We are currently experiencing large volumes of customers
At least that's a problem that will solve itself...
I am a time-waster. And I hate people who waste my time. This means I know what I'm hating – have fun, all you amateur psychologists out there. I don't want to dither about but at least it's my own time I'm wasting. I am a procrastinator. That's not really the same as a time-waster, is it? Perhaps you could spend a few minutes …
"Certainly will judging by the people I talked to in the large queue at my local TSB yesterday."
I found it really odd, I was in a branch yesterday and there were only two other people there - one withdrawing large amounts of £50s and the other not even aware of what was going on but panicking because he had fallen for a phishing scam (Honestly, he was quite young and its 2018 - who honestly things that HMRC are issuing tax rebates via email?)
Anyway he was panicking saying that they were "going to empty my account" because he gave them his card details.
I *definitely* heard the guy serving me mutter "Good luck with that" - Highlight of the day.
On the plus side, Ive managed to get enough money from my business account into my personal account to pay the mortgage! Even if it did mean ten minutes for small talk with the teller while we waited for it to go through!
"The pensioners seemed happy enough"
Huh? This is one who wouldn't have been.
Probably the ones from the old folks home who only get to go out once or twice a month on the bus and know that the drive will get pissed if they make him wait more than 10 minutes. . But in this case, they actually got to stand around and talk to other people. Hopefully, the bus driver was in line with them.
"The pensioners seemed happy enough but everyone else was plainly pissed off."
I am a pensioner and we were fortunate to be first in the queue to open an account at the Nationwide today because by the time we left there was quite a queue.
What made me finally flip? The announcement of the job of Head of Infrastructure. It's a bit like Ford advertising the job of Factory Manager, or Tesco advertising the post of Head of Logistics. It points to a level of cluelessness in Spain that makes the Armada look like a well run project. And the chance of that altering in a reasonable timescale?
first in the queue to open an account at the Nationwide today because by the time we left there was quite a queue
I'll bet that Nationwide, as the last of the great Building Societies, are laughing all the way to the cash-tills..
 Of which I'm a member, having had an account since about 1987. Which was about when I started getting utterly disillusioned by banks, having been royally shafted by them as a student. And I've used the Natwe as my only banking facility since (other than saving accounts at various other building societies).
"The pensioners seemed happy enough"
Probably because they were first introduced to saving and banks through the school "bank", which I believe was run by the TSB across much or most of the country which then converted into a proper TSB account on reaching 16(?). They've probably never changed banks since then.
What really boils my p*** is when I hear the phrase "unusually high call volumes" being used as an excuse - *every time* that I try to get through to the call centre. Look, I've tried calling every day for nearly a fortnight at different times of the day and night, and always get the same message. The call volumes aren't unusually high, it's just that the call centre is under-staffed and/or under-skilled to be able to deal with them.
When I finally get through and am greeted by an enquiry as to what my call is about..."well I started trying to get in touch with you with a query about my account, but now my call is actually about closing that account so I can take my business elsewhere".
The call volumes aren't unusually high, it's just that the call centre is under-staffed
It seems that no-one in the many consumer-facing industries have heard of the phrase "capacity management" (which doesn't just apply to IT - it also covers the squishy meatbags of mostly water).
Or rather, they have heard about it. And realised that implementing a proper system would require money and *gasp* might result in some of their minimum-wage phone answerers not being 100% busy. And, in an MBA world, we can't have inefficiencies like that! Why, it'll reduce the management bonuses and, if some $MORE_SENIOR manager should happen to see one of the $LOWER_MANAGERs staff sitting idle might question their skills, parentage and budget!
Sadly, it's no use getting angry with the poor saps that have to answer the phone - they don't make policy or set budgets. And you can bet that the ones who do the policy and budget stuff are not readily available to be talked at.
In the depths of time, a major compute manufacturer launched a new platform, and I was working in the newly set up support operation, taking the phone calls of disgruntled customers (experienced people taking the first call, it didn't last) who were having the inevitable teething problems of a completely new system.
Unsurprisingly, there were times when there were more customers with problems than there were people to take the calls, so to limit the waiting times, an overflow answer phone was installed to allow people to request a call back rather than waiting.
The message on the phone went something like this.
"Due the unprecedented success of <major platform name>, we are experiencing high volumes of calls. Please leave you details and a brief description of your issue, and we will call you back"
Remember that this was a support centre, and the only reason customers were calling was because of problems.
Success? We laughed...
whilst not a national building society, the Cumberland is a decent one that has done us fine over the years. One things that does work is their customer service. Each branch has a manager that gets things sorted and do actually call you back or keep appointments.
"Or (the most annoying film watching experience) American or British films dubbed into French?"
Any film dubbed into another language is often annoying - the lip sync is often nowhere near right. IIRC "Battle of Britain" (1969) was unusual for having all the German and Polish dialogue subtitled. Not sure if a German release of that film subtitles the English dialogue.
> Not sure if a German release of that film subtitles the English dialogue.
Almost certainly every single word is dubbed. It's a German thing, certainly does not help to get people used to what other languages sound like.
In one tear inducing moment a German man in his thirties asked me whether a lady speaking French was speaking ... English.
I'm suddenly reminded of my childhood watching "Monkey" which was a Japanese version of a Chinese story dubbed into English.
I don't recall finding it annoying, indeed if it had been left entirely in Japanese it would be been entirely baffling.
It has the catchiest theme tune ever and anyone reading the above will suddenly have fragments of it coming into their head, forcing a youtube frenzy to find it.
Ah Monkey! That was brilliant. I tried to track it down a few years ago, and was rather disappointed to see that they'd only dubbed the first series into english, so you couldn't watch it all done by the same people.
About ten years ago I bought the brilliant digitally re-mastered version of Das Boot. There was some awful dubbing in that, as I think the film version was dubbed whereas the TV mini-series used subtitles. Very unusual project that they shot a 3 hour film simultaneously with a 6 hour mini-series.
Only the main actors had done English dialogue. So they went back to all the other original German actors and got them to re-voice themselves.
So you can now watch it in German with subtitles, or in English but with the original actors doing it so it's actually good.
One of the Amazon reviews complained that in english, the voices don't synch with the lips. What you want them to re-shoot the entire 6 hours, as well as re-doing the soundtrack!?!?
"Around the same time as 'Monkey' was The Water Margin, another triumph of poor (or impossible) translations."
Better yet was The Magic Roundabout. No lip-sync issue, but they didn't even bother translating it. They just made up new English language stories to match what was going on in the video.
"They just made up new English language stories to match what was going on in the video."
In my part of the world, the childrens' programmers clearly didn't know what to do, so they played the french soundtrack at low volume underneath the english one.
Then again this is the same bunch of muppets who must've just glanced at the intro to Sapphire and Steel, decided "kids cartoons" and put it on at 4:30pm on a weekday. It scared the shit out of a generation of young children.
"Or (the most annoying film watching experience) American or British films dubbed into French?"
Annoying? I thoroughly enjoyed watching Saving Private Ryan dubbed into French with English and Dutch subtitles. (But I never offered to take my father to watch it in case he created a disturbance and started throwing things at the screen.)
As soon as that last video began to play I was forced to crank up my speakers until the knob broke off so I could air guitar like a freak. They exploded & caught fire, I had to spray them with extinguishing foam, & now my computer corner looks like a bright pink merrangue pie.
I consider this a great weekend already & it's barely started! THANK YOU! =-D
> As soon as that last video began to play I was forced to crank up my speakers until the knob broke off so I could air guitar like a freak.
@ Shadow Systems
At least you were spared the site of Page's lips attempting to launch themselves into space in search of a missing harmonica that one of the roadies had cruelly removed without telling him...
I recently wasted 15 minutes watching a sci-fi movie called Arrowhead. (2016) I honestly thought that they had stopped making such crap in the 80s. It should have gone straight to VHS tape and only be shown in Alaska!
P.S. It's so bad they changed the name to Alien Arrival
"I recently wasted 15 minutes watching a sci-fi movie called Arrowhead. (2016) I honestly thought that they had stopped making such crap in the 80s. It should have gone straight to VHS tape and only be shown in Alaska!"
Nooo, they are still churning them out 10 a penny, you can find them on SciFi Channel, I occasionally get duped by the synopses if I have a rare couple of hours to kill at the weekend and get drawn in. Often they are so bad it's funny, so i watch the whole thing.
According to Wikipedia, it's an Australian production and the budget was $180,000, which is probably less than the dental floss bill for the latest Avengers film.
What did Alaska do to deserve it anyway? Apart from Sarah Palin, that is.
On second thoughts... yeah, fair enough.
"I havn't checked to see if it still exists, but there used to be a web page for a "Big Red Button" that literally did nothing at all when pressed..."
Every time you press, somewhere, a computer dies. You bastard!
I still have that somewhere... loved the mechanical typewriter sound effect.
A friend borrowed it once and installed ALL the sound effects on his company laptop. Whatever you did, using whatever software, it would make a sound. A couple of days after, his boss borrowed the laptop (because the boss' laptop was on the fritz) to do a presentation for some customers. A somewhat mixed reaction... it probably would have went better if he had thought of just turning the sound off (this was so long ago, laptops still had an actual dial/knob to turn).
Not to worry, she's experienced worse. Her idea of the ultimate life-wasting movie is Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, an opinion that I like to point out to her is tainted by her admission that she fell asleep in the cinema
If you want to fall asleep watching a film, then may I humbly suggest 'On Golden Pond'. Five times I've started to watch it only for fall asleep after 20-30 minutes.
Myra Breckinridge is dull enough for sleep, for an alleged comedy even for the weirdness in Hollywood that was 1970 it was pushing the envelope.
What stopped me from falling asleep and then walking out was the feeling of wanting to stalk and assassinate the cast even looking at Raquel Welch didn't alleviate the feeling.
Worst bloody film ever! ( along with quite a few others)
I wonder what all these people visiting bank branches are doing, I've had to go in about 2 times in five years. Once to my personal bank to pay in a cheque (the counter assistant was desperate to show me how I could do it at an ATM, till I pointed out that there is no chance I'll remember how to do it the next time I get a cheque in another 5 years) and once to my business bank to collect a new debit card as the first replacement was lost in the mail.
Anyway, if you want to see a truly bad film, watch Torque. As someone had the bright idea to take all the originality out of Point Break (not that there was a huge amount although it's an entertaining enough film) and remake it with cars as The Fast and The Furious, a second someone had the bright idea to remove even the vague semblance of plot in TFATF and remake it with motorcycles
You have left me in a conundrum of terrifying inversiveness as the pressure is on to make this negative comment funny. Normally I'd just crank out some Pratchett or Adams reference based upon the article but given your challenge this feels insufficiently inventive for your challenge, as does my usual lazy sarcasm.
Given your usual subject material, there's the old cliché of being unable to perform under pressure but I'm as uncertain as if there were an excitable dog in a paddling pool of disembodied breasts looking at me in that particular way dogs have that lets you know that they don't like you whether that's even sufficient.
But writing this comment is definitely ten minutes of my life that I will never get back.
However you are making it easier for everyone else. As the caching server is a feeling a bit peaky, if it ever gets as far as reading your financial information from the back end, it'll randomly distribute it to everyone else trying to log in.
For a slightly less intellectual experience there is always Lesbian Vampire Killers.
For full acerebral mode, there's The Sex Lives of the Potato Men.
Only the knowledge that it was a tax scam prevents me from thinking the entire human race should be eradicated immediately.
"For a slightly less intellectual experience there is always Lesbian Vampire Killers."
Let me get this right.
Are these lesbians who for some reason kill vampires or people who slay vampire lesbians or lesbian vampires who kill people?
Inquiring minds etc.
Ah! Also a linky please?
Wiki-clicky: Lesbian Vampire Killers.
"Critical reception: Reviews of the film were largely negative." I guess critics suffered from a lack of those ------>
In case Lesbian Vampire Killers is too artsy-intellectual for your taste, search for "Journey into Bliss" by Wenzel Storch.
Yes, limited. All of them except one, the CEO Paul David Pester (PDP) because he got his money out early.
This well-publicized mess undoubtedly has led to the hackers pouncing on TSB with everything they have because they know no one is going to notice.
Well, not everything they have. No need to do a Denial of Service attack because that one was self-inflicted. As is the Distributed part, their customers making things even slower.
Or perhaps it's as simple as their upgrade has them running on PDP-11's? Or perhaps a pester has gotten into the code?
> Surprisingly, perhaps, I can't ever recall a piece of software that was a waste of time. I've used good and bad, well-designed and pants, and plenty of painfully slow stuff – every version of Windows ever released, for example – but none of it has impacted on my longevity.
Dunno - all that sitting and watching the spinning hourglass isn't good for your health! Nor does it do your blood pressure any good to sit on hold while some poor tele-support person sits and waits for their computer to say No.
In the most recent incident, the offending HTML/JS was sat on the main page of a CRM system in constant use by several hundred call-centre staff. Taking a chainsaw to this shaved several seconds off the load time, which then translated to several FTE per day in terms of time saved - and in the process, it made both staff and customers slightly happier as it had a measurable impact on call duration!
One of my customers rolled out a new system for the customer Help Line. The first question was "What is your post code". It then took literally several minutes for the system to do the look up.
In testing on the in-house LAN there hadn't been a problem. Unfortunately the Help Desk was at the end of a 2mbps WAN.
It transpired that someone had saved money by putting the post code look up database on the server in the data centre - needing only one licence. The thick client PCs therefore had to interrogate it with a large number of iterative requests to get their answer.
I posted this a few days ago on the same subject, but it got pulled by the Moderator. I really don’t understand why. No profanity, no trolling. Just exceedingly mild satire. Perhaps it hit a nerve somewhere? I’ll give it another go and see what happens!
Fawlty Server Towers.
Overheard in the IT control room at TSB server farm, Monday 23rd April 2018, 11:17 BST (of course not, it’s just a bit of fun, okay?):
Sabadell manager: “We bring sweet food, is nice, you like!”
TSB techie: “That’s awfully kind of you but we’re a bit busy at the moment.”
Sabadell manager: “Qué?”
TSB techie: “We’ll have some of it later?”
Sabadell manager: “But is nice!”
TSB techie: “Well, okay then. That’s very generous of you. Look at all the doughnuts. Surely there’s too many doughnuts on those trays?”
Sabadell manager: “No, no, no. Not ‘on those trays’. Uno dos tres!”
And TSB lived happily ever after.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was enjoyed? Out of the 3 (the others being CE3K and The Fisher King) I'd have thought that was the least likely to be enjoyed. I like it but that's because I like Gilliam's work. And it has Uma Thurman in it.
I've just borrowed and watched Aliens, Total Recall and John Carpenter's The Thing. And now I recall why I haven't bought my own copy of these exciting 1980's (loosely speaking) films.
Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to why a commercial space tug has a 'self-destruct' mechanism? And assuming a logical reason can be made for such a device, why does activating it fill all the corridors leading away from the control room with steam? And how come the escape shuttle won't take 4 people when there were 7 members in the crew?
"I think movie makers everywhere love steam. It’s a surprisingly common phenomena in the movie world. Especially in American street scenes at night."
It makes dressing the set easier and cuts down on the special effects bill, especially when filming in, say, Vancouver and the show is set in, say, Chicago. Darkness and fog/steam hides a multitude of sins.
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I do believe "backdoor man" alludes to the underhand art of cuckolding, as in. "Jesus! It's my husband. Quick! Leave by the backdoor". Well, that was Zeps take on it - "Come in my front door, hear my backdoor slam"
Then again if your back door slams as you're coming in the front door you might want to avail yourself of the services of a proctologist.
Is that Dabsy has set us up precisely to become the problem if we complain.
Whatever we say, the commentards (aka customers) will be wasting his time in a nice circular argument.
Sorry Dabsy but that's the sort of tactic Mr Trump uses in order to stifle any debate.
Nevertheless I applaud your observation and description, and indeed diversion, from our own opinions being heard.
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Must be tapping the back arrow with your foot in time to the music. That disconnect with our universe would explain a lot of your life. What is that fantastic wind-up stringed instrument? Was it designed for arthritic musicians or, as with so many things useful at my stage in life, amputee veterans of the Napoleonic and Great Wars?