Wednesday, April 27

Waterlooville Music Festival 2011

Don't have much to say about this, it's become a regular event. It's from 11th to 19th June this year. The latest programme is available at their web site. Hampshire Police Band are playing this year and there is also a Bollywood Experience to:

Waterlooville Music Festival web site

Superscrimpers - Channel 4

Excellent programme on Channel 4 and although not specifically an eco show, it probably does more to get people changing than an eco show would.

But what really shocks me are some of the figures they give. Such as this week a mother that spends £45 per week on each of her kids clothing (£90 in total)!??!
Some people live on £90 per week (that includes food and bills).
Geez, £90 is probably more than I spend on clothes a year! And I try and buy organic if I can. My favourite winter coat is over 20 years old (I bought it in the 80s sometime, but can't remember the exact date). Sure kids need new clothing when they grow, but when I was a kid, I don't remember getting new clothing every month, let alone every week.

Then a few weeks ago they said the average adult in the UK spends over £1000 per year on clothing??
Who are these people??
No wonder wages are high and debt is high, along with masses of waste being generated. Hey folks, you are really sick in the head.

Superscrimpers web site

Tuesday, April 19

The lies in the No Alternative Vote campaign

Just had the 'No AV' campaign leaflet put through my letter box and noticed some really bad presentation of statistics and an even worse appraisal of the alternative vote system.
Lets have a look at some of the flaws in the leaflet:

1. They say that the money that would be spent on implementing AV would pay for 2,503 doctors and 6,297 teachers and 8,107 nurses etc. Or does it mean that?
And this is where the leaflet deliberately misleads, it is not clear how long a period £250million or so  would keep these people employed and it is also unclear if one should place 'and' or 'or' between the numbers. So without some context the numbers are open to interpretation, which of course is what these clowns want. It's the same type of game played to confuse people about climate change and here we see 'green' Camereon playing silly school boy games which apparently impresses some people.

2. The AV system intended for the parliamentary elections does not require anyone to put a mark against every candidate, you only have to vote for one person, in fact in Scotland where a similar system is used, about 40% of  people still only vote for their favourite candidate and don't mark any others. Not only that, but the vast majority vote for a max of 3 candidates. If there is a racist candidate or some other party you do not like, you don't have to include them in your decision.

If there is a good reason for changing the system, then the No AV campaign makes a good case for changing it.

Tuesday, April 12

jobs and recruitment in the UK

Spotted a job advertised by Office Angels today that highlights the hypocrisy and incompetence in the UK working environment. Many employers these days go for surface quality and lists of requirements rather than true in depth quality. The other thing that is important is a ridiculous name for the position you are advertising. So now someone that develops a web site can be called an 'engineer' and any job can have the word technician or executive tagged onto the end.

Anyway, admittedly my language abilities are not the best, but when an employer requests that the applicant should have excellent communication skills, one would expect the advert to reflect this requirement.

I don't think this Office Angels sentence for an IT Support position in Basingstoke satisfies the advertisers own requirement:

"Good communication skills is also extremely important and you are dealing with them on the phones all day."

Who is them?
How many skills?
Who are these communication skills?
Why do they have to be dealt with on the phones?
How many phones is the person responsible for?
10, 2, 50?

This isn't unusual. Employers of all types run adverts with bloated expectations which not only exceed the potential candidates abilities but also exceed the advertisers own competence. I recently had an interview at a big employer, lets call it organisation X. I was lucky to get an interview. Why?

Well because the HR department of Organisation X failed to send out any interview invitations for the position. When it came to the day of the interviews, no one turned up (including me!). So the manager responsible had to phone up every candidate, asking why they hadn't attended the interview. Once it was clear that the fault was with the employer, a new date was set for the interviews.

This same employer had the usual list of requirements, excellent this and excellent that. Of course part of the problem is that the internet has taken over the job hunting market. Employers no longer send out replies to every application, so the applicant doesn't get worried about not receiving any communication about the job they just applied for. The result is that when things go wrong, no one has a clue why. There is a good reason why traditional two way communication was established. It was to establish a process that minimised errors, the same principles apply today whether using the internet or traditional post. If someone applies for a job, that application should be acknowledged. It just isn't good enough to say 'if you don't hear from us within 5 days, assume you have not been successful', this breaks all the rules of reliable communications. The very same principles that allow the internet to work in the first place.

Things are bad enough with so many pointless jobs being advertised, but it is made worse by the fact that we have so many incompetent recruitment systems, dominated by internet companies that are themselves pointless.

BTW apologies for bad grammar and spelling mistakes, but it isn't me that is making ridiculous lists of requirements when advertising for a job. I suggest you sort out your own house before requesting your new recruit to sort out theirs.