Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Crouching Steak, Hidden Gas

No post yesterday as I was at a training session at the BT buildings near Airport Road. It's a very 90's building using that light pine wood look with huge glass panelling for the reception. We were led down a corridor with training suites on either side and into the café which reminded me of a beer hall in Munich minus 90% of the atmosphere and 100% of beer. However, they served real coffee from percolators instead of that acrid foul tasting granulated nonesense which gets big marks in my book. They also had a selection of scones and biscuits. Oh to work in a place like this. I would soon put on weight faster than a bear getting ready for hibernation.

The training itself was for MS Publisher. I don't use the program and I wasn't going to go on the course but I fancied a day out and there was a space available. Turns out that it's very much like Pagemaker with the added advantage of having numerous templates and features. I wont bore you with the details but it's very easy to use. Whether or not I'll use it much depends on what I will be asked to do but in the past, my Pagemaker skills have been self-taught and used to help other people rather than do something for myself.

Our trainer was from Canada and very loud and talkative like an American. Turns out he's a fan of Family Guy and we spent lunchtime beginning conversations with "Did you see that episode where.." and "Do you remember that scene where..." over a very delicious meal. If you thought a fine selection of scones was the culinary peak then think again because lunch was a toss up between chicken and ham pie or a steak ciabatta. Oh the angst of choice! I settled for the steak ciabatta with a cous-cous salad. If there's a training session for something here again then sign me up!

That morning I purchased £20 of gas credit at the Spar on Great Victoria Street. For some reason the cashier put the transaction through in 5 £4 payments. What did I care as long as I had £20 on my card? Well, turns out that when I put my card in the meter, nothing transferred. I returned to the shop this morning and was told that the transaction was unusual but they could not verify that £20 was on my card and that I would have to contact Phoenix Gas!
I phoned Phoenix Gas and was casually told that my card was faulty and that I would have to replace the card at £4 and purchase another amount of gas credit. If I posted back the old card and receipt, I would recieve a re-embursment. As to how they knew my card was faulty, I have no idea but for the sake of my sanity I have posted them the card and receipts along with a letter explaining everything and will have to waste an hour or more after work picking up a new card, registering it at my meter and then return to a shop and purchase credit with it to transfer it on the meter again. All very annoying.

Watch this space tomorrow for a follow-up and a review of Constant Gardner.


Blogger Skry said...

I used Publisher when I used to work in Halifax. Was sent over to Leeds for a training day for it. Why do companies pay that much for the training of simple software? And how do companies keep charging for the teaching of such simple things?

Maybe I can get in on that. Here's a list of possible lectures:

Breathing In 101
Breathing In 102: Breathing out again
Multitasking: Walking while Talking
Watch Me Rip You Off

Just ideas, but they could probably sell if marketed correctly. Watch Me Rip You Off (or "Publisher Training") seems to have worked well on your company bro :-)

2:27 am  
Blogger Donovan said...

I'm not sure I could go from the 102 to the Multitasking, do you offer a course to fill the gap?

12:25 pm  
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