11 August 2022

Council Website Usability

 In a meeting about blogging for work, our new Head of Function for Capability and Culture (Dave Briggs) is looking to promote it, one of my colleagues pointed us to this article in the Guardian.  It's published under his byline but he was just interviewed by the Grauniad for what he thought was an article about council websites in general.  Apparently he got into trouble for it and was told that before he talked to the press again he must talk to the Public Relations team.

I feel that does have a chilling effect on any efforts to blog publically about work.

16 September 2020

Dumb substitution cyphers.

“Dad has the ball.  Come and play Sally.  Sally holds the ball.  I can play ball well she says.”

 Some sociopath posted this image to a Facebook Group I’m on to annoy people with a substitution cypher problem.  I really hate people like that, they just want to boast about how clever they are.

The answer took about 5 minutes and is remarkably banal.

“Dad has the ball.  Come and play Sally.  Sally holds the ball.  I can play ball well she says.”

21 December 2014

On mending broken fences

I think I need 4 pieces of 4x1in, about 18 inches long, and one piece about 5 foot long plus a tin of cuprinol (or similar external wood treatment) and some 3 inch nails.

The building maintenance contractors employed by the council (or to be more precise the scaffolding sub-contractors employed by them) have broken my garden fence twice this year so I've got to fix it.  I don't want to spend much on it as they'll probably be back next year to break it again.  Fences aren't typically built to have hulking great scaffolders climbing over them because they can't be bothered to put a note through the door a couple of days before they need access to ask me to leave the back gate open for them so they can put up scaffolding to fix the damage done by the family on the top floor.

26 January 2014

One more reason we need more funding of research

Cancer needs its arse kicking, hard.  Fortunately there are people doing their best to find better ways of doing that.  Unfortunately funding of research has been cut and cut and cut for over 20 years now.

Sales Calls and Wrong Numbers

Just had a call, on my land line, from a company called Summit asking if I wanted my guttering and fascias done. I pointed out that this is a low rise council block so the council deal with that. Telesales person was not happy about this.

I then noticed that I had 11 messages on my answering machine so I listened to them. Four were automated sales calls, 2 were hang ups and the rest were all wrong numbers. Worryingly one wrong number was a GP's surgery trying to set up an appointment, one was a school wanting a parent to come in and talk about Karen's progress and two were Kingsheath job centre reminding Mrs Kaur that she had an appointment with them last Tuesday.

This phone number has been registered with TPS for nearly 2 years now.

As they called me on my landline I didn't get their number on my phone and when I dialled 1471 I got a message that they had withheld their number any how.  I did some Google searching and the only number I could find is their 0800 sales line.  I think their address is:

Summit Cladding
Summit House
IG10 4DX
Although there is a company in Birmingham called Summit Roofguard at:

21 Sovereign Road
Kings Norton Business Centre
Birmingham, B30 3HN  
But as the person who called me only identified the company as Summit I can't be sure which of these it was if it was either.

19 November 2013

Silent Calls from 08000727732

Just had a call from 08000727732.  Picked up, said hello.  Line was silent for a few seconds then the other end hung up.  Looks like another round of marketing calls.  Phone number is registered with TPS.  What else can I do??

I Googled the number and found a page that indicates it's from British Gas but some of the comments say that British Gas deny all knowledge of the number.

13 September 2013

British Computer Society launch site aimed at recruiting managers/HR recruiters

BCS have just launched a microsite on their website aimed at recruiting managers and HR recruiters: http://www.bcs.org/recruiters

They are pushing for hirers to add ‘Member of BCS’ to their candidate requirements, look for FBCS, MBCS or AMBCS after candidates’ names, look for CITP (Chartered IT Professional, the chartered status for IT and computing) after candidates’ names and to ask for evidence of Continuing Professional Development (MBCS and above grades of membership and CITP are required to maintain a log of CPD).

Personally I have been asking internally within the membership for BCS to demonstrate the value to me of membership by demonstrating to employers the advantage of hiring and MBCS over someone who is not a member.  In the current issue of the members magazine they have stated that the average salary for someone with CITP is £92,000pa, but that just makes me wonder if they earn that because they have CITP or they can justify that salary as an IT professional independent of having CITP.

Some key questions I have (as an MBCS and MIET) are:

  • What do BCS need to do (other than increase marketing spend) to convince employers to class membership of BCS at least desirable if not mandatory for IT workers?
  • What do BCS need to do to convince employers that funding BCS membership fees for those employees who qualify is a good investment?
  • What do BCS need to do to convince employers that sponsoring an employee through CITP is a good investment?

I suspect that a big part of the answer to those questions will be in convincing the customers of those employers that buying from a company that employs members of BCS and promotes advancement through the levels and attainment of CITP is better than buy from one that does not.