Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The sound of silence

Only two more days before BT say they'll get the phones and the Internet on at our new office. The old office is almost dry, it's taken that long for BT to almost 'spring' into action.
I used to work for BT in my 20s. I helped produce their in-house magazines at their swanky head office - I have to say it was even duller than it sounds! But there was opportunity for distraction and I grasped it.
They were bringing in Total Quality Management (TQM) while I was there. It was so much more fun than my real job and I was always volunteering to take part in special projects where we'd have a TQM facilitator and lots of games to help us solve an imagined problem.
The idea was to get everyone to feel empowered - to question the way you did everything - to aim to 'get it right the first time'.
Cynical members of staff saw it for what it was - a thinly veiled attempt to make thousands of people redundant. Anyone who wouldn't embrace TQM's values was for the chop.
I learned all the buzz words and was a proper little swot - anything to get me out of writing boring stories I didn't understand for 'Technical Review"!
(My favourite memo from that era was one encouraging us to stop using TLAs. And what are TLAs? Three letter abbreviations of course!).
Anyway, the point of my story is. They didn't get it right the first, second or third time with our recent emergency office relocation.
There was no TQM on our project. I was tempted to recite some of the mantra to those on the phones... but perhaps they have a new religion now. Perhaps it's the 'get it right the fourth time' era.
So there, I've had a little go at one of my old employers - wonder if it'll elicit a random, weird nasty email like the one I received earlier today?
Dropping into my inbox when I got home from the phone-less office was an email from someone called "not Beverley Cuddy".
Someone, who I could easily identify, had gone to all the bother of creating a special email account just to send me abuse!
Their main gripe appeared to be that I once worked for the Kennel Club but still had the audacity to criticise them!
But what did I really do to upset "Not Beverley Cuddy" (let's call her NBC)?
NBC revealed in her email that when I was a child I apparently insulted her dog.
I have no memory of it - but if I did I'm really sorry. I could have sworn that I'd never even said hello to this woman.
But she's obviously been brooding about this imagined slight for 30 plus years.
Hmmm - wonder if she works for BT these days? Might explain a lot!
I admit, it's not the first time I've upset someone.
I used to receive up to 20 identical letters a day in separate envelopes from a chap in Wales. His handwriting was terrible - but the postmen got lots of practise deciphering the address.
Every letter started with the same words, "Dear Dunce Editor, Bruce Fogle is a dunce vet...."
We never did get to the bottom of quite why he had it in for Bruce, but he must have really, really annoyed him as the letters kept coming for years. And as I didn't sack Bruce, I was just as bad in his eyes.
I wrote back quite a few times, but it didn't seem to much alter the wording of the letters I got back and sadly I never lost my 'dunce' prefix. But I felt he warmed to us slightly over the years.
He's even on my Christmas card list - we're on his, too.
Perhaps I'll send NBC a Christmas card, too. I'm an optimist - I'll win her over eventually.
Perhaps I'm naive - I even believe BT when they say the phones will be working on Thursday...

1 comment:

The Cornish Cowgirl said...

What's the odds that BT don't turn up today? In my experience they never keep their first appointment.