Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stupid things we do for charity



Myself (along with a number of far more experienced insane people) have decided that, for Comic Relief we are going to attempt to visit all of the stations on the London Underground in one day. That day being the 13th March. All 270 stations using only public transport and my own two feet. And to make it more fun, we'll all be dressed as superheroes!

Starting at stupid O'clock at Heathrow in the far south-western corner of the Tube Map, and hopefully visiting every station on there (not including the Overground [Orange and white lines] or the DLR stations [Green and white lines]). Mad? Yes. Why do it? Well, it's for charity. And it should be fun. And I want to finish in a slightly quicker time than four months.

So, what can you do? Most importantly you can donate using the Comic Relief page. That's secure, the money goes directly to them and they can claim Gift Aid if you're a UK Tax payer, which basically means that the Inland Revenue add on 28% to your donation. Which is jolly good of them.

Another thing we could do with is helping us along on the day. We'll be taking food and drinks along with us, but backpacks only have a limited capacity and can get a tad heavy. However much I plan, I'll inevitably have eaten all my proper food by Lunchtime, and sweets/cheese will be gone well before that. Meeting up will be difficult (what with communication being a tad difficult when actually underground) and us being on a very tight schedule, but certainly not impossible.

If you think you may be able to give any kind of logistical/moral support then either leave a comment on here or email me (jamesthegill [at] gmail [dot] com) and we can discuss things.

Another thing, if all goes to plan then I'm going to be writing short updates to this blog on the trip, to keep you all up to speed with how we're doing. Most of the network is above ground and I will be using the new shiny sparkly toy called Twitter (as used by Stephen Fry - note: it's different to my personal twitter, if you didn't realise) to text updates to whenever I'm in a decent signal area.

And questions/offers of support can be made in the comments below (if there are enough then I may do a general FAQ post) or email me and I'll get back to you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

More work fun

“Hello, you’re through to James at Sales, how can I help?”

“My PIN code’s not working.”

“Is this for call barring?”

“No, for my card.”

“Your card? Like, a payment card?”

“No, my bank card.”

“Ma’am, I would suggest that you contact your bank regarding that matter then.”

“Is this not Alliance & Leicester then?”

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Current Obsessions

Things I'm currently enamoured with:

Leverage. I haven't felt this excited about a new TV show since Veronica Mars. Think Ocean's 11 meets Robin Hood, written by Joss Whedon.

Rosie and the Goldbug. Like an unhyped Florence & The Machine. The album's caught me immediately; another three piece who sound BIG. Plus, Rosie's as cute as a bug, and the newsletters always make me laugh.

Rose Dougall. From Rosie to Rosay. I've been heavily into old-school Pipettes at the moment, and I'm loving Rose's solo stuff as well. Although this does mean I get rather distracted at the sight of polka dots.

Cadbury's Animals. Eight mini bags for a quid in Tesco's. Not only are they scrummy, but whenever me or Sarah pull out a monkey or a hippo, we must say straight away "I mock you with my monkey pants" in a French accent. Regardless of whether we're dealing with a customer/colleague/manager or not.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Work fun

More from the files:

"I'm fed up with talking to those bloody Pakis in India!"

I wasn't allowed to call him an idiot on the phone. Despite my protestations that he was a complete berk, apparently it wouldn't be professional to point out the customer's shortcomings. My response of "but how else are they going to know?" was dismissed.

Also, we have strict procedures now on setting up email addresses for new broadband connections - the criteria is customer's first name, customer's surname and then a three digit number. Earlier today I was setting up internet for a customer, who was described as "completely barmy" by her son, who I was dealing with on the phone. The guy was a laugh, and I enjoyed talking to him, but the best bit came when I was setting the email address up.

"Ok, now I need you to get a three digit number from your mum, this'll be on the end of her email address, ideally something that's memorable to her."
"Ok then...Mum! This fella wants a three digit number that you'll remember!"
*faintly, in the background* "What's he want that for? My bank PIN's four digits, will that do?"
"Nah, something smaller, like 1-2-3!"
*still faintly* "Ok, how about 8-9-10?"

I swear I heard the son facepalm over the phone.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Most listened to artists of 2008

According to my last.fm charts.

1 Los Campesinos! 637
2 Blood Red Shoes 548
3 Johnny Foreigner 413
4 Be Your Own Pet 335
5 Metallica 308
5 The Duke Spirit 308
7 Pink Floyd 260
8 Rilo Kiley 240
9 Rammstein 179
10 The Subways 176
11 Garbage 170
12 Easyworld 154
13 AC/DC 130
14 Operator Please 114
15 Paramore 108
16 Repo! OST 92
17 Aerosmith 88
18 Manics 85
19 The Donnas 83
20 Avril Lavigne 81
21 Led Zeppelin 80
22 Jenny Lewis 79
23 Goldfrapp 78
24 Amanda Palmer 77
25 Eagles 72
26 Joss Whedon 68
26 Alice Cooper 68
28 Yeah Yeah Yeahs 60
29 Jenny Lewis w/Watson Twins 53
30 The Dresden Dolls 52
31 Guns N' Roses 47
32 The Pipettes 41
33 Van Halen 39
33 Neil Young 39
35 Ash 36
36 Buffy 35
37 The Raveonettes 31
37 The Who 31
37 The Rolling Stones 31
40 My Chemical Romance 30
41 Radiohead 29
42 Metric 28
42 Rosie & The Goldbug 28
45 KISS 26
46 Johnny Cash 25
47 Mötley Crüe 23
48 Los Campesinos 22
48 Spinal Tap 22
50 Florence & The Machine 21