Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Hey Tom

Tom wrote to me: 

Hello Ann, 

This is Tom with XXXXX Company, a Chicago-based Adobe Executive Level Partner. 

Although XXXXX Company has performed over 130 successful AEM/CQ5 implementations and helped many clients take advantage of little known features within the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud, we don't have much contact with the team at Ford. Therefore, I'd like to set-up a short introduction call. 

The intent of this call is simply for introductions, discuss your Web initiatives, and see if XXXXX Company's Adobe expertise fits the direction Ford is headed. Attached is a brief overview of XXXXX Company. 

Are you available for a 15 – 20 minute call early next week to assess whether or not it makes sense to continue our conversations? 

What are your thoughts? 

Best Regards, -- Tom 

and I replied: 

Hi Tom 

If I told you that I worked in the UK and that my responsibilities are nothing to do with Social Media or Digital Marketing would you still want a chat? 

I doubt it. 

Wherever you have found my email address you have discovered an out of date contact. If you have paid for this as “prospect data” then I would a) like to know who is supplying my personal information without my permission and b) advise you to request a refund. 

I know working in sales is tough and making that first contact is tough, but it doesn’t help when the prospect data you’re using isn’t reliable. 

I wish you good luck but please remove my name from your database. 

Kind Regards, 

Ann Cardus

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Don't privatise our probation service

The privatisation of our probation services is a disgrace. Payment by results for a service to be delivered by private companies is wrong. It just is.

I have worked for the probation service (albeit a six month stint in HR) but I discovered enough to know that people who work in the probation service do so because they are caring individuals who want to make a difference.

Will these same individuals want to transition to a private company motivated by corporate greed? The answer is no, and they are leaving in droves.

Hear for yourselves why this policy needs changing on Radio 4's File on 4:

Spam, spam, eggs and spam

You know those irritating texts for personal injury or the ones offering a payday loan? Or in my case texts from the furniture company Dwell.

I signed up to receive marketing info from Dwell a few years ago and then they went bust. Within days they were up and trading again. But to my mind the new company was new with new owners. I had given the old company permission but not the new company.

I tried to stop this new company sending me texts by following the instructions in the text that asked me to reply with the word STOP. It didn't work and each new text from then irritated me more than the last.

Last night I decided to report them to the Information Commissioner's Office. By doing that I discovered that there's an easy way to report SPAM texts to your mobile operator.

Simply forward the offending text to 7726. You'll then get an acknowledgment text asking for the number of the sender. Text back with that and the offending company is reported. Job done.

Posted via Blogaway

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Muted Make-up

Hannah mentioned that amongst her school group there was an email going back and forth about whether Year 7 girls should be allowed to wear make-up.

She wanted to know how to mute the conversation as there were a large number of girls engaging in the email dialogue and all were using the reply to all button.  She's not in the slightest bit interested in wearing make-up or in having a conversation about it.

Well the great news is that in Gmail it is possible to mute a conversation so you're not bothered by reply to all on a subject that isn't of interest.

But it got me thinking, and researching, make-up for teenage girls and women.

It turns out that make-up can make someone feel better about themselves.  The kicker though is that those wearing make-up generally have lower self esteem than those that don't.

I think the best place to be is to be comfortable without the mask. Far better to work on the self esteem problem than to cover it up with make-up.

I don't need to provide Hannah with this advice but I hope she retains her positive attitude and never feels she needs make-up.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A definition

Female genital mutilation is very much in the news.  To be honest I'd rather it wasn't.  Clearly it's a completely hideous practice but that isn't why I wish it wasn't in the news.  Being completely selfish I just hate hearing about it.  Hearing about it makes me think about it and I really don't want to think about it while I'm eating my breakfast, driving to work, cooking the dinner or relaxing on the sofa, or actually anytime.

So when inflicted on girls FGM is child abuse.  I'm pretty sure that's not in question.

I assume, by applying the same reasoning, that circumcision of boys is also child abuse.

I imagine that applying a tattoo to a child would be considered child abuse too.

What about ear piercing?

I think I'm in love (with an energy company)

Scottish Power wrote to me today to let me know how much energy I used in 2013 and how much I might expect to pay for my energy in 2014.

As the money normally floats out of the joint account on a monthly basis I had no idea we were spending that much.  Actually that is a big fat lie.  I did know how much we were spending but, because the numbers were so horrific, I had blocked them in the same way that people can't remember traumatic experiences; they're pushed into the subconscious to give us all nightmares.

So I dragged myself to the Uswitch website.  

The last time I switched energy bills was I think after I was cornered in Sainsbury by someone who clearly earned a big fat commission.  At the time, Scottish Power were a better deal than British Gas so switching made sense.

I plugged in my usage numbers as this provides an accurate comparison tariff to tariff.

Uswitch told me I could save £404.  £404!!!  That's one hell of a shopping trip that I can claim because it's me saving the money.  Or it's a large chunk of the summer holiday paid for, or it's a hundred and one other things like fixing the rotting garage door and replacing the garage guttering.  The garage is the most likely recipient of any saving, which is a shame because I'm overdue a shopping trip.

The company that can save me this cash is Ovo energy.  Now weren't they the ones who were telling the truth to the House of Commons Select Committee whilst nPower, British Has, eon and the rest of them lied about fluctuating energy prices?  I do believe they were.

Ovo Energy also source 15% of their energy from renewable sources.  How terribly ethical.

Ovo Energy also pay 3% on credit balances.  Really?  I mean really?  That's better than any High Street bank or Building Society.

What's their telephone number?  Funny you should ask: they have a call centre in Bristol full of lovely Bristolians and you can dial 0800 5999 440, free from most landlines, or 01179 303100 for those of you with free minutes calling from your mobile where 0800 numbers are chargeable.  How thoughtful; you get to choose which phone number to call depending on which suits you. 

Oh, and they're on Twitter @OvoEnergy.

And ofcourse Facebook:

And they're even on Google+ (weirdos):

And YouTube:

And they blog (only freaks blog):

And if that isn't enough they're happy for you to pop in for a chat.  I know!!!  Speak to a real person face to face.  You have to be in Bristol mind but that might be half the fun.  (40 St Thomas, Bristol, BS16JX)

And for the old folk they have e-mail, how sweet: 

I sound like I'm on commission, I'm really not.  I haven't even switched yet, but I will.  I haven't even spoken to them yet, but I will.  I have sent them a couple of tweets though, 'cos I'm like that.  I also sent Scottish Power and Uswitch a tweet too, 'cos I'm like that.