Monthly Archives: February 2007

Appearances matter

I’ve had some funny experiences over the past few months with software vendors parading their wares in my workplace.  The experience is probably similar in any field when corporate sales are involved.  Most of the time the sales people go heavy on the gloss and light on the detail.  They spend more time selling the image of their product than the product itself.

And the sales people themselves can be pretty funny.  Sometimes they’re so smarmy they make me want to wash my hand after shaking hands with them but most of them are OK while leaning heavily to the enthusiastic side of things, personality-wise.  I’m a big believer in letting people be themselves but in a sales setting, the salespeople aren’t really people.  They’re animated glossy advertisements for their product.  So I always find it interesting when they fall somewhat short in the personal presentation stakes.

Anyone who has watched any of my videos will probably have noticed that I tend to ar-tic-u-late when I speak.  This mostly comes from the theatre and radio work I did when I was at college.  It still comes in handy when I do my job – I have to do a lot of presentations and speaking clearly helps in these situations.  So while I notice the physical appearance and presentation of salespeople, my impression is most coloured by the way they talk.

One of the big software companies sent out a cockney guy as their sales rep.  He seemed to know his stuff and I’m sure he wasn’t really a criminal but I couldn’t stop picturing him as Arthur Daley trying to pull a dodgy deal. “Leave it out Guv’nor, there’s no bovver wiv dis gear.”  There I go being racist against white people again. 

Another one had a distinct overbite and seemed quite self-conscious of the fact (I’m indulging in a bit of amateur psychoanalysis here).  He hardly parted his jaws when he talked which made him talk mostly in a monotone.  I think the Australian accent tends towards the nasal and his way of talking really exaggerated this in a way I found quite annoying.

My favourite was the last one who had what I can only describe as “disco hair”.  I can only describe it this way, not because I have a limited vocabulary but because it’s the best way to describe his hair.  There was a lot of it and it was really thick.  His method of styling seemed to be “put in huge gobs of product then drive with your head stuck out the car window”.  He ended up with this huge swept back bouffant that made him look like he was standing in a wind tunnel.

I don’t even remember what was in his presentation because I never got past thinking “Man, what the fuck is the story with your hair?”

So what is my dress style at work?  I’m not telling you.  This is because describing what I wear would completely blow my anonymity.  My work wardrobe could politely be described as “individual” or “idiosyncratic”.  More often, the description would be along the lines of “fucking weird”.  If I gave any more detail, anyone I have worked with would instantly know it was me.  So you’ll have yo use your imagination.  But rest assured, nobody would ever put me to work in sales.

5 Comments

Filed under Work

The worst IT worker in the world

I promised an equal time post to my recent “worst boss in the world” rant and here it is. A brief summary of the things you can do to totally reinforce the stereotype of IT workers being aloof, spoiled, uncommunicative and arrogant. Although it may sound like I have intimate knowledge of the following workplace sins, this shouldn’t be taken as an admission of guilt on my part. My lawyer advised me not to admit anything.

Talk in jargon There are times when technical language is necessary to accurately describe things. By and large, that’s when you’re talking to other techies. It’s rarely appropriate (or useful) to use technical jargon when talking to customers/business users. If you simply can’t explain something to a non-IT person in a way they understand, that’s what your project manager and/or business analyst are for. If you’re a PM or BA and you can’t talk without using jargon then there’s a problem.

Treat anyone who doesn’t understand your work as if they’re stupid I’m not going to argue whether or not the person in question is actually stupid, but it’s wrong to treat them as if they’re stupid. Some people just have skills in different areas. Your work probably requires quite a bit of intelligence. The inability to do or understand your work is not by definition stupid. Don’t try to be clever about it either. Too often I’ve seen IT people who think nobody is picking up on their sarcasm when they’re laying it on with a trowel.

Focus solely on technology Most IT workers love technology for its own sake, or at least they have a strong affinity for technology. As admirable as it is to love your work, the technology itself is only half the picture when you work in IT. The other half (most often the half that controls what happens) is the business, whatever that means in your case. No matter how good a technology is objectively, the results it delivers to the business are what counts the most. By and large, the business side couldn’t care less about the relative merits of operating systems, hardware or software. If you can’t sell a technology in terms of the results it will deliver for the business then you’re in for an uphill battle.

Refuse to acknowledge when there’s an issue  There’s nothing that drives a user crazy like telling them they aren’t experiencing a problem.  And yes, often the biggest problem is the user themselves but reflexively assuming that the user is at fault is not going to win you any friends.  I’ve seen this in multiple workplaces and read it on multiple online forums; someone says system X or site Y isn’t working for them and the response is along the lines of “well, I have a machine configured like this and I never have any problems.”  Here’s a tip: someone who’s having a problem isn’t really interested in hearing about how swell everything’s going for you.  Right or wrong, users want a solution, they don’t want to be told that they are the problem.

Tell the boss’s brother his idea is stupid  OK, I did this one.  I thought it made me a good worker – pointing out a moron former model was an incompetent prat who only got to be head of a business unit because he was dropped out of the same vagina as the boss.  This was apparently not a universally held view and I didn’t last much longer at that job.

React aggressively to any perceived criticism  Go ahead.  Start with the comments for this post.

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Leave it to the professionals.

I’ve been spending a bit of time over the last few days doing videos for the new series of the Fizz (to be known as The Fizz Newzz) which will be going to air on DirecTV in the US over the next six months.  Essentially, they’ve given me some topics to rant on and some news videos to comment on – playing to my strengths in other words.

The news clips they have provided have trended towards the “wacky” end of the spectrum, most of the are fluff pieces done by the Associated Press which are syndicated to networks worldwide.  They have another common element: a disturbing tendency to make really fucking appalling puns to try to highlight the fact that they think the stories are funny.

Every time one of these journos cranks out one of their god-awful lines (“maybe you should eat a chocolate chip cookie while you watch this – what else goes better with milk?”) I’m torn between the urge to cringe in horror and the urge to hunt them down and beat some fucking sense into them.  There’s a reason these people aren’t making a living as standup comedians – they aren’t fucking funny.  Michael Richards got more laughs with his “nigger” routine.

The funniest story (or at least the one that made me laugh most) was done totally straight.  It was all about this animal lover who had been killed when she got into a cage at a zoo with some cheetahs.  Seriously, what’s funnier than someone who actually sponsored the animals to pay for their food ending up as their actual food?  I’m pitching this one as an early front-runner for this year’s Darwin awards.

I’m yet to do a video rant for the Fizz Newzz saying I wish these journos would shut the fuck up and stop trying to be funny, but I can feel it coming.  After all, what could possibly go wrong as I try to start a career on TV with saying the people already on TV are totally fucked? I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em.

That’s the news and that’s the truth.

5 Comments

Filed under Comedy

My egg disability

I hate cracking eggs.  Whenever I need eggs for cooking I always screw up somehow while cracking them.  Either I make a hideous mess or I get pieces of shell in the cooking or some combination of both.  My girlfriend, on the other hand, can crack eggs quickly and flawlessly.

This is very handy when she’s with me but at the same time, it serves to highlight my incompetence.  I know those bastard eggs are laughing at me.  “Here he comes,” they say, “the so called Mr Angry.  More like Mr Can’t Perform Basic Kitchen Functions.  Let’s watch him screw up again.”

Smug bastard eggs.  I’ll teach them.  I’m gonna fry them up good.  And the fucking frying pan is gonna be really hot.  I’m gonna fry up eggs I don’t even want to eat.  Just to stop them laughing at me.

Bastards.

15 Comments

Filed under Home Life

Angry News Sex Videos on YouTube

I’m getting really shameless with my post titles lately.   It cracks me up how well it works as well.  You may well notice how often my “Virgin worship, Anal Sex and Oral Sex” post shows up in the “Top Posts” section.  I don’t think this is because of the number of people who want to hear my views on sexual repression in the name of religion.

Without it being premeditated, I seem to have been doing a few videos this week on the topic of sex.  And the law.  But it’s more attention grabbing to say I’m making sex videos.

This first video is about the cops in Sydney busting most of the sex shops in Kings Cross – Sydney’s notorious red light district.  Something a lot of people may not be aware of: hardcore or X-rated porn is illegal almost everywhere in Australia, including Sydney.  Apparently we aren’t adult enough to deal with images of adults having sex.  The thing is, the law basically hasn’t been enforced for about 20 years.

“Adult” shops have been selling porn for ages.  For a while, the sold it out of “secret” back rooms but that didn’t last long and it hasn’t seemed to be a problem that they sell illegal porn pretty much out in the open.  Now the media have been reporting that the cops launched raids on most of the sex shops in Kings Cross because they were selling kiddie porn.  The fact that there is an election coming up probably has nothing to do with the police actions.

If I was living in Sydney I could probably find out if the cops really did find any child porn.  I’m sure they’d sell me some if I asked.  The NSW police – the best force that money can buy.

This second video is highlighting that there is actually some sanity in the US legal system.  A judge has recently thrown out a lawsuit brought by some parents against MySpace.  Apparently their 13 year old daughter lied about her age, hooked up with someone via MySpace ran away from home to meet him and was sexually assaulted.  An appalling turn of event but it seems the parents didn’t feel like taking care of their daughter was their responsibility.  Because MySpace didn’t take enough care of their daughter they felt compelled to sue.

There’s nothing I take more seriously than the safety of my kids.  That’s why I take care of them myself, I don’t expect a fucking web site to look after them.

5 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Real Estate Agents Suck

Seriously.  I’d say these fuckers are all going to hell but that’s obviously where they’re spawned.

I’m planning to move house so I need to deal with these scumbags  while looking for a new rental property.  The rental market in Melbourne is tight to say the least right now and there’s a lot of competition for decent places when they’re available.  That I can live with but these piece of shit real estate agents don’t have to start acting like arrogant pricks just because they can.

One agent in particular is on my shit list.  In all their ads they specify that you can’t even look at a property until after the existing tenants move out.  Tenancy laws in Australia allow for at least one inspection to be arranged, even if the existing tenant is being difficult they have to agree to one.  So the fact that this agent won’t organise say, half an hour where everyone who’s interested can have a quick look points to one of two things:

One, they’re lazy pricks.

Two, the evil fuckers are hiding something about the property.

Neither of these options speaks well of the agent in question.  This particular agent even advertises properties without giving a figure for the rent – they say “offers invited”. Yes, fight amongst yourself little fishies, debase yourself for our amusement. I want to move but I’m not desperate so I’m not going to be fucked over by these vermin.  I’ll wait until circumstances are right and won’t tie myself in knots in the meantime.

And there’s no way I’m dealing with this one particular scumbag agent.  On the off chance any real estate agent reads this and wonders why they’re so hated, it’s because you’re evil, lying worthless scum and you fucking well deserve to be hated.

65 Comments

Filed under General Angriness

Inappropriate Valentines

On this auspicious Hallmark festival, I thought I’d provide you some of my wisdom.  Valentine’s Day is all well and good if you’re in to that sort of thing, but heed my warnings:

1. It’s possible to push things too far

2. Being “individual” is fine but there’s such a thing as being too individual.

Allow me to illustrate with a video:

Of course, I think it’s perfectly valid to ignore Valentine’s Day altogether (I didn’t but if you want your significant other to kill you go right ahead).  But if you’re in a bah, humbug mood (or whatever the equivalent for Valentine’s Day is) you could always try these anti-valentines (thanks to engtech for pointing to these).

13 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Packaging is driving me crazy

I just spent ten minutes of my lunch hour wrestling with a fucking packet of sliced ham because I couldn’t get the fucking thing to open.  I found the little tab on the edge of the seal that is supposed to make it easy to open but that didn’t help.  I pulled and pulled to no avail.  Admittedly, the fact that I am a weak little girly-man was a big contributor to the problem but still, the packaging was ridiculous.

This isn’t even the usual problem with fucked-up food packaging.  Usually, the biggest issue is that the seal starts to come off but then it rips when you’ve partially opened it.  Leaving the remains of the seal in place makes getting the contents out a bastard of a job but trying to rip off the remainder of the seal ends up taking forever and making a horrible fucking mess.

In this case my solution was to find a sharp knife and cut open the packet.  This solved my initial problem (now I could actually get at the ham to make a sandwich) but now I can’t re-seal the packet.  So now the ham’s probably going to go off before I finish eating it.  Hopefully I won’t continue to eat it after it’s gone off – that never works out well.

And what is it with some drinks you buy having a seal under the lid?  This would be less frustrating if (a) you could get the fucking seals off without spilling drink everywhere and (b) if all drinks had the seal.  When only some drinks have the seal, you never know whether or not you have to unscrew the fucking lid before having a drink.

They go to all the trouble of putting one of those pop top lids on the bottle (this usually happens with bottled water and/or sports drinks) which makes the bottle convenient.  But then you pop the top and nothing comes out.  If you’re like me you spend a few seconds sucking on the bottle wondering what the fucking problem is.  If you’re lucky, you’re smarter than me and this isn’t such an issue.

And don’t even get me started on the packaging used on non-food items like electronic gadgets.  That double thick plastic they use that’s triple sealed along the edges just will not fucking come apart when you want to open the packet.  I’ve read that this is an anti-theft measure but seriously, can’t they cut us consumers some slack?  We’re not all thieves, some of us would like to be able to open products after we buy them.

When I hear stories of how Cheney and his cronies at Halliburton fucked over the soldiers in Iraq by taking billions of dollars to “outfit” them and then not giving them adequate (or any) armour, I think “send them some of this packaging plastic”.  Wrap their vehicles in this stuff and no amount of IED’s are going to cause any problems.  Mind you, there would be some issue with getting the soldiers out of the vehicles once you’d sealed them in but you can’t have everything. 

11 Comments

Filed under General Angriness

Mr Angry moves one step closer to world domination

Readers with good memories will recall that last year I did some videos for a show called The Fizz on the DirecTV network in the states.  The magic of the internet lets me perform for a TV show I’ll never see.  Well, the big news for me is that the producers of The Fizz have been given the go ahead for a new series which they’re calling The Fizz Newzz.  The format will be a news review type of show and there will be two new episodes a month for six months.

And I’m determined to be on every one of them.

The Fizz guys let me know about the new show and encouraged me to submit videos saying how much they liked the previous material I had submitted (note to the world in general – flattery works extremely well on me).  And of course, a news review format works well for me, seeing as how that’s the approach I take for about half of my videos.

All of which is evidence that you don’t have to be noticed by everybody, you just have to be noticed by the right people.  While I have some dedicated fans on YouTube, I’m barely a blip on the radar with around 600 subscribers.  You need 20,000 subscribers to crack the top 20 on YouTube and you need more than 5,000 subscribers just to be in the top 100 “channels”.  But subscribers alone won’t make you money.  I’m yet to make my fortune via The Fizz but they did pay for the flights to New Zealand on my recent holiday.

While being paid by The Fizz is nice, being able to say I’ve been on TV is far more valuable.  The more cutting edge and forward thinking producers are looking to media like YouTube for new ideas.  The less imaginative but higher up the food chain producers are much more likely to notice someone who’s already been featured on a TV show, even when it’s a niche show like The Fizz.

And all of it happening outside Australia.  This is, as I’ve mentioned before, the best possible method of progression for me, for two reasons.  First, the serious action (and money) is in the USA.  Not to indulge in too much cultural cringe but the Australian market for TV and film is about 1% of what’s on offer in the US.  Second, I’d rather not get too well know in Australia until I’m earning enough as Mr Angry to give up my day job.  I’d like to quit being an IT worker when it suits me instead of finding it impossible to get work because everyone is freaked out at the concept of having Mr Angry work for them.

So I proceed by stealth until I am ready to crush my enemies.  When my power has grown everyone on THE LIST pays!  Every prick who’s ever pissed me off will feel the wrath of Mr Angry.  I never forget.  Oh, and I’ll be hiring my faithful posse members to mete out justice (I’m looking at you Sandra). 

Oh well, I can dream.

9 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Some Sunday Videos

Yes, I know, an all video weekend.  Deal with it.

This first piece is about a psychic research lab at Princeton University that’s closing down after nearly three decades in operation.  Depending on your point of view, this is either the overdue termination of an embarrassment to science generally and Princeton specifically or… they know something!

The second piece is where I reveal the hidden depths of a character you may already know.  The world’s most boring yologger reveals he actually has super-powers.  And he wants to join the Citizen Hero Brigade.

3 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging