back to article Polygraph knows all: You've been using our user feedback form

I am undergoing the lie detector test and it is not going well. I should have guessed something was up when they affixed the wires: temples and wrists are OK but it seems a little unnecessary to route what suspiciously looks like an AC mains cable to my groin. Blinking away the sweat under the hot studio lights before a …

  1. TonyJ Silver badge

    I assume...

    ...that was a retelling of a nightmare?

    With a hint of the dross we now accept as reality TV and the way it chews up and spits out the very people the crowds and viewers delight in morbidly viewing in the first place?

    I don't particularly watch TV, but I have occasionally caught an episode of Jeremy Kyle and managed to feel both a sense of horror at the spectacle with a slightly shameful smugness of "Oh well at least my life will never descend to being on that show..."

    I'm glad it's off the air but inievitibly it will soon be replaced with something equally horrific.

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: I assume...

      I'm glad it's off the air but inievitibly it will soon be replaced with something worse.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: I assume...

        Or, to quote Douglas Adams, "It will be replaced with something even more bizarrely inexplicable."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I assume...

          My problem with the Jeremy Kyle show is that I tend to have it as background noise. When they start swearing, they mute it, and hearing the sudden silence think that there is something wrong with the TV.....

          1. Muscleguy Silver badge

            Re: I assume...

            I have never succumbed. A couple of years after coming back to Blighty from the Land of the Long White Cloud I was working during the day so daytime TV did not impinge upon my consciousness. Then my hands started to go wrong and I got signed off for two weeks sitting in a chair, not using my hands. So no computer, a paperback on the arm of the chair (because I couldn't hold it) or radio/tv.

            I developed a horror of daytime TV and never have it on during the day apart from sporting events. Then it goes off again. This was the mid '90s so before Kyle's time. Before satellite/cable tv as well: Reruns of Murder She Wrote and the shopping channel.

            I now have one less joint in each hand than you do, a notch in each hip (illiac crest) and reasonably usable hands again. At least I'm not on really strong NSAIDS 24/7 any more.

            Mine's the workstation with the bluetooth trackpad instead of a mouse, for my hands. Computer mice are very bad for them.

  2. RogerT

    I think this article is in very poor taste and shouldn't have been published.

    1. Huw D

      I think it's the timing that makes it poor taste. If it wasn't for the events of the week, this would have been another classic Dabbsy.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        I think it is ok. It is the show that is the target, the victims are shown sympathy.

        Disclaimer: I have never watched the show, only seen the description.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Pardon my being uninformed about TV blather but what "events"?

        1. Huw D

          Bloke goes on Jeremy Kyle show to prove to his partner he's not cheating on her. Fails the lie detector, despite protesting innocence. Commits suicide a week later.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "Pardon my being uninformed about TV blather but what "events"?"

          I take it you don't read, watch or listen to any of the mainstream news then? It's been headlines all week. If you have even the slightest of interests in current events, it was almost impossible to miss the story.

          1. Chronos

            Wrong. Some of us have fully functional shit filters and words like "Jeremy" followed by Kyle or Vine tend to trigger them. Far from being impossible to miss, for us it's almost inevitably a blind spot, forcing us instead to focus on less trivial matters such as how many wallpaper seams there are on the south wall and the quality thereof.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              I admire your levels of concentration and the ability to apply it so wholeheartedly to counting the seams in the wallpaper instead of listening to the short segment on the news that doesn't interest you. How do you manage to switch back when the storey has finished just in case the next item does interest you?

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            I take it you don't read, watch or listen to any of the mainstream news then?

            Everywhere in the world?

          3. Olivier2553

            I read French news, I did not see a line about that event.

    2. David Neil


      No-one was particularly excised about that freak show exploiting people for over a decade

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Why?

        Some of us knew nothing about it until the news reports of the last few days. Kind-of like I didn't even know "News of the World" was the name of a rag until the new of its disgrace and closure hit the headlines.

        Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Any more than I want to know about other celebrities whose shows take their names.

    3. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Poor taste

      It depends on your taste. For example, I think making a joke about suicide would be in poor taste. Satirising a TV show and its underhand manipulative methods that drove someone to suicide is not.

      1. FrogsAndChips

        Re: Poor taste

        Poor timing anyway. What was the rush to publish it this week?

        I felt uncomfortable as soon as I read 'lie detector', and that just prevented me from appreciating a column that I would have really enjoyed 6 months from now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Poor taste

          I suspect that it was this week's events, including an unfortunate death by suicide, which actually inspired the column at this time, which does make it in rather poor taste.

          As a critique of horrible exploitative tv shows, at another time, it would have been an excellent and amusing column, but, I'm sorry, it is somewhat inappropriate and potentially hurtful at the current time.

          1. Craig 2

            Re: Poor taste

            Comedy is rooted in poor taste.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Poor taste

              There's poor taste (and private jokes between friends) and then there's publishing something in the virtual equivalent of a national newspaper clearly referring to recent events, where someone died in unfortunate circumstances. For me, the line of acceptability is somewhere between the two.

            2. stiine Silver badge

              Re: Poor taste

              Especailly the really funny comedies.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Poor taste

              Possibly the first real example of the genre - and I haven't forgotten Aristophanes, whose comedies were censored by taking place at a religious festival - is Gargantua et Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, fl. mid 1500s.

              It's a big book and much of it won't mean much to people who haven't studied the period, but it contains vast numbers of very bad taste jokes. And Rabelais was a Franciscan friar and a medical doctor. He apparently thought his patients would benefit from a good laugh.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Poor taste

                Rabelais was certainly an important Renaissance example, though there are loads of less-famous ones.

                Bakhtin's Rabelais and His World is the classic study of this genre of comedy, the grotesque as a mimesis of the carnivalesque social mode. Since its publication in the mid '60s there have been many exegeses ad critiques, of course - Stallybrass & White's The Politics and Poetics of Transgression is a particularly noteworthy critique of Bakhtin's optimistic view of the radical-political force of mocking an established social order - but it remains an important treatment, and probably the single best critical accompaniment to Gargantua et Pantagruel.

                Aristophanes is also a good reference. Other well-known pre-Early-Modern European artists of the grotesque / carnivalesque include Chaucer (e.g. the Miller's Tale) and Apuleius (the Golden Ass). I note the Wikipedia article throws in authors such as Homer and Ovid, but I think that's too broad; the Odyssey and Metamorphoses have monstrous characters but don't mock social conventions or display many other grotesque tropes.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Poor taste

          Satire only works for current affairs.The Kyle show disaster is a current news item. It'd be fuck all use publishing this in 6 months' time because it would mean fuck all.

      2. Chronos

        Re: Poor taste

        Satirising a TV show and its underhand manipulative methods and the schadenfreude-loving audience that allowed it to exist in the first place - BOOOOO! - that drove someone to suicide is not.

    4. Crucial Decimal

      Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

      -- George Bernard Shaw

  3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    I want some flares now

    see title

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    I half-expect to see one of them pushing a shopping trolley.

    I want to see one of them pushing a shopping trolley.

    Never in a million years would I take a job like that... I'm glad I have my own desk, tea and snacks in the bottom drawer, pictures of the youngin to remind me of why I have to keep doing a job.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I half-expect to see one of them pushing a shopping trolley.

      Don't the snacks in the bottom drawer get rather wet, if it's full of tea?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: I half-expect to see one of them pushing a shopping trolley.

        You would think so, but the crisp bags float nicely if they aren't opened yet!

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: I half-expect to see one of them pushing a shopping trolley.

      Subjected to such a regime, I would very quickly use a shopping trolley. Possibly a tent and a hammock, too.

  5. cosymart

    Race to the bottom.

    Mr Dabbs has arrived :-(

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Race to the bottom.

      I don't let just anyone near my bottom.

      1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

        Re: Race to the bottom.

        I've just noticed the visual proximity of content and metadata in these forums is such that the text "X thumbs up" appears right next to where I wrote "my bottom".

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Race to the bottom.

          But only for you Mr Dabbs. For the rest of us, your bottom appears on the opposite side of the page to your voting score. It's only for the user that their votes display on the right. So if you were to wiggle you bottom leftward - then it would appear unvoted to you, but upvoted to us, and vice versa.

          However if you were to locate your bottom more centrally, you could avoid either proximity issue. Whilst also achieving a superior posture. Or should that be a posterior super...

          It's Friday, so beer icon. Bottoms up!

        2. Chronos
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Race to the bottom.

          All I'm going to say to that is "The Cougar Song" since most of your articles introduce the reader to musical experiences they probably haven't tried before.

          Paris, for obvious reasons.

      2. Che van der Showa

        Re: Race to the bottom.

        Are you absolutely sure about that? ...

    2. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Race to the bottom.@cosymart

      You are part of the problem in society at the moment. You think that people should self-censor for trivial reasons, which leads to a miserable life for everyone.

  6. b0llchit Silver badge

    Solving a problem

    They are in desperate need for a BOFH with PFY support.

  7. Kubla Cant

    Hot desking

    Hot desking is high on my list of Very Bad Ideas. It's inflicted by people whose working lives involve lots of meetings and visits to branch offices upon people who spend the entire day in the same seat staring at the same screen.

    I've worked in a couple of investment banks so crowded that you'd run the risk of spending the day sitting on the floor if you arrived late. Or you might find a vacant desk in the far reaches of the room, only to incur the implacable hatred of the neighbouring workers for being a foreigner who's stolen the desk of the person they're used to sitting next to.

    Working from home is supposed to facilitate hot desking. What actually happens is that you're sold a job on the basis of "WFH one or two days a week", but after a while the management reverts to its bums on seats addiction, and you can only WFH with prior permission, which will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. So they cram in more desks, to the point where you can only lean back in your seat by agreement with the drone who's sitting behind you.

    1. Robert D Bank

      Re: Hot desking

      agreed. That combined with open plan where you always have some noisy tw4t at the other end of the orifice talking loudly to their mobile or anyone they hope will listen. WFH is a pleasure by comparison, and much more productive, for me anyway. And losing the commute through London is a major plus.

    2. macjules

      Re: Hot desking

      So agree. There is one worst though: "Agile working". While hotdesking is simply about you finding a spare desk in an office where only 89% of employees are ever expected to turn up, agile working is about providing for that 89% of space in the sure knowledge that you require a higher percentage of employees to turn up. It is described as:

      Essentially, it’s about working from wherever you choose – be it a workstation, breakout space, quiet area or even a ‘third space’ workplace (such as a café or at home).

      It is a disruptor in that it ensures that teams should not sit close to each other, which could engender cliques in the desking system. In its latest format Agile working is now linked to a smartphone app, which you need in order to find the nearest available desk, enable your staff telephone number to switch to that desk and ensure that you are "discoverable".

      At a nursery level it is known as 'musical chairs' and, not surprisingly, companies that employ Agile working tend to have a very high turnover of staff.

      1. Robert D Bank

        Re: Hot desking

        It is a disruptor in that it ensures that teams should not sit close to each other, which could engender cliques in the desking system

        Yep, that works really well, humans being naturally social animals...ffs. Where do they get these people?

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          Re: Hot desking

          They were on the B-Ark. We just never noticed there arrival until it was too late...

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: Hot desking

            They were on the B-Ark. We just never noticed there arrival until it was too late...

            Just fit them with nasal fire

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Hot desking

          They're bean counters. Which means that;

          a) They have few or no social skills and don't like people much or see why other people might

          b) see staff as just work units with a cash value/cost

          c) have no concept of team working, collaboration, sharing, cross fertilisation of ideas or (horrid word) synergy.

          5) are idiots

      2. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Hot desking

        working from wherever you choose

        Try beating the CEO to his/her desk in the morning and see how true that actually is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hot desking

          One company I worked for got in the management consultants to improve motivation, and one of their suggestions was to get rid of all allocated parking spaces. Of course nobody dared use the ones formerly reserved for VPs. But one day a new, junior engineer not knowing any better took that tempting place right by the front door.

          Kudos to the President, he didn't like me and I didn't like him, but he congratulated the junior engineer on paying attention to what the consultants said.

      3. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Hot desking

        ...companies that employ Agile working tend to have a very high turnover of staff.

        Are you sure it's just that they haven't got a clue where to find them any more?

      4. David 18

        Re: Hot desking

        Couldn't agree more. Maybe the tide will turn back soon, I would hope that the decision makers might like programmes like Radio 4's "In Business".

        The episode last night mentioned research into why even open plan is a totally shit idea (they were more polite of course)

        Link in case anyone wants an interesting listen.

        1. The Original Steve

          Re: Hot desking

          Thanks for the link. Was a big fan of R4, particularly the comedy and news until about a year or two ago where I drifted towards commercial radio.

          Not only was the recording you linked to informative, relevant and interesting, you've rekindled my love for R4 again.

          Thank you, and have a good weekend!

          1. David 18

            Re: Hot desking

            Glad to be of assistance. It's about the only radio station I listen to now.

            Always an Eclectic mix and usually interesting. I would happily pay my TV licence solely to keep Radio 4 going unchanged.

            Seems to be last place where complex and emotive issues can be truly discussed without generating a Twitter storm that anyone should dare think outside or question Groupthink. The Moral Maze frequently has "did they really just say that?" moments.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hot desking

      "Hot desking is high on my list of Very Bad Ideas."

      Agreed. I suspect that it will eventually be considered at my place of employment. If the threat of hot desking (or any other "collaborative working environment" trendy BS) is raised, I'll be sure to make my boss aware that I will immediately update my resume and will begin an active job search. I don't think I have enough importance to singlehandedly stop a move to hotdesking, but I'll want them to understand that it will push some people out.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hot desking

      This is why I am sad about the decline of the fax machine.

      We used to get rid of loud people in the hot desking area by feeding their phone number to the fax machine which would then patienlty spend the next half hour dialling the target to send it a blank fax page. As long as you used a machine that was not within hearing distance they'd never caught on.

      That said, I'm sure I can coax some online fax service to assist, but it's not just the same.

    5. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Hot desking

      "Hot desking is high on my list of Very Bad Ideas"

      I agree when it's applied to everyone, regardless of status, not least because there is always one person who glares at anyone who dares to sit at "their" desk or insists that they must have the same chair every day because of some made up affliction.

      However, being a contractor, hot-desking for us is the norm IME. On current project, about 20 engineers across various different systems with about 16 desks normally available. Also a seperate hot-desk area for people visiting from other offices, so that their delicate sensibilities aren't offended by outbreaks of technological tourettes.

    6. Nick Kew

      Re: Hot desking

      Isn't hot desking designed to reward those who make the most mess with the smelliest lunch spilled liberally over desk, chair and floor, not to mention the poorest personal hygiene?

    7. JassMan Silver badge

      Re: Hot desking

      If you are feelong game/are planning on leaving anyway, you could try suing them for breaking the law on minimum workspace requirements. Everyone is entitled to 11m3 which for an average ceiling height of 2.4m gives you 4.6m2. This is regulation 10 of the 1992 Workplace (HS&W) Regulations.

      Yert another of those pesky EU laws which Boris and friends would like to get rid of once he gets to be PM.

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Hot desking

        Hmm. I seem to recollect 1980s rules in Blighty specifying a minimum area per person. 40 sq ft from memory, which is just under your 4.6 sq m but in the same ballpark (and it may have been fortysomething).

        I first encountered it because someone at my employer at the time (I guess the person with elfin safety somewhere in his job description) was mildly unhappy that its office space was violating the law, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Hot desking

          Equally ( or more) vague recollection was that the space was a calculation rather than a measurement. So any floor area -useable or not- can be included and divided by the number of users. This included space under radiators, doorways and so on.

      2. macjules

        Re: Hot desking

        You might be amazed to hear that the BBC does not grant you that space. Allocated space in the "Media Centre" is half what most of us would consider a normal desk. On the basis that all you need is enough space to work on your laptop. Of course I was only a mere contractor there .. I am sure that everyone else gets the full 2m of space.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hot desking

      Hot desking is high on my list of Very Bad Ideas. It's inflicted by people whose working lives involve lots of meetings and visits to branch offices upon people who spend the entire day in the same seat staring at the same screen.

      Our company is currently trying to rebuild for open plan hot desking.

      I did inform my manager, that he just had to tell me when with enough time so that I could hand in my notice before this came into effect.

      2 hours later I sat with him and our deputy of HR and she wanted to know why and then she tried to sell it.

      As she is also our rep for disabled employees (diabetes herself) I did quote herself from a memo "some disabilities can not be seen from the outside" continuing with my addon "and some do not need needles". She said "you are not on my list". I then asked her to check all IT perfomance reviews from "doers". High marks in getting things done vs people skills and said she should muse about the necessary mind defects to be good and the reluctance of this mind set (iru or kita) to get themselves registered.

      Since then the drive to open plan is somewhat slow....

      Anon, because... And the kaja system would make this easier.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They implemented Hot Desking here . . .

    . . . a few years ago now. On any given day you can predict with high accuracy who will be sitting in which seat.

    I should find it strange that people who have apparently spent their careers trying to make organisations more efficient and amplifying synergies, accelerating collaboration, etc. understand so little about the human beings working for them (I'm not of course, I've been around long enough to realise most 'higher ups' are only looking after themselves and only have slightly more regard for the organisation that employs them than they do for the pawns they shoe around the chess board).

    I'm only a border-line Asperger's IT technician. what do I know?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: They implemented Hot Desking here . . .

      I remember a tale about a company that implemented hot desking.

      All was going smoothly (although disliked by mostly everyone) until some guy usually working at a client's premises had to spend a few days at the office. He got there and chose a nice place near a window. And did so the next day.

      The place he chose was used everyday by one of the directors (who where also supposed to hot desk, at least in principle)-

      At the end of that week the company announced a change of policies and reserved a small area for people coming in one day or another while everybody else got fixed places.

      Equality and all.

  9. jmch Silver badge

    Ctrl-C Ctrl-V

    "selected the message text and pressed CTRL+C. He then turned to the company-issued laptop on the desk, opened an Outlook window and pressed CTRL-V."

    I've tried doing that when working on laptop + desktop at the same time and being so engrossed in something I forget it's 2 different machines, not an external monitor on the same machine. Of course I catch it straight away but still...

    1. VonDutch

      Re: Ctrl-C Ctrl-V

      KVM switch on 2 desktops, forgetting I wasn't switching desktops on the same PC

    2. Alister

      Re: Ctrl-C Ctrl-V

      I run a piece of software called synergy, which allows me to control multiple machines from one keyboard and mouse, but different screens.

      It also allows me to do copy/paste between machines, whether they be Linux, Windows or Mac, which is very useful.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Ctrl-C Ctrl-V

        i run a similar thing, called mstsc.exe

      2. Kiwi

        Re: Ctrl-C Ctrl-V

        <blockquoteI run a piece of software called synergy, which allows me to control multiple machines from one keyboard and mouse, but different screens.</blockquote>

        Yup, love that program and have installed it for other people as well. Even have it working right now between the laptop I am doing some work on and the desktop I am typing this on. Works seamlessly and can handle several machines (up to 15, laid out so the screens are in 3x 5 rows). I've only had it on 3 machines at once but I did do it on Lin, Mac and Win just for the fun of it.

    3. revenant

      KDE Connect

      Amongst the other things it does, I find it very useful for copying and pasting URLs or message text between my phone and my desktop (Mint).

  10. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    All we need now is a qualitay BOFH eppysode...

  11. KittenHuffer Silver badge

    Who actually wrote that?!?

    I got half way through and had to check that it wasn't written by Verity Stob!

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Who actually wrote that?!?

      I've noticed similarities between Alistair's and Verity's writing styles before today. Have they ever been seen in the same room at the same time?

  12. Czrly

    Hot-Desking is my favourite policy, ever!

    Contrary to just about all the other commentards, here, I think that Hot-Desking is, in fact, the very best and most amazing policy, ever, simply because it is trivially easy to detect prior to joining a company and, upon detection, it is consequently trivially easy to turn down that position and walk away -- maniacal cackling optional.

    Other, more subtle forms of "resource abuse" are harder to perceive during a simple fly-by of the team's working quarters.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hot desking joy

    My soon to be ex employer implemented this particular form of contempt for the minions a year ago. It certainly is a pile of shit and feels very demeaning. Especially as they claim that there will be sufficient desks without asking us to work from home on a regular rota. AC as I haven't left yet.

  14. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Dystopian-plan office

    > Roaming the dystopian open-plan field of uncomfortable meeting pods and bleak rows of benches

    Thank-you, a new portmanteau for describing my workplace.

  15. Terry 6 Silver badge

    It also occurs to me..

    There may well be offices where staff arriving and leaving have access to sufficient storage for all the stuff they use and adequate desk space for while they're using it, and a method for transferring stuff to and fro.e.g Piles of current paper files and handwritten case notes that are all required in various sequences for short amounts of time. But I've visited a few and have never, yet, seen one.

    I guess that paperless office I've been hearing about for decades could make it workable. if ever..

  16. earl grey

    no 20 cm alligator clip on your AC cable?

    with enough spring power to mimic a 20 foot real alligator. Ah, you haven't lived and were barely connected.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lie Detector

    "To begin, state your name." State actual name, clench buttocks, tighten stomach muscles hard as rock, blood pressure spikes, skin turns red.

    "Oh, try again. State your name." Reply with 'Menachem Begin', relax muscles, go all tranquil, heart rate slows, meditate.

    "State your age." Reply with actual age, lock up all internal muscles, blood pressure spikes, heart races, skin turn beat red.

    "State your age." Reply with '517', go all yoga, peaceful, tranquil...

    While they go for help, spell out an obscenity in Morse code on their chart paper.

  18. steviebuk Silver badge

    The worst part

    is that so many people that watched and appeared on Jeremy Kyle believed in the bullshit that are polograph tests. Despite them not being admissible as evidence in court. But then we can also blame Jeremy Kyle and the producers for exploiting that fact.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: The worst part

      We all seem to have a deep wish inside us for a way to make sure that "the truth will out". For Justice. (Unless we actually are the bad guys and also acknowledge it - there probably aren't too many of these, self-deception works for the rest).

      Once it was God's all-seeing eyes.

      Now it's Kyle's lie detector test.

  19. Andy Non

    Jeremy Kyle show?

    Didn't even know there was such a thing as the Jeremy Kyle show (or a Jeremy Kyle) until this week's events all over the news. Doesn't sound like I've missed anything.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I really fucking hate that song. I hate you.

    OK, now I'm going to read the article.

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