Ted Barrett                                                   - Training, Consultancy and Technical Services
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Blog for June

Okay Folks, here we are again and it’s time for my blog for June. Caramba, how time flies. It was only five minutes ago that we had Valentine’s Day wasn’t it?
So “Flaming” June has been and gone, myself and CO didn’t get back from Spain until the 8th and I was back training on client’s premises on the 13th on the south coast of England just outside Portsmouth. I was also training at Wallingford, Dunstable and Bristol.
Between Portsmouth and Wallingford, I also did a spell of IV’ing for a training centre I am associated with in West Oxfordshire. If you are not aware, “IV” stands for Internal Verification – this means that you are the person within that organisation that ensures training courses are delivered to the standards prescribed by City & Guilds or EAL etc and that exams are properly conducted. Ultimately what we must ensure is that all candidates are treated fairly and have the same opportunities throughout. This is a responsibility I take extremely seriously as gaining (or failing) qualifications are a life-changing experience. When you are in this role you need to observe your colleagues at work, meet their students and discuss their training, examine paperwork and check documents. It is also necessary to plan training for trainers if necessary and to organise meetings between trainers to ensure that “Standardisation” is maintained. So the IV does all of this, and then, once a year, the EV will pay a visit… EV stands for External Verifier, this is the person who works for City & Guilds or EAL etc and wants proof that standards are being maintained. This will involve the EV meeting the IV and then perusing documentation at random, speaking to staff and students and finding the stupid mistakes we have made. I am pleased to report that we received a clean bill of health but like all assessments it does bring a certain amount of tension.  
My wife/CO has had a life-long interest in the Titanic, in fact I’m sure she could walk you round the ship blindfold. She achieved a “milestone” birthday in January of this year and as part of her birthday treat I took her to see the Titanic exhibition in Belfast this month. We have never been to Ireland before, so this trip was something completely new to us. Our route was what we called the “Four Nations” trip as we drove to Holyhead in Wales to catch the ferry to Dublin, from Dublin (Southern Ireland) we drove up to Belfast (Northern Ireland) where we spent a few days at the Titanic exhibition and generally exploring. From Belfast we caught a fast boat to Stranraer in Scotland, from whence we eventually drove back down into England and home. In betwixt and between we stayed at a few hotels, sampled a few meals & drinks (even failed to get a decent “Irish Coffee” in Belfast!) Didn’t get a chance to see the ruined castle of my ancestors outside Cork (trust my family to cock up my future) but will hopefully return to make a further study at another time. If you have never been to Ireland, I thoroughly recommend it, particularly the South, the landscapes are beautiful, and I think the Irish are an inherently friendly race anyway.
Nothing to do with the Irish, but one thing I can’t stand are liars (I suppose there are lots of other things I dislike as well, like people who keep saying “Basically” – but I wouldn’t shoot them for it). Anyway, Liars I can’t stand, second only to bullshitters. Why do they do it? I have a built in BS detector at the base of my neck. As soon as one starts my detector goes to Condition Red. But have you noticed that bullshitters are easily bullshitted? I think this is because they are so monumentally stupid as to think we actually believe what they tell us and therefore so stupid as to believe anything they are told. Which does pose the question – who is the bullshitter and who is the bullshitee?
I also hate braggers. Full stop. Please don’t try it. In England we have what we call “Council House Snobs”. In the states this would probably translate to “Project Snobs” or “Trailer Snobs”. In short, ordinary working class people who have forgotten their roots and consider themselves to be of a higher social class. These are the people who constantly attempt one-upmanship – “I’ve got a hot-tub, I’ve got a BMW, I play golf”. To all who practice this religion, I would only say why do you bother? In the case of those close to my sphere of influence I say this; If only you would have worked with us and not tried to outdo us you would have had our respect and probably a healthier bank balance. As it is, you have proven yourselves to be of even lower intellect than your ancestors. You should ask yourself, what have you given to society? As a citizen did you contribute to behaviour of society in any positive way? Do your children actually look up to you or your memory? Or did you teach your offspring to bullshit, lie and brag?
The amusing thing is that all of the bullshitters I know don’t seem to realise we know they are also liars. Yes, we can see they have all the things to brag about but they think we don’t know it is all on what my mother-in-law used to call “The Glad and Sorry” in other words, Credit. Hence, “Glad you’ve got it but Sorry you have to pay for it” (in instalments). We can see through you. If only these people would have worked with us, we could have reached the sky. As it is, they have reached the level of their incompetence and ignorance.
Well, that was a good old rant wasn’t it? It just goes to show, I barely hold a grudge…
What I do like and admire is Honesty and Dedication. If somebody came to me and said “Ted, I’m really struggling with ring circuit testing, can you help?” I would bend over backwards to help. I have far more respect for those that admit to a weakness than bullshitters.
I also think that no matter what we do, we should aspire to be the best. My nephew is a professional footballer, I can’t abide the game myself but I am extremely proud of him as he was determined to be a success in his chosen profession. No matter what you do, be the best at what you do. I am also extremely proud of my children as they have shown themselves to be experts in their given fields.
Finally, if undertaking any electrical maintenance or repairs, remember our mantra “Expect the Unexpected”. Stay safe folks and enjoy summer.


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