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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Work Sucks

Unlike the characters in this movie I love my office and my work. I am sure you do too.

Office Space is a must see for any office worker - we've all met a Lumberg, a Milton and a , Peter ...

Every single day that you see Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), that’s the worst day of his life. It’s because as a programmer at Initech, every day he is subjected to the annoying quirks of his cubicle neighbors and reminded by eight different bosses of the importance of doing his TPS reports correctly. He’s not alone, his buddies Samir (Ajay Naidu) and Michael Bolton (David Herman) suffer right along side him. To squelch his malaise, Peter sees a hypnotherapist and the session overhauls his outlook. Meanwhile, his boss, Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole), hires a pair of consultants to streamline inefficient procedures, a.k.a. downsize, the company. With his friends’ jobs up on the chopping block, Peter devises a plan to set the three of them up with a healthy severance.
Written and directed by Mike Judge, Office Space is an elaboration of his animated shorts series Milton. Here Milton (Stephen Root) is a peripheral character who works in a cube adjoining Peter’s. Milton’s subplot, much like the series, involves him being repeatedly ignored and subjugated by coworkers and management and Root’s reactions to the constant disregard is priceless. Office Space remains so resoundingly hilarious due to its peripheral characters. Peter’s blue collar neighbor, Lawrence (Diedrich Bader), has only a handful of scenes, but I could recite every silly word by heart. Cole’s monotone Lumberg is unforgettable and John C. McGinley is a hoot as consultant Bob Slydell . Veteran character actor Richard Riehle plays Tom Smykowski, Peter’s lucky coworker and provides a nice contrast to Peter’s frustration. Jennifer Aniston has a flair for the role of Peter’s love interest, the Chotchkie’s waitress Joanna.
Though I’ve never worked as a code monkey in a cube farm like the one depicted in Office Space, Judge captures the drudgery of working-for-a-living perfectly. The aggravation of rush hour traffic, the static shock of doorknobs, the constantly malfunctioning, piece-of-shit printers, and the maddening repetitiveness of office life resonates with audiences. Judge deserves an attaboy for his attention to these and even smaller details. I love that the ineffectual Lumberg and Slydell wear both suspenders and a belt, echoing the needless redundancy of their corporate structure and that Lawrence carries a bottle opener to reinforce the simple rules he lives by.
The only thing that hurts Office Space is the now-dated technology. The 3-1/2″ floppies, the pixelated hourglass, the huge monitors do create a disconnect and I sometimes wonder if there shouldn’t be a standing order to remake Office Space once a decade just to keep the tech fresh. Then I think about the “Jump to Conclusions” mat, the Lumberg nightmare, the printer punishment, and the surprisingly fitting gangsta rap soundtrack. Deep down I know recreating that would be like trying to catch lightning in a bottle or like Milton getting a margarita with NO salt on the glass.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Use Social Media to Share, Listen, Explore and Engage

This Peerindex summary gives you a feel for the topics Irongate blogs and @Irongate_Group tweets about. Why not join us?  If you like visual stuff you'll find us on Pinterest too.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Health and Safety in the Workplace

The serious nature of health and safety requires a factual post which I hope you will find useful. The following has been taken from the web site of our good friends at Wallace Cameron.  

You can find first aid kits available to purchase on-line, with next working day delivery,  by clicking here.

First Aid & The Law (ACOP L74) - United Kingdom

IMPORTANT - Duty of Care

With the recent HSE court cases against employers who breach the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 receiving large fines it is essential to assess your first aid requirements including first aid training and maintain them.

The regulatory document governing the practices surrounding First Aid at Work was updated and issued in March 1997 and is known as the:-
Covering The Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (second edition 2009)
The document is commonly known as ACOP L74.
This code has been approved by the Health & Safety Commission and gives practical advice on how to comply with the law. Health & Safety Inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance as illustrating good practice.The Regulations are in place and are to be adhered to by all businesses. The relevant and salient regulations are:
Regulation 3(1)

“An employer shall provide, or ensure that there are provided, such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first-aid to be rendered to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work”.

ACOP 3(4)
“An employer should make an assessment of first-aid needs appropriate to the circumstances of each workplace”.

ACOP 3(21)
“Employers are responsible for meeting the first-aid needs of their employees working away from the main site, for example those who travel regularly or who work elsewhere. The assessment should determine whether those who travel long distances or are continuously mobile should carry a personal first-aid kit. Organisations with employees who work in remote areas should consider making special arrangements such as issuing personal communicators and providing special training. Where employees work alone, other means of summoning help such as a mobile phone, may be useful to call for assistance in an emergency”.

ACOP 3(37)
“There is no mandatory list of items that should be included in a first-aid container. The decision on what to provide will be influenced by the findings of the first aid needs assessment. As a guide, where work activities involve low hazards, a minimum stock of first aid items might be:" 

 ACOP 3(38)
“The contents of first aid containers should be examined frequently and restocked soon after use. Sufficent supplies should be held in stock on site. Care should be taken to dispose of items safely once they reach their expiry date."

 ACOP 3(39)
“The needs assessment may indicate that there is a need for additional materials and equipment, for example scissors, adhesive tape, disposable aprons and individually wrapped moist wipes. These may be kept in the first aid container if there is room or stored seperatley." 

ACOP 3(40) - Eyewash
“If mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, at least 1 litre of sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9%) in sealed, disposable containers should be provided. Once the seal has been broken, the containers should not be kept for re-use. The container should not be used after the expiry date”.
ACOP 3(52)
“Where the first aid assessment identifies a need for people to be available for rendering first aid, the employer should ensure that they are provided in sufficient numbers and at appropriate locations to enable first aid to be administered without delay should the occasion arise. Where 50 or more people are employed, at least one such person should be provided unless the assessment justifies otherwise”.

ACOP 3(55)
"When selecting someone to take up the role of a first aider, a number of factors need to be taken into account, including an idividual's:
• Reliability, disposition and communication skills;
• Aptitude and ability to absorb new knowledge and learn new skills;
• Ability to cope with stressful and physically demanding emergency procedure;
• Normal Duties. These should be such that they may be left to go immediately and rapidly to an emergency.

“Where an employer’s assessment of first-aid needs identifies that a first aider is not necessary, the minimum requirement on an employer is to appoint a person to take charge of the first aid arrangements, including looking after the equipment and facilities and calling the emergency services when required. Arrangements should be made for an appointed person to be available to undertake these duties at all times when people are at work”.

ACOP 3 (69)
“To fulfil thier role, appointed persons do not need first aid training, though emergency first aid training courses are available. Therefore, it is important to remember that appointed persons are not first aiders and so should not attempt to give first aid for which they have not been trained. Given this and the remaining possibility of an accident or sudden illness, rather than providing appointed persons, employers may wish to consider providing qualified first aiders."

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words?

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

I Don't Believe It!

I don't believe it!
Cyber Monday is the Monday after thanksgiving so it has its origins in the USA, but yesterday morning while getting dressed for work, I was doing a Victor Meldrew at the Television when they felt it necessary to refer to a Professor to ask why Monday 3 December would be a busy on-line shopping day. Arrrgh!  Its the Monday after the last pay day before Christmas!

Anyway - if you trade on-line did you notice a spike in trade? I did.

I noticed at the week end the queues to get on the local retail park were longer than normal .. I wonder why that was?  Hmm .. the pub car park was chocker on Friday night too. Now, I know I am networked with at least 1 professor, so maybe I need to ask him.

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