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Sep. 22nd, 2010


And by that I just mean 'Don't Tell'


1. I am not about to turn down anyone's offer of going to war on my behalf, lest someone ask me to go my bloody self. If there are politicians in America who would never dream of signing themselves or their children up to the armed services, perhaps they wanna be less picky about who can go in their place.
2. Are the hard working men and women of the US army, who have undergone rigorous training, dangerous living conditions and only the basic amenities of life in order to serve their country, really going to have their moral dampened by knowing that somewhere in the army there might be a gay man or lesbian?
3. If I'd given all that to serve my country and I had politicians telling the world that I wasn't big enough to serve along side a homosexual without it freaking me out, I'd be offended.
4. If I already knew that gays were allowed to serve in the millitary, and that any one of my fellow troops might be a homosexual, I don't see why it would affect how I my moral to know which ones were and which ones weren't.
5. In response to the first commenter of the page: bollocks. You can't argue that it's in order to protect homosexuals in the army - the army should be doing that anyway. It's ridiculous to say that one of the best funded and most highly trained armed forces in the world couldn't possibly protect a soldier from abuse FROM THEIR FELLOW MEN. You can't argue that everyone is expected to leave thier sexual orientation at home, either. Where does this bizarre idea come from that openly gay men go around saying 'well, as a gay - did I tell you I was gay? I 'm gay' all the time? Yes, no one in the army should be making a point of their sexuality. But unless this serviceman can tell me that no one in his barracks mentions their wife or girlfriend back home, or has a photo of his wedding day, or has had a conversation over whether they fancy Jessica Alba or not, or whatever else is likely to come up when you live with people for that long, he can't say it's equal.
6. The concept of sexual privacy - also bollocks. To suggest that having a homosexual in your barracks violates your sexual privacy simply through being there is ludicrous, but also irrelevant as homosexuals ARE still allowed to serve - so heads up, there might just be someone fancying you anyway. Does that mean you have no sexual privacy to safeguard? Or is it only violated when someone makes a comment or and advance? Because you can still have rule against that. Professional conduct is not the same as staying closeted.

Also, I have a question: What happens to all the civil partners, life partners, co-parents etc of secretly gay servicemen and women if something happens to them when they're serving? Can they come out then and claim the support they're owed?

Sep. 21st, 2010


Data is Beautiful


Writer's Block: Let me entertain you

Who is your personal choice for greatest singer of all time, and why?

After long and careful consideration of my extensive shortlist of...one person, I would have to say Alice Cooper.


Because, whilst the man sings like a waste disposal unit, he is still the greatest showman of all time, the inventor of theatrical rock and with it all of the trappings we come to expect from rock concerts and music videos, as well as being "one of the most under-rated song writers of his generation" [Bob Dylan].

Sep. 20th, 2010


Greatest Advert of ALL TIME.

To all the people who've texted to ask: can I really have pitched, shot and directed my own advert in the two weeks I've worked for Millward Brown? The answer is of course no. Millward Brown don't actually make adverts, they do market research that's used by advertising agencies when they're making adverts or planning campaigns.

I do, however, see why people would ask:

As amazing as it seems, I had nothing to do with this...

Sep. 14th, 2010


"I like ducks, and this duck in particular"

Here are some magic words: Ah, the system has been configured incorrectly.

Granted, I don’t know what that actually means, but I know what it means. It means, hey, there was a mistake and it wasn’t your fault. My real fear was that I would eventually get an IT super-bod, whose time is chargeable at £1000 an hour, to come all the way down here and have to say ‘No, Steve, it clearly says left click...’ or something. Or worse still – and the regularity with which this happens is another reason I’m suspecting a gypsy curse – that he’d get down here and it would just magically work.

Something was broken. Hooray.

Also, I think I’m beginning to know what I’m doing, which is awesome. It’s now at the stage where I’m about brave enough to take on jobs, but not entirely certain that I’m doing the correct thing. It is, however, an excellent test of one of the many promises I made to myself before I started this job, namely that I would just ask if I didn’t know. I have spent my whole life wondering how I was going to get a job done in time when I didn’t know what needed to be doing/how to do it. This was usually when I’d already said I’d done it. I think I’ve just assumed my whole life that everyone else was in a position to give me a bollocking, and I don’t like bollockings. I live for the approval of others. Of course, changing that fact would have been another good promise to make to myself, if I thought it was a promise I’d any hope of keeping. Some traits, no matter how unfortunate or unhealthy, are traits of mine none the less. I think maybe there comes a point where the best option is just to accept that, at 24, having made all the personal effort and the self help plans, there are some things I’ll never change. Like coming in to work looking like a tramp. Sure, it’d be nice to have natural style. But I don’t. I could make a promise to myself that I’ll get up early every day and make an effort. But I won’t. So at the very least I’m going to be alright with it.

Similarly, I am always going to be a teacher’s pet. We had a lecture this morning on the history of Millward Brown, and who do you think had their hand up? Who do you think said yes to the ‘have you ever read....’ ‘has anybody heard of....’ ‘can anyone think of...’ questions? Who do you think stayed behind to discuss the future of market research with the trainer? I imagine that it’ll make me very popular... but hey, there’s no point in pretending I’m something that I’m not.

Sep. 13th, 2010


"Okay, is the computer definately on?"

I’m beginning to think I may have mildly perturbed a gypsy. I appear to be at the mercy of some minor, rather modern curse.

Logged in on day one – there were some minor issues there, but nothing that can’t be explained away by my having a stupid name and my being stupid. Then the first thing I had to do was connect to the shared L drive. I got the address from a co-worker, mapped the network drive...nope, couldn’t find it. Tried again. Nope. Tried variants on the theme. Again no. So I called IT help in India. They tried the ‘turn it off and on again’ approach with me, the ‘unplug the network cable and plug it in again approach’ with me, they reset various things, tried the above again, and again, and variants on the theme. They could see me on the system, but they weren’t able to take control of my PC. They took my PC ID number. Still no. They took my IP address. Still no.

“This has never happened before” The call handler said in an increasingly nervous voice.
“It has to me” I wanted to respond, but decided to steer clear of muddying the waters.

Turns out that, if I’m really not on the network, I can’t connect to the internet. I explained that I was on the internet. He told me that I couldn’t me. And so on for a while.

They then sent me through to IT in London, who I’ve been dealing with over e-mail.
“Can you receive and send e-mails?” Asked the first e-mail I received, in answer to the one I had just sent...
“If you’re not on the network you can’t be using e-mail” Said the e-mail I had received in response to the e-mail I had just sent.

He tried the ‘turn it off and on again’ approach with me, the ‘unplug the network cable and plug it in again approach’ with me, they reset various things, tried the above again, and again, and variants on the theme.

Then he said he’d reset my password, and that if I shut down the computer and logged in again with this new password, it should work.

I logged out. My new password didn’t work. My old password didn’t work. I called IT in India again. They told me to e-mail the guy in London. I told them I couldn’t e-mail anyone if I couldn’t log in. They told me to e-mail my line manager. I explained again.
They tried the ‘turn it off and on again’ approach with me, the ‘unplug the network cable and plug it in again approach’ with me, they reset various things, tried the above again, and again, and variants on the theme.

Eventually I went over to Lisa in HR and explained. She e-mailed IT London for me. 5 minutes later she walked over to my PC, typed in what she said was the new password I was issued, logged me in right away. I felt somewhat stupid, thanked her, and off she went. I then got a dialogue box up saying that I had to change my password because it was my first log in attempt. I tried this, only to be told I couldn’t because the network couldn’t be found.

I rather sheepishly went over to Lisa, who told me to call IT.

IT reset my password again.

I still can’t get access to the L drive.

Sep. 10th, 2010


"And if my pet chipmunk had lived 6 months longer I'd be in the record books now"

Perhaps it is simply that I’ve spent my entire life as a wayward teenager, and perhaps it’s the legacy of so many jobs where I was supposed to be doing something...but wasn’t, or perhaps it’s simply that this is a real company and everyone is busy. Whatever it is, I am just uneasy with having nothing to do.

I have nothing to do because I’ve been here a week, because my training is ongoing and because I haven’t been allocated any work yet. All of this is reasonable. Moreover, I’ve had people telling me that I will have nothing to do, that it’s okay that I’m doing nothing, that they themselves did nothing for weeks – months – after starting, and that the other new starters are, similarly, currently doing nothing.

And yet.

You would think this would mean a longer update. You would think, having not updated for months, I would have plenty to say. And I do. I work for Millward Brown now. They’re a global market research firm, and something of a deviation from The Universities of Medway Students Association, which is where you may have last heard of me. As you can imagine, this change has lead to a great many massive changes in my lifestyle and mood (and username) and comes with several anecdotes. All of which, I’m fairly sure, I have both the time and permission to go into at length.

And yet.

I’m the new girl. Having co-workers look over my shoulder and see LJ – acceptable though I’m sure that is – just doesn’t feel right. This is the one place I’ve ever worked where I can see myself being here a while, so even though it doesn’t matter, somehow it matters more.

That made sense in my head...

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