Chris Croft's Personal Blog

March 27, 2010

Pushed out of the nest

Filed under: Careers, Happiness, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 6:56 pm

I know it’s a cliche to say “it’ll be the best things that ever happened to you” and it’s not really what you want to hear when you are in the scary process of being made redundant, but it just might be true…

All we can do is look at the evidence, and certainly for me it was a push that turned out to be beneficial on all three occasions that it happened to me!

a) Leaving Corvus in South Wales – led to moving to Poole, a really nice place to have ended up.  Changed my life, for sure, because amongst other things it led to discovering management training as a career.  If they had kept me I would either still be churning out the shock absorbers or I’d be at head office in Northampton doing something to do with car components.

b) Leaving Dolphin Packaging in Poole – led to working at Bournemouth University, and discovering what I was born to do, and learning how to do it.  This job was on half the money and I would probably not have dared take the pay cut and the uncertainty of a different career without the push.

c) Leaving the University Business School – led to being self employed on five times the money and no meetings to go to.  I would probably not have dared to risk going self employed without this push.

If any ONE of these three hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be doing this today.  I wouldn’t be running training courses, recording stuff for lynda.com, earning a good living doing things I love.

So – maybe the cliche is really true?   Maybe there is the perfect job is out there for you to find?  And maybe if there is a pay cut it’ll be worth it for the fun of the new job, or maybe it will lead to better pay in the end?

 

PS: for more info on this subject see here

March 20, 2010

Fat Balls

Filed under: Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 1:26 pm

I just read that Asda are going to rename those balls of fat that you can put out for the blue tits because people can’t cope with the name, finding it too rude.  The same with cock soup, apparently.  And I’m thinking, are people more easily offended nowadays, or more dirty minded, or just losing their sense of humour?

My analysis is that there are three reactions to fat balls and similar names:

1 – not notice anything untoward

2 – amused by it (that’s me by the way!)

3 – offended

and I think that the evolution of UK society has gone through these stages; the innocence of the 1950s and 60s, the fun of the 70s and 80s, and now the political correctness of the 90s and noughties.

But then I’m thinking,in order to be offended you have to notice it, you have to have that sort of mind in the first place, in which case, can you really claim offence?  Unless of course a type 2 tells a type 1 about it (e.g. kids laughing and pointing it out to their mum) and then the type 1 changes to type 3.

But I’ll be sad to see the little laughs in the supermarket gradually being stamped out by the PC brigade.

March 16, 2010

Disgusted of Keynsham

Filed under: News and Politics — chriscroft @ 10:34 pm

I’ve got a personal connection with the Cadburys factory at Keynsham, known as Somerdale, because it’s where I have been doing my Project Management courses for Bath Council for a few years now.

It was a welcome ray of hope when Kraft said they might keep it open (only ‘might’, I don’t think they ever promised it) and a real shame that it’s still going to close.  It looks as if Kraft made this half promise in order to smooth the unpopular take over, and now that they have got Cadburys they can carry on with the original plan to close the place (made by Cadburys, remember) so that the chocolate can be made slightly cheaper in Poland, (though not as cheaply as planned since the recession has made the UK almost as cheap as Poland now, and the Keynsham land is not as valuable to sell any more).

But what’s made me write this is the angry grilling given to the Kraft representative, Marc Firestone, today.

a) Kraft didn’t send anybody senior, just some PR bod, who was probably paid loads to go over to the UK and soak up the shit.

b) After a day of words, nothing has changed.  Maybe we feel better for having seem them let off some steam on our behalf, but that’s not worth much in the long run.  Do the apparenlty angry politicians really care?  In fact, why should they, it doesn’t really affect them.  They just have to look as if they do.

c) Kraft have promised not to close anywhere else for two years.  Only two years!  It’ll take them that long to decide what to close and get it organised, so we gain nothing from that promise.  they probably would have left it that long anyway, just for PR reasons if not for logistical ones.

So what have we got – a bunch of hot air and worthless promises.  What was the point of that?  Either the English politicians were fooled by Kraft, who are just carrying on doing what they planned and soaking up the temporary flak, or the politicians knew it was just a charade for us the public.  Either way, what a load of crap!

Cadburys – old baddies

Kraft – new baddies

Politicians – fooled, or manipulative

I suppose we should expect this sort of thing by now…

March 3, 2010

Twinty Tin

Filed under: Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 10:35 pm

I have to say that every single South African I have ever met has been nice, so I probably ought to go there on holiday!

But the SAs and the New Zealanders do fascinate me with their accents.  I just heard an interview on the radio about the world cup and it occurred to me that it’s not a very good year to have it there, since they can’t even say it properly.

Of course, people can speak however they want, but if it’s ambiguous then that’s a problem.  I mean, we know what they mean by Twinty but how do they say the world “tin” if they want to?

And how so they say “Have you got a pin?” – “You mean a pen?  “No, a pin”

(When I was a sboolboy I was attacked by a bat.  A cat?  no, a bat)

While enjoying flight of the Conchords I made the following list of words which they can’t say:

  • Chick
  • Pig
  • Disk
  • Big
  • Pin
  • Six
  • did I miss any?

And is there a difference between the SA and the NZ pronunciation of vowels?

I’d also like a handy word that would help me tell the difference between Canadians and Americans, which I could then wait for them to say…

March 2, 2010

Sport, Happiness, and blokes

Filed under: Happiness, Sport — chriscroft @ 10:10 am

“What is it with men and sport?” I sometimes get asked.

In fact I used to find most sport boring, and woudl love to say “The score is the same whether or not you watch” but as I get older I find it more fascinating rather than less.  Maybe because I don’t play it so much now…  Because one of the things about watching sport is that you believe that it’s you playing it.  I was quite disappointed recently when kicking a football around in a friend’s garden that I was unable to curl the ball in from the wing like Beckham – I honestly thought I could, having seen him do it so many times,

Other psychological reasons why men particularly might be attracted to sport are

a) it’s as near as we get to tribal warfare, or to hunting

b) it involves practising our hunting skills – throwing things, judging relative speeds of moving objects, fitness in pursuit and evasion, etc

c) you don’t have to talk while watching it

d) you get so involved in it (known as Flow) that you forget all your day to day hassles and stresses

e) it’s one of the few things that really is completely unpredictable: two goals in extra times, or Hamilton losing a whiloe minute on the final lap (or was that fixed??) etc

f) you get a sense of belonging as you watch your tribe win, or when you discuss afterwards with people what happened

g) just like Desperate Housewives or Grays Anatomy you get the one off episode (the match) and the evolving longer term plot (the championship, will the new players or strategy or manager succeed) so you get hooked

h) the challenge of trying to understand it – why do England lose, why didn’t Murray get the third set, should he have come to net more, etc.

But finally I would like to add one of my favourite bits from The Inner Game of Tennis (I do think that a 5 set tennis match is the best of all if you want to observe the psychology of people under pressure) which says that there are only 3 reasons to play sport, and 2 of them are crap

1 – to beat the other person. This is a road to nowhere since there will always be someone better than you, so it will only work if you pick on people worse than you and beat them, and that’s rather a hollow victory

2 – to master the game.  Forget this, you never will.  Even Federer misses some shots, espesially when having a close game.  There is always going to be an even harder shot to try to master next.  You’ll never be satisfied

3 – to just enjoy the good bits.  To savour the shots that go well, that backhand down the line into the corner, oh yes!!  And of course the same goes for every sport, and maybe every thing in life.

Onwards and upwards!

March 1, 2010

My huge collection of logos

Filed under: Lists, Random stuff - uncategorisable, Selling and Influencing — chriscroft @ 8:22 pm

It’s stored at http://www.chriscrofttraining.co.uk/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=353&start=0

I just added a new one today, see page six!  Collinson Tiles, a sort of combined C and T, very nice!

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