Sunday, 27 April 2008

It takes all sorts to make a world!

This site is already fun! My wife thinks I'm mad – spend all day at work on computers, run a company using computers, then spend half the evening typing on a computer to tell the world she thinks I'm mad! Great fun!! I'll start to build my profile as this blog gets into gear. To start with, I need to make sure I'm going to be able to keep writing it, then I'll try and make it more interesting.

Well, it's been a strange sort of weekend - The Toon needed two bites at the cherry to bring a point home and my son's team got beat 3-1 by the local "giants" of under-9 football. I should be happy I suppose that the Toon will be in the Premiership next year, and we should stay higher than the Mackems (small mercy!). It also looks like Adam's team could be promoted this season too, so not such a bad season really.

For those who don't know, the Toon is Newcastle United, and the Mackems are Sunderland. A bit like the last few weeks at work, it sometimes needs explaining, and sometimes it needs real effort to get across what is needed, or what one means.

I'm a proud dad too, my daughter played flute in two of the three Burton Borough School bands that set a record last weekend by having all three bands in the National Concert Band Finals in Warwick. Then they pushed the bar even higher by all three winning gold medals!! Don't you just love it when something works? My son won gold in the West Midland Gymnastic Finals a few weeks ago and so is competing in the National Finals this weekend. All-in-all I suppose I have something to crow about right now!

I'm a strong believer in the philosophy that it should be fun to go to work - at least most of the time anyway! I try to find the best of everything and to see the best in people, then I try to will it all to work. Often my motives are misunderstood or I find it impossible to explain what I mean clearly (especially concisely!). At JoraPh ( we try to enjoy our time at work and keep the place as open as possible for all staff - very few secrets and we even try to listen! We still have to remember though that it's still work! Still, our friendly little gang are moving forward and we seem to be winning at most things, the occasional hiccup has come our way and we are by no means perfect. It still bodes well for the future and we hope to make more of our lot over the next couple of years.
The IT market has had a bit of a roller coaster over the last few years, and as many companies disappear as fast as they arrived and competition is just as ruthless now as it was when I started in it almost 25 years ago. The difficulty now is that the culture changes have had to take in the change from servile to dominance of the Asian companies. The fantastic growth of companies like Wipro and TATA has put a whole new complexion on how business is done. The wonderful part of the Asian involvement is that there are two areas – those who just work and work and those who just work and don't understand. The former are the people who are very clever and knowledgeable about their product sets and technology and have a wonderful attitude to their job. The latter are those who just do as they are told – often not really good value and sometimes very damaging to customer systems! I can't complain too much though as anyone who cocks-up for a client leaves me with a chance of more work!

Anyway, time for a rant. My Volvo broke down again on Friday morning on the way to work. Not unusual for my car, but I had 3 colleagues in the car at the time and had to bail them into my wife's car to get them there! Nuisance faults always cause the most distress and inconvenience – intermittent ones are the worst of these! I used to fix cars, and I've worked in electronics, but this is a whole new ball game as it is one of those damn black boxes under the bonnet that keeps dying on me! Adding complexity is apparently what I do best, so I've had the S80 converted to use LPG. This causes more issues as we (the garage and I) have no idea if it's th LPG system or the Volvo electronics that are playing up – nuisance!

So, everyone got to work and I sat in the lay by waiting for the fault to clear. I thought about how it effected my day and what I should do about it. I could sell the machine to an unsuspecting garage or taxi driver in Telford, or I could cough up and have it fixed. I thought about how I would feel if was the garage owner or the taxi driver or the fare who got stranded as the car died again – it's going to be fixed soon, but I'm on the train today to make sure I get there (as long as it keeps going!).

If there is anyone reading this I'd like a favour if it's possible. Can you please have a look at our new web site ( and let me know what you think of it? I've paid good money to have the site built and need to know if anybody likes it!



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