Sirens, Liars and the Common Sense Private Sector

A side effect of living in New Cross is that you become immune to sirens. In fact, no music I ever play ever sounds right without them. In fact, in fact, I wonder if that’s how dub started.


Michele is a liar. She denies being a Daily Mail reader, despite the concrete evidence:

  • There’s frequently a copy of it in her bag after work.
  • Tonight, for the second time, we had a Mail photographer round to photograph her for the letters page.
  • She reads the Daily Mail

Why ? I’m buggered if I know. we don’t even own a house. In fact it’s a tad depressing. Maybe she’ll turn out to be in the Neo-con Republican KKK chapter too.


This evening I learned a great deal about the private sector and its natural in-built efficiency. As a practical example of why we should privatise everything read on:

The problem:

An application server we rely on for our every day work is broken.

The Public Sector Solution

  • I notice the problem.
  • I log into the affected server and try to work out what the problem is.
  • I sort the problem

How old fashioned is that ? Please don’t laugh! It’s what I used to think was correct!

The Solution

Here is the model answer, as provided by the private sector:

  • I notice the problem.
  • I send an IM to my boss.
  • My boss organises a group IM chat to discuss the issue.
  • The result of the chat is that the “SA team” need to be contacted as none of us are allowed to login to the server (for corporate reasons).
  • The boss asks someone to page the team and to setup a conference call.
  • A conference call is established with 7 people, all in different countries, and we spend a while waiting for the SA team to respond to the page.
  • Eventually the guy arrives and we try to diagnose the problem by telling the guy (who, despite being very well meaning and competent, doesn’t speak very good english or have a very good understanding of the systems involved at all.)
  • We realise that the only way we’re going to solve it is by getting a login into the affected server.
  • We try to describe the measures necessary to the SA guy to perform this and fail…
  • …loads more tedious crap until we all realise that unless we leave the call we will die there.

See how simple it looks now. How foolish I feel for thinking that the old way was better. Just because it would have achieved the goal for far less effort/time/money. But there would be no audit trial!
Don’t laugh at me because I’m a fool…


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