of their error and eventually, at some future point, calm down on advice of their doctor or start attending anger management sessions.

Finally,

10. Be smart with your rudeness

A skilled CSRep can always insult a customer without them even knowing. This could be by indirect reference or by subtle ways i.e. misspelling of their name. In this day and age everyone gets offended easily so there are numerous methods of insult on the market.

However, if your insult is too direct or obvious you may be faced with difficulty and possibly reprimand so it is important that the insult is untraceable and can be easily reinterpreted by a third or independent party.

We would like to remind candidates that these rules are widely known amongst CS centre Workers and any discussion of these secrets is considered taboo though some will discuss their own methods and rules of successful CS after their period of employment has ended or if they work for a different contact/call centre than you.

So follow these guidelines and you will keep both the customer and your employers happy. Oh yes….indeedy 😉

 

Thank you for reading.


* – Disclaimer – This is entirely for fun and not indicative of all customer service in the UK. No offence, implication or accusation should be taken with anything described.

This post was originally posted on Livejournal