Friday 16 September 2011

Good things come in threes

Last night we all went to the cinema to see 'One Man, Two Guvnors' starring James Corden. Of course, this is not a film, but a play that's on at the National Theatre and has been selling out faster than Nick Clegg. We saw it earlier this year, and it was just the funniest thing ever. Really. No really. So we took the opportunity of seeing it again, this time at the cinema when it was live broadcast by National Theatre Live. It was a one night showing. And second time round it was just as funny, may be even funnier. It's going on tour, so if you get the chance, do go and see it. Travel if you have to. I promise you won't have a better evening out this year....even if you're not a theatre fan.

It's not ever that I write about work...I like to keep business and play apart. No chasing secretaries round desks at the office for me. I don't know about you, but I mostly find working a bit of a chore. A bit of a drag. Something that gets in the way of me having a good time. That's even though I run my own business and have been doing so for the last fifteen years. I do love it, but boy can it be a real slog. And not surprisingly it can be somewhat repetitive. It's hard to find something that really stimulates me. The business is called Mandarin, and I often get asked it after the orange, the duck, or the senior government official? No I say, it's because Mandarin is the language spoken by more people than any other...and that's entirely appropriate to my business. So I love the name, and actually I would not rather have done anything else over the last decade and a half. But this week I did something I've never done before, and it amused me immensely. I sent out a press release in Chinese. That's right Mandarin sent out a release in Mandarin. Here's a snippet....actually, unless you're interested in customs and border control in Australia, it's not very exciting. But it IS in Mandarin.

CCD Design and Ergonomics Limited (CCD 设计和人机工程学有限公司)与澳大利亚海关及边境保护局 (Australian Customs and Border Protection Service) 携手合作,重新为该局许多重要的港口与机场设计闭路电视控制室。这些采用最先进技术的新设施可以为该局一线员工提供最优质的技术、桌面、室内环境和控制界面。

澳大利亚海关及边境保护局的科技与实施能力全国代理经理 Nicola Viney 说,这些新设施将协助该局员工开展重要的边境保护工作。

Viney 女士说:“这些新设施确保了本局员工拥有任何时候高效完成工作任务所需要的劳动工具。”

“我们知道,业务的成功与否取决于员工与设施及设备的互动情况,因此,我们邀请 CCD 与我们携手开发本项目。”

为了设计既满足该局员工的需求,又能支持控制室中开展的复杂监视、跟踪和通信活动的设施,CCD 在既有控制室中开展了人的因素和行为研究。

The other thing that has put a spring in my step, but should have you weeping into your collective pillows, is that today I received an invite to audition as a performer in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. Now as anyone who has heard me sing, or seen me Dad dancing at weddings, bar mitvahs and funerals will know that should I succeed all the efforts of the London Olympics Organising team will have been in vain. Humiliation for the country will be complete. My left leg will be swinging sideways as everyone else is swirling gracefully to the right, I will be singing Lalalas when everyone else will be humming oooohs, they will be clapping whilst I'm waving. I'll be frowning whilst the rest of the ensemble has a fixed smile on their faces, and no doubt I'll be tripping over my shoe laces as everyone else marches forwards as one synchronised unit. The nay sayers will be triumphing about how right they is true that Britain can't organise a major international event. For the rest, abject humiliation, that their dreams of a return to being proud of being British have been dashed by my foolishness.

Of course they may spot my ineptitude before then, in which case I feel there may be a collective sigh of relief.